Monday, 18 August 2008

Memorial of Saint Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga

So who is this saint? Wikipedia says:

- he was born Luis Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga on January 22, 1901 in Viña del Mar, Chile
- studied at the all-boys Jesuit school of St. Ignacio, Santiago from 1909 to 1917
- entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1923 and ordained as priest on August 24th, 1933
- his ministry expanded to the pastoring of the Chilean poor, especially disadvantaged children, teenagers and young adults- had his mind and heart set on tackling social issues and problems
- founded an organization similar to the present-day Girls and Boys Club in the United States
- his shelters, called Hogar de Cristo [Christ's Home], took in all children in need of food and shelter, abandoned or not
- monitored the streets at night in an old green van to help those in need that he could find
- founded the Chilean Trade Union Association, meant to train leaders and instill Christian values in the labor unions of his country
- diagnosed with pancreatic cancer - died in Santiago on August 18, 1952
- beatified on October 16, 1994 by Pope John Paul II & canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 23, 2005

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