On July 11, 2023, Bishop Jorge Bernal Vargas, LC, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Cancún – Chetumal, passed away at the age of 94.
In a message sent by Father Alberto Simán, LC, territorial director in Mexico and Central America, he commented to the legionaries: “Dear fathers, I inform you with great sadness that this morning our dear Bishop Jorge Bernal passed away.”
He shared that Bishop Bernal lived the mission with all his heart, dedicating his life to the establishment of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and the spread of the Gospel in Quintana Roo with strength, joy, great courage, and greatness of soul.
He invited all the Legionaries and members of Regnum Christi to ask for his eternal rest.
A digital condolence book is made available .
HE Bishop Jorge Bernal Vargas, LC
First Bishop of the Diocese of Cancún-Chetumal
1929 – 2023
Bishop Jorge Bernal Vargas, LC, Bishop Emeritus Prelate Diocese of Cancún-Chetumal. He was born on February 28, 1929, in Tepeyahualco, municipality of Tlaxco, Tlaxcala. In 1941 he met the Legionaries of Christ congregation in Apizaco, Tlaxcala.
He entered the Apostolic School of Tlalpan, Mexico and after completing his novitiate in Mexico and Spain in 1946 and 1947, he studied humanities at the University of Comillas, Santander, Spain, from 1948 to 1950. From 1950 to In 1958 he completed his studies in philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained a priest on September 15, 1957, in Lourdes, France.
For 16 years, Fr. Jorge Bernal reached the priesthood after having gone through all the stages of formation, from the time he entered the vocational center until his ordination.
He exercised his ministry as Assistant of Humanists and Perfect of theologians for a term. He later became rector of the Vocational Center of the Legionaries of Christ in Tlalpan. On July 16, 1970, Paul VI named him Apostolic Administrator of the Prelature of Chetumal.
On December 7, 1973, His Holiness Paul VI named him Titular Bishop of Velefi and Prelate of Chetumal. The Hon. Archbishop Pío Gaspari, his Apostolic Delegate of Holiness, consecrated him bishop on March 19, 1974, in Chetumal, Quintana Roo.
On June 28, 1975, Mons. Bernal was appointed by the Holy See Ad Quinquiennium Consultant of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, its purpose is to study the fundamental problems of Catholic life in Latin America, collaborating closely with the various episcopal conferences of each country
From the moment he was consecrated Bishop of the Prelature of Quintana Roo, Monsignor Jorge Bernal Vargas, LC stood out for being a man of faith, humble and with love, knew how to win over the community with which he worked, united with his brothers in the evangelization of those mission lands to open a gap and sow in its path the love of God and the Virgin Mary.
In 2019, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the birth of Monsignor Jorge Bernal, LC, a thanksgiving mass was held at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Chetumal. Hundreds of people attended, including diocesan priests and religious who have witnessed the love for the mission and simplicity of Bishop Bernal. Mons. Pedro Pablo, current bishop of the Diocese of Cancún-Chetumal, shared anecdotes that day about how Mons. Bernal, if necessary, personally cleaned the temple prior to the celebrations.
During all these years, Bishop Bernal worked constantly to carry out the evangelization of the territory entrusted to him, announcing the Gospel to those who still did not know it, administering the sacraments, training catechists, founding and building churches, oratories, schools, dispensaries and shelters for the needy.
Rest in peace.