Monday, September 19, 2011

St. James’ “New Issue”: Father Diego Ospina?

The following letter was read aloud during the homily/sermon at all Masses this weekend.  The letter printed in English and Spanish was an insert in the weekly bulletin.


Father Ospina

Pray for St. James Parish.


The copy is not clear.  Here is the letter retyped.


September 17, 2011

Dear Parishioners of St. James Church:

I write you of a sad and disturbing matter that has touched St. James Parish and its community and of which you may have already heard.

Last weekend, Father Diego Ospina made statements  from the pulpit against the Mata family and in particular against Karina Mata and Father Ospina’s statements have harmed this family, and caused division among parishioners.

What Father Ospina said against Karina and her family was false, and what Father Ospina said was wrong.   The pulpit is not a place to solve parish problems.  It is a part of the altar, a sacred place, a place to proclaim and teach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Diocese is extremely disheartened by the actions of Father Ospina.  This is not how our priests and our people should conduct themselves during Mass, or as a faith community.  We apologize on behalf of Father Ospina to the Mata family.  And we apologize that the parish became involved in what should have been a private issue resolved outside of the church.

People make errors in judgment.  We all know that perfection belongs to Christ alone.  Priests make mistakes.  What  happened last weekend was a mistake.  And now it is time to open your hearts and apologize if you have participated in any way in the dissemination of the untrue statements. And it is time to open your hearts and forgive, if you have been harmed by words that are un-Christian.  We would like the parish community to pray for harmony and unity among groups, following the will of Jesus that we remain as one.

These are difficult times we live in, and we ask for your prayers for Karina Mata and the Mata family, and we ask that you pray with us for unity and healing of your parish, and for your pastor, Father Geary, in his efforts to make people on in Christ; and for the peace and continued mutual understanding of each other.


Yours in Christ,


Reverend Monsignor Arquimedes Vallejo, JCD                                                       

Episcopal Vicar for Hispanic Ministry


Very Reverend Brian D. Grady

Episcopal Vicar for Clergy


The following biography of Father Ospina is taken from the St. James Parish website:

Rev. Diego Ospina

St. James Parish Staff

Rev. Diego Ospina, Parochial Vicar

Ordained to the priesthood May 21, 2005
Home Parish: St. Patrick, Rochelle, IL

My first call to the priesthood came when I was a small boy growing up in Ibague, Colombia. When I went to Mass with my Mother, I would think that in the future I would celebrate Mass like a priest. There were many things that influenced my decision to enter the seminary. My parents, my four brothers and sister were all supportive of my calling. I like to read about the missionaries in Africa and I admired Pope Paul II. I decided that God wanted me to bring Jesus' message to help people and heal souls.
I worked in fast-food restaurants for about four years. I liked all kinds of food, American, Chinese, Thai, Italian and, of course, Colombian. My favorite pastime activities are drawing, painting, reading and watching good movies.
While at the seminary, I found out that the United States needed Hispanic priests to serve the Hispanic population coming from Latin America. I decided to come to the Rockford Diocese in 2002.
My favorite devotion is to Our Lady of Fatima. I became devoted to her when I was a young boy and I pray to her always.
I hope to serve Our Lord by celebrating the Eucharist, giving the sacraments and teaching about Jesus. I want to work with the young people in the schools, visit homes and bring Christ to everybody.


Karina Mata is one of the three Youth Ministry leaders, see the recognition list from this week’s published bulletin shown below.



1 comment:

gacastillo said...

This is clearly incomplete information regarding the happenings of the "entire" situation. What is it that was said by Father Diego? Was there a purpose in what he said that would help the congregation or was it purely for selfish reasons?

There should be an inclination to believe someone who has dedicated their entire life to serve others than a child who apparently has a problem with authority. Was this issue clearly discussed between the Reverend Monsignor Vallejo and Father Diego, or was it simply discussed with the family in question?

From reading the letter, there is no form of edification towards Father Diego, who should be respected with authority. Was there something possibly made bigger than it was? I would be willing to accept that this has been blown out of proportion more than simply having a Father who is looking to harm a family.

For Father Diego to simply blatantly lie as it seems to be stated in the letter, I would simply have a difficult time believing. So what is it that the Family Mata do? Why were they being used as an example in the church. There are countless examples in the bible about peoples behavior and what they did? How was this different?

Why not write about that? This post simply makes Father Diego look like he was all wrong which I doubt is the case. This is a form of misusing media, and I strongly recommend that more is added because as a Christian with great respect for the Jesus, and as a marketing consultant, I feel strongly led to utilize my expertise with media and marketing to uncover the truth and give Father Diego the dignity that he deserves.

Having been a member of large organizations, it often occurs that someone with selfish intent or great amount of pride tends to go against the authority figure simply to gain a sense of entitlement. This is the behavior that is bringing this country down. The entitlement that people tend to feel they have because of pride. The focus tends to be based on selfish means rather than for the betterment of all.

When a person is put into a leadership role, that is their domain, and if someone disapproves of their leadership then the right thing to do is leave. Especially in the church. One of the commandments states: "Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you". This scandal certainly does not seem very honoring. Does it?

How many children are seen disrespecting their parents and it is allowed. The benefit of the doubt is giving to the children rather than the parents. Isn't there something wrong with that picture?