Saint Ezekiel Moreno Foundation, an Augustinian Recollect Foundation for Cancer Patients and their Families

The Foundation began with the Augustinian Recollect priest, Fr. Sebastian Lopez de Murga Sojo, who got inspired by the life of St. Ezekiel Moreno and moved by the clamor of many persons who begged him to intercede for the cure of their infirmity or that of their relatives. On 15 April 1976, Holy Thursday, while praying before the Blessed Sacrament, he received an inspiration from God to establish a foundation in favor of the most indigent sick people, especially those afflicted with cancer. Thus the Foundation of St. Ezekiel Moreno was born.

In order to sustain the Foundation and guarantee its complete growth, safeguarding the mystique, the spirit and the carism that gave it birth, Fr. Sebastian founded on 18 January 1985 the religious congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Sick (ARE), whose members were first settled in one rented house in the barrio of Soledad, Bogota, totally dedicated to the apostolate of the sick bringing to them relief, care, friendship, financial help and spiritual help which is of primary importance.

Expansion

At the start of the year 1988, with his good administrative skills , Fr. Sebastian obtained special funds and bought houses in the barrio of Maqueta (Bogota), to where the Foundation was later moved on 14 September of the same year. Later in the same place the National Headquarters of the Foundation was constructed and the house where the sisters of ARE resided was also built there.

On 11 October 1992, the Pope, on the occasion of the 500 years of evangelization in America, canonized Ezekiel Moreno, bishop of Pasto, Colombia and proposed him as the model of a pastor.

In December 1998 Fr. William Munoz, an Augustinian Recollect priest, was appointed to assist Fr. Sebastian in St. Ezekiel Moreno Foundation.

In the morning of 3 May 1999 Fr. Sebastian Lopez de Murga left this world and joined in the banquet of the Lord. His remains were brought to El Desierto de la Candelaria, Raquira (Boyaca), where the Augustinian Recollect cemetery is located.

Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Sick

Since then Sr. Irma Pinzon Velez, following the spirit of the founder, took charge of the Foundation. In 2006 Sr. Sofia Lopez Acosta became the national president of the Foundation until 2008 when the incumbent, Rafael Barragan, a committed lay, succeeded her. In February of 2008 Fr. Jose Andres Zambrano Rodriguez, an Augustinian Recollect, was named as national spiritual director of the Foundation.

In order to strengthen the unity among the different sections, regional groupings were done to provide close accompaniment to the volunteers and to the collaborators of the Foundation. The Bogota section was further subdivided into committees in order to organize better the services rendered with the guidance of the Sisters.