|Servant of God
Teofilo Bastida Camomot
|Coadjutor Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro|
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|Diocese||Cagayan de Oro|
|See||Cagayan de Oro|
|Appointed||10 June 1958|
|Term ended||17 June 1970|
|Other posts||Auxiliary Bishop of Jaro (1955 - 1958)
Titular Archbishop of Marcianopolis (1958 - 1988)
|Ordination||14 December 1941
by Gabriel Reyes
|Consecration||29 May 1955 as Bishop of Jaro
by Julio Rosales
|Birth name||Teofilo Bastida Camomot|
3 March 1914|
Carcar, Cebu, Insular Government of the Philippine Islands
|Died||27 September 1988
San Fernando, Cebu, Philippines
|Parents||Luis Camomot (father)
Angela Bastida (mother)
|Feast day||27 September|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Title as Saint||Servant of God|
Teofilo Bastida Camomot (3 March 1914 – 27 September 1988) was a Roman Catholic Archbishop from the Philippines. Ordained a diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of Cebu on 14 December 1941, he was eventually appointed an auxiliary bishop on 23 March 1955 and receiving the titular see of Clysma. He became coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro on 10 June 1958, becoming titular archbishop of Marcianopolis. While waiting for then-archbishop James Hayes to retire, Archbishop Camomot resigned for health reasons on 17 June 1970. He was killed in a vehicular accident in San Fernando on 27 September 1988 at the age of 74.
Camomot was born on 3 March 1914, in Barangay Cogon, Carcar, Cebu, to Luis Camomot and Angela Bastida. He was christened the following day, and on 22 August 1915, he received the Sacrament of Confirmation. At an early age, Teofilo was already exposed to a very religious environment. He spent his elementary years at Carcar Elementary School where he was fondly called "Lolong" by his classmates, friends, and relatives. After graduating from elementary, Camomot decided to help his father in the farm and dreamt of being an agriculturist, which his mother disapproved of. Even at a young age, he already showed signs of love and concern for the poor, asking his mother for some rice or food so that he can give to the farmers and poor people. Once when his elder brother, Fr. Diosdado, visited and saw Camomot was not attending school, he asked him if he wanted to enter the seminary.
Camomot entered the Seminario Menor de San Carlos in Mabolo, Cebu City, for his secondary education from 1932 to 1933, pursuing his philosophical and theological studies at the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos. He was ordained a priest on 14 December 1941, celebrating his Cantamisa (first Mass of a newly ordained priest) at the second floor of his home instead of his parish in Carcar because of the outbreak of the Second World War.
For twelve years, he served as curé of Santa Teresa de Ávila Parish in Talisay. In 1955, the Third Order of Carmelites Discalced (now the Secular Order of Carmelites Discalced) was established at the Carmelite Monastery in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City, and Camomot was elected as the first prior of the San Elías Chapter. On 25 March 1955, Camomot was appointed auxiliary bishop of Jaro, Iloilo, receiving episcopal ordination on 29 May 1955, and staying in Jaro until 1959. After Masses, he kept himself busy by visiting the poor especially those who are sick. In 1959, he was sent to the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro as coadjutor archbishop with right of succession. It was during these years that he formed communities that would help the Church in the work of evangelisation: the Paulinian Faith Defenders and the Carmelite Tertiaries of the Blessed Eucharist, the forerunners of the Daughters of Saint Teresa.
Between 1962 and 1965, he attended the first (11 October 1962 – 8 December 1962), third (14 September 1964 – 21 November 1964), and fourth (14 September 1965 – 8 December 1965) sessions of the Second Vatican Council.
Due to kidney problems, he had to resign his position as coadjutor archbishop in 1970. He came back to Cebu and was assigned in Santo Tomás de Villanueva Parish in Barangay El Pardo, Cebu City. Together with him were some sisters from the congregation he founded in Mindanao. From Pardo, he was assigned to his native town in Carcar in the year 1976. Aside from being the pastor of the parish, he was also auxiliary bishop to Julio Cardinal Rosales. Again, his generosity became very well known that rectory workers began complaining about the number of poor people lining up to ask for food. His brothers and sisters would even remind him to be more cautious of the people whom he was helping because his generosity might be abused, but he always saw the goodness in every person he met.
On 27 September 1988, after celebrating the feast of Saint Vincent de Paul at the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos and visiting the Carmelite Monastery in Barangay Mabolo, Archbishop Camomot travelled home to Carcar with his chauffeur. While he was asleep, his vehicle overturned in Sitio Magtalisay, Barangay Sangat, San Fernando, Cebu. Camomot immediately died from his injuries at about 14:00 PHT, but his chauffeur survived.
Thousands attended Archbishop Camomot's funeral at the municipal cemetery. In 2009, his body was exhumed for transfer to the Daughters of Santa Teresa convent in Valladolid, Carcar City; his corpse was found to be incorrupt 21 years after his death.
Fame and cause for beatification and sainthood
Archbishop Camomot was not an eloquent preacher or a convincing speaker, but his actions spoke louder than words. He was noted for his diligence in his pastoral duties (spending hours in the Confessional), devotion to prayer (waking up very early for his morning prayers and meditation), as well as his numerous works of charity. His parishioners until now cannot forget his simplicity, his personal holiness, and his apostolic works especially among the poor, the sick, the homeless, and the suffering. His simplicity was attested by so many people even fellow prelates. There were many stories about the Archbishop's Francisan-like poverty. Cardinal Vidal have once told that on one occasion he noticed that Archbishop Camomot was not wearing his pectoral cross, the cross that a bishop wears on his breast. Curious, he asked Monsignor Camomot about it. He made some excuse. Later a priest told the Cardinal that the Archbishop had pawned his cross to give some money to the poor. The Cardinal later gave him a new cross and told him not to give it away.
During the Second Vatican Council, he was one of the participants for which he had to endure travelling by sea from the Philippines to Rome in the fourth class of a luxury liner. Even though he was in Europe, his generosity especially to the poor and his simplicity were observed by those around him.
He was also known for his spiritual gifts of healing, reading hearts, levitation, and bilocation. Cebu archbishop emeritus Ricardo Jamin Vidal said there were several testimonies about Camomot's bilocation or there were people who would see him present in two places at the same time. The archbishop himself has signed an affidavit in relation to a witness' account on this phenomenon where Camomot was drowsing beside him at a meeting of the College of Consultors. "I have already authenticated his presence at a meeting. But a woman said at that time he was in a mountain barangay (in Carcar) giving the last sacrament to a dying person," he said. "He (Camomot) was at my left, and Archbishop (Manuel) Salvador-- discussing about the pastoral (thrust) of the diocese—at my right. I said 'Monsignor, we have a votation and you have to vote,'" he added.
The Daughters of Saint Teresa formally petitioned for the opening of a cause for beatification and canonization. On 15 October 2010, Cardinal Vidal announced that the Holy See has approved the opening of the cause for beatification and canonization. On 27 December 2010, Cardinal Vidal formed a commission to look into the possibility of beatification. Members of the commission are Bishop Antonio Ranola (instructor and episcopal delegate), Monsignor Dennis Villarojo (postulator), Monsignor Raul Go (promoter of justice), Rev. Jasper John Petralba (notary), and Trinidad Calleno (adjunct notary). Msgr. Guillermo Gorre, Msgr. Marnell Mejia, and Fr. Patricio Ornopia were designated as theological censors to study the writings of Archbishop Camomot. Tasked with historical research are Fr. Marvin Mejia, Fr. Ramon Ofredo, and Msgr. Cayetano Gelbolingo.
After the Diocesan Phase, the Congregation for the Causes for Saints will have to certify the results. Then a Positio Super Vita et Virtutibus (On the Life and Virtues) will have to be written and submitted. The Congregation will then study the life, writings, and virtues of Archbishop Camomot, which will hopefully lead to the issuance of a Decree Super Virtutibus, earning Archbishop Camomot the title "Venerable." A major miracle (complete, instantaneous, permanent, and scientifically inexplicable) will have to be investigated, documented, and scrutinized. Only when a Decree Super Miro (on the miracle) is promulgated can the date for beatification be set. Beatification grants a limited liturgical veneration to the Blessed with his own assigned feast day, a proper Collect, and Office of Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours, but only within his own ecclesiastical territory or country and his religious order. Another major miracle after canonization is required to proceed to Canonization.
His tomb behind the chapel of the DST Convent in Valladolid, Carcar City has become a pilgrimage site for devotees of Archbishop Camomot, who admire the example of his life and believe in the efficacy of his intercession. The major dates of pilgrimage are on his birthday on 3 March and his death anniversary on 27 September. Near the tomb, a museum displays various items he had used in his lifetime.
Prayer for the Beatification of Archbishop Teofilo Camomot
Almighty and ever-living LORD, it was Your grace and the love of You that made your servant, Teofilo Camomot, devote his life to Your service as priest and bishop, a life of self-abnegation, constant prayer, and generous love for the poor and the needy. Grant that his virtues provide a lasting example for all and merit the approval of the Church that he be raised to the altars. As a sign of Your benevolence to Your servant's cause, we humbly implore You to bestow upon us this favour (mention petition) in the name of Jesus, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
Mailing address for testimonies of answered petitions
Advocates of Archbishop Camomot's beatification and canonization receive testimonies on his life and intercession at the following contact details:
Daughters of St. Teresa
Valladolid, Carcar City 6019
Telephone: (+632) 487-9233/487-8021
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