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In memory of

Luis María Perez de Onraita

Luis María Perez de Onraita
Archbishop Luis Maria Perez de Onraita (photo Courier)

04/03/2015 - Malanje, Angola

(Gauna, Araba, 1933 - Malanje, Angola, 2015)

(Text published in Spanish by El Correo)

Luis Maria Perez de Onraita Aguirre was born in Gauna (Álava-Araba), on April 12, 1933, in a family with a large number of religious. Of the ten brothers and sisters, four were priests, a sister was a missionary and died in the jungle of Peru and another sister was cloistered nun in a Carmelite monastery.

He was a doctor in Social Sciences and Bachelor of Philosophy at the Pontifical University of Santo Thomas Aquinas in Rome. On August 11, 1957 he was ordained priest, and in 16 October 1959 went to Angola as a missionary of the Basque Diocesan Missions. In the Diocese of Malanje,he  founded Mission Cuale and the Parish of Our Lady of Fatima-Maxinde. He was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Malanje on 10 March 1996. On the occasion of his episcopal ordination in 1996, Karmelo Echenagusia, auxiliary bishop of Bilbao and Head of the Basque Missions visited Luanda and Malanje. "A visit to these missions - told when he returnes - is a immense value for the visitor".

In 2001, Monsignor Perez de Onraita received the Basque Cooperating Award by the Basque Government. During the difficult years of the war in Angola, when the Diocese of Malanje was bombed, he stood next to the people and he was a witness of the definitive peace in 2002 after the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. The last ten years of his episcopate were devoted to rebuild what the war had destroyed, mainly chapels and schools. He was chairman of the Committee of Heath of the Conference of Bishops of Angola and Sao Tome.

On April 12, 2011 he was appointed first Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Malanje. In 2012 he gave the baton to the current archbishop of Malanje, Benedito Roberto, and he spent the years of his retirement, dedicated to serve his home town of Malanje.



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