BRISTOL — Father John M. Lagomarsino, 78, of the Columban Fathers, passed away on February 13, 2018 at Philip Hulitar Hospice Center.
Born on November 6, 1939 in Sacramento, California, he was the son of Louis L. Lagomarsino and Helen (Higgins) Lagomarsino. He is survived by his older brother, Dr. Paul Lagomarsino, and his younger sister Lucia Foster and her husband George.
Father Lagomarsino attended Sacred Heart Grade School and later Christian Brothers High School (1953-55) as well as Sacramento Senior High School (1955-57). Afterwards, he attained a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Sacramento State College.
In 1961, he joined the Peace Corps and was among the first group assigned to the Philippines. There he met the Columbans while teaching English as a Second Language in Ilog, Negros Occidental.
He returned to the United States in 1963 and applied to the Columban seminary. He began his studies at St. Columbans College and Seminary in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. His Spiritual Year (1964-65) was spent at the Columban seminary in Bristol, Rhode Island. Later, he studied Philosophy and Theology at St. Columbans Major Seminary, Milton, Massachusetts. He completed theology studies at St. John Archdiocesan Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts, where he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree in December 1969. With his Columban classmates he participated in the deaconate program in the Virgin Islands under the guidance of Fathers George Nolan and Thomas Normanly.
He was ordained on June 13, 1970, at Sacred Heart Church, Sacramento, by Most Rev. Alden J Bell, Bishop of Sacramento. In September of that year, he returned to the Philippines, where he began parish work in Isabela, Negros Occidental. After two years he went to Kabankalan and then to Daconcogon. He later served as president of Binalbagan Catholic College and as bursar at the Columban House in Batang.
In 1977, he returned to the United States and, after doing a course in Clinical Pastoral Education, began a program in spiritual direction at the Center for Religious Development in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After the completion of the program he received a Th.M. degree from Weston School of Theology in May 1979. Upon returning to the Philippines, he was assigned to Ozamis City, Mindanao, where he became the spiritual director for Columban seminarians on an Overseas Training Program.
In 1980, Father Lagomarsino returned to the United States where he did promotion and vocation work in San Francisco from October through December. He then began accounting studies at Creighton University, Omaha, and served as assistant regional bursar. Later, in March 1983 he became the regional bursar.
In 1996, Father Lagomarsino became the administrator of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Carmichael, California, where he served until his retirement in 2005.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Lagomarsino was concelebrated by Father Mark Mengel, Father Charles Lintz and Father Robert O’Rouke on February 16 at the St. Columban’s Chapel. Burial followed in St. Mary’s Cemetery.