Chile – Bishop Héctor Vargas Bastidas, SDB, Bishop of Temuco, died

08 March 2022

(ANS - Temuco) - Mgr. Héctor Vargas Bastidas, Salesian of Don Bosco, bishop of the diocese of Temuco, in Chile, died yesterday morning, Monday 7 March, at the age of 70. The funeral will be held tomorrow, Wednesday 9 March, at 11:00 local time, in the city cathedral.

Héctor Vargas Bastidas was born in the Chilean city of Valdivia on December 29, 1951. Son of José and Maximiliana, he had three younger brothers. He attended schools at the Salesian Institute in his hometown, and subsequently undertook the formation process as a Salesian of Don Bosco.

He made his first religious vows on July 2, 1972, his perpetual vows on June 11, 1978, and was ordained a priest on July 5, 1980, by Mgr. Tomás González, bishop emeritus of Punta Arenas.

He spent his Salesian life serving in the Salesian houses of Puerto Porvenir, Punta Arenas, Talca, Santiago and La Cisterna. He was formator and teacher in Lo Cañas and Rector of the communities of Linares and of the Salesian Institute of Alameda. He was also Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry, councilor of the Salesian Youth Movement and animator of family pastoral movements.

He was also a state professor, graduating from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, where he studied philosophy and theology. And he also obtained a Masters in Educational Sciences from the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome.

He was councilor for the Southern Cone Countries of the Inter-American Confederation of Catholic Education (CIEC) and representative of the World Catholic Education Office (OIEC) at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC).

For seven years he was President of the Federation of Institutes of Special Education (FIDE), and was also a member of the National Council for the Certification of School Management of the "Fundación Chile".

Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of San Marcos de Arica on November 25, 2003, and he was ordained bishop on the following January 4, 2004. His episcopal motto was "Testimony of Christ the Shepherd".

He published several texts and two Pastoral Letters, one on the Synod and Father Hurtado and the other on the statutes of parishes, decanates and monthly diocesan assemblies.

He was elected President of the Educational Area and President of the Ecclesial Area in the Episcopal Conference of Chile and as delegate of Chile at the 5th Conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council, held in Aparecida, Brazil.

On 6 June 2013 he took possession of the diocese of Temuco.


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