Categories: From the Order
      Date: May 11, 2011
     Title: New Bishop of Iquitos (Peru)
Bilbao (España), April 16, 2011

Mons. Miguel Olaortua OSA

New Bishop of the apostolic Vicariate of Iquitos (Peru)

At five o'clock on the afternoon of April 16, the ceremony of  consecration in the Parish of San José de la Montaña of the Augustinians  of Bilbao began, the church filled with Augustinian friars and sisters,  family and friends of  Mons. Miguel Olaortua, who came from various  parts of Spain.

D. Ricardo Blázquez, Metropolitan Archbishop of Valladolid, presided at the Eucharist, accompanied by  D. Renzo Fratini, Nuncio of His Holiness in Spain, D. Mario Iceta Gavicagogeascoa, Bishop of Bilbao, D. Julián Gracía Centeno OSA, Bishop emeritus of the Vicariate of Iquitos, and D. Carlos Escribano, Bishop of Teruel. Joining them were Fathers Robert F. Prevost, Prior General of the Order and Carlos Morán Fernández, Prior Provincial of the Augustinian Province of Santísimo Nombre de Jesús de Filipinas, as well as fifty priests, most of whom were friars of the four Provinces of the Order in Spain.

The Prior General of the Order, Fr. Robert F. Prevost, presented the Bishop candidate to the ordaining prelate and Fr. Miguel Fuertes Prieto O.S.A, Regional Vicar Regional of the Vicariate of Iquitos, read the Letter of Appointment from his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, naming Mons. Miguel Olaortua Laspra Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Iquitos (Perú).
In his homily, the Archbishop of Valladolid thanked Mons. Julián García Centeno for the twenty years of service he devoted as Bishop of the Vicariate and had as well, words of remembrance of Blessed Anselmo Polanco, Augustinian Bishop of Teruel, martyred during the Spanish Civil War, whom he held up as a man of faith, hope and love, who gave his life for his people.
After the homily and the chanting of the Litany of Saints, the bishops present proceeded to the imposition of hands over the candidate and the impostion of the open book of the Gospels over his head while the prayer of Ordination was read. Afterwards, the principal ordaining bishop anointed the new bishop's head with oil, and presented him with the book of the Gospels, ring, mitre and crozier. At that point Mons. Miguel Olaortua, outfitted with the symbols which indicate that he is a new bishop of the Church, received the kiss of peace from the other bishops.
After communion, Mons. Miguel Olaortua thanked all gathered for their presence and gave a brief resumé of his life, recalling his parents (now deceased) and the persons and groups which had accompanied him during his Christian, religious and priestly life. A special remembrance was noted for the Parish of San José, where the ordination had just taken place, as there he had been an altar boy, came to know the Augustinians, made his solemn profession and was ordained priest.
Shortly before the final blessing of the Archbishop of Valladolid, Mons. Olaortua, accompanied by the Bishops of Bilbao and Teruel, made his way through the center aisle of the church greeting and blessing all, while at the same time receiving a warm and prolonged applause.
Once the ceremony had ended there was the traditional kissing of the new bishop's hands, an emotional moment, in which all present had the opportunity to congratulate him and wish him well in this new office he was just beginning.
The installation of Mons. Olaortua in his Episcopal See is scheduled to take place in Iquitos, on the 22nd of May, the Feast of Saint Rita of Cascia.