Sunday July 4th 2021 marks the 45th Anniversary of the deaths of Frs. Alfie Kelly, Alfie Leaden, Peter Dufau, professed student Salvador Barbeito and student Jose Emilio Barletti. Each anniversary brings them to mind in a particular way. Each day someone somewhere remembers and/or speaks of them.
I have become aware in recent months of a dedicated group who meet on the 4th of each month in prayer for the Cause of the Beatification of the five (los cinco). It is an incredible testimony to these men and those who continue to speak for them. A homily from earlier in 1976 was the text for one meeting. The relevance today of the interpretation of the Scripture passage was quite striking.
In Fr Alfie Kelly’s diary on July 3rd 1976 he refers to Psalm 15, as ‘a Psalm to the mercy of God.’ His last entry is: “I am delighted with the lot that comes to me.”
One, Cardinal Bergoglio was the principal celebrant 20 years ago on the occasion of the 25th anniversary. Indeed, Pope Francis was Fr Alfie Kelly’s confessor. This year Mass in San Patricio Belgrano will be presided by Mons. Joaquin Mariano Sucunza, Vicar General of Buenos Aires.
Sometimes others point at Northern Ireland people and say we are forever looking back at our history. I disagree obviously and contend that we know our history. How we interpret it can differ. 45 years is a long time to be looking for answers but the Gospel of John reminds us, ‘The truth will set you free.’
In the courtyard of San Silvestro in Capite, Rome there is a memorial to the five. It refers to Revelation 7:14, ‘These are the people who have been through the great persecution, and have washed their robes white again in the blood of the lamb.’
These five men are an essential part of the history of our Mother of Divine Love Province and of the Argentinian Church. It is important that throughout the Province we mark the anniversary. We remember the five men who were and remain part of our Community. We also remember their families, those affected by their lives and deaths and pledge to support those who meet monthly and
who continue to further the cause of “los cinco”.
Father Liam McClarey SCA, Provincial Rector
Events for this weekend may be followed live on the following links: