The diocesan phase of the beatification process has begun for the Chilean Schoenstatt Father, Father Hernán Alessandri
A long-cherished wish has come true. On Thursday, March 30, 2023, the inaugural session of the diocesan phase of the beatification process of Father Hernán Alessandri ISch took place in the Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile. Celestino Aós, Archbishop of Santiago, said on this occasion: “I invite you, especially you, the Schoenstatt Family, to discover in Father Hernán the work of God, his virtues and his qualities, and this also in the brothers and sisters and in the Schoenstatt work itself. God continues His work of redemption in each of us.”
Love for those in need, for families and for the Church
Father Diogo Barata ISch emphasized three aspects of Father Hernán’s life and work: His love for the needy, which is embodied in the social work Maria Ayuda, which he founded. His love of families which led him to start family missions. And his love for and service to the Church, which he served as a distinguished theologian.
Several representatives of the Schoenstatt Movement were present at the opening session, including the Vice Postulator of the beatification process, Father Mariano Irureta ISch. The members of the court responsible for the diocesan process are the diocesan priest Jerónimo Walker as president, the diocesan priest Francisco Cruz as Promotor Iustitiae and María Marcela Corvalán as notary.
Founder of the Charitable Corporation “María Ayuda”
Father Hernán Alessandri Morandé was born on February 22, 1935 in Santiago de Chile. He died December 18, 2007. The Chilean was a member of the Secular Institute of Schoenstatt Fathers and founder of the Charitable Corporation “María Ayuda” in 1983. He attended the “Colegio de los Sagrados Corazones” in Alameda, Santiago, and then studied law at the University of Chile. In 1957, before the Schoenstatt Movement separated from the Pallottine Fathers, he entered the Pallottine Novitiate. He was ordained a priest on December 20, 1964 in Fribourg, Switzerland.
43 fruitful years as a priest
Father Hernán was gifted with great human abilities. His ability to connect with people, his sensitivity to those in need, his creativity and his pastoral initiatives were particularly impressive. At the same time, he was characterized by simplicity and great modesty. He never flaunted his skills. In his life, in his writings and in his priestly and apostolic work, his great love for Mary, his identification with and his mission for Schoenstatt, his connection to Father Joseph Kentenich, whose disciple and spiritual son he declared himself to be, as well as his commitment to the church, are outstanding. Throughout his life he had to live through painfully difficult moments that confronted him with his limitations, but which allowed him to grow into a deep spiritual childhood that became a distinctive feature of his personality. After 43 fruitful years as a priest, including nine years of serious illness during which he identified himself deeply with Christ in the experience of the Cross, he died on December 18, 2007 in Santiago, Chile.
A documentary film by Juan Carlos Berner and a biography by Mauricio Cox Pinto on Father Hernán are available in Spanish, among many other materials.
The community of Schoenstatt Fathers thanks God for the experience of seeing for the first time one of their confreres as a candidate to the altars, who could be a public example of holiness for the whole Church.