Pope Francis launches sainthood case for three Argentine priests with Irish connections
The priests of St. Patrick’s were shot by police during the military dictatorship
Before taking his position in the Vatican as Pope Francis I, the Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio recommended three Argentine priests, who were shot by the police in 1976, to be promoted as saints.
Alfredo Kelly (43), Alfredo Leaden (57), and Alfredo Dufau (67) were shot, along with two seminarians, by the police who stormed the Pallottine church in the Saint Patrick’s parish as they slept.
Francisco Chirichella, who is gathering documentation to justify the three priests' martyrdom, a key step toward sainthood, said, “The killings were a milestone...The message that everyone got from the church's higher levels was: 'Be afraid because if anyone from any community criticizes this government, all might be targeted.’”
During a period of unrest and distrust in the community this group of priests preached and exemplified social commitment which made them a target.
Speaking in 2001 at the 25th anniversary of the men’s deaths Bergoglio said, “This parish has been blessed by the presence of those who chose to live not for themselves, but to die so that others may live.”
During Argentina's "dirty war" 18 priests, 11 seminarians and about 50 Catholic workers were killed, or disappeared, as death squads tried to eliminate left-leaning activists.
The three priests killed in the St. Patrick’s attack had strong links to Ireland.
Father Alfie Kelly was born in Buenos Aires to Juan Kelly and Elisa Casey, the youngest of seven children. He joined the Pallottines at a young age and studied in Buenos Aires and Rome before his ordination in 1957. At the time of his murder he was the pastor at St. Patrick’s, responsible for student formation and rector to one of the diocesan catechetical seminaries.
Notably, Kelly was the spiritual director to the young man who was to become the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis I.
Kevin O’Neill SAC, described his life and work “He specialized in spiritual direction, retreats, Catechetics and in youth work which was his principal apostolate. The best word to describe his character is ‘solid’."
Father Alfie Leaden was born in Buenos Aires but his parents, Patricio Leaden and Brigida Ussher were of Irish descent. One of eight brothers and sisters, he was educated educated by the Irish Mercy Sisters and later by the Pallottine Fathers. He went on to study philosophy at the Pallottine seminary in Thurles, County Tipperary, and continued his studies in Rome, according to Pallottines.ie. Ordained into the priesthood in 1942 he worked in many Pallottine communities in Argentina.
Father Kevin O’Neill SAC described Leaden as “amiable. In the true sense of the word it means more than being worthy of love." A student of Leaden’s, Father Rodolfo Capalozza, wrote, “Alfredo seemed to have supernatural peace, an uncommon peace. He transmitted the peace of God. To go into his room was like the psychological experience of entering a sanctuary, it was orderly, and he radiated amiability and innocence.”
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Mandela would have sold his Soul to have kept the support of the Western Media. The Republican Irish were not fighting Racist Apartheid; They were wagGay wedding cakes latest target of anti-gay bigots
Lol, check out the comments below. The rural culchies and donkeys are getting their panties in a bunch over this. Bocktherobber takes the cake though,An open letter in strong defence of capitalism to Pope Francis
Curitiba - Thank you. I know. In the US, however and in Ireland where I live part time, a surprising number of people do not realise that.A Magdalene Laundry US adoptee who holds no hatred for Irish nuns
It is very convenient to engage in "Monday Morning Quarterbacking". It is also quite convenient to kick uniformed nuns in the "breadba