Fernando Suarez

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For the Paraguayan footballer, see Fernando Suárez (footballer).
Fr. Fernando Suarez, Santuario de San Vicente de Paul.

Father Fernando Suarez (born 1967) is a Filipino Catholic priest who performs faith healing in the Philippines and all over the world.[1]

Early Life[edit]

Fernando Suarez, was born in Barrio Butong, Taal, Batangas, Philippines on February 7, 1967. to a driver father and a seamstress mother. Being the eldest of 4 children (2 sisters and 1 brother), he graduated in public schools. At age 12 he earned a living by leasing inflatable boats at a beach to support his studies. Suarez earned a chemical engineering degree at the Adamson University, Manila.

After spending much of his life living and working in the Philippines, with a chemical engineering, he came to Winnipeg, Canada in 1995. In Canada, he continued to pursue his desire to follow the Lord as a Roman Catholic Priest, something he strongly felt God was calling him to become. In 1997 he joined the Companions of the Cross religious community of priests and seminarians, founded by Rev. Robert Bedard in 1985 in Ottawa, Canada, and Fernando was ordained to the priesthood in 2002.

Priesthood[edit]

In 1997, Suarez applied to many Orders until he joined the Companions of the Cross. Suarez was ordained a Catholic priest in 2002 at age 35. From 2002 to July 2003, Suarez served as the associate pastor of St. Timothy's parish in North York, Ontario. In 2011, Suarez left the Companions of the Cross and joined the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines, under the leadership of Bishop-Prelate Antonio Palang. Bishop Palang assigned Fr. Suarez to a very impoverished community of Ilin Island (pronounced as Ilin, a barangay of Municipality of San Jose), located south of Occidental Mindoro island, which is what Suarez wanted.

He founded Mary Mother of the Poor-Healing Ministry or Mary Mother of the Poor Foundation (MMP) after he became a priest. He is supported through donations.[2]

On December 10, 2007, the Junior Chamber International Philippines presented Suarez with an award for his religious service.[3]


Mary Mother of the Poor[edit]

In 1996, while praying, Suarez believes he saw a vision. In the vision, Jesus was pouring out many graces and blessings upon him and as he received His graces and blessings, he saw multitudes of poor children begging for help. He did not understand the vision then, but its image remained in his heart. It was not until the summer of 1997, that the meaning of the vision became clear to him. During a two-week visit to the Philippines, at least ten poor children approached Fernando out of nowhere, asking for his support especially in their studies. Trusting in the Lord, he began sending money coming from his savings from giving recollections and retreats during his Christmas and summer holidays. This led Fernando to create his foundation, "Mary Mother of the Poor" (MMP). The foundation grew and became established.[4]

MMP is a non-profit, tax exempt charitable organization of Catholic religious and lay persons in the US, Canada and the Philippines, founded by Suarez and Father Jeff Shannon. [5]

Mission and Objectives[edit]

MMP is dedicated to seek holiness in evangelizing and working with the poor through the intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To relieve poverty by providing food and other basic supplies to persons of low income, by establishing, operating and maintaining shelters for the homeless, and by providing counseling and other similar programs to relieve poverty. 2) To coordinate health care and social services for people with debilitating diseases, illnesses and conditions including aging. To advance & teach religious tenets, doctrines, observances and culture associated with the Roman Catholic faith. 4) To provide supervised programs intended to help youth develop their talents and become good citizens.

Building Projects[edit]

In 2004, MMP built and financed a classroom for students that were having class under a tree or other outdoor areas. They also built houses for two families that were affected by a typhoon.

In 2005, MMP constructed and financed a two-story home for ten families that were living under a roof supported by four bamboo pillars. They also extended a high school that was affected by landslide and was in need of a library and extra rooms.

In 2006, MMP built a mission house to provide housing for seminarians and visiting priests. The Mary Mother of the Poor Village was also constructed to build homes for thousands of families.

The projects of the Mary Mother of the Poor are continuously working on helping provide shelter for those in need.

Livelihood and Economic Projects[edit]

To further help the poor help themselves, MMP provides livelihood opportunities for them. This includes fish farming, handicrafts, and even a small power plant. They also provided seminars to teach people how to cook with more nutritious foods as well as creating products. This was held in Caloocan City.

Scholarship and Youth Evangelization[edit]

They are currently sponsoring one hundred twenty-three scholars (ranging from elementary to college) and six seminarians. MMP also provides spiritual support to the students and includes Mass, praise, dramatization and spiritual outreach.

Feeding Program[edit]

MMP is currently feeding more than 3000 malnourished children from five different schools: Pulot Apaya, Pulot Itaas, De La Paz Itaas, Ilihan and Pagkilatan. They provide lunch five days a week given by volunteer teachers and parents, primarily financed through donations.

Oratory of the Blessed Virgin Mary at MonteMaria[edit]

Suarez has announced he will attempt to build a shrine to the Blessed Virgin at Montemaria, in Batangas City.[6] It will consist of a rosary garden, Stations of the Cross, Eucharistic, Adoration, Divine Mercy, Infant Jesus, Saint Joseph and Saint Mary chapels, Scala Sancta, a columbarium, retreat houses, campsites, lodging houses, conference center, international center for the poor, and a replica of the House of the Virgin Mary. On January 7, 2007 the ground was broken at the site, accompanied by a tall statue of Mary.[7] The statue itself will be thirty-three stories high, which is even taller than the Statue of Liberty upon completion. The entire project is being finalized and scheduled to begin in 2008. Contractors believe it could be done in two to four years.[8] The statue is to be hand-made by sculptor Ed Castrillo,[9][10] the Philippines’ most prolific builder of public monuments who celebrated his 40th year as a professional artist in 2006.

The world's tallest Marian statue would stand 110 meters, with 92.9 meters (or 204 feet) of that would consist of the statue of Mary. In his 2 hectare studio in Molino, Cavite, Castrillo said, the head, feet and hands are in cut-and-welded brass medium, while the body would be in stainless steel. The metal medium sculpture differed from Liberty, which is in soft concrete.[11]

Healing ministry[edit]

Father Suarez says he discovered his gift of healing at the age of 16. According to Suarez, he saw a paralyzed 60-year-old beggar woman outside Quiapo Church. He asked if she wanted him to pray for her, just to console her. After one Hail Mary, one Our Father and one Glory Be, the woman stood up and walked, he said. [12] Shocked and happy, she exclaimed that Suarez had healed her. Due to shock and disbelief, he ran away. He tried to keep this a secret for as long as he could. However, upon being ordained a priest, it became more evident to him that the gift of healing was not only meant for him, but to be shared with other people as well. Since then he has been traveling around the world celebrating healing Mass and praying with the sick.[13]

On January 11, 2008, Manila Cardinal Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales officiated the celebration of the Mass which started the 3-day, 40-hour vigil at Suarez' Batangas City Montemaria mega-shrine. Hundreds of devotees and the sick gathered.[14]

Suarez, 44, announced his return to and resumption of healing in the Philippines on May, 2008.[15]

God healed through Suarez, on July 21, 2008, in a 7 hour healing Mass at the Saint Joseph Community in Brussels, Belgium.[16]

Suarez has his radio program, "Healing Grace with Fr. Fernando Suarez", aired over Radyo Veritas every Sunday night.

Controversy[edit]

On January 25, 2008, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), public affairs head and Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, Jr. stated that while they are happy for Suarez, they will remain "watchful" of his healing Masses and activities. "Few people are given the special gift of healing, and Suarez is one of them. But church officials are still observant," Iñiguez said in a statement posted on the CBCP Web site Thursday night.[17]

On January 26, 2008, 2 died and 7 were rushed (due to exhaustion) to James Gordon Hospital, Olongapo City while waiting for Suarez' healing Mass. Juanito Eleazar, 69, died of a heart attack amid more than 15,000 worshippers having lined-up.[18]

In Mexico, Pampanga, 39-year-old colon cancer-stricken Alberto Tapnio died while in a wheelchair (and thereafter blessed by Suarez during a healing Mass). Tapnio was DOA (dead on arrival) at a hospital but was revived by electric shocks. Upon notice of the resurrection, the crowd of 20,000 people started clapping, praying and shouting, but Alberto died 4 hours later.[19][20]

Regarding other controversies, click here. Responses to controversies can be found here.

References[edit]

External links[edit]