Posts Tagged ‘Jesuit Father Alberto Hurtado’

Jesuit Finds Unique Calling to Preserve a Jesuit Saint’s Manuscripts

Jesuit Father Alberto Hurtado

A robust New Yorker of Irish ancestery, Jesuit Father Eugene Rooney has traveled the World. Missioned to places like Africa and Uruguay, it was in Chile where he discovered his real mission. In 1969 he left his position as librarian at Georgetown University to move to Chile to maintain the files and personal manuscripts of Saint Alberto Hurtado, Jesuit and founder of Hogar de Cristo, an outreach organization serving the poorest of the poor.

Since moving to Chile, Fr. Rooney has indexed the original manuscript collection of Alberto Hurtado, which were located at behind Saint Ignatius High School on Alonso Ovalle St.

There are eight kardex placed in four storage bins in which the original manuscripts of the creator of the Hogar de Cristo are stored. One document has phrase written in a passionate and elegant calligraphy and preached by Hurtado; “Love your neighbor is the most important thing of all.”

Some of these manuscripts are yellowish papers with faded edges and most of them have footer notes and ink stains. Rooney points out a phrase and some drawings that show the lighter side of a young man who wanted to be a priest. Finally, the librarian with strong and tender hands closes the manuscripts and carefully puts them back in the metal box as though they were fragile relics.

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