Publicador de contenidos

Back to 2019-02-26-Opinión-TEO-Aurelio Fernández

Juan José de Miguel, Former Professor at School of Theology, University of Navarra, Spain.

I will not die

In Memoriam Aurelio Fernández, former professor at School of Theology.

Wed, 27 Feb 2019 15:32:00 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

"Yo no moriré" (I will not die): that is the degree scroll of one of the most recent works of Professor Aurelio Fernández. In the prologue, the author already warns that degree scroll is a small provocation and that in reality it should be titled: Yo moriré (I will die). That future is already past, because Aurelio passed away in Madrid on February 15, 2019.

Those of us who knew Aurelio are well aware that these two statements were indisputable certainties of his soul, accustomed to scanning the horizon of the human person. He was completely sure that his life was full and that, from one moment to the next, the very fine fabric that envelops us in this world would be torn. On the other hand, his indomitable and completely self-sacrificing life was rooted in the firmest hope of eternity.

Aurelio has gone and I immediately rethought the trajectory of his life with a smile and misty eyes. I met him when I arrived at the School of Theology of the University of Navarra in 1970. He was part of the young academic staff that had started a few years ago that School commanded by Alfredo García Suárez.

A few brief brushstrokes -summary of his work - show us his unmistakable style of tireless worker. He was born in Tudela Veguín (Asturias) on December 15, 1926. programs of study He completed his priestly studies at seminar in Oviedo and was ordained priest by Bishop Lauzurica in 1951. In the diocese of Oviedo he held various positions both in parishes and in the seminar, where he was a teacher and spiritual director (1960-1966). He studied licentiate degree at Philosophy in Salamanca and Moral Theology at the Gregorian University. Later he took the courses of doctorate in Münster, and in Freiburg he carried out several stays. In 1965 he defended the thesis in Philosophy in Salamanca, under the direction of Fr. Guillermo Fraile, on freedom in Nicolai Hartmann.

When Aurelio arrived in Navarra, he had a rich trajectory in which the dimensions that make up the work of the Church converged, both in the field of intellectual reflection on theology and in pastoral life. To unite these two tasks, not only in theory but also in the internship, was and would continue to be his permanent concern until the end. 

Aurelio left Pamplona in 1972 and moved to San Sebastian where he was at the Engineering School of the University of Navarra until 1978, as professor and chaplain of the School. In the capital of Gipuzkoa, as before in Pamplona and until the end of his life, Aurelio worked tirelessly in both theological and immediate pastoral work. From 1978 he began to collaborate with the School of Theology of Burgos and in the theological training of the teacher training school, associated with Fomento de centros of teaching. During this time he developed an intense activity as a Christian writer, the fruit of which are the extensive treatises on moral and dogmatic theology, as well as dozens of works on academic and current cultural issues in which he actively participated.

But the immense effort of interpreting the faith and translating it into life would be completely unfinished if it were not duly "kneaded" with his love for the priesthood made life. Aurelio felt and lived the Gospel unconditionally and his way of life was marked by simplicity and detachment. He was one of the first diocesan priests who formed part of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, and he lived his priesthood in the spirit that St. Josemaría, founder of Opus Dei, transmitted to priests who seek their sanctification in the ordinary pastoral ministry in each particular church. Thus Aurelio Fernandez was able to carry out during his long life, and until the end, an intense ministry of the word and an enormous exercise of the sacrament of Mercy.

This could be the summary of Aurelio's life: nowhere can one better see the imprint of this magnificent and poor priest than hearing him speak of the Lord or encouraging and healing the wounds left in souls by sin.