The Augustinian Recollect Bishop of Tarazona, Bishop Eusebio Hernandez Sola, has written a pastoral letter on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his episcopal ordination on the feast of St. Joseph.
On March 19, 2011, the Augustinian Recollect Eusebio Hernandez received episcopal ordination in Veruela (Spain), becoming bishop of the Spanish diocese of Tarazona. Ten years later, the prelate has happily celebrated this anniversary with satisfaction after these years of pastoral work, while lamenting the situation of the pandemic. Bishop Eusebio has sent a pastoral letter in which he reflects his thoughts on this important date.
Pastoral Letter of Bishop Eusebio Hernández
Ten years have passed since that March 19, 2011. Everything has passed quickly, like a sigh. It seems like only yesterday that I was approaching the monastery of Veruela, trembling but confident. After 35 years in the eternal city, our Father God was leading me to this small but wonderful diocese of Tarazona. Yes, everything was new for me: new ministerial service, new fellow priests, new people to whom I could give my attention and turn my affection and interest, new human, cultural, ecclesial and religious environment. Yes, so many new things, but all of them abundantly watered by the love of God and your people. These have been years truly full of satisfaction and happiness, and the dark and difficult moments, which there have been, have been to value and appreciate more the good and much that you have given me. Thank you very much.
The most painful thing has been these long months of uncertainty, pain and suffering that Covid 19 is causing us. My heart cries when I hear the number of deaths that this virus is causing us. I accompany you with all my affection, dear brother priests, sisters and lay people. I pray for all of you and for your families. Do not feel alone, God our Father walks with you in the midst of your pain and suffering.
For my episcopal ordination I chose the feast of St. Joseph. I wanted to place myself under his protection and shelter. If he cared for Mary and Jesus with such love and attention, I was confident that he would also accompany me. And that is how I felt him, close, solicitous and a good counselor.
The prophetic sense of Father Francis has led him to dedicate this year to remember and celebrate St. Joseph, Patron of the universal Church. A precious coincidence that fills me with deep joy and satisfaction. We all know the Pope’s special affection and devotion to St. Joseph. In his room he has an image of St. Joseph resting and under his lap he places his problems and needs so that St. Joseph can solve them, as he did with Jesus and Mary. And I am sure that he solves them.
I invite you dear brother priests, religious, religious and lay people to always join me, but at this moment, to my prayer and celebration, so that St. Joseph may continue to accompany us all in our daily walk and protect us against this deadly wave of the pandemic. (…)
I greet you with an embrace and my blessing.
Mons. Eusebio Hernández OAR
“With you I am Christians, for you I am Bishop”
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of his episcopal ordination, the bishop of Tarazona, Bishop Eusebio Hernandez Sola, has published a book with the title “With you I am a Christian, for you I am a Bishop”. The title of the publication is a phrase of St. Augustine which, as the Augustinian Recollect bishop says in the presentation, “demonstrates the merciful heart” of the saint. The book includes three pastoral documents written between 2020 and 2021: a pastoral letter and two reflections of the prelate.
The Eucharist and Our Lady
“This year will mark two years since the presentation of my resignation as bishop to the pope and I had thought of leaving a kind of legacy to the diocese,” explains D. Eusebio on the reason for this new publication. “I know that my life as bishop of the diocese will have to end when God and the Pope wills it” – he continues – “but I wanted to leave a pastoral letter that would deal with two fundamental things for priests: the Eucharist and the Virgin, since both are the foundation, the basis of our priestly life.”
The prelate indicates that as a young man he was already aware of the importance that the Eucharist was going to have in his life. “And Our Lady, she has always occupied a preferential place in everything I have done, I have always entrusted myself to Our Lady of Grace, the patroness of Carcar, my town.” “The Eucharist and Mary have also been key in my life. That is why I felt it was important to write about these two foundations and I decided to write this letter, which I am quite satisfied with,” he said.
Charity in the pandemic
The first document in the book is the reflection that the bishop made on the occasion of last year’s Advent retreat, entitled “Mary, Mother of Advent”.
“To conclude,” says Bishop Eusebio, “I have made a reference to the pandemic, focusing on charity. I have put a map of the Diocese of Tarazona to emphasize that every town, every city of our diocese has to pay attention and offer its charity to those in need, because it is in each particular church where the universal Church is realized” – he concludes.