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Sep 23, 2008

Father Etchécopar

Croberto68Auguste Etchécopar was born on April 30, 1830 in Saint-Palais, a small town of the French Basque country.  The eighth of fourteen children, many of whom died at a young age, the son of a Catholic family was very soon attracted by the priesthood. He was ordained priest on June 10, 1854 in the Cathedral of Bayonne, and integrated in the Society of Higher Studies, where the Bishop directed his most brilliant subjects.

When the Confraternity of Oloron was dissolved, the young priest Etchécopar was accepted in the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Betharram, founded by Father Michael Garicoits.  He pronounced his vows on October 24, 1855.  In July 1857, Father Garicoits took him from the College Saint Cross of Oloron to name him Master of Novices in Betharram.

From that time on, Father Etchécopar dedicated himself totally to the service of the Congregation, first, as secrtetary and adviser of the Founder (1857-1863), and then as Secretary General (1863-1873); Assistant General of Father Chirou (1873-1874), and finally, the third Superior General (1874-1897).

In his quality as Superior General he set down to obtain three great objectives: the approbation of Betharram and its Constitutions by the Holy See; the recognition by the Church of the sanctity of Michael Garicoits; the spiritual and material consolidation of the Congregation and of its works.

At the death of Father Etchécopar, on April 13, 1897, these objectives had be attained, so well that a General Chapter proclaimed him as the second founder of the Institute.

Father Etchécopar leaves behind him an enormous amount of writings (on the way to be published), among which about 2000 letters, a great number of conferences and homilies.

Texts

pdf.pngEnglish1997Gerardo Ramos, scjFather Auguste Etchecopar, a model for today

 

 

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