- “He is not an angel!”
The priest is a person like us, who feels sorrow and joy, who gets tired, who fights to fight his imperfections. It is not an angel. He also works to improve his defects, to change the negative things in him, to grow humanly and spiritually. It is good to expect a lot from a priest, but we must know that he is also a man. Respect it as it is, accept it with its gifts and imperfections. He is a mediator between God and the people as regards divine realities. It would be easy for him to be a saint, ready to go to heaven, but he doesn’t, he has imperfections like you and me. The good thing is that he works hard to improve and improve himself; he knows that this is the path to perfection.
- «Experience hunger, cold, weight of age …»
It is a harsh reality, although many do not believe it. The general injustice is that the priest lacks nothing, lives as king, but those of us who have contact with many priests know that reality something different. There are many priests who go hungry and cold in the world. Many lack bread, water, or basic hygiene conditions. Think of the inhospitable places where the Church arrives: Africa, India, Cambodia, remote areas of Brazil, Bolivia, Egypt, Syria, Indonesia, etc. We always think of westernized countries. When old age arrives they continue in their ministry, faithful to the call of God. Old priests still walk the streets leaving the good smell of Christ.
- ” Charge passions and that of offense”
We already talk that the priest is also human and has imperfections. But it is not a great burden because it has the words of Jesus in mind: “My yoke is soft and my burden light.” We all carry our own cross. Sometimes we can find priests who are prone to pride, greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony or laziness. They are aware of their weakness and work on it. But let’s not think that it is something great, when God calls he gives the grace to live according to the vocation we have received from him. The priest is happy in his vocation, but this does not mean that he also sins. He is the first who trusts in the effectiveness of the apology that Christ himself imparts through him: confession. Yes, he confesses too. Go as a good Catholic to another priest to confess and ask for God’s grace, resolution with the Father. Thus, the priest preaches and practices.
- “God like us”
Before becoming a priest, he was an ordinary man who lived among us, studied with us, worked with us. We played with them, we met them as children. But one day God called them to leave everything, carry his cross and follow him wherever he went. The priest has a life story, has family, dreams, feelings, etc… It’s like us, it also suffers and rejoices. God has taken him out of us to invite him to surrender himself and others with a universal love. Perhaps not in his own city, in other cases quite far from his country, but the priest does not forget his origin, he must not forget it. He also misses his family, he suffers when they suffer.
Garces was a Spanish missionary, preacher, and explorer. He was born in 1729 in Morata de Conde ND was killed in 1781 in Colorado territory while on his missions.
In 1754, he joined the Franciscan order in Calatayud. He became a priest in 1754. He was sent to Mexico and the college of Propaganda. He was on his mission to San Javier in Arizona. He was only 12 years old when Jesuits were expelled. He was enthusiastic and ambitious. He made regular expeditions to know the territory. He was reminiscent of 16-century missionaries. He learned and studied their habits.
In 1771, he was in California. He reached the foothill of California sierras. In 1775, he was to the Anza expedition, with some other companions. Here they were to go to Colorado river, here they expected military. He was focusing on studying the region and rearrangements of natives for the holly message. It was through an agreement with Junta De Guerra. The dominance of Some Mexico was the real end. The evangelization of the Serra in California was a term of this agreement. Another goal was also there. It was finding the land route to California. Till then, the only sea was the route to reach this land.
In 1775, he left the Tubac. He was on his trip to San Francisco when he came up with troops. He traveled and stayed only in the area of the cordon. He was along the Colorado river to Mojaves. It was the desert of the same name. Garces carried on till he reached the central valley of California. Crossing rivers and deserts, he reached Arizona. Here no Indian was ready to hear the message of Evangelism. So he continued to the south. He arrived in Indian cordon in 1776. There were Indians, and he was to convert them. He was a skilled priest and knew all.
This trip was fruitful. He met 25 tribes, and he started writing a journal. This diary is precious and gives an insight into his work. He was in the real Far West now. This is the title of a newspaper, which he formed while on this mission. It was mandated by his Excellency, Mr. Virrey, the governor of New Spain. There are some copies of the document left in Mexico, Franciscan archives. In the newspapers, there is an inventory of tribes. The tribes which were to receive the evangelization were included in the list. The presidios were needed to be established to have domination over the area. There was a list of roads that could connect to different areas.
The Spanish administration received a request to set up a mission in his village. Garces and his companion were sent to found the purpose. They baptized the chief. And there were some other colonies nearby. The chieftain killed Garces and his companions on July 17, 1781. He was an evangelist preacher whose life was full of struggle for a cause.