Acclaimed constitutionalist, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, passed away last Saturday morning at the age of 88 while under quarantine at the Lucas Renewal Center of Loyola House of Studies in Quezon City.
Fr. Bernas had been suffering from heart issues and was even rushed to the hospital after collapsing back in October of 2019.
News of the Jesuit educator’s passing was confirmed by Ateneo Law School Dean Joey Hofileña, in a message to the Ateneo Law community, on Saturday.
Born on July 7, 1932 in Baao, Camarines Sur, Fr. Bernas graduated with a bachelor of arts in English, Latin and Greek classics as well as a masters in philosophy, from Berchmans College.
He then earned his bachelor of law degree from Ateneo Law School, graduating as valedictorian in 1962 and placing 9th in the board examination.
Further studies he pursued include a licentiate of sacred theology from Woodstock College and a masters of laws and doctorate of juridical science from New York University.
In 1986, Fr. Bernas became a member of the constitutional committee that would birth the 1987 Constitution that remains in use to this day.
Fr. Bernas also served as Ateneo Law School Dean, and AdMU President from 1984 to 1993. In 2004, he retired as Dean and earned the title Dean Emeritus.
Photo: UCA News
The Jesuit educator, known for his invaluable contribution to the teaching of constitutional law, is often cited in law schools and has a legal education institution named after him at the Ateneo Law School.
AdMU announced that Fr. Bernas’ remains were cremated as per pandemic regulations and will be kept at the Jesuit Health and Wellness Center, until proper funeral arrangements may be conducted.