The Daily Herald reports that Saba’s Catholic parishioners woke up on Wednesday morning to the news that Saba’s beloved Reverend Father Danilo “Dan” Pastor had passed away in Aruba, where he was recuperating after previously identified health issues. Many Sabans believed his health to be on the mend after having seen him last visit his flock two weeks ago. At the time of his visit, after a medical diagnostics trip, he insisted on meeting with as many of his parishioners as he could.
In retrospect, some feel he was preparing his parishioners for an eventual departure with to he had reconciled himself. Many on the island remain stunned and saddened by the news. An impromptu service of thanksgiving prayers was held Wednesday afternoon at the Sacred Heart Church in The Bottom, led by Sister Jenni Jennings of Saba Living Water Community. A formal service presided by a priest is expected to be organised in Saba Monday, March 31, and will be held simultaneously with a service in Aruba.
Two of Fr. Dan’s brothers, Eduardo and Argio Pastor, as well as a sister-in-law, reside in Saba and they will travel to Aruba for the service. Born and raised in The Philippines, Fr. Dan’s body will return to his native land, where he is survived by his ailing mother, as well as other brothers and sisters, two of whom are Catholic nuns. Fr. Dan had served as the residing priest of Saba for over 12 years.He had been previously posted by the Diocese of Willemstad, Curaçao to St. Eustatius in 2001, where he spent less than a year before being sent to serve Saba’s community.
In Saba, he was especially esteemed for his hands-on involvement in the renovation and upkeep of the churches and church grounds, for his humility and, most importantly, for his efforts to start motivational sports youth
Lay church member Patricia Linzey said, “Father Dan got along very well with the Saban community. Everyone speaks so well of him. He touched not only people of his faith, but the rest of the community as well. He was concerned for everyone. That is why, on his last visit, he tried to see as many people as possible. May his soul rest in peace.”
Filipino native Postman Rodrigo Tupal, a long-term Saba resident, could only bring himself to express the great loss felt by the resident Filipino community in Saba.