Argentine widower married 46 years to be ordained priest

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After his wife died, Deacon Carlos Salica of the Archdiocese of Tucuman in Argentina decided to devote himself completely to God and to ask permission to be ordained a priest. 

His request was accepted by the Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments and he will be ordained on November 22.

Salica was married to Rosa Chavez for 46 year before her death on Sept. 16, 2011.

The chalice Salica will use at his first Mass will be very special. It contains both his and his late wife’s wedding grafts grafted onto its base as a testimony of their love.

“I have always said that the love of spouses is the continuation of the love of God,” he said.

“I baptized my two granddaughters and I married one of my daughters myself. What else can I ask of God? This is pure mercy,” he added.

Salica has been a permanent deacon for 16 years. He recalled how he studied for this ministry for five years, using the evenings after work to conduct his studies.

The 66-year-old future priest was a teacher and director at the Sacred Heart School in Tucuman.  At the same time, he offered his service as a deacon, presiding at marriages and baptisms in remote areas where there were no priests. He helped pastors and walked through neighborhoods preaching and distributing Communion when needed.

“When you fall in love, you do anything for that person. We need to fall in love with Christ, to abandon ourselves in the arms of God, in order to see the wonders that He does in us,” he said.

In doing this work, Salica said, he took care not to neglect his family. Now that he has fulfilled his family obligations, he plans to fully devote himself to the ministry. However, he noted that he will still see his children and grandchildren every week.  

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