Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - 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. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 13/12/2016)