I’m saddened to learn of the death of a good friend and one of the best catechists I have ever met, Miguel Arias. Miguel lost his battle with cancer last evening and leaves behind his beautiful wife Alma and their beautiful daughter Bethsaida.
I had the privilege of working with Miguel at Loyola Press over these past 7 years or so before he recently returned to Liturgy Training Publications where he began his career. Miguel and I traveled together often, as he regularly did the Spanish version of whatever talk I was giving. We were often accompanied by our friend Luis Ramirez and the three of us dubbed ourselves the “three amigos!” Often, after a long day’s work on the road, the 3 of us would find a little restaurant (usually owned by a relative of Miguel! He seemed to have relatives in every city!) and enjoy a cerveza fria!.
We often laughed at the fact that, after we would both do a workshop on The Catechist’s Toolbox (he in Spanish and me in English), folks would come up afterwards to us to ask us to sign copies of the book. Miguel would tell folks, “But I’m not the author, Joe is!” But it didn’t matter…folks wanted his autograph!
I was also privileged to have Miguel translate several of my books into Spanish and I am forever thankful for that and for the enthusiasm he had for teaching the topics of my books in his own unique style. Although I do not speak Spanish, I have sat in on some of Miguel’s presentations, and I always was impressed with his vigor, enthusiasm, and connection with his audience…he usually had them rolling in the aisles with his self-deprecating humor.
All of us at Loyola Press will miss you greatly, Miguel. Gracias, mi hermano, for touching our lives and blessing us with the gift of your life.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.