Fr Thomas Revatto

Fr Thomas Revatto was born on 9th November 1924 at Guileen, Whitegate, Co Cork.

He was educated at Guileen NS and St Colman’s College, Fermoy, Co Cork, and came to Dalgan in 1942.

He was ordained priest on 21 December 1948. His brother Geoff, ordained one year later, predeceased him on 28 December 2015.

Tom was assigned to the Philippines in 1949 and he would spend the next 52 years there, all in various parishes on the island of Negros Occidental.

He was among ten Columbans who took over a rather remote block of parishes in the centre and south-west of Negros. There were no parish schools and in many cases churches and parish houses had to be built from the beginning again.

He spent twelve years in Payao, eight years in Sipalay, eight years in Dancanan, seven years in Biscom, and the remainder in Binalbagan.

Negros was known as the sugar bowl of the Philippines as most of the land was planted in sugar cane. With a few very wealthy landowners most of their workers lived in poverty. The situation was described by Bishop Fortich as a social volcano ready to erupt.

Columbans were committed to a preferential option for the poor and so it was a very stressful situation in which to minister.

A quiet, conscientious man, Tom worked hard in all in his assignments and like all the Columbans of his generation he saw huge developments in Negros during the years that he served there.

By the time Tom returned to Ireland in 2001 Negros had flourishing parishes, a highly developed school system, and a large group of Filipino priests, many of whom owed their vocation to the encouragement and help of individual Columbans.

He retired to his native Cork and came to reside in our Nursing Home because of failing health.

Tom died on 24 December 2018.

May he rest in peace.