Bogarín, Mons. Ramón Argaña

Ramón Bogarín recién ordenado sacerdoteBorn in 1911, Monseñor Ramón Bogarín Argaña founded the JOC in Asuncion, Paraguay in 1940.

His parents were José María González and Patricio Bogarín de las Nieves Argaña. He was the nephew of Bishop Juan Sinforiano Bogarín and younger brother of another famous minister, Agustín Bogarín with over fifty years of priesthood, many of which were served as head of the parish of Encarnación.

He is from a line of missionaries, martyrs and heroes, among them San Roque Gonzalez of Santa Cruz, Amancio González y Escobar, towns founder and Francisco Javier Bogarín, independence leader and member of the Superior Governing Board of 1811.

In 1930 he took up residence in Asunción, where he was an officer candidate in the military movements prior to the Chaco War. In 1931 he posted as a student of the Faculty of Medicine, but a trip to Europe, organized by his family, interrupted his studies.

In France he started a career in mechanical engineering, but left soon after, deciding to lead a life in the priesthood.

He entered the Late Vocations Seminary of Saint Llan and then the Pius Latin American Pontifical College in Rome.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Canon Law and Master of Theology. He was ordained as a priest on April 16, 1938 in Rome, the following year he returned to his homeland.

In Asunción he organized the local Catholic Action, of whose Central Board he was appointed Ecclesiastical Advisor, and simultaneously Rector of the Oratory of Our Lady of the Assumption and National Pantheon of Heroes.

In 1940, he launched the JOC. 

In 1946, during the period of the totalitarian government of General Higinio Morínigo he also founded and directed the weekly newspaper Trabajo. The motto of the newspaper was: "No atacaremos al Capital, no atacaremos al Trabajo, no adularemos al Obrero, no adularemos al Patrón: les haremos justicia" - "We will not attack capital, we will not attack work, we will not adore the worker, we will not adore the owner: we will do them justice."

The paper was later closed because of threats received from sectors loyal to the government in the hectic first half of the decade.

In 1957 he was made bishop of the newly created Diocese of Misiones in Paraguay. He went to reside in San Juan Bautista in Misiones, where he consolidated the episcopal see. In this city he created a seminary, a parochial school and a model farm.

He also participated in other progressive initiatives for the community, making urban improvements. He maintained a permanent and restless activity, including manual or advisory tasks way beyond his ecclesiastical training, especially in the form of building and social development.

Thus contributed significantly to the progress and beautification of the city of San Juan Bautista.

In order to encourage reading he created the Catholic Action Library providing access to books and magazines with the idea of expanding the horizons of young missionaries.

Archbishop Ramon Bogarín is mentioned among those who promoted the founding of the Catholic University of Asunción, together with doctor and priest Juan Moleón Andreu and Professor Mario Luis De Finis, both professors at the Faculty of Medicine, National University.

He became the first secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Paraguay (CEP). He was particularly involved in the work of CELAM, the Episcopal Conference of Latin America, and played a major role at the Medellin conference in 1968.

He died suddenly on November 3, 1976 in the diocese of San Juan Bautista in Misiones, at 65 years old, as a result of a heart attack.

In 2013, Archbishop Claudio Giménez, President of the CEP and Bishop Adalberto Martínez wrote the following tribute to his work:

"Monsignor Ramón Bogarín Argaña, great promoter of Catholic Action, and spiritual father of the Young Christian Workers - JOC, transmitted to us the profound message of Canon Joseph Cardijn, who taught us the truth of faith, the truth and the truth of Experience method, which allowed us to institute within the working youth methodological trilogy SEE - JUDGE - ACT - recognized this method by CELAM in Aparecida - thus enabling the development, both in the Church and in society, the emergence of an apostolic movement of extraordinary gravity. 

We mention this important fact, as the Young Christian Workers - JOC - Christian Agrarian Youth - JAC - the Paraguayan Unionist Movement - MSP-, Christian Agrarian Leagues - LAC, the Christian Workers Movement - MOC, Central Christian Workers - CCT- and other living manifestations of Christian humanism, had significance in the country,promoting the welfare of our people and the growth of the Church.

"El Monseñor Ramón Bogarín Argaña, gran propulsor de la Acción Católica, y padre espiritual de la Juventud Obrera Cristiana -JOC, nos transmitió el mensaje profundo del canónico Joseph Cardijn, quién nos enseñó la verdad de Fe, la verdad de Experiencia y la verdad de Método, que nos permitió consagrar en el seno de la juventud trabajadora la trilogía metodológica del VER - JUZGAR - ACTUAR - reconocido este método por el CELAM en Aparecida - permitiendo así el desarrollo, tanto en la Iglesia como en toda la sociedad, la emergencia de un movimiento apostólico de extraordinaria gravitación.

Mencionamos esta circunstancia importante, ya que la Juventud Obrera Cristiana - JOC- la Juventud Agraria Cristiana - JAC- el Movimiento Sindicalista Paraguayo - MSP- , las Ligas Agrarias Cristianas - LAC, el Movimiento Obrero Cristiano - MOC-, la Central Cristiana de Trabajadores - CCT- y otras manifestaciones vivas del humanismo cristiano, tuvieron relevancia en el país, y siguen aleteando en pro del bienestar de nuestro pueblo y del engrandecimiento de la Iglesia."


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