Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fr. Angel Fernandez, 10th Successor of Don Bosco

Fr. Angel Fernandez 
10th Successor of Don Bosco

(ANS – Rome) – The 27th General Chapter has elected Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime, provincial of Southern Argentina, as tenth Successor of Don Bosco.

The election took place March 25 at 10:20 a.m. on the first ballot. The official announcement was welcomed with long and warm applause.

Fr. Pascual Chavez, president of the assembly (and outgoing RM), invited Fr. Angel to come beside him, and said: “Dear Fr. Angel, through your confreres God has called you today to be the successor of Don Bosco. You are not called to be like the Rector Major, nor Fr. Vecchi nor Fr. Viganò. You are the successor of Don Bosco, not of Fr. Chavez. So, on behalf of the chapter, I ask you whether you accept.”

Speaking in Spanish, Fr. Angel said with an emotional heart: “I abandon myself to the Lord. We ask Don Bosco and Mary Help of Christians to accompany us and to accompany me, with my brother Salesians and with the Congregation, and I accept with faith.”

Fr. Angel, 53 years of age, was born August 21, 1960, at Gozon-Luanco, a small fishing village on the coast of the Bay of Biscay in northwestern Spain. He made his first profession on September 3, 1978, his perpetual profession on June 17, 1984, and was ordained on July 4, 1987. Originally from Leon province, he has been youth ministry delegate, director of the school at Ourense, member of the provincial council and vice provincial, and, from 2000 to 2006, provincial of Leon.

He was a member of the technical commission in preparation for General Chapter 26. In 2009 he was appointed provincial in Southern Argentina, and he was inaugurated by Fr. Chavez himself on Jan. 31, 2010. He has carried out that office until now. In this capacity he got to know the then-archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, and to work with him.
Fr. Chavez (center) inaugurates the reconfigured Argentine provinces 
and their new provincials on Jan. 31, 2010, Frs. Manuel Cayo (left) and Angel Fernandez (right).
Fr. Angel has a doctorate in pastoral theology and a licentiate in philosophy and pedagogy.

Just last December 23 he was appointed provincial of the new province of Mary Help of Christians in Spain, an office which Fr. Angel will obviously not be able to take on now, since he will exercise his ministry as Father of the whole Salesian Family. 

Best wishes, Fr. Angel!

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