Letters to the Editor

Fr. Dagoberto’s Legacy

Dear Editor: “Next week will be spring,” my friend replied after I complained that society is upside down. He said the lack of light makes people irrational. In that week I had been pushed, screamed at and threatened on the subways and buses – but that’s a letter to a different paper.

Everyone seems so full of pride that phrases such as “Excuse me” or “You’re welcome” are well on their way to extinction. “Mmmhmm” seems to be the passable reply these days.

I didn’t let myself cry when I heard Father Dagoberto Noguera had been murdered.

It was too much to absorb at first. I didn’t want to. His laugh won’t be heard by any of us. This person has ceased to exist. I was not one of the regular crew that always surrounded him, but I could appreciate him. He was a priest but he was unguarded and he thrived being around people.

It always annoyed me when the kids at St. Anthony’s called him “Dago!” I would always tell them sharply “It’s FATHER Dagoberto.” However, it was good that they got to meet a priest that could feel so familiar to them. It was very good actually.

When he spoke, it was direct and likewise; when he joked, he was bold. He would ask for help when he needed it and helped us to serve in small ways. Those qualities made him very good at rounding up everyone and getting them to pitch in.

He was inspired by Jesus and showed it when teaching us. Father Dagoberto worked hard at the school of evangelization years ago where my mom and many of the church ladies met him for the first time. Likewise, at Mass he took the time to really make sure we understood the context and settings of the readings. He shared stories of personal experiences as a priest when celebrating Mass and we loved to listen. So many stories. I hate that he is gone this way.

It hit me two days later when we were up in the choir loft on Tuesday, the same day he was buried in Colombia. I thought of the acquaintances I would not have met had it not been for his hospitality. The girls were rehearsing for Holy Week and Easter and we started to recall how his voice would boom over the mike singing along out of sync and how we knew we’d sing, “Mi Dios Esta Vivo,” about 20 times because he made sure everyone in church would be sprinkled that day. That was the joy he didn’t restrain.

He was a priest and he loved Jesus. His life was his vocation, with the people, but he was also very human. He let us see who he was and that was good for us too. All that effort that went into his formation and his life as is with the lives of so many good priests. That is what I want to think of and what I hope it’s what all of us who knew him will keep present.




Dear Editor: It’s so… disturbing, an outrage, and scary..

Disturbing: That a man who committed himself to God, Father Noguera, was taken from the world in such an incomprehensible, despicable, violent way.

An outrage: That human beings “can do this” to another human being… (and a priest no less, a disabled priest in a wheelchair) and, who they said “helped these murderers in the past by giving them food.”

Scary: “These countries” – the lawlessness is…. scary. The evil freely roaming around…

Talk about depraved minds, sick souls, and according to the article, they are still roaming free.

I guess we can talk about “that” all day…the ugliness of it all.

I’m a good person in my soul. I was blessed all my life, but didn’t know it. I came to God late in life. But here I am! My personal relationship with God, reading my St. Joseph’s Missal, reading Scripture, listening to homilies and other clergy.

Father Noguera would say that we should pray for the people who murdered him.



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