Colombia: missing priest found dead in forest

Father Calixto                        Picture: El Colombiano

Father Calixto Picture: El Colombiano

A Xaverian missionary  working in Colombia who went missing on Sunday, has been found dead. The body of Father Gustavo Vélez Vasquez, 79,  who was known as 'Father Calixto' was found yesterday afternoon in the St Sebastian nature reserve  by some farmers who were helping with the search.

A police investigation concluded that  he had died from injuries after falling along a river. Police said it appeared that he had walked for at least four hours, through one of the most dangerous parts of the San Sebastian de la Castellana reserve, and was just 300 metres from a main highway.

Hundreds of people, including police, and local farmers, took part in the search for Father Calixto, who wrote a popular Gospel reflection each week in the newspaper ' El Colombiano’.  He went missing on Sunday after lunch on a walk in the forest outside Medellin.

In a message of condolence, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe expressed his “deep grief” at the loss of man who with “his reflections always gave the people of Antioquia love, faith and hope”.

Father Calixto's body is at the Mother Laura Convent of Belencito in Medellin. His funeral  is being  celebrated on Friday morning at the Metropolitan Cathedral.

Source: MISNA

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