Farewell to a priest

Two emails during the night

Just before 11 p.m. on 5th July I received the following message: “Buenas tardes dr. klaus – oracion por padre tomas…esta muy grave…“ (Good evening Dr Klaus, please pray for Padre Tomás… his condition is critical…).  15 minutes later I heard on Peruvian radio that the Catholic churchman in Spain had breathed his last.

14 years ago.  In March 2003 we started negotiations with the Catholic Church in Abancay about a plot of land in Curahuasi on which Diospi Suyana wanted to build a missionary hospital.  Chief negotiator on the Catholic side was Padre Tomás.  The Spanish priest had lived in Peru for several years and was the bishop’s right hand man for social issues.

The transaction regarding the plot of land became a reality.  Furthermore, in hindsight the conditions for Diospi Suyana can be called very advantageous.  At the groundbreaking in May 2005 the invited priest sat on the stage and joined in the celebrations.

Padre Tomás was fair, hardworking and flexible.  His humour showed that his heart was at the right place.  Now he is no longer with us.  With his help a protestant missionary hospital now stands on a formerly catholic plot of land.  Until the present day the relationship between the Catholic Church leaders and Diospi Suyana has been positive.

I look forward to seeing Padre Tomás again at the place the Bible calls Heaven. /KDJ

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