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 published: 2009-03-27

Father Andrés Rodríguez departs for Nigeria

The family from Córdoba bids farewell to THEIR advisor


25. März: die Patres Andrés Rodríguez, Marcelo Gallardo und Pastor Achával konzelebrieren

25 de marzo: Santa Misa concelebrada por los Padres Andrés Rodríguez, Marcelo Gallardo y Pastor Ach ával

March 25: Holy Mass concelebrated by Fathers Andrés Rodríguez, Marcelo Gallardo and Pastor Achával

25. März: die Patres Andrés Rodríguez, Marcelo Gallardo und Pastor Achával konzelebrieren






Segen und Aussendung  

Bendición para la misión

Blessing for the mission

Segen und Aussendung





Mit den Kommunionhelfern  

Con los ministros de la Eucaristía

With the Ministers of the Eucharist

Mit den Kommunionhelfern

Fotos: Juan Barbosa © 2009


ARGENTINA, Juan Barbosa. The family from Córdoba bid farewell to Father Andrés Rodríguez, who as been in this city since his ordination as a deacon, with a touching Eucharistic celebration. From here he departs for his new mission, which was entrusted to him by the Good God the Father: Nigeria, AFRICA.

Although his new destination has been known for several months, the Córdoba family did not want time to pass too quickly, because they had grown attached to him, bidding farewell to Father Andrés would be a difficult time for everyone. Some prayer chains had been organized since his ordination as a deacon, even before knowing him, and of course the prayers continued until his ordination. This was before it was known that he would stay in "La Docta (or The Scholar)" as this Mediterranean city of Argentina is known, since a filial bond had already been established.

Córdoba, a long mission history

The province of Córdoba has a long mission history and at the same time one of the main characteristics of those who live here is: Restlessness. Father Horacio Sosa Carbó, who always had time in his busy schedule to visit here (and the people from Cordoba were HAPPY to have him in their home!) always said that Córdoba was "Scholarly, religious and revolutionary."

Córdoba: its history and tradition is not foreign to the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement. One of its favorite sons, Father Guillermo Mario Cassone, tells us that precisely fifty years ago the founding of the Movement in Asunción, Paraguay and the Paraná, province of Entre Rios, Argentina departed from Córdoba. "Since those years, the founding of the Movement at Rosario, the Region of Cuyo and of the northwest of Argentina were taken care of from here, and precisely on the day in which the family bids farewell to Father Andrés, it will have been thirty-five years since the Fathers (Guillermo Mario, Father Ángel and Monsignor Claudio) founded their first house in Córdoba. What a beautiful deed of our Mother! We have been established for thirty-five years and from this land a missionary departs to Africa," Father Cassone concludes.

The affection of the people from Córdoba for their advisor

Surely there was some intrigue at the beginning of his pastoral work in the land of Córdoba, but he already had some advice from another very beloved priest who previously had left his mark twenty years ago. Father Andrés says that when Father Gonzalo Castro Cardemil (who presently is the Rector of the Main School in Chile), learned that his first assignment was in Córdoba, he told him, "You are going to a great Family that will demonstrate their closeness to you every moment."

During this short time (in June he will celebrate the first four years of his priesthood), he carried out an intense activity among the young men, the Father Kentenich Center, the Liturgy Team, the Economic Council, the Rosary Campaign, the Extraordinary Ministers of Communion, and every apostolate that required his presence. The members of the Family from Córdoba say that they have never heard a complaint about his being tired. "He is inexhaustible!" they say with pride. "I assure you that even the plants are going to miss him, because Father Andrés was in the middle of everything…he even designed and took care of the gardens!"

Sports and challenges were his passion

Throughout his formation, sports marked his life and he always had a passion for them. He would sit in front of the television every chance he had to watch any sport (mostly soccer and better still if it was River Plate, which is the club he loves!) Undoubtedly sports are a school for a healthy life, and Father Andrés always stressed one or more of its many characteristics in his homilies. His involvement in them was always present and above all up to date in order to maintain an excellent channel of communication with the youth. He also alluded to his childhood and adolescent experiences with his family of whom he always spoke and was very proud. His family has a long and rich history in the Schoenstatt Movement, as co-founders of the community of Villa Ballester, province of Buenos Aires.

His restlessness for challenges also has marked his personality, and he has always been ready to seek them and face them. Perhaps this will truly be the guarantee for his pastoral action in Nigeria.

The family bid him farewell around the Eucharistic table

It had been announced that the Mass on the 25th would be the last one that Father Andrés Rodríguez would celebrate, so the family adjusted their schedules to be present. The Chapel of Our Lady of Schoenstatt seemed like a Sunday, all the pews were filled and people stood in the aisles. The faithful of all ages, although the majority was the youth, filled the nave and twice they applauded several minutes each time for their Advisor, who was departing from this proud land of Córdoba.

Father Marcelo Gallardo and Father Pastor Achával con-celebrated and Deacon Federico Piedrabuena, who will be ordained precisely at the Shrine of Solidarity of Villa Warcalde, in this city of Córdoba, attended the ceremony. The family was present and all the Schoenstatt Fathers from Córdoba were also present. (Father Carmona also joined from afar!)

In his homily, Father Andrés stressed three aspects of the Blessed Mother in the Gospel (the Annunciation of the angel to Mary): Mary’s Yes, which is fundamental to the history of humanity, the perplexity that She felt at that moment, which did not last long, because of her enormous Faith, and lastly her LACK OF FEAR about the future, thanks to her complete confidence in the Good God the Father. Those who attended agreed that these were Father Andrés’ own feelings at this time before his departure…

For now, beloved Father Andrés, your family will always accompany you in prayer!



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