Father Efren Calaycay, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1943-1992)

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Born March 25, 1943, he was the son of Ligorio and Eugenia Calaycay. His early years were spent in Buguey, Cagayan, Philippines where his father was mayor of the village. It was not until July 26, 1954 that Efren was baptized and confirmed as a Catholic. From 1949 until 1950 he attended Buguey Elementary School. From 1955 until 1956 he attended high school at Northeastern Academy as a freshmen; 1956 until 1957 at Manila Central University as a sophomore; from 1957 until 1958 at Roosevelt Memorial High as a junior and back, from 1958 until 1959 as a senior at Northeastern Academy. After high school he attended University of Santo Tomo, Manila, Philippines where in 1968 he obtained a Doctor of Medicine degree. There he became involved in the Catholic Center. After graduation he was a staff member at St. Jude General Hospital and did volunteer outpatient work at San Juan Dios Hospital. In June 1970 he did free work to people in his home town before he left for the United States. In December 1970 he waited for a student visa to come to the United States. While waiting he met a CICM missionary in the Philippines at Banaue who was working with the Ifugaos tribal people. The priest challenged Efren and others he was with to be of service to people such as these. Thus, he decided to give one year of service there before going to the United States. He remained there from June 1971 until January 1978. During this time the small clinic became a thirty-six bed hospital. He helped found the Ifugao Medical Society, a provincial chapter of the Philippine Medical Association. He was the first secretary-treasurer and the second president. He organized the Knights of Columbus in Banaue and was himself a Grand Knight., He held a monthly symposium on Catholic topics and helped to coordinate liturgies. He was well-respected by the people there. In January 1978 he left Banaue to visit his parents and relatives in California. They prevailed upon him to stay and practice medicine. After assisting his brother, a plastic surgeon, in 1980 he commenced a residency in surgery at Baptist Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee. Eventually he decided, after conversation with Father James Patrick White, C.P. and Father Joseph Moons, C.P, to enter the Passionists. From 1984 until 1985 he was an associate at the Detroit, Michigan monastery. He professed his vows in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 30, 1986. His masters of novices were Fathers Gerald Laba, C.P. and Peter Berendt, C.P. From there he went to Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois where his directors of students were Father John O’Brien, C.P. and Donald Webber, C.P. He made final vows in Sierra Madre on September 10, 1989. He was ordained on June 16, 1990 at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Claremont, California. From 1990 until 1991 he was a member of the retreat house staff, Houston, Texas. In 1991 he was assigned to St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky. He went for a routine medical check up and was told that he had liver cancer. He was not a candidate for a transplant. He spent the last months at the home of his mother in Claremont, California.