ONE OF the last four friars at the Purissima Concepcio Monastery in Benissa passed away last week, just three months after he led his last Mass.
Father Llorca was 77-years-old when he passed away peacefully last Tuesday.
He was the parish priest of Senija for 17 years and led his last Mass in the municipality on September 3.
Father Llorca was much-loved in the community and his funeral at the Cocentaina Convent was packed to the rafters, as was the Mass held in his memory at the Santa Caterina Church in Senija.
The closure of the Purissima Concepcio Monastery – founded in 1613 – was announced in June by Benissa Town Council who confirmed that the remaining four friars could no longer maintain the building due to its size and their age.
Over 250 people attend what was supposed to be a ‘small’ leaving ceremony in August when the friars moved out.
The monastery –declared of Cultural Interest (BIC) – was offered to Caritas and to the Commission for Assistance to Refugees: meetings were held by the council to decide a future use for the space, linked to Benissa and its history but the high cost of restoring the building made the project unfeasible for the NGOs.
It was later announced that the monastery will reopen as a hotel in 2018, although the church within it will remain fully functional for the Franciscans of Benissa to meet and worship once a month.