Note: This was translated from the original Spanish article posted on the official website of the Order of Augustinian Recollects (www.agustinosrecoletos.com)
The new Augustinian Recollect bishop celebrated his first Eucharist as Auxiliary Bishop of San Juan de Cuyo in the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, accompanied by Augustinian Recollect and religious Bishops.
ARGENTINA–Without having completed 24 hours of his episcopal ordination, Monsignor Carlos María Domínguez was ‘premiered’ as Auxiliary Bishop of San Juan de Cuyo on Sunday 30 June. The new Augustinian Recollect bishop presided over his first Eucharist accompanied – as the previous day – by bishops and religious, and attended by dozens of people who crowded the metropolitan cathedral.
The first words of the auxiliary bishop were addressed, in a familiar and humorous tone, to the Archbishop of San Juan de Cuyo, Jorge Eduardo Lozano, whom he thanked at the first day of his succession as Auxiliary Bishop. And this situation is not normal. Before him and before all present, he showed his happiness for living this special moment there. “The Lord is taking us on a lot of sides and the time has come to come to San Juan,” he said.
Bp. Carlos María Domínguez, OAR, dedicated a part of his first homily to the Gospel, which, on the first Sunday in Ordinary Time, commented on the meeting of Jesus with several people who received the offer to follow him. The new bishop affirmed that “Jesus teaches us that we must go out to meet the will of the Father.”
In this encounter there may be “apparently” failures in carrying out the work of evangelization. Quoting Cardinal Pironio, he said: “Even if we apparently fail, in the name of God we never fail because that apparent failure is within the plans of God.” Therefore, he indicated that “Jesus teaches us not to be discouraged but to rethink our strategy”.
He finished his commentary on the Gospel with a motivating message: “As disciples, we can not live from the past but look forward and fill ourselves with hope.”
The new bishop later took the opportunity to thank the bishops and religious present who, both in his ordination and in his first Mass, were with him and said goodbye to them. Dominguez recalled the 11 Augustinian Recollect bishops, as well as the Prior General of the Order of Augustinian Recollects.
Especially emotional was when he addressed the Prior Provincial of the Province of Santo Tomás de Villanueva, Fray Miguel Ángel Hernández, OAR. He recalled a farewell publication that the Prior Provincial had recently made in a social network and told him: “When Jesus joins one another, the roads can be distanced, but they never separate because with Jesus we always remain united”.
To all the Augustinian Recollect religious, Domínguez sent a clear message: “I am always going to be an Augustinian Recollect; I was not born as a friar but I want to die as a friar and now also a bishop.” He had previously stated that “it is not easy when the Church asks a religious to be a bishop because being a bishop implies leaving religious life.” However, he showed his joy at having references of good bishops who also lived this charism, like Saint Ezekiel Moreno and Saint Thomas of Villanueva.
He did not hide his happiness for the work entrusted to him by Pope Francis. He told the laity that “we have lived so many strong things in the name of Jesus, that living what we lived yesterday (episcopal ordination) seems a dream.” He also remembered with affection the Augustinian Recollect Missionaries and the Augustinian Recollects, especially the Blessed Cari and Esther, the two Augustinian Missionary Sisters killed in Algiers in 1994, to whom she asked for her intercession.
To all, at the end of his first homily, Carlos María Domínguez asked that they continue to accompany them through prayer.