The College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy is a theologically based covenant community, dedicated to "recovery of the soul" and promoting competency in the clinical pastoral field.
Narciso Dumalagen died in the early hours of March 4, in the Philippine Heart Center in Manila. He was afflicted with metastatic disease from liver cancer. He was 80.
Narciso (or Nars as many liked to call him) and I were good friends for half a century. We trained together in 1967, in Houston, under the supervision of the legendary Armen Jorjorian, and stayed in contact ever since. I visited several times recently with Narciso and his wife Mining before she died in 2007.
Coincidentally, I arrived in Manila on March 1, for meetings, and heard immediately that Narciso had been hospitalized. I was taken to see him the next day. He was clearly dying, though he recognized me and spoke my name. His son Armenito and others were caring for him. Narciso has two children, each named after beloved mentors, Armenito after Jorjorian, and Lorraine, who now lives in Toronto.
When the history of clinical pastoral training is written, Narciso will be a major figure in the Southeast Asia. He succeeded the late Al Dalton as Director of Chaplains at St Luke’s Hospital, Manila, in 1968. St Luke’s is said to be the preeminent hospital in southeast Asia. In later years he retired and started his own consulting business. Finally he opened a school and church for disadvantaged children which called the Garden of Life. There, in his last days, as he weakened, he was patriarch.
In recent conversations with him, Narciso expressed his dismay that the clinical pastoral movement had gone off the rails in the Philippines. He believed that it had been coopted by ideologues, religious conformity and conventional piety. Though his influence had been far reaching, he felt that the clinical pastoral movement had gone into retreat.
Narciso was a great spirit and a dear friend. He has many proteges throughout Asia. His impact on the clinical work of the minister was far reaching. Like each of us eventually, he now belongs to history.
Raymond J. Lawrence, D.Min.
CPSP General Secretary
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at March 14, 2012 12:25 PM