Father Raúl Castro, C.M. died quite suddenly from a rapidly spreading bacterial infection on Tuesday, October 21, 2015 in a hospital in Solomon Islands. He was much loved and respected so his sudden death affected people greatly.
At the time of his death, he was rector of the Holy Name of Mary Seminary in Tenaru.
He had been transferred to the hospital a week earlier and placed in intensive care unit suffering from acute respiratory problems. None of the antibiotics available in the Solomon Islands was effective.
His Provincial and the Superior General agreed to the suggestion from doctors and arranged air transport to a more specialized hospital in Australia where more advanced care could be provided.
Sister Daly, F.N.S.P., a Daughter of Our Lady of Piety, described the funeral in a message sent to Father Juan Carlos Gatti, C.M., the Visitor of the Province of Argentina
On Thursday, 22, at about 3 pm, the body of Father Raul was received by the seminarians and Confreres… One of the seminarians exclaimed aloud: “Here, Father Raul, your children warmly welcome you in your home”. The casket was brought into the seminary chapel for wake service. His spiritual children gathered saddened in prayer and singing. It was very emotional time. Young people were in tears. Later, Archbishop Adrian Smith of Honiara and two other bishops Luciano Capelli and Cris, as well as many other priests joined the assembly to celebrate the Mass. After the Eucharist they stayed for an all night prayer vigil.
On Friday, October 23 at 10 a.m. we met in the chapel to salute Father Raul for the last time. It was very moving. Children and young people greeted him. The body was moved in the procession to the hall where the funeral mass was celebrated by the Archbishop, bishops Cris and Luciano, his community and people, lay and religious, parishioners.
Then in procession their children seminarians him to the hall, where the Mass was celebrated with more than 20 priests, the archbishop, the bishops and Cris Luciano, his community and so many people, religious, laity and parishioners. The Bishops extolled virtues of Father Raul and how he was a man of God that men and women of faith must live in hope. They invited the seminarians to imitate their late Rector. The Bishop said that while he was Rector young people were very happy and felt welcomed. His simplicity welcomed everyone. After the Mass, his Confreres presented his short biography and thanked everyone for their presence. Then he was taken in a procession to grotto of the Virgin Mary where was buried.
Father Raúl Eduardo Castro Videla, C.M. was born on August 3, 1962 in Argentina. He entered Congregation of the Mission March 19, 1984 and was ordained priest June 3, 1990. In 2010 he volunteered to work in Solomon Islands mission. After training English in Australia he came to Holy Name of Mary Seminary in Tenaru in 2011. He was the Rector of Holy Name of Mary Seminary since 2012.
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Picture source: Misioneros Vicentinos