(ANS - Rome) - As part of the work of the Plenary Intermediate Council, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, with the consensus of the General Council, appointed Fr Ángel Asurmendi Martínez as Provincial of the "Spain-Mary Help of Christians" (SMX) Province yesterday, March 28, for the six-year 2018-2024 period.
Fr Ángel Asurmendi Martínez was born in Mendavia, Navarre, Spain, on February 27, 1952. After the novitiate at Godelleta, between 1970 and 1971, he made his perpetual profession as a Salesian of Don Bosco on 15 June 1980 in Huesca, and was ordained a priest in Barcelona on 29 May 1983.
He served several houses and communities, first in the Spain-Barcelona Province, then, after the fusion, the Spain-Mary Help of Christians: he was (DIRETTORE O RETTORE) Director of Sant Vicenç dels Horts (1996-2000), Rector (2000-2006) and Principal (2005-2006) in Sarrià, then Rector in Can Prats (2006-2008).
For the Province of Barcelona, he served as Coordinator of the Pastoral and School Ministries, and was Provincial Vicar and Councilor for Formation from 2006 to 2008, then Provincial in the following six years (2008-2014).
With the birth of the SMX Province, in 2014 he was appointed again as Provincial Vicar and Councilor for Formation, positions he still holds.
"Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak several times with the Rector Major, who expressed his trust and the trust of the members of the General Council in me, and this gives me the hope and the realism to face the task," said Fr Asurmendi Martínez. "I was lucky enough to receive the call as I accompanied the confreres who were doing the spiritual exercises in Solius. The atmosphere of prayer and the Word of God commented by Fr Juan José Bartolomé facilitated the internalization of the assignment."
Fr Asurmendi Martínez will succeed Mons. Cristóbal López Romero, who Pope Francis appointed Archbishop of Rabat, Morocco, last December 29th. The inauguration ceremony of the new SMX Provincial is scheduled for May 5, as part of the Provincial feast scheduled in Horta, in the presence of the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Francesco Cereda, representing Fr Á.F. Artime.
The SMX Province, based in Seville, has more than 400 Salesians and 76 canonically erected houses, spread in the territories of Andorra, Catalonia, Aragon, Valencia, Balearic, Castilla La Mancha (Albacete), Andalusia, Extremadura, Murcia and Canary Islands.