Closure of the Colombian Province’s Centenary
St. Benedict Menni’s restoration of the Order inSpain around 1867 also heralded in the new beginning of the hospitaller missionin Latin America.
The hospitaller Mission was brought back to life inLatin America, beginning with Mexico in 1901 and Colombia on 20 December 1920,when seven Brothers of St. John of God sailed from Spain to Bogotá toreactivate the mission in the Mental Asylum, later renamed the SanatorioNuestra Señora de las Mercedes. This centre, and the foundations that would follow,formed the cornerstone of the future General Delegation and the later ColombianProvince.
The Superior, Brother Alfonso Galtés, and Brothers PíoMaría Apesteguia, Raimundo Moya, the chaplain, Felipe Benicio Nieves, Diego deCádiz, Manuel Azqueta and Diosdado Corominas, who had left Barcelona inOctober, arrived in Bogotá on 20 December 1920, when Fr Juan Jesús Adradas wasthe Provincial Superior of Andalusia.
The pomegranate continued to flourish. The hugeneeds of the poor and the sick and the hospitaller spirit of the Brothers drovethe later spread of the John of God mission in Colombia with more centres and foundations:the Hospital San José in Bogotá, 1922, the Clínica San Rafael, Bogotá in 1929, theClínica San Rafael Doima in 1931, the Hospital San Rafael, in Pasto 1932, the ClínicaSan Juan de Dios, in Manizales in 1953, the Clínica Nuestra Señora de la Paz,Bogotá in1956, the Clínica San Juan de Dios, La Ceja (Antioquia) in 63, and theClínica San José, Cali in 1969. Other centres founded in the Province included theSan Juan de Dios Bilingual School, two Schools for Technicians and Nursing Auxiliaries,the San Benito Menni Hospital, the leisure and meetings Centre, the San Juan deDios Lake, the San Ricardo Pampuri Hospital, and the San Rafael Retirement Home.
The General Delegation and Province of Our Lady ofGood Counsel
In 1946, the General Delegation was approved duringthe Generalate of Fr Efrén Blandeau; on April 26, 1947 the Province of Colombiawas canonically erected, under the canonical title of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
For 73 years, from 1947 until 2020, the ColombianProvince has been working on behalf of the sick and the needy, especially for themental health of the Colombian people, and now we are approaching theunification process in January.
The Centenary which we solemnly inaugurated on 21 December2019 in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Bogotá, in the presence of the Brothers, Co-workers,volunteers, benefactors and guests of our La Paz Clinic, was closed lastSaturday, 19 December, with a Thanksgiving Eucharist for this year of unexpectedand difficult events, celebrated in the Chapel of the Provincial Curia,presided over by Mgr Luis José Rueda Aparicio, Archbishop of Bogotá and Primateof Colombia. At the Mass, we presented the Letter of Brotherhood to ElsaJurado, a Co-worker at the Clinic of Our Lady of Peace, with service awards tothe Co-workers of the Colombian Province who have been serving with theHospitaller Order of St. John of God for over 30 years, in the ColombianProvince, in the centres of the Provincial Curia, the San Rafael Hospital inPasto, the San Juan de Dios Clinic in Manizales, the Nuestra Señora de La PazClinic, the San Juan de Dios Clinic, La Ceja, Antioquia and the San Juan deDios Bilingual School. At this ceremonywe delivered awards to the city of Bogotá.
We also blessed a Memorial in the HospitallerMausoleum in our Chapel with photographs of many of the Brothers who have gonebefore us, serving and caring for our sick and needy Brothers, and we used the occasionto say our final farewells to the two Brothers who died this year in theProvince: Brother José Vidal Quiroz, and Brother Raúl Armando Oses Ortega.
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