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Feb 16, 2021

JARA Emiliano (Father) - Paraguay

Limpio, 11 September 1948 - Asunción, 21 December 2020 (Paraguay)

Fr Emiliano Jara SCJ

Father Emiliano is one of the first priests I have known when arriving in Latin America, in November 1976. He had been ordained to the priesthood that very year, in May, by the Betharramite Bishop who had been recently consecrated, Mgr. Claudio Silvero scj. Sent to the High School of San José in Buenos Aires, Fr. Emiliano began his sacerdotal ministry in the educational field, which would remain his main mission all along his life. He has always liked to accompany the young people, either in courses of religion, during spiritual retreats or training the seminarists. He inspired and founded the « F.V.D. », the wellknown group of youngsters  still very active up to now. I was told that one day, the idea of this group was bornduring a night of prayer and reflection, with a handful of young people, in the tower of the San José High School. At the time, Fr. Emiliano was the pastoral director of the School, a task he fulfilled during twelve years. He also enjoyed going for missions. Thus, he visited the rural communities of La Colmena several times, surrounded by many volunteers.

Those who were lucky to know him more intimately remember him as an excellent spiritual director and confessor. He could be defined as the Apostle of interior Life : it was obvious that it was his foremost preoccupation when he took care of someone. Perhaps it was also one of his weak sides, because he had to face a modern culture which does not favour spirituality.

In his last years, he had spent some years in the parishes of the Sacred Heart in Ciudad del Este and of San Joaquin (Paraguay). Many people came to him for confessions, a ministry he has always appreciated and to which he consecrated himself with great generosity. It also probably exhausted him: in these last times, he had fallen in a state of depression and stress which he finally overcame not without difficulty. As a member of the community of the San José School of Asuncion, he helped in the parish, in the school, and as a chaplain of the Theresian Sisters, without bearing the weight of great responsibilities.

The pandemic struck him brutally: he fainted during the mass celebration, which was attributed to Covid (he had been tested positive before). Fr. Emiliano remained unconscious for a few days, then the doctors finally found that a malignant tumour had provoked a strong cerebral haemorrage, leading him to death.

It is sad and crual to see him pass away like this. His remains were incinerated (due to sanitary laws) and given to his family in a cardboard box. For the last farewell, I could accompany a few participants to the prayer for the defunct. Struck so brutally by this bereavement, his brother and some of his nephews who were present did not succeed in letting their tears ow.

We believe in the Resurrection: not only it comforts us, but it also makes us sure that Fr. Emiliano will certainly go on listening to our sorrows and our dreams, and intercede for a deeper spiritual life of our Vicariate and of the whole Paraguay.

Fr. Tobia Sosio scj

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