Anniversary of the Disappearance of Assumptionist Brothers in Argentina
2017-06-05 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
On a cold June in 1976, Brothers Carlos Antonio Di Pietro and Raúl Rodríguez disappeared from the Assumptionist house of studies in the San Miguel neighborhood of Buenos Aires during the brutal military dictatorship. Soldiers arrived looking for Assumptionist Fr. Jorge Adur whom they considered to be a sympathizer with the guerilla movement and, not finding him, took the two young brothers.
Carlos Antonio Di Pietro was born in Buenos Aires on August 8, 1944, the only son of Antonio and Otilia DiPietro. They were poor and Carlos left school to begin working at 17 to help his family make ends meet. The family situation worsened with the premature death of his father. When he was 22 years old, Carlos entered the vocational training school run by the Assumptionists not far from the city in Lucila. At first he was neither a brilliant nor a hard-working student, but one who loved community life and spending time with the poor and youth. According to his own testimony, he decided to join the Congregation because of the local Assumptionist community. He made first vows in 1972 and his final vows in 1976, just six months before his disappearance. He often spoke about wanting to become a priest in order "to be able to love much." In the years before his abduction his friends spoke of a growing love for a deep inner life.
Raúl Rodríguez was born in Lobos, near Buenos Aires on March 29, 1947. Little is known of his early life except that before entering the vocational school at the age of 20, his parents had died. Bright and disciplined, his formators encouraged him to pursue studies in philosophy. Simple and happy, the young people with whom he and Carlos worked took to him immediately as did adults in the neighborhood with whom he served on the pastoral council.
A few hours after they disappeared, the regional superior of the Assumptionists in Argentina, Fr. Roberto Favre, received a phone call from Carlos asking for Fr. Adur. Sensing that something wasn't right, Fr. Favre responded that Carlos knew that Fr. Adur wasn't there. Carlos apologized and added that he had a telegram for Fr. Adur that he needed to give him. Fr. Favre insisted that Fr. Adur was not there. Before hanging up, Carlos said, "May the peace of Jesus be with you." That was the last that was heard of two of them.
Both Carlos Antonio and Raul chose to follow Jesus Christ as closely as possible in religious life. Carlos, aged 31, and Raul, aged 28, died as men of faith in love with Jesus Christ and entirely given over to him.
Let us remember them in our prayers.