Fr Álvaro López Valencia, imc, died on November 11, 2020 in Medellín, after a few years of pain due to colon cancer. He was 58 years old, 35 in the religious profession and 32 in the priesthood. Son of Arturo López and Blanca Valencia, he was born in Aguadas (Caldas) on March 9, 1962. At a very young age he understood that his vocation was the mission and in 1978 he started his journey with the Consolata Missionaries, with the desire to fulfill the dream of announcing Jesus Christ among peoples and cultures where he is not yet known. He made his first religious profession on January 6, 1985 in the parish of La Consolata (Bucaramanga), and was ordained a priest on July 30, 1988. He did his missionary activity in several countries on three continents (Argentina, Colombia, Italy and Mozambique), noting that evangelization and human promotion are elements that can be dissociated from the mission in modern times, aspects that Fr Álvaro knew how to develop both in the parochial activity and in the field of university education; His main concern was the human-spiritual growth of people, convinced that whoever finds Jesus Christ finds himself and humanity.
Fr Alvaro in recent times worked to achieve a synthesis between the ecological and the spiritual, making people, from the encounter with the Word of God, commit themselves to human and spiritual growth in line with the project of the Kingdom of God. God, respecting and caring for creation and promoting fraternal relationships based on justice and equity.
Faced with the colon cancer and the result of his own experience of pain in the last three years, he wrote a beautiful book 'The wisdom of pain' where “each of the reflections includes our choice for life and health and proposes the wish that everyone (the patient and those around him) should discover; that is: how much we learn from pain and how we can transform disease, pain and suffering into an experience of human-spiritual growth and, in our case, also a missionary experience", from the introduction to his book" (“The Wisdom of Pain” by Fr. Álvaro in August 2020).
Some comments on the book he released on August 31st Fr Rogelio: “Thank you very much, Fr Alvaro, for sharing the wisdom that God is giving you from the experience of your illness”. Fr Michel: “Thank you very much, Fr Álvaro, for this wonderful work, which will be an instrument of spiritual support for the whole Church”. Fr Adeka: “Thank you Fr Álvaro for that important book. I believe it will be useful to many. Congratulations and may the Lord be with you”’ Fr Dani Romero: “Thank you missionary”
Upon his demise, these are some comments of missionaries from Mozambique and Angola; Rev Fr Cassiano Kalima: “...Angels of Heaven received him, present him to God the Father”. Fr Adeka: “Fr Álvaro rest in peace. May God grant you eternal rest”. Fr Edilberto: “Rest my brother in peace. Thanks for everything”. Fr Rogelio: “Fr Alvaro died as he lived: overflowing with hope in Jesus, our Consolation! Consolata and Blessed Allamano welcome you to the blessed!” Rev Fr Likhale: “Fr Alvaro was my Rector for a year and a half at CAFTI .. great man .... may his soul rest in peace”. Fr Bruno Babaponza: "I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord. Whoever believes in Me, even though he died, will live. Whoever lives and believes in Me will live forever." (Jn 11, 25-26). Fr Alvaro, a good and faithful servant, enter the glory of your Lord. Your mission to pray for us is not over yet, the Lord of life has given you only a new destination. It is a second and definitive stage of your mission. Therefore, let us always remain united”. Fr. Felix Odongo: “Fr. Alvaro fought a good fight and now that his soul rests in peace, Amen”.
Msgr. Diamantino: “Rest in peace, Fr Alvaro. This morning with the bishops we celebrated the Eucharist in your memory. Thanks for everything”. Fr Michel: “Fr Álvaro, that his testimony of life and his teachings inspire us, enters the joy of his Lord whom he served. Peace your soul”. Fr Ogutu: “May the soul of our brother Fr. Álvaro rest in peace from the Lord”. Fr Faustin Kalolo: “Peace to your soul!”. Fr João Nascimento: “We thank God for the gift of our brother's life whom we entrust Him again. Our most heartfelt condolences”. Fr Frizzi: “Requiem aeternam, we remember you in Massangulo Yesterday. Your moranga 1 was resurrected in moranga 2 that you dreamed of so much. Amen hallelujah”. Fr Jesús: “Great joy today in heaven and the consolation for our IMC communities where the missionary Fr Álvaro was, because of your charity many friends have made for God, the hearts of the poor have been revived by you, my brother Fr Álvaro López Valencia, thanks for the communion of faith with me and the testimony of life as a missionary. Rest in peace”. Fr Biella: “In communion in this moment of pain and hope. Thanking you for your life, vocation and testimony of faith in these last times”. Fr Cassiano Kalima: “Today, Friday, the 13th of November, we will celebrated the holy Eucharist in remembrance of Fr Alvaro, here in Laulane with several people from the neighborhood, men and women religious. We are united”.