EVANS MILLS — Father Vicente F. Jazmines, a priest of more than 30 years and a man known as kind, funny and generous, died this week due to complications of COVID-19.
Father Jazmines, known as Father Vince, was pronounced dead Thursday afternoon. He was 76.
Father Christopher J. Looby, a priest who had known Father Vince since the early 1990s, said he had a great sense of humor and was very caring.
“If anything,” Father Looby said, “ya know, we call priests fathers, and even though he didn’t have his own wife and children and family, he certainly was a father in the truest sense of the word.”
Born in the Philippines, Father Vince attended college in Manila and earned a double major before earning a master’s degree in business management, according to his obituary. He would later emigrate to Canada and began his priestly formation in the Archdiocese of Toronto in 1976.
He later returned to school and obtained a master’s degree in theology. In 1991, he spent a year teaching Spanish before being incardinated into the Diocese of Ogdensburg. He spent roughly 15 years as a pastor, then a dozen after that as a chaplain to the clients and staff at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg.
Most recently, Father Vince served the communities in Evans Mills and Black River as a pastor at St. Paul’s Church and St. Mary’s Church.
Father Looby, who, after serving as a pastor in Watertown and is now a priest for the St. Mary’s Church in Ticonderoga, Essex County, said Father Vince was like other priests in that he wanted everyone who attended a service to follow protocols and stay safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think he could have caught it anywhere because we just don’t know this virus as well as we should yet, so in the meantime we need to be vigilant,” Father Looby said. “We need to follow these rules that are in place right now to protect each other.”
Father David DeLuca, a priest for the Missionary of the Sacred Heart, is set to fill in for Father Vince in the meantime.