SPAIN, Miguel Lasso de la Vega •
On Monday, 7 December, a Mass was celebrated in Madrid’s Serrano Shrine for Fr. José María García’s 30 years of priesthood. Memories and expressions of gratitude were shared.
Thirty years at the service of the Schoenstatt Family and the Church, thirty years since Fr. José María García Sepúlveda gave his yes to be Christ’s shepherd, placing himself unconditionally in Mary’s hands to be a loyal and faithful instrument. This is what was celebrated with him on Monday, 7 December, at Serrano Shrine, with a special Mass and time of sharing by everyone who loves and admires him, whether we could be present or not.
In his homily, Fr. José María said that he had never thought about being a priest, but Fr. Kentenich’s profound knowledge captivated him. He also commented that after long years away from the country, he had returned with thoughts of retiring, but God and Mary must have smiled at this intention, and they surprised him again.
His surprise has been in Lourdes; he has begun to go on pilgrimage to that Shrine regularly, since he has felt the closeness of God’s love there by serving in anyway, and of which he is served. And where his heart has been touched by little St. Bernardette’s words when he referred to her saying that in her poverty and misery, the Immaculate Conception was the first to see her as a person.
The by the music of the Zaforas, and Carlota’s incredible voice enhanced the celebration. Fr. Carlos Padilla, who recalled being at his ordination, expressed gratitude to Fr. José María on behalf of all his community for his generosity and profound commitment since he returned to all the tasks entrusted to him, especially to the professionals and the Family Federation.
After a warm applause, Fr. José María gave us his final blessing.
Father, our gratitude for your YES to the LORD and his Mother and our Mother the Virgin Mary.
Photos: Juan Zaforas, Madrid
Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA – Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA