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Father Hernando Villegas, 86, a priest for 60 years

Funeral services will be at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Doral, Oct. 22 and 23

Archbishop Thomas Wenski congratulates Father Hernando Villegas on his 60th anniversary in the priesthood during the chrism Mass this past April.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

Archbishop Thomas Wenski congratulates Father Hernando Villegas on his 60th anniversary in the priesthood during the chrism Mass this past April.

MIAMI | Father Hernando Villegas, a Colombia-born priest “greatly-loved” by those with whom he ministered in the Archdiocese of Miami, has died at the age of 86.

According to a Facebook post from Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Miami, he “passed away peacefully” early on the morning of Oct. 19. He had ministered in the archdiocese since 1980, and this year celebrated his 60th anniversary as a priest.

In a comment posted on Facebook, Carmen Valencia described Father Villegas as “an exceptional human being and a great priest, totally devoted to his ministry. He always demonstrated his joy and happiness at being a priest of Christ.”

Another commenter, Emma Rodriguez, remembered his homilies, and how he would check on whether the congregation was listening by cupping his ear and asking, “What was it I said? I forgot.”

Born Sept. 9, 1931 in Titiribí, Antioquía, Colombia, Father Villegas was ordained Sept. 8, 1957 for the Diocese of Manizales. He served in various parishes in Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador, and Bogotá, Colombia, until coming to the U.S. in 1978.

He worked in Gary, Indiana until coming to the archdiocese in June 1980. Incardinated into the archdiocese Dec. 15, 1986, he served as parochial vicar at St. Brendan and St. Michael in Miami; Immaculate Conception in Hialeah; St. Catherine of Siena in Miami; and Little Flower, Coral Gables.

He retired from fulltime ministry in January 2001 but continued to help at various parishes.

A viewing will take place Sunday, Oct. 22, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 11691 N.W. 25 St., Doral. The funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday, Oct. 23 at 10 a.m., also at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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