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Ben Palacio
The Holy Father

JP= Father Lazarus Augustine of Seine Bight Village= JP=

Father Lazarus Augustine
Garifuna Priest
1952 - 2005

by Benjamin & Gustavo Palacio

About Fr. Laz BELOW

Father Lazarus Alvin Augustine was born in the beautiful village of Seine Bight in the Stann Creek District in December 1952. He did his primary school studies at St. Alphonsus RC School (Seine Bight), George Town RC school (George Town) and Guinea Grass RC School in Guinea Grass village in the Orange Walk District.

Fr. Lazarus attended Austin High School in Dangriga Town after which he pursued and obtained an Associate in Arts degree from Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas, followed by a bachelor of Arts in History & Political Science from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri.

Our Beloved Fr. Laz obtained graduate degrees in Theology from the Pontifical University of Ireland in Maynooth, Ireland and in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D C.

On June 4, 1982 Father Lazarus Alvin Augustine was ordained to the priesthood at the Holy Redeemer Cathedral in Belize City. Fr. Laz served as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Belmopan and at St. Xavier Church in Corozal Town. His final posting is Adminsrator of St. John Vianney Church in Port Loyola in Belize City and concurrently as Chancellor and Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Belize & Belmopan.

Father Lazarus will be laid to rest this coming Friday in Dangriga.

"Angela Mejia" wrote:
I am truly saddened by the death of our very own Garifuna priest, Father Laz. There are two things that I would like to say about our Father Laz. Firstly, Father Laz loved his/our God. The way he lived his life, it was like he was walking in God's footprints every step of the way. He suffered in the end but I am sure that he saw it as carrying his cross like Jesus had to in his final days. I am positive that Father Laz was ready to go to be with our Lord and maker.

Secondly, Father Laz loved his culture, Garifuna. He married his love of God with the love of Garifuna and was the greatest Garifuna priest ever. He was always willing to make mass in Garifuna with his people wherever we are. We always looked forward to his homilies at nineteenth mass in Belize, all the districts, towns and villages, in LA, in Chicago and in New York. It seems that Father Laz was always willing to come make mass for us wherever we are and it seems like he did with little back in return. We are truly going to miss his churruru Garifuna homilies. The Lord had a higher calling for our Father Laz. His death is a great loss to Garinagu.

Look At The Picture BELOW For 30 Seconds

Is Picture ABOVE the face of Jesus? You decide...


Homilist - Deacon Nieves J. Hernandez

What a difference a year makes. A year ago, almost to the day, I spent a weekend in Belize City with Father Laz. At the time he was covering for Father Kurt Kaseberer at Saint Joseph Parish, while Father Kurt was out of the country visiting his relatives in Germany. I remember he picked me up at the Airstrip in Belize City, and right afterwards we drove to Benque to meet with the late Deacon Don Kostecki, whom he was preparing for ordination to the diaconate. He and I spent about three hours at the home of the Kostecki family preparing Deacon Don that day. After that, we drove to the home a former parishioner of his, also in Benque, who was having a crisis in her life, and so he went to her home to minister to her. After leaving there we drove to San Ignacio and again visited yet another former parishioner who was experiencing some personal difficulties and needed Fr. Laz' counsel. Again, Fr. Laz provided that pastoral counseling. After that we drove to Belmopan, and again we stopped off at the home of another former parishioner who needed his ministry, and again, he provided that ministry. We left Belmopan for Belize City late that evening and upon our arrival at Saint Joseph's parish, we were met by eight couples who had been there waiting for us. They had come for a Baptismal Preparation Class. Apparently, Father Kurt had told Fr. Laz about this Baptismal Preparation Class, but somehow he had forgotten. So he asked if I would do the Baptismal Preparation class for him because he had to go back to his office to finish some work. He got back right about the time I was finishing up the class, and so we went upstairs. We did our Night Prayers, and then I went to bed. He, on the other hand, stayed up for awhile to prepare is homily for Mass the next day.

The next day Saturday, Fr. Laz woke me up at around 5:30 that morning, a little early for me for a Saturday morning, and told me that Mass was at 6:00 A.M. So I got up, we did our morning prayers, and then went down for Mass. After he celebrated the Mass that morning we went back to the Rectory. He said to me, "Deacon get ready, we are going to Orange Walk." And so I said to him, "Fr. Laz, aren't we going to have breakfast first?" He looked at me, and said, 'Oh, there is hot water in the thermos, and coffee and sugar are on the table." When we got to Orange Walk that morning, by then I was very hungry, and so I said to him, "Fr. Laz, aren't we going to stop off somewhere and get something to eat? He said, don't worry Deacon, we'll turn off soon and go to Yo Creek, and one of the families there will feed us. And sure enough, one of the families there fed us when we got there.

You see, Fr. Laz had gone to Yo Creek to do a Marriage Preparation class for a couple whose marriage he was witnessing two weeks later. After dinner, we moved into the family's living Room, and Fr. Laz said to me, "Deacon, you're married, why don't you share with them what a successful marriage is all about.” And so I shared with them that morning. After that, we drove to one of the villages in Orange Walk, I believe it was San Jose, where Fr. Laz had been invited to officiate at a Quince Anos. After that we stopped off at the Rectory in Orange Walk, and then drove back to Belize City. When we got to Belize City, Fr. Laz asked if I wanted to be dropped off at the Saint Joseph's Rectory or if I wanted to accompany him to his office where he needed to finish off some work. I said to him, drop me off at the Rectory. I don't know what time he came in that evening, for I was already asleep.

The next morning Sunday, again, he woke me up at 5:30 A.M. We did our Morning Prayers, and went down for Sunday Mass. After Mass we went back to the Rectory and yes, you guessed it, we had coffee for breakfast. Then we rushed to Saint John Vianney for Sunday Mass. He had asked me to preach that morning at Saint John Vianney, but then he said to me, "Deacon, don't preach too long because I'll have to rush back to Saint Joseph's to celebrate the 11:00 A.M. Mass, and then do Baptisms afterwards. In the meantime, he had scheduled a Baptism at Saint Vianney for after Mass as well, so he asked if I would do the Baptism for him at Saint John Vianney. We agreed to meet up again at the Rectory around 1:00 P.M. We did; in fact, Mr. Clement Wade, was the one who gave me a ride there. Upon my arrival, Fr. Laz said to me, "Deacon, I'm going back to Orange Walk to help Fr. Leo celebrate Mass at two villages there. Are you coming? By now he must have sensed that I was getting tired, so I said, "NO, I'm going back to Dangriga." So he dropped me off at the airstrip. I flew back to Dangriga, and he drove back to Orange Walk.

I tell this story only to illustrate to you the kind of priest Fr. Laz was. He was a dedicated Pastor. He was an understanding counselor. He was a hard working servant of God. I suppose all of you know that. I suppose also that all of us are here today because in some way he touched our lives. All of us are here because he influenced our lives in ways that perhaps no one had ever done before. That weekend I spent with Fr. Laz a year ago showed me just how much he cared for God’s people. That weekend that I spent with Fr. Laz a year ago, show me how dedicated he was to his priesthood and to his ministry. That weekend I spent a year ago with this fine Priest, has made me a better minister. What I learned that weekend from Fr. Laz, is far more meaningful to me today than anything I ever learned during my four years of deacon formation. What Fr. Laz taught me that weekend was humility, dedication, unselfishness, unconditional love, and caring for God’s people. Fr. Laz has a brother who lives in San Ignacio. He also has a brother who lives in Belmopan. But, that day I spent with him out west, not once, not once, did he even considered stopping in to visit them much less to minister to them. You see, he was most interested in serving and ministering to others than to his own flesh and blood.

My Pastor in Yuma, Arizona, where I live, celebrates one Mass – one Mass - on a given weekend. That weekend I spent with Fr. Laz he celebrated six Masses. When I told my pastor about the weekend I spent with Fr. Laz, he said, “I want to meet this guy.” So last November, my parish invited Fr. Laz to come to Yuma, Arizona. While there he celebrated Mass for us, and my parishioners fell in love with him the very moment they met him. Needless to say, he was a big hit.

So, if Fr. Laz was such a big hit. If Fr. Laz was such a good, dedicated and caring priest. If Fr. Laz was doing so much good here in Belize, then why did God choose to take him at such a young age. We need only to look at our second reading that Hon. Sylvia Flores read so eloquently from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians, to give us some answers. Paul reminds us that each of us must die in our proper order, in order to live forever with Christ. Fr. Laz’ proper order came last Saturday evening when our Lord called him home.

Many of us have tried to make some sense out of this quick and early passing of Fr. Laz, and it seems as though no matter how much we try, we keep coming up empty. But the only way that we can begin to make sense out of this, and find some sense of peace, is to put our trust in Christ - the Christ who came among us – the Christ who conquered death by dying on the cross - the Christ that has gone on before us to prepare a place for us. "In my father's house,” our Lord tells us in today's Gospel, "there are many dwelling places, otherwise, how could I have told you that I was going to prepare a place for you." Last Saturday evening at around 10:30 P.M., our Lord prepared a place for Fr. Laz.

Fr. Laz died the way he lived - not being afraid. Our opening hymn today, "Be Not Afraid," is a great tribute to the life that Fr. Laz lived. He heeded the call of our late Holy Father, the Great John Paul II, who began his pontificate by telling us, the faithful,” Be Not Afraid." So Fr. Laz was not afraid. He was not afraid to preach the Gospel message of Christ - even if that message offended others. He was not afraid to preach the Gospel message of Christ, even if that message went in one ear and came out through the other. He was not afraid to stand up against social injustice. He was not afraid to speak out against abortion, and other immoral issues of our day. He was not afraid to stand up in defense of the church he loved so much, and the church to which he had been ordained to serve. And when the end came for him, he was not afraid to die.

I saw Fr. Laz a week before he died in Guatemala City. His brothers, Fausto and Policarpio and I had gone to visit him. We could tell that he was weak, frail, and in a lot of pain, yet he tried to be jovial and entertaining. That Saturday, we prayed with him, and as much as he wanted to participate in these prayers, he found it very difficult to do so. That Sunday morning his brothers and I went to Mass, and so I was able to bring him Holy Communion. He was most happy to receive our Lord, and said that it had been weeks since he had received our Lord in Holy Communion.

So while Fr. Laz' death has saddened us all, our Lord bids us to believe those majestic words of his in the Gospel of Saint John, "I am the Resurrection and the Life. If anyone believes in me, even though he be dead, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die."

These words are intended to help us "Let Go." But letting go is very hard. Our Lord's Apostles did not want to let go of him, but Christ told them that if they did not let go of him that he could not go to the father to prepare a place for them. Mary Magdalene wanted to cling to the risen Christ, but she too had to let him go.

So while all of us want to cling to Fr. Laz, we too must also "Let Go." Our Lord bids us to Let Go, and Give Thanks. Let us therefore give thanks for his live. Let us give thanks for his youth. But most importantly, let us give thanks for the joy he brought into our lives.

May God Bless Father Laz and have mercy on his soul, and may God bless all of us who mourn his death.



Subject: FR. LAZ
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2005 17:20:22 -0500

Dear Friends,

Greetings! I'm back in Yuma, Arizona after spending time in Guatemala City and Dangriga ministering to my friend, and yours, Fr. Laz Augustine, and to his family.

I had the pleasure of seeing and visiting Fr. Laz in Guatemala City before he died, and the privilege of preaching the Homily at his Funeral Mass a week ago today. I am attaching that homily for you to read.

A Memorial Fund in Fr. Laz' name has been established. The fund will be used to provide academic scholarships to Garifuna youth. You may send your contribution through direct transmission to an account that has been set up in his memory at the Belize Bank in Belize City. This can be done by taking the following information to any Bank Of America in the United States:

1. Bank of America New York
2. Swift Address BOFAUS3N
3. ABA NO.: 026-009-593
4. For Account 6550-8-26053 of Belize Bank, LTD
5. To the account of Fr. Lazarus Augustine, Account No. 2010298, Belize City Branch

You may also send your contribution to Mrs. Annie Wade, Principal of Saint John Vianney Catholic School, P.O. Box 1984, 289 Fabers Road, Port Loyola, Belize City, Belize, Central America, and she will ensure that it is deposited to this account. We can remember and pay tribute to this fine priest of God by contributing to this fund in his memory.

I want to thank you for your prayers and the support you offered Fr. Laz during his hospitalization and subsequent passing.

Deacon Nieves Hernandez

As always, please feel free to pass this PAGE on to those in your address book.

Catholic Prayers  
Maintained by Benjamin Palacio


The Sign of the Cross 
Act of Contrition  
Apostle's Creed  
Hail Mary  
Act of Faith  
Act of Love  
Act of Hope  
Novena to Sacred Heart 
Prayer to St. Joseph  
Prayer for Peace  
Anima Christi   
Litany of the Saints  
Simple Exorcism 
Divine Praises
Glory Be      
Lord's Prayer      
Morning Offering      
Daily Offering      
Guardian Angel    
Regina Coeli      
Prayer for Daily Neglects 
Novena to Holy Ghost  
The Rosary      
Stations of the Cross     
Prayer Before A Crucifix 
Come Holy Ghost 
Prayer for Holy Souls

The Sign of the Cross  
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.  

Act of Contrition  
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, known and unknown, not only because I dread the loss of heaven and dread the pains of hell, and not only because Thou art my Creator, my Redeemer and my Sanctifier, but most of all because my sins have offended Thee, my God, Who art all good in Thyself and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life.  Amen. 

Apostle's Creed  
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen. 

Hail Mary  
Hail Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Act of Faith  
O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. 

Act of Love  
O my God, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. 

Act of Hope  
O my God, relying on Thy almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. 

V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary. 
R. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost. 
Hail Mary...  
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord. 
R. Be it done to me according to thy word. 
Hail Mary...  
V. And the Word was made flesh. 
R. And dwelt among us. 
Hail Mary...  
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. 
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 
Let us pray. 
Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of his resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen. 
Prayer to St. Joseph 
Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires.  Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most Loving of Fathers.  Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms;  I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart.  Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.  St. Joseph, Patron of departed souls, pray for me. 
    This prayer was found in the 50th year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles, when he was going into battle.  Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it, or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death or be drowned, nor shall poison take effect on them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy, or shall be burned in any fire or shall be overpowered in battle. 

    Say for 9 mornings for anything you may desire.  It has never been known to fail. 

    Sept. 25, 1950
    Hugh C. Boyle
    Bishop of Pittsburgh

Prayer for Peace 
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
Where there is injury, pardon; 
Where there is doubt, faith; 
Where there is despair, hope; 
Where there is darkness, light; 
Where there is sadness, joy. 

Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. 

St. Francis of Assisi

Anima Christi 
Soul of Christ, sanctify me. 
Body of Christ, save me. 
Blood of Christ, inebriate me. 
Water from the side of Christ, wash me. 
Passion of Christ, strengthen me. 
O good Jesus, hear me. 
Within Thy wounds hide me. 
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee. 
From the malignant enemy defend me. 
In the hour of my death call me. 
And bid me to come to Thee. 
That with Thy Saints I may praise Thee 
Forever and ever.  Amen. 

I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore, I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, to pray to the Lord our God for me. 
May Almighty God have mercy on me, forgive me my sins, and bring me to everlasting life. Amen. 
May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant me pardon, absolution, and remission of all my sins. Amen. 

Glory Be  
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

Lord's Prayer  
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. 

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to they protection, implored they help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen. 

Morning Offering  
O my Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for Thy greater honor and glory, the salvation of my soul, for the intentions of our Holy Father, and for the poor souls in Purgatory. 

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace! Amen. 

Daily Offering 
God the Father, I thank Thee for creating me.  God the Son, I thank Thee for redeeming me.  God the Holy Ghost, I thank Thee for sanctifying me; infuse into my thoughts, words and actions Thy grace, so that they may be supernaturally pleasing to Thee and supernaturally rewarding to me, forever. 

O Blessed Trinity, abundantly assist me in becoming that which Thou intended me to become when Thou created me, for in that perfection I will give Thee the glory Thou desirest of me, and in that perfection I will find my greatest joy in heaven.  Amen. 

Fr. Lucian Pulvermacher, O.F.M. Cap.

Prayer to Guardian Angel 
Angel of God, my guardian dear, 
To whom God’s love commits me here; 
Ever this day be at my side, 
To light and guard, to rule and guide. 

Regina Coeli  
Queen of heaven, rejoice. Alleluia. 
For He whom thou didst deserve to bear, Alleluia. 
Hath risen as He said, Alleluia. 
Pray for us to God, Alleluia. 

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia. 
R. Because Our Lord is truly risen, Alleluia. 

Let us pray 
O God, who by the resurrection of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, hast vouchsafed to make glad the whole world, great, we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may attain the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen. 

Prayer for Daily Neglects 
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with all its love, all its sufferings and all its merits. 
First --- To expiate all the sins I have committed this day and during all my life. Gloria Patri. 
Second --- To purify the good I have done poorly this day and during all my life. Gloria Patri. 
Third --- To supply for the good I ought to have done, and that I have neglected this day and all my life. Gloria Patri. 
      A Poor Clare, who just died, appeared to her Abbess who was praying for her, and said to her: "I went straight to heaven, for, by means of this prayer, recited every evening, I paid all my debts."

Novena to the Holy Ghost - is a link to the oldest of all novenas. It is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian. Said on 9 consecutive days, this novena gains many indulgences for the faithful as directed by the Church. 

The Rosary - is a most powerful prayer to Our Blessed Mother Mary. When said daily, the Rosary is a sure sign of predestination. This page shows all the mysteries, and other information about the Rosary, and the benefits we obtain from this devotion to Mary. 

Litany of the Saints 

A Simple Exorcism - The term "exorcism" does NOT always denote a solemn exorcism involving a person possessed by the devil. In general, it denotes prayers to "curb the power of the devil and prevent him from doing harm." 

Veni Creator (Come Holy Ghost) - is a traditional Catholic hymn to the Holy Ghost. 

Te Deum Laudamus 

A Week of Prayers for the Holy Souls - The Holy Souls in Purgatory are part of the Mystical Body of Christ. We can help relieve their suffering by our prayers. 

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