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Pope goes to friend’s funeral

ITALY-VATICAN-RELIGION-POPE-PEACE-ROSARY-AFP

FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 07/21/22

Argentinean Jesuit Father Diego Fares entered the Society of Jesus with Jorge Bergoglio as his superior.

Pope Francis left the Vatican to attend the funeral of a Jesuit priest and friend, Father Diego Fares.

An Argentine Jesuit and writer for La Civiltà Cattolica, Fr. Fares died on Tuesday at the San Pietro Canisio Jesuit Residence in Rome at the age of 66, after a long illness.

The funeral Mass was held Thursday in the chapel of the Jesuit Curia near the Vatican.

The Pope sat with the congregation as Father Antonio Spadaro, Editor-in-Chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, celebrated the Mass and preached the homily.

An intellectual close to the poor

Fr. Diego was welcomed into the Society of Jesus by the future pope, then provincial Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio in 1976. Fr. Bergoglio later became his spiritual director and a mentor. Until his last days, the Holy Father expressed his closeness to Fr. Diego, visiting him for the last time on July 10.

The Jesuit was an intellectual close to the poor: He focused his doctoral thesis in Philosophy on the phenomenology of truth in Hans Urs von Balthasar, but maintained his pastoral commitment in the preaching of the Spiritual Exercises and his presence among the poor.

In fact, he worked for about 20 years in Buenos Aires with a team of more than 100 laypeople at the “House of St. Joseph” (El Hogar de San José), a shelter for adults living on the streets or in extreme poverty, and at the “House of Goodness” (Casa de la Bondad), a hospice for the terminally ill founded by Jesuit Father Ángel Rossi, with whom he wrote several books.

He started writing for La Civilità Cattolica, the Jesuit journal, in 2016.

Grieving like everyone

Jesuit Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, Prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, concelebrated the funeral Mass.

The funeral was also attended by two of the priest’s sisters.

Pope Francis had attended funerals of those close to him on other occasions: that of a teacher and his personal physician.

The pope by tradition leads the concluding rite, the Rite of Committal, at the funerals of cardinals in Rome.

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Pope Francis
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