Mgr Jesus Irigiyen Urtasun died in the early afternoon of Saturday, December 3, on the feast of St. Francis Xavier, Patron of the Missions, to whom he was particularly devoted.
He had dedicated his life to
missionary animation and spreading the knowledge of the missions through
the means of social communication.
For over 40 years Mgr. Irigoyen worked at Agenzia Fides, first as an
editor of the Spanish language, from 1955 to 1969, then as Director,
from 1969 to 1993, taking care of various publications, including some
editions of the "Catholic Missions Guide".
Mgr. Irigoyen continued his
long experience, although he had reached age limit, as a consultant of
Agenzia Fides, of the Officials of the Congregation for the
Evangelization of Peoples, of the International Secretariats of the
Pontifical Mission Societies, of men and women religious, of the
missionaries who resorted to him for the diverse and often complex
issues regarding the world of evangelization and missions.
Born in Lezaun in Navarra (Spain), diocese of Pamplona, on June 12,
1921, Mgr. Irigoyen studied in Pamplona at the diocesan Seminary where
he was ordained a priest on September 8, 1946. He was sent to Rome to
complete his studies, he arrived on 1 November 1946, and stayed at the
Pontifical Spanish College. He studied Theology and Canon Law at the
Pontifical Gregorian University, and Civil and Roman Law at the
Pontifical Lateran University. He also attended the three Courses of the
Rotale Study at the Tribunal of the Roman Rota and the Course of
Administrative practice at the Study of the Congregation for the Clergy.
Not forgetting his pastoral ministry, exercised for decades at the
female student Housing managed by the Ravasco Institute, for more than
half a century Mgr. Irigoyen worked with Vatican Radio, especially as
head of the Spanish language weekly missionary Program. He was also a
consultor of the Pontifical Commission for Social Communications and a
member of the editorial Committee of the pontifical magazine of the
Pastoral Council of healthcare professionals. He was also called to be
part of the "Commission for the new martyrs" of the Central Committee of
the 2000 Great Jubilee. During his long life he held numerous
positions always linked to the missionary and social media world.
He was member of the Chapter of St. Peter, in 1996 he had the joy of
celebrating his 50th anniversary of priestly ordination with Holy Father
John Paul II and other 7,000 priests from around the world ordained in
1946, who gathered in Rome for the same event.
After the funeral, celebrated in the Vatican Basilica, Mgr. Irigoyen was
buried in the chapel of the Chapter of St. Peter, in the Verano
cemetery in Rome.