Bishop Jesús Moraza Ruiz de Azua (SN)
Born 27-3-1945 in Araya, Alava, Spain. Bishop prelate of Labrea, Amazonas, Brazil Ordained 19-3-1994 Praca Coronel Labre 119 69830-000 Labrea, AM, Brazil Tel. (55(0)97) 331 11 12 Fax (55(0)97) 331 12 42
He completed his study of the humanities in Lodosa (1956-1959) and Fuenterabia (1959-1964). He took the habit of the Augustinian Recollects in Monteagudo on the 5th of September of 1964 and professed a year later. He studied theology in Marcilla where he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francisco Javier Ochoa on the 6th of July of 1969.
On the 21st of August, 1970, the future bishop arrived in Labrea in the company of six volunteers to whom the Order confided the task of restoring the mission which had been going through a critical time. From this time forward, the mission became the horizon of his life. He had lived but for five years outside of Labrea. One of these years was that which he spent in Madrid for the purpose of updating his theological studies at the Leo XIII Institute (1989-1990). The other four years (1990-1994) he spent in pastoral ministry at the new parish of Getafe where he also directed one of the parish institutes. While there, he received notice that he had been named bishop prelate of Labrea. He received ordination in the diocesan cathedral on March 19th from the hands of Archbishop Mario Tagliaferri, papal nuncio in Spain.
His episcopal ordination marks the dividing event of his missionary trajectory in Labrea. In the first phase of 19 years , he worked as a regular missionary, first, in Tapaua (1970-1975) and , then, in Labrea. Here he alternated work in the parish ministry of Labrea with occasional assistance in the other parishes (Pauini in 1979 and Tapaua in 1980). He engaged in the river ministry visiting the other communities, known as “garapes” spread the river area. He had also served as vicar general of the prelacy and coordinator of the apostolate (1983) as well as acting as provincial delegate for the religious. In 1985, he was faced with the assassination of Sister Cleusa Coelho whose body was discovered on the 3rd of May, six days after the tragic event.
The second phase of his work is more administrative in nature. Without neglecting other pastoral labors, he dedicated himself to the realization of the goals proposed in the various assembles held with regularity in the prelacy since 1983. In the seventh assembly celebrated in July of 1998, three objectives were considered, family apostolate, the formation of the laity, and attention to children. This last goal was realized with the organization of the “Esperanza” centers in Labrea and Tapaua. The second resulted in the establishment of courses of formation of laity of one month duration. The first of the goals was fulfilled in 1999 and the second in 2000.
The prelacy of Labrea has an extension of 230, 632 square kilometers and a population of 81, 000 inhabitants; 81, 000 Catholics. The territory is divided into four parishes, Labrea, Tapaua, Canutama, and Pauni. There are 2 secular priests, 8 Augustinian Recollect priests, 6 Marist brothers, and 10 religious sisters, five of whom are Augustinian Recollect missionaries.