This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Monsignor José Ramón Gurruchaga Ezama, Basque, Salesian, missionary, committed to the poor, bishop emeritus of Huaraz, and the first bishop of the Diocese of Lurín, passed away in Peru on April 11, 2017.
He was born in Barakaldo on March 29, 1931, surviving the Spanish Civil War, the bombing of Guernica, and the bombing of Barakaldo (first-hand), studied at the Salesian school in Barakaldo, and from a young age wished to be a missionary.
As he himself said in the video we’re sharing, he asked to be a missionary “where he could help and was needed”, and he achieved that goal at a very young age. In 1951, having just turned 20, he traveled to Peru, and on January 2, 1952, he decided to be baptized as a cholo (poor, humble, and of mixed race) in Lake Titicaca. He worked in Puno, in Arequipa, and in 1955, he was sent to study at the UPS in Rome. He was ordained a priest on February 11, 1961.
He is recognized as a man filled with a deep sense of social justice and defense of the poorest, in addition to being, as any good Salesia, a promoter of education among the least fortunate. In 1990, He led the Social Pastoral Service of the Diocesan Commission (CODISPAS), which was born out of a need to respond to the political violence that the farmers in the Huaraz Diocese were suffering at the time, which led to his suffering violence at the hands of Sendero Luminoso.
He was a committed man who, as the report says, received from “his parents, of Basque origin, to live under the loving gaze of God and the honor of he who lives off his work”.
Andina -12/4/2017 – Perú
Fallece obispo emérito de Huaraz monseñor José Ramón Gurruchaga
El monseñor J SDB, obispo emérito de Huaraz y Primer obispo de la diócesis de Lurín, falleció anoche 11 a los 86 años de edad, tras una larga enfermedad. El monseñor Gurruchaga tuvo una vida de entregada a ayudar a los más necesitados. Este obispo salesiano se caracterizó por ser una persona muy alegre y optimista, quien educó incansablemente a jóvenes y a las poblaciones más pobres del país.