In Pace Christi

Fr. Bustos Juárez Rogelio

Data di nascita: 07/07/1961
Luogo di Nascita: Irapuato (MEX)

Voti temporanei: 14/05/1983
Voti perpetui: 20/06/1986
Ordinazione: 05/09/1987

Data Smierci: 27/01/2018
Miejsce Smierci: León (MEX)

This morning, shortly after eleven, while we were getting ready for Mass, I received the news of the death of our confrere Rogelio. His sister Paty, with a heavy heart, told me how a short time earlier, Fr. Rogelio had a pulmonary collapse and had died. It was among the worst news I ever heard in my lifetime and I feel very sorrowful. This was a confrere who marked our life with his enthusiasm, his joy, his missionary passion and his great love for the Comboni Institute has left us.

Much could be written about Rogelio – and many will do so – pages telling the story of a life of simplicity, joy, enthusiasm, dedication, missionary passion, generous and intelligent self-giving and love for the charism and the Institute.

Rogelio was born on 7 July 1961 into a large family in which the parents, Jesús and María de la Luz, transmitted and sowed in the hearts of their children those values and that faith that are learned not so much through lessons but are lived out in the dramas of life that forge people capable of living with their hearts open to others.

After middle school, Rogelio joined the Comboni seminary of San Francisco del Rincón which one of his elder brothers had attended and which would be the doorway to his life as a Comboni missionary priest. There he took his first steps, opening his heart to the mission with which he identified through the various stages: the minor seminary of Guadalajara where he attended High School, in Xochimilco, as a postulant and as a student of philosophy and at Cuernavaca, where he did the novitiate and made his first religious profession.

He was always a happy seminarian, content with his vocation and with living the Comboni charism. He was a jovial character, lively and playful and this always helped him to establish relationships of friendship and brotherhood that stood the test of time. He was meticulous, a man of kind words and self-effacing. Even the last suitcase he packed was full of souvenirs and small gifts for the people he would meet during his visit to the Province of Central America. Rogelio was a person with consideration for others and showed in small ways the goodness he had in his heart.

In 1983 we met in Florence where he had just arrived as a newly-professed to study Italian and live out his experience as a student of theology which ended, five years later, with a licentiate in moral theology. Right from the start he seemed an intelligent and capable young man who applied himself to his work seriously and responsibly.

On his return to the Province of Mexico in 1988, he was appointed to the minor seminary in San Francisco del Rincón where he worked with enthusiasm, showing his ability to accompany the High School students who were beginning their missionary journey. Some of them are now priests.

In San Francisco del Rincón, Rogelio lived intense years as formator and teacher at the preparatory school of La Salle, becoming very involved with the youth. Those were years of hard pastoral work in the centre and outskirts of San Francisco del Rincón. In a short time he gained the esteem and appreciation of many people who, thanks to him, became friends and benefactors of the seminary and the missions.

During the years he served in the Province of Mexico, he assumed more and more tasks and responsibilities. He worked enthusiastically in the formation sector and was a member of the Provincial Council. Apart from his abilities, his readiness to agree to everything asked of him emerged. In 1996 he began another important stage in his life: he left for his first mission in Peru where he placed himself at the service of the students of theology. As formator of scholastics, he spent just over eight years; at the same time he taught at the ISET (Instituto Superior de Estudios Teológicos) and was involved in pastoral work in the outer quarters of Lima. He also assumed the role of Provincial Superior for two terms, up to 2011, when he was again appointed to the province of Mexico.

In Mexico he was entrusted with the post of bursar at the CAM, the Centre for Missionary Animation where he again succeeded in placing his abilities at the service of the Province: sensitive and capable of promoting missionary animation, he was attentive and kind towards the benefactors. He left this post when he was appointed General Assistant during the 2015 General Chapter in Rome.

As General Assistant in charge of the continents of America and of Asia, he was always attentive and helpful in all that concerned the life of our provinces and delegations. His door was always open and he never delayed in replying; he participated in the situations – not always happy ones – that we presented to him and did all he could to be involved in their resolution.

If we were to describe the characteristic traits of Rogelio as a person, I would say that he was a joyful person who succeeded in living in simplicity every moment of his missionary life. He was one who kept alive his sense of humour up to the last days of his illness and he has left us the memory of a smiling face to remind us that one lives the mission in a joy that is only achieved when we give ourselves with generosity.

Rogelio has gone from us but what he has given us will never leave us. His witness as a happy consecrated person, as an enthusiastic missionary and a Comboni to the bone; none of this will pass away. (Fr. Enrique Sánchez G.)