Thursday, July 18, 2013


Two weeks ago, we learnt of the passing of a dear friend of ours, Padre Ricardo Grenat.
Like us, he arrived in Australia in 1991, and just like us, he had to adjust to everything in this new land.

Back in El Salvador we were very active in the Catholic church. As a family it was all we knew, and most of the friends we left behind were those we met through the church.
We had a synergy with Father Ricardo from the first day we attended mass. Being a South American Jesuit, he was passionate about social justice, not just in the Americas, but around the world.

He was in tune with the social issues here in Australia; every homily was special; there was always something new to learn and to practice outside the church. He encouraged us to be active and be more 'human'.

He admired the people of El Salvador, for having MonseƱor Romero as our patron. The theology of liberation is something we all became familiar with after leaving Latin America. While living in El Salvador, during the civil war, it was not easy to know all the facts, let alone speak about it. The Catholic church, however, via many priests, did speak out and defended the poor to the death. Father Ricardo was of this pedigree.

He left in 1999 for Venezuela and remained there until he passed. Australia was perhaps not challenging enough: he was a doer, and as a missionary, he probably would rather be in amongst the most needy. He officiated at my sister's wedding - it was his last mass in this country. It was a happy and sad day, because he had to leave the next day. We knew we would not meet anyone like him again.

Hasta siempre Padre Ricardo.

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