Deacon Melchor Magat passed away on December 15, 2018 at Washington Hospital in Fremont surrounded by his loving family.
He was born in Bataan, Philippines on January 6, 1952 (Solemnity of the Epiphany) and was named after one of the Wise Men who visited the infant Jesus. Deacon Mel came from a non-religious family whose father was agnostic. In 1985, he had his conversion after attending a Marriage Encounter weekend followed by a “Catholic Life in the Spirit” seminar. Since his conversion, he was led to forming and facilitating countless prayer groups, sponsoring Marriage Encounter and “Catholic Life in the Spirit” seminars, the establishment of the Sacred Icon of the Holy Family in the Philippines and serving in different ministries of the church. In 1997, he migrated from the Philippines to the United States.
In 2000, he served as the building committee head, RCIA director and as a Eucharistic Minister at Saint John the Baptist Parish in Milpitas. On May 8, 2010, he was ordained a permanent deacon by Bishop Patrick J. McGrath and was later assigned to serve at Saint Victor Catholic Church in San Jose.
Deacon Mel was married to his wife, Cecilia, for 44 years. They were blessed with two sons, a daughter and eleven grandchildren.
“For as long as I’ve known him, he’s been a man of service to all. He not only dedicated most of his time to help family and strangers in need, he would also risk his own life to save another. He was a great husband and father to all our children. Above all, he loved God with all his heart, mind and soul,” said his wife Cecilia.
“I am humbled, honored and grateful to be named after a great man, my patient mentor, my concrete inspiration, my true friend, my loving dad,” said his older son, Melchor Jr.
“I came to know, truly believe and experience Jesus on a personal level because of my dad. He was my tangible Jesus here on Earth,” said his younger son, Alvin.
Deacon Mel and Cecilia’s daughter, Maria added this: “My father was truly a wise man. He was my best friend, my counselor. He was a brave leader, an amazing father, a selfless brother, a funny uncle, a playful grandpa, a loving husband, a loyal friend, an honorable deacon. He was wonderfully made. Although he had every reason to be resentful and bitter, he chose to see his illness as a gift instead of a curse. He was not defined by his sufferings nor his illness. He was defined by love. My dad lived his life according to his favorite bible verses from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ‘Rejoice always! Pray without ceasing! In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God.’”