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OMI's Fr. Joe dedicated 51-year priesthood to building Muslim-Christian solidarity

Local News • 19:16 PM Sat Dec 5, 2015
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By: 
John Unson
Oblate priest Jose Ante (inset) was killed in a car accident in Davao Del Sur last Friday. (JMU)

COTABATO CITY --The Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) congregation is grieving over Friday’s death in a car accident of a member who dedicated his 51-year priesthood to propagation of Muslim-Christian unity in the country’s south.OMI missionary Jose Ante died from injuries he sustained when one of his car’s front tires exploded while driving at a section of the Cotabato-Davao Highway in Matanao town in Davao del Sur and collided with an approaching truck from the opposite direction of the thoroughfare.The OMI, whose pontifical base is in Rome, has been operating pro-poor missions benefitting Muslims and Christians in Central Mindanao and the island provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi since after World War II.Of Bicolano descent, Ante, a scion of a pioneer Catholic family in Cotabato City, was actively involved in various community activities complementing the OMI’s peace-building missions in areas where it has missionary facets.Ante had also served as president of the Notre Dame of Jolo College in downtown Jolo, capital town of the island province of Sulu, and the Notre Dame University in Cotabato City, Central Mindanao’s largest Catholic school.Ante spoke fluently the Bicolano, Chavacano, Tausug and Maguindanaon dialects.He was born on July 13, 1936 and had suffered from the brunt of the World War II while a grade school pupil.He was ordained to priesthood in 1964 after a ten-year study in philosophy schools in the country and in Rome.Ante was the first ever Filipino OMI member to become Oblate Philippine superior, serving as head of their pastoral community in the country from 1981 until 1982.

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