Priestly anniversaries in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. Augustinian Recollects. November 2023.

Although they currently reside in Spain, the Augustinian Recollects José Alberto Moreno and Pedro María Izura have spent a good part of their ministerial life in Fortaleza, so they have wanted to celebrate there their respective anniversaries of 25 and 50 years of priesthood.

On November 11, the main temple of the Blessed Sacrament located in the Uirapuru Spiritual Condominium (CEU) in Fortaleza (Ceará, Brazil), a complex in which the the Catholic Church has united various spiritual and social projects belonging to various religious institutions, hosted the exciting celebration of the 25 and 50 years of priestly ordination of the religious Augustinian Recollects José Alberto Moreno y Pedro Maria Izura.

Both spent a good part of their years of pastoral service in Fortaleza and remain strong bonds of friendship and mutual affection with those who were his collaborators, colleagues, companions of work and mission, personal friends, members of the Secular Fraternity Augustinian Recollect and religious brothers present today in the community of Guaraciaba do Norte. In it many of them were in the temple to celebrate the ordination anniversaries of both.

Within the CEU are the main facilities of the Santa Mónica Home, a project socio-educational program of the Augustinian Recollect Family that welcomes girls and adolescents who have suffered various degrees and types of violence, aggression, abuse or abandonment. In their facilities there was a reception for everyone after the Eucharist.

José Alberto Moreno has dedicated a good part of his ministerial life to this project. Ancient residents and all those who are now members of the project accompanied him in the temple. He recalled the challenges overcome and the most significant moments for him in these 25 years of priesthood.

Pedro María worked for several years in the Parish of San Pedro de la Barra do Ceará, and has been faithful collaborator and companion of the tasks of the Saint Monica Home. His long pastoral life work has also taken him to other directions and regions. With a serene voice he recalled anecdotes of his life and thanked everyone for his presence.

Many wanted to personally thank the two Recollect religious for their positive influence on their spiritual and social service, their inspiring testimony of love, compassion and commitment to others.

In addition to the celebration of the life and mission of the two religious, there was an opportunity to celebrate the festival with joy in community, in the Augustinian Recollect style. The faithful, friends, religious brothers present showed unity of hearts and the meeting served to strengthen ties within the Recollect charism.

Some of those present commented that this party has helped them to recognize that the Solidarity changes people’s lives and creates a better world; that the values that frater Alberto and frater Pedro have lived during these 25/50 years are important for everyone. His legacy is a focus of hope and inspiration for future generations about what the selfless and unconditional love is capable of achieving.

Beyond a specific number (25, 50), the lives of both mark a testimony of continued commitment to faith, compassion and service. Like priests they bless, like people have illuminated during this time the hearts of those who have crossed their path.