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Arzobispo Tulio Manuel Chirivella, 88

Emérito de Barquisimeto, Venezuela, pasó sus últimos años en Miami

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DORAL | Funeral services will take place this Friday, April 16, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church for Archbishop Tulio Manuel Chirivella, emeritus of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, who died April 10, 2021, the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday. He was 88. He had been a priest for 64 years and a bishop for nearly 47.

After falling ill on a visit to Miami and unable to return home due to conditions in Venezuela, he spent several years in the care of Catholic Health Services at St. Anne’s Nursing Center in South Dade.  

"You are instruments of God in the last stage of life of Archbishop Tulio Manuel Chirivella Varela," wrote a relative in an email addressed to Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami and Bishop Felipe Estévez of St. Augustine, Florida.

The Venezuelan bishops conference put out this flyer announcing the death of Archbishop Tulio Manuel Chirivella Varela, who died April 10, 2021 at the age of 88.

Photographer: COURTESY

The Venezuelan bishops conference put out this flyer announcing the death of Archbishop Tulio Manuel Chirivella Varela, who died April 10, 2021 at the age of 88.

"You are a testimony to the deepest gestures of Christian love," wrote Ilia Rosa Mantilla Buitrago. "Thank you to all the staff of St. Anne's for your care and consideration for our beloved Monsignor ... We family and friends give you our deepest thanks and we ask God for many blessings for you."

Mantilla Buitrago remembered Archbishop Chirivella as "a man of faith, a worker, a fighter, but above all a reconciler," a simple and kind man who "emanated serenity and confidence."

She characterized him as "deeply eucharistic and Marian ... Seeing him with the rosary in his hand was something quite common."

Mantilla Buitrago added that “he could sit at the table with the influential and with the poor, without distinctions or preferences. He dealt with popes and presidents, and also with the peasant, the worker; young people, children, men and women from many places.”

Aside from being dedicated to his priests, he was also concerned about the formation and leadership of the laity.

"He was truly 'a shepherd with the smell of sheep,' as Pope Francis says," wrote Mantilla Buitrago. “He was also a man of commitment and social struggle; he loved his Venezuela and offered up his old age and illness for the freedom of our homeland.”

Archbishop Chirivella was born Nov 14, 1932 in Aguirre, Venezuela, and ordained a priest Nov. 11, 1956 for the Archdiocese of  Barquisimeto. He was appointed bishop of Margarita, Venezuela, on April 5, 1974, and ordained a bishop June 9, 1974.

On Oct. 18, 1982, he was named archbishop of Barquisimeto. His installation took place Dec. 11, 1982. He served the archdiocese until his retirement Dec. 22, 2007. 

The viewing will take place at Our Lady of Guadalupe on Friday, April 16, from 9 to 10:45 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian burial at 11 a.m.. Archbishop Wenski will celebrate the Mass. Burial will follow at Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery next door to the church. Our Lady of Guadalupe is located at 11691 N.W. 25 St., Doral. 

Comments from readers

Juan Silva (pancho) - 04/15/2021 04:49 PM
Soy ministro extraordinario de la comunión, graduado de la EME de Barquisimeto antes de serlo y por autorización de fray Casiano, párroco de N.S. de la Consolación, me encontré distribuyendo la comunión en el pasillo central y sorpresa!!! Monseñor se para delante de mí con su sonrisa de siempre y yo sin saber que hacer le ofrecí el copón para que él mismo tomara la hostia y tocandome la mano que sostenía el copón con la punta de sus dedos me dijo "hazlo tu" creo que nunca temblé tanto en toda mi vida, después en varias oportunidades tuve el privilegio de repetir el este momento pero sin el susto.....gesbada en mi memoria su sonrisa....QEPD
Fr Rafal Lisandro Chavez - 04/15/2021 02:15 PM
Doy gracias a Dios por el Don de la vida y el Ministerio de Monseñor Tulio Manuel. A él le debo tanto!!! Soy Sacerdote gracias a su imposición de manos. El confió en mi para este Ministerio inmerecido. Su ejemplo ha sido un motor para vivirlo a través de 28 años y sus palabras y gestos aún están en mi memoria. Aunque con dolor nos separamos temporalmente, nos consuela saber que ahora está gozando de la dicha eterna. Somos muchos los barquisimetanos que fuimos tocados por su vida que se gastó y se desgastó por servir. Que ahora reciba el premio por sus fatigas. Lo llevaremos siempre en nuestro corazón.
Sac. Claudio Arellano Quezada - 04/14/2021 05:28 AM
Afectuosamente unido al recuerdo y oración por la vida de Mons. Tulio Manuel Chirivella... de sus manos recibí el sacerdocio! Agradecido con quienes allí en Estados Unidos le acompañaron y asistieron en el mejor modo en sus necesidades en estos años. Y también agradecido con Dios por todos sus desvelos pastorales en su generoso servicio pastoral en la arquidiócesis de Barquisimeto a la que sirvió con amor de padre. Sentidas palabras de condolencia a todos sus familiares. Que Dios le conceda el descanso eterno querido Monseñor.

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