BRO. THOMAS A. EVANGELIO, OSB
St. Benedict’s Monastery, Digos City
Born: September 7, 1979
Temporary Profession: May 1, 2008
Solemn Profession: May 13, 2013
Died: November 17, 2020
Bro. Thomas Evangelio, OSB was the eldest of the four siblings in the family of Mr. Santos L. Evangelio and Mrs. Lourdes A. Evangelio. He was born on September 7, 1979 in Tagum City, Philippines and was christened as Jerick Auxilio Evangelio. He had his elementary education at Trinidad Public elementary school in Bohol and high school at Saint Isidore Academy Trinidad in the same province. He graduated his college in 2002 at the University of Mindanao in Tagum City, Davao del Norte with a degree of Bachelor of Arts major in Commerce. After his college he worked in the poultry farm for three years and then eventually entered the monastery and became postulant on July 8, 2006.
At the entry to the novitiate program he had chosen his monastic name as “Thomas” after his patron St. Thomas the Apostle. In his juniorate he decided to proceed for priesthood. He had his 2 years of philosophy at St. Francis Xavier College Seminary in Davao City. And had his first 2 years of theology at St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary in the same city. After this he continued his theology at St. Alphonse Marian Institute, of the Redemptorist Fathers. After his Third year of theology, he had his pastoral exposure, as part of the program of the institute, for about a year with Fr. Pierre Samson, PME among the indigenous people at Little Baguio in the province of Davao Occidental. After his pastoral exposure he decided to rest from his theological studies.
While he was in the monastery, he took a vocational course in automotive for two years which he graduated on March 31, 2013 with honors. Having been gifted in music he was made as one among our lead cantors and played guitar for our weekday Masses. He was appointed as our Refectorian and was also assigned for our scholars for their catechism and on-going formation program. He managed to organize our garbage disposal system that made it more orderly and clean. In-spite of his busy schedules in the monastery he still find time to accompany our Bro. Bernard to visit the sick and poor people in our surroundings; this was indeed a clear indication for his love for the poor and the sick in our society.
However, life indeed is full of mystery and God alone can fully answer all our questions. While still eager to live and to serve more as a monk-missionary, at the age of 41 he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer because of Tuberculosis. He was first hospitalized at the Dominican Hospital in Digos and was then transferred to San Pedro Hospital in Davao. Later we brought him home in the monastery where he was cared 24 hours round the clock especially by our two confreres Bros. Bernard and Reinhard.
Aside from receiving the fullness of the sacraments in his dying moment, what was also very beautiful and moving in the passing of our dear Bro. Thomas, was while he was still in pain he requested to talk to each one of us. And there he asked for forgiveness and at the same time forgiving. Yes indeed his is a well prepared and a blessed preparation to see our loving Lord in heaven. At the age of 41, on November 17, 2020 at 1:40 AM (with the presence also of his mother and two siblings) our dear dearest confrere was taken by God, so that where the Lord is, there also is Bro. Thomas.
Fr. Gregory Damondamon, OSB
St. Benedict’s Monastery
Digos City, Philippines