Fr. Elino "Eling" Isip, OMI dies of heart attack, 85

OMI Philippine Province • Sun Aug 6, 2017 07:08 PM  •  140   0
By Edwin O. Fernandez/omiphil.org
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COTABATO CITY – An oblate priest who has been serving in various parishes and Oblate ministries in the archdiocese of Cotabato has passed away due to heart attack Sunday morning. He was 85 years old.

Workers of the Buldoc Home in Quezon City found Fr. Elino Montemayor Isip, OMI at past 4 a.m. lifeless in his room. 

The remains of Fr. Elino Montemayor Isip, OMI will be brought to Oblate Juniorate Seminary in Tamontaka, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao on August 9.  

Burial is yet to be set by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.  

In 2015, Fr. Isip celebrated his 60 years of religious life.  

Fr. Isip, more known among Oblates as “Eling” was born on December 27, 1931, to Eugenio Isip and Alejandra Montemayor at Florida Blanca, Pampanga.  

In his youth, his family migrated to Polomolok, South Cotabato. He studied his high school at the Notre Dame of Lagao.  

When he was in fourth year high, the late Fr. Joe Quinn, OMI gave his class a retreat. One talk, “Serving God As A Priest,” impressed him very much.   He then felt called to the priesthood.

Later, Fr. Bertrand Demers, OMI encouraged and guided him in his vocation.  

In 1952, Eling entered the Oblate Juniorate in Manila over the objections of his father who wanted him to become a lawyer.  

After his Juniorate, he went to Mission, Texas for his novitiate year. When he came back as a scholastic wearing a soutana, his father sentiments changed, and he was very happy for his son.  

He spent his scholastic years at Our Lady of the Assumption Scholasticate at Project 8, Quezon City. He did his philosophical and theological studies at the nearby San Jose Seminary.  

At the end of his third year theology, he was ordained a priest on June 29, 1961 at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cotabato City.  

Fr. Isip’s ministry has always been in parishes. He spent nine years in Tacurong City, first as assistant then as parish priest from 1965 to 1974.  

After his long stint in Tacurong City, he was assigned pastor of Midsayap, North Cotabato for two years and then to Parang, Maguindanao until 1981.  

After serving in various parishes for 19 years, he went to the United States for a year of renewal. After his renewal, he was assigned to Kidapawan City and later to Upi, Maguindanao, then to Masiag, Sen. Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat in 1988 and Pikit. North Cotabato in 1993 as pastor.  

His last pastoral assignment was in Datu Piang in 2006. From Datu Piang, he moved to the Postulancy as resident in 2008 until 2010 when he moved to the Bolduc Home in Quezon City.  

When asked to summarize his years as priest, he said: “Next to God’s grace, it is the awareness that I am needed by the people who have kept me on as a priest these years. But, then, that itself is God’s grace…!”  
The striking quality of Fr. Isip as a pastor was his availability and readiness to serve. In season and out season, he was truly a pastor to his parishioners.
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