Bishop Jorge Gottau: A life in the service of the poor

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On April 24,  a Mass was celebrated, in the church of the Sacred Heart of Don Orione (Buenos Aires),  recalling the 21 years of the death and to pray for the canonization of the Servant of God Msgr. Jorge Gottau, a Redemptorist and the first bishop of the Diocese of Añatuya (Argentina). He is the one who started the “Mas por Menos” Collection pro-poor. The Diocese of Añatuya, one of the poorest in the country, is the one that follows up the process to beatify and canonize the Argentine bishop with the help of the Foundation Gottau .

Jorge Gottau was born in the village of Esteban Gascón in May 23, 1917. At the age of 12  he entered the minor seminary of the Redemptorist Fathers in Bella Vista, and from there he always wanted, as St. Alphonsus Liguori, to devote his life to the service of the needy. In 1938 he made religious profession in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and completed his studies in philosophy and theology at Villa Allende, Córdoba.

On 19 October 1942 he received the order of the priesthood. He   celebrated the first Mass in the city of Santa Teresa in La Pampa. He served as a parish priest in the village Darregueira (Buenos Aires) and in 1956 he was elected provincial superior of the Redemptorist Fathers of Argentina. In 1961, the Holy See has created various dioceses in the country, including Añatuya. In this area a missionary bishop was needed  and Pope John XXIII chose father Jorge Gottau. On October 1, 1961 he started his guidance in the diocese. At the beginning, the diocesan territory had seven parishes and seven priests to serve 120,000 people in the territory of 68,000 square kilometers. Today it has 22 parishes, a quasi-parishe, 33 priests and 150 religious.

He died at age 77 in the province of Buenos Aires. He is buried in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Valley, at Añatuya, and in the year 2010 began his cause of beatification.

Carlos Espinoza

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