88 years of Redemptorist presence in Paraguay

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(Bella Vista, Paraguay) – On April 28, 2018, the Redemptorist Province of Paraguay celebrated the 88th anniversary of their presence and the first mass celebrated by a Redemptorist in the country, particularly in the city of Bella Vista Norte. Along with the anniversary celebrations there were also the priestly ordination of the deacon Fernando Javier Centurión Sanabria and the inauguration of the compound wall of the presbytery.

On April 28, 1930, Fr Francisco Mohr crossed the border of Bela Vista – Brazil for a visit to the Church of Bella Vista Norte – Paraguay, meeting the people and promising that he would celebrate a Mass the following day. So it was that on 29 April 1930 a Redemptorist celebrated the first mass with the Paraguayan people. Fr Francisco Mohr writes about the event in a letter to the provincial: “We visited the beautiful church of Bella Vista, Paraguay”. Thus began the history of the Redemptorist presence in Paraguay, where we are currently present in 7 dioceses, with 65 members of the Province.

By joining this historical moment, we also had the priestly ordination of the deacon Fernando Javier Centurión Sanabria. The concelebrated Mass took place on April 28th 2018 in the María Auxiliadora church of Bella Vista Norte. The ordaining bishop was Msgr. Miguel Ángel Cabello Almada, bishop of the diocese of La Santísima Concepción. Several confreres from the Province and the diocese of Jardim – Brazil participated; as well as the professed, the religious and inhabitants of Bella Vista Norte – Paraguay and Bela Vista – Brazil.

The bishop emphasized in his homily the importance of the priesthood by cultivating humility, attention for all and the attitudes in serving the people. He emphasized the importance of prayer in the priestly life and that this consecration is for the fulfillment of the will of God and not of our own. After the liturgical celebration, there was a moment of sharing at the San Gerardo hall.

The next day, the new priest celebrated his first Mass in the same parish. Then there was the inauguration of the compound wall of the presbytery and a parish parking lot, with the blessing of the image of the Perpetual Help icon and a plaque to commemorate the Redemptorist presence in Paraguay.

May God continue to bless our Province and our Congregation and let history serve as a place to commit ourselves more and bring abundant Redemption into a world marked by so many wounds.

Fr Hever Hugo Sánchez Gómez, C.Ss.R.

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