Quite simply, Father John

Por: Yarelis Rico

Father Juan Manuel Galaviz is dead. He found eternal rest in this Cuba that welcomed him when the Society Of St. Paul, a religious community to which he belonged, wanted to refound a house on the island, after leaving it a few years after the triumph of the revolution of 1959. He arrived in December 2012 with two other consecrated brothers and, with the support of the then Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, they undertook the corresponding efforts to restart the Pauline mission in the archdiocese.

Prolijo in saying, it was easy to warn wisdom and prudence in his words, especially to refer to the young Pauline work of Havana. Mexican, graduated in Spanish Linguistics and Literature and author of numerous articles and books, Father Galaviz was twice the provincial superior of the Paulines of Mexico and general counsel of the congregation for twelve years. Undoubtedly, his experience served to star in the reopening of the mission in the Habanera archdiocese and, soon after, to assume in the magazine Palabra Nueva a monthly section on the life of the Saints.

He did so with the care of those who wished to strip the existence of men and women, whose greatest virtue was to be abandoned in the hands of God, from every halo. As flesh-and-blood saints, he was presented with the same thing to a bishop, a priest, a religious as a child, a teenager, or a housewife. The ingenuity of his writing rested on giving us to live holiness as he discovered perfectly imitable holy people.

Father Juan lived a short time – that’s what we called him – among the Cubans, but he found it enough to feel one more of us and say, repeatedly, that he wanted to die in Cuba. A wish God granted him a few months before celebrating his seventy-eightth birthday. He was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, on May 9, 1941. At the age of eleven he entered the community of Mixcoac, a neighborhood of Mexico City and the first Pauline house in that country. He made the novitiate in the community of Taxqueña and at the conclusion of it cast his first vows in February 1960. A year later he studied in Rome, at the International College Paulino, theological studies. On 8 September 1964 he devoted he was perpetually devoted to religious life and on 30 June 1965 received priestly ordination.

A man of great intellectual concern, an avid reader, from a very young age assumed teaching in various academic areas. For his qualities as a writer, he was director of the magazine Familia Cristiana, in his Mexican edition. During its management, the publication reached a high level and a great dissemination. To that youthful energy that I imprinted on work, added greed for knowledge. It was then that he decided to study Literature at the Ibero-American University and undertook various apostolic initiatives, including the launch of the Pauline Institute of Communication, now the Institute of Communication and Philosophy.

 

From 1980 he began to serve as local superior of several communities and as a provincial of the region. He was also a delegate for the Aggregate Institutes and The Pauline Cooperators and later coordinator of the Preparatory Commission of the VII General Chapter of the Society, where he was elected general counsel and reconfirmed in that position in the next chapter.

Since December 2010 he devoted himself in body and soul to the reopening of the community of Cuba, an idea that managed to realize on December 8, 2012. After five years, on April 4, 2018, the Habanera Church all shared with Father Galaviz and other Pauline brothers, the joy of inaugurating in the archdiocese the St Paul’s Evangelization Center. It was his great dream, and he saw it realized.

On January 11th, at a mass of body present held in the parish of San Juan Bosco, Cuba and his Church were able to fire dear Father John, as he was called by the Cubans since he set foot on this land. He loved us and we loved him very much. Ω

In the issues corresponding to the months of January and February we will continue to publish the section “Saints of today and always”, under the signature of Father Juan Manuel Galaviz, who in advance had delivered the articles to the editor of the magazine.

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