By ZENIT Staff

On Monday, July 20, in the Cathedral of the diocese of El Alto, dedicated to the Virgin of Carmel, the funeral mass of Bishop Eugenio Scarpellini was celebrated, reported Fides News Agency.

The Bishop of El Alto, who died on July 15 from Covid-19, had been a missionary in Bolivia since 1988, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, PMS, and coordinator of the PMS of the American continent. The Eucharist was presided over by Mgr. Aurelio Pesoa, Secretary-General of the Bolivian Bishops’ Conference, and was attended by priests, religious, authorities and friends, respecting the health measures in force.

According to the news released by the PMS of Bolivia, Mgr. Sergio Gualberti, Archbishop of Santa Cruz, fraternal friend of Mgr. Scarpellini, pronounced the homily in a virtual form, expressing his feelings. “On the one hand, the pain and sadness of the sudden and unexpected death of Bishop Eugenio – he said -, the loss of a great pastor much appreciated and loved by his people, and in particular by me, with whom we cultivated a profound friendship. On the other, the feelings of gratitude to God for the life of Mgr. Eugenio, for having given him the gift of faith, having chosen him as a priest in the image of Christ and for sending him as a missionary to our Church in Bolivia, where he carried out his ministry with passion, generosity, and joy”. Mgr. Gualberti then recalled “his overflowing vitality and the enthusiasm he put into everything he did, infecting people with the energy that emanated from his whole being, the heart of the faithful follower of Christ, the good shepherd, generous, sensitive and attentive towards people, especially the poor”.

Before concluding the mass, a video was presented in which the Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies of some countries of America presented their testimonies which highlighted the characteristics of Mgr. Eugenio: the joy, dedication, generosity, service of the Gospel, his missionary vocation, remembering him as a tireless father, friend and missionary, builder of justice and peace, an example of life that today must be followed by looking at Jesus in the face of the poor, the humble and the simple.

The representatives of the highest offices of the State and the mayor of El Alto were present at the rite. Before the Requiem prayer, a message was read in which Pope Francis expressed his profound sadness for the family, the clergy, the consecrated and the faithful of the diocese: “The Holy Father offers suffrages for the eternal rest of his soul and imparts the apostolic blessing to all those who mourn such an important loss”. In the end, Mgr. Pesoa, brought a message of condolence from the Archbishop of La Paz, from the Bishops’ Conference and from his brother Bishops. In life he gave everything for the announcement of the Gospel, Eugenio, the tireless missionary as many remember him.

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