By Odiwuor Opiyo
LUENA, FEBRUARY 25, 2022 (CISA) – “The Diocese of Luena has the painful duty to communicate the disastrous event of the death of its Bishop, His Excellency Most Reverend Jesus Tirso Blanco, which took place today, the 22nd of February of the current year, in Verona, Italy, due to prolonged illness,” reads a funeral note signed by Fr Domingos Paulo Cussumua.
Bishop Blanco, SDB was until his death in canonical possession of the Catholic Diocese of Luena since his appointment and ordination in 2008.
The Argentine-born Angolan prelate died at the age of 64, having lived a religious life as a member of the congregation of Salesians of Saint John Bosco for 46 years.
He was ordained a priest in 1985, September 28 after his first profession in 1976 and a subsequent perpetual profession in 1982.
As a missionary, his initial posting was in Luena where he later became Bishop.
He also worked as Parish Priest in N’dalatando from 1992 to 1994 and in Lixieira, between 2007 and 2008. He was a rector in 1994 and 1995, and later as from 2000 to 2007. Bishop Blanco has also been a Vicar of the “Mama Muxima” Angola Vice-Province and Vicar of the “Sao Paulo” work in Luanda. In 2004, he was the delegate in charge of Social Communication in ANG Vice-Province, Vicar in 2005 to 2007 and Delegate for Youth Ministry, Evangelization and Culture.
Born in Ramos Mejía; Buenos Aires, Argentina, he attended the Salesian novitiate in Manucho where he studied Theology and Philosophy. He was licensed in Missiology and social communication.
Bishop Blanco will be remembered for efforts in environmental conservation, reconciliation in Angola and as a key non-governmental voice championing for development of infrastructure, health and economic development.
In a report by Agenzia Info Salesiana, an on-line, daily publication by the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation he is chided to have, “lived simply and consigned himself wholeheartedly to the mission. As a Salesian and as a bishop, he focused on improving the quality of life of the poor, in education, in health centers, in the streets, in the reconstruction of churches destroyed by war.”