On the occasion of the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Msgr. Jorge Gottau, the first bishop of Añatuya, several activities are held in the city of Añatuya, in Santiago del Estero (Argentina) from May 22 to 24. Apart from the political leaders and national authorities who took lead in the centenary celebration, there were many initiatives from different ecclesiastical authorities like the Bishop of Santiago de Estero, Msgr. Vicente Bokalic, Msgr. Antonio Juan Baseotti CSsR, bishop emeritus of Añatuya after mons. Gottau, and the bishop of Villa de la Concepción del Río Cuarto, Msgr. Adolfo Uriona FDP.
Servant of God Msgr. Jorge Gottau
Jorge Gottau was born in the bonaerense town of Esteban Gascón on May 23, 1917. At the age of 12, he entered the minor seminary of the Redemptorist Fathers at Bella Vista. In 1938 he made his religious vows in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and completed his studies in Philosophy and Theology at Villa Allende, Córdoba.
On October 19, 1942, he was ordained a priest, and years later he served as a pastor in the Bonaire of Darregueira. In 1956 he was elected Provincial Superior of the Redemptorist Fathers of Argentina.
In 1961 the Holy See created several dioceses in the country, including the one of Añatuya, in the province of Santiago del Estero, a very extensive and poor territory. Pope John XXIII, nominated Msgr. Jorge Gottau to be his first bishop and on October 1 of the same year he took over the diocese.
At the time of settlement, the diocesan territory had seven parishes and seven priests serving 120,000 inhabitants spread over 68,000 km square. During the 31 years that he was head of the diocese, he created 15 new parishes and more than 200 chapels, with the collaboration of 30 priests, 150 religious and a large number of lay people.
He also established 26 primary, secondary, tertiary, agro-business, training centres, laboratories and a special education school.
Bishop Gottau died on April 24, 1994, at the age of 77, in the city of Buenos Aires. Currently, his remains are in the cathedral of Añatuya.
The cause of canonization of the Servant of God, Msgr. Gottau in its diocesan phase is almost over, pending the next steps to follow in accordance with the Congregation for the Cause of Saints.
(Courtesy Agency Aica)