by Edgardo Ayala
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (CNS) — Msgr. Ricardo Urioste, former vicar general under Blessed Oscar Romero and president of the Archbishop Romero Foundation, died Jan. 15 in San Salvador. He was 90.
“His death has had a big impact on us in the foundation, because everyone saw him as a father who guided us through thick and thin, trying to walk Jesus’ path,” Edin Martinez, a member of that organization, told Catholic News Service.
Msgr. Urioste’s health began deteriorating Dec. 30 after a fall that caused a stroke; he had been in the intensive care unit at a hospital in San Salvador.
“I visited him almost every day while in the hospital, but he was unconscious all that time,” Martinez added.
Since 1999, the foundation has highlighted the legacy of now-Blessed Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador murdered by death squads in 1980.
Msgr. Urioste was born in 1925 and was vicar general of San Salvador from 1977 until 1980, the year the Salvadoran civil war began.
He was one of the main advocates and promoter of the work Blessed Romero did for the poor.
“Msgr. Urioste taught us to always be on the side of the victims and excluded of the country, as he learned it from Romero,” Martinez added. He said Msgr. Urioste also taught people that the life of a Christian cannot be disconnected from the country’s history, including injustices.
A funeral Mass was scheduled Jan. 17 in the cathedral of San Salvador.