Madrid (Agenzia Fides) - "Nothing is lost in the hands of the Lord. The missionary disciple puts himself in the hands of the Lord. Blessed Don Anastasio, died believing what the Lord said": said Cardinal Carlos Osoro, Archbishop of Madrid, who yesterday in the Cathedral of Almudena in Madrid presided a church service in memory of Fr. Anastasio Gil, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), who died on 7 September after a long illness (see Fides 07/09/2018). Card. Osoro concelebrated Mass together with the Auxiliary Bishop of Madrid, Juan Antonio Martínez Camino, Military Ordinary, Archbishop Juan del Río, and the Archbishop of Pamplona, Francisco Pérez, former National Director of the PMS, together with dozens of priests of Madrid and other dioceses, as well as missionaries.
During the homily, Cardinal Osoro outlined the missionary profile of Fr. Anastasio, recalling his priestly vocation and his commitment towards the last. Then he exhorted all those present to be missionary disciples, because through our lives we can show God's greatness, and finally he thanked Fr. Anastasio for having carried out a life entirely dedicated to missionaries.
Fr. José María Calderón, Deputy Director of the PMS of Spain, after recalling the 18 years of service of Fr. Anastasio, read the message sent by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which recalls the "vast and fruitful" collaboration of Fr. Anastasio with the Congregation and with the International Secretariats of the Pontifical Mission Societies. "He leaves the memory of a priest in love with the mission", the Cardinal writes, underlining his total dedication as Director of the PMS, to animation, missionary formation and administration. "His commitment for the next extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 was also very intense - underlines the Prefect - by collaborating with the International Secretariats in the conception, planning and dissemination of the Month, and without a doubt, he will be given part of the merit that this month will have in the whole world". Finally, expressing his closeness to the families and collaborators of these years, the Cardinal assures his prayer for Fr. Anastasio: "May this faithful and good servant rest in peace, and thank you for the love for missions and for the work of evangelization. Thank you for your example of love for the Church". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 14/9/2018)