Wednesday, May 4, 2016

St. Bernard remembers Floro Perlas, beloved sacristan, eucharistic minister


Floro Perlas dances at a family
wedding.
AT THE FUNERAL MASS

Floro Perlas funeral Mass homily
Saturday, April 30, 2016
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

“I saw in Floro a real flower that was not in bud form but fully bloomed,” said Father Perry in his homily for Floro Perlas' funeral Mass. “He carried his name well. There was a gentleness about him, a decency that was incredible. He was decent in the fullest way possible; it showed in his transparency of his values and his virtues and his faith.”

Watch video of the homily


Download the audio of the homily



EULOGIES and BLESSING of the COFFIN

By Daniel Caballero III

“His generosity — even to a fault at times — had no limitations or borders,” said Daniel Caballero III, one of Floro’s grandchildren, in his eulogy. “It’s what made him so comfortable to be around — his desire to help and his sincerity.” 

By Ed Parejas

“Even after he was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, he continued to perform his duties and responsibilities in the church,” said Ed Parejas, St. Bernard Church parishioner and Floro’s friend for over 25 years. “He did not allow his illness to stop him. As long as he had strength, he pushed on.”

Watch the video



Download the audio





AT THE GRAVESIDE SERVICE

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OBITUARY


By Liza Flowers and Michael J. Arvizu

Three things stood out about Floro Perlas for St. Bernard Church parishioner Manuel Paguio: his loving smile, humility, and he was “a man of not too many words, but so many actions, deep in his heart.” Paguio said. “That’s how I remember him,”

“Whatever you asked him — whether it was positive or negative — he just smiled,” continued Paguio, a longtime friend of Floro’s.  “He was doing his works consistently for the last 30 years — almost daily — in the church, coming in early one hour before or 45 minutes before [Mass].”

Floro Padios Perlas, sacristan and eucharistic minister at St. Bernard Church, died on April 25, 2016, in Los Angeles after a long battle with lung cancer. Floro’s family was at his side when he died.

He was 77.

Parishioners saw Floro every weekday before the 8 a.m. Mass organizing chalices, ciboriums, prayer books, or whatever else was needed, Paguio reflected. 

By the time people trickled in for daily Mass, Floro was already hard at work, with most of the preparations for the Mass already completed.

Born in Batan, in the province of Aklan in the Philippines, on July 29, 1938, to parents Felipe Perlas and Flora Perlas, the sacristan was the youngest of seven children.

After graduating high school, he attended seminary in Iloilo City for one year and later graduated from Far Eastern University of Manila where he studied business administration and earned a degree in accounting.

Floro and his future wife, Eva Limbo, met while working together at National Power Corporation, an electricity provider, in the Philippine capital of Manila. They married five days before Christmas, on Dec. 20, 1964.

After immigrating to the United States, the parishioner worked at mortgage company Lomas & Nettleton and Los Angeles City College. 

Floro’s final job before retiring in 1997 was as a supervising accountant for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Floro's hobbies included watching all types of sports — especially the Lakers. He enjoyed watching the National Geographic show “Wicked Tuna,” a reality show about commercial fisherman, and National Geographic history programs.  

The parishioner was known for his sense of humor and having a nickname for everyone. He made jokes, but people could never tell that he was actually joking, his family said.

As the patriarch of the family, his favorite saying was, “I am the king!”

In his youth, Floro was an altar server, and he continued to practice his Catholic faith well into adulthood as a sacristan, eucharistic minister, and member of the Cursillos, a Christian leader training program.

“When I looked at him, he was very spiritual, very quiet,” said Linda Paguio, a St. Bernard parishioner and friend of Floro’s. “You don’t hear him talking or laughing loudly.”

Above all, Floro’s family said, the grandfather and great-grandfather enjoyed going to church and praying the rosary everyday — sometimes more than once a day.  

“I saw in Floro a real flower that was not in bud form but fully bloomed,” said Father Perry D. Leiker, St. Bernard Church pastor, in his homily for Floro’s funeral Mass. “He carried his name well. There was a gentleness about him, a decency that was incredible. He was decent in the fullest way possible; it showed in his transparency of his values and his virtues and his faith.”

Rudolfo Ferran, a St. Bernard parishioner and friend of Floro’s, reflected on his name, which resembles the Spanish word for flower — flor. His last name, Ferran said, is the Spanish word for pearls.

Ferran will also miss Floro’s smile.

“It’s very nice smile,” Ferran said. “The smile alone speaks for itself, you know? I didn’t see anything negative about him. The only negative thing about him was his suffering from the cancer. Although he was suffering, you could never sense that he suffered a lot; he was always smiling.”

Floro is survived by Eva, his wife of 51 years.

“He was a very good provider for the family,” Eva said. “He was always thinking of me. We were always together when we went out. We were never without each other.”

Eva, smiling, remembers Floro as a “very persistent man,” when they first met in the Philippines. 

Once, Eva recalled, he followed his future wife home just to find out where she lived. When Eva asked him what he was doing, Floro remarked that he was going to visit his cousin. He said this so he wouldn’t give away his real intentions, Eva said.

The widow says she fell in love with Floro’s sense of quietness and religion. The future husband and wife both shared the habit of going to church every day. They continued that tradition even decades after marrying.

“I knew that he was the right man for me,” Eva said. “I am going to miss everything about him, caring for me, his concern about me. 

The secret to their longevity as husband and wife, Eva said, was their refusal to fight about money.

Every morning, Eva reflected, Floro would ask his wife to get him a cup of coffee.

In his final weeks, Eva remained by Floro’s side, helping him move about their home.

Floro is also survived by two sisters: Paula Relis and Liday Flores; four daughters, and their spouses: Isabel Buckton, Gina Perlas, Rica Lilly and Matt Lilly, and Liza Flowers and Al Flowers; seven grandchildren, and their spouses: Jillienne Kuba and Kishin Kuba, Daniel Caballero III, Taylor Mactal, Cody Richardson, Kendell Flowers, Luke Richardson, and Ayden Flowers; and two great-grandchildren: Jaxton Kian Kuba and Kieran Floro Kuba; his loving nieces and nephews, and numerous other relatives.  

“His generosity — even to a fault at times — had no limitations or borders,” said Daniel Caballero III, one of Floro’s grandchildren, in his eulogy. “It’s what made him so comfortable to be around — his desire to help and his sincerity.”

He was preceded in death by his parents, Felipe Perlas and Flora Perlas; brothers Miguel Perlas and Tony Perlas; sisters Agapita Acido, and Sally Unajan; and his son-in-law Mark Buckton.

“Even after he was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, he continued to perform his duties and responsibilities in the church,” said Ed Parejas, St. Bernard Church parishioner and Floro’s friend for over 25 years. “He did not allow his illness to stop him. As long as he had strength, he pushed on.”

The family wishes to express its thanks to all family and friends for their love and support.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made on behalf of Floro Perlas to the following organizations: the American Red Cross, the American Lung Association, St. Bernard Church Los Angeles, ChildFund International, or Unbound.

“He’s more than a friend; he’s almost like a brother to me,” said Ernie Obrero, St. Bernard Church parishioner and friend of Floro’s. “When he did something, he didn’t want to boast; he just did it, because he liked to do it.”

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