The new Augustinian Recollect bishop of the Prelature of Alto Xingu-Tucumã, in Brazil, will take possession of his episcopal see in January. He was accompanied by bishops, priests, religious and faithful, including a group from his new prelacy.
Last Sunday, December 29, the cathedral of Fortaleza (Brazil) hosted the episcopal ordination of the last Augustinian Recollect bishop appointed by Pope Francis. Bishop Jesús María López Mauleón was ordained in the presence of hundreds of people – priests and faithful – who packed the enormous church. The new pastor of the Prelature of Alto Xingu-Tucumã was ordained in the Archdiocese of which he has been the Vicar. Next January he will take possession of his episcopal see, already in the newly created Amazon Prelature.
In spite of the distance that separates Alto Xingu from Fortaleza, several dozens of the faithful made the trip of more than 60 hours to accompany their new bishop in the celebration. A group of Catholics of the Prelature traveled more than 1,700 kilometers from one point to another in Brazil to be with Bishop Jesus Maria; they were “brave” as the new bishop called them in his words of gratitude. Two Augustinian Recollect contemplative nuns from the convent of Guaraciaba and religious from different congregations also participated in the celebration.
From Navarre, where López Mauleón is from, some relatives were present who, dressed in traditional Navarrese costumes, brought the Episcopal ornaments to the altar: the crozier, miter and ring. Previously, the new bishop had prostrated himself before the altar and had been anointed by the Archbishop of Fortaleza, José Antônio Aparecido Tosi Marques – who acted as consecrator – with the Sacred Chrism. The more than 20 bishops present – among them, five Augustinian Recollects and Cardinal José Luis Lacunza – laid their hands on the new shepherd. He was accompanied at all times by the Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine, Sergio Sanchez.
After the Eucharist, the Augustinian Recollect bishop thanked the bishops, priests, religious and faithful for their presence. He began by “giving back to God all honor and glory” and assured that “God’s mercy has been present in all my life”. In a special way he recalled his mother, who is ill and could not attend the celebration from Spain.
He gave direct thanks to the Order of Augustinian Recollects for “the community life” and “the opportunities for formative and spiritual growth”. He also asked for the intercession of three bishops of the Order: St. Augustine, St. Thomas of Villanova and St. Ezekiel Moreno.
López Mauleón referred to the words of Abraham and Moses: “I do not know where I am going but I will be with you”. “When obedience led me to other places, the Lord gave me a new mission: Alto Xingu”.