MANILA � Not all people visiting the graves of their loved ones in Novaliches at this time of the year�from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2�end up at the five memorial parks and five public cemeteries in the large district, which is divided between Quezon City and Caloocan City.
Many of them also go to the Society of Jesus-owned Sacred Heart Novitiate Cemetery, located at the compound of the Sacred Heart Novitiate and Retreat House (SHNRH) along Quirino Highway in Barangay Pasong Putik Proper, Novaliches, Quezon City.
According to the SHNRH website (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Jesuit cemetery is the final resting place of several Filipino and American Jesuit priests, bishops, chaplains, scholars, scientists, and noted writers, among others.
The graveyard is shaded by tall narra and other trees that also line both sides of the almost 1-kilometer, narrow road, beginning from Quirino Highway. A marker on one side of the cemetery has this inscription: "Called to be with Jesus' friends: to work with Him as partners in His mission; like Jesus with priority for the marginalized poor. These men, gifted pastors, scholars, chaplains, scientists, workers in caring communities, martyrs, writers, bishops, spiritual guides, spent their lives with and for others."
One of the almost 300 prominent personalities buried there is Fr. James Reuter, the well-loved American priest and honorary Filipino citizen, who died on Dec. 31, 2012 at the age of 96. He was also a noted Jesuit communicator, newspaper columnist, theater director, and teacher.
Reuter spent almost 78 years of his life in the Philippines. Born on May 21, 1916 in New Jersey, the United States, he came to Manila in 1938 and immediately went to the Jesuit College of Ateneo de Manila. He was taken later to the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches, where young Filipino seminarians studied philosophy.
Among the other notable personalities now resting at the Jesuit cemetery are:
*Fr. Horacio dela Costa, who became the first Filipino provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines in 1964 and a recognized authority in the Philippine and Asian culture and history. He died on March 20, 1977.
* Fr./Dr. Romeo Intengan, provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines from 1998 to 2004. He died on Oct. 10, 2017 at 75 years.
* Fr. Pacifico A. Ortiz, SJ, the first Filipino president of the Ateneo de Manila University who died on Dec. 9, 1983.
* Bishop Francisco C. Claver, SJ, Emeritus Apostolic Vicar of Bontoc-Lagawe and former Bishop of Malaybalay, Bukidnon. He died on July 1, 2010.
* Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, father of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines and founder of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc.
* Fr. Jose C. Blanco, who died on Aug. 19, 2006.
* Fr. Eduardo P. Hontiveros, who died on Jan. 15, 2008.
Two tombs in the cemetery contain the remains of 87 unidentified men transferred to the cemetery in 1945 from the war-torn Church of San Ignacio in Manila. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency