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Fr. Ignacio

Building a Spanish Community: A Chat with Fr. Ignacio

February 16, 2024


I joined Fr. Ignacio Amorós Rodríguez-Fraile for a conversation about his new position at the Word on Fire Institute and his first course in the new Spanish community.

(You can read the original Spanish interview here.)

Caroline: Hello Fr. Ignacio, nice to meet you! Please tell us your story: where you are from, your academic background, and how did you get to where you are today?

Fr. Ignacio: I’m a Spanish diocesan priest. I’m thirty-seven years old and passionate about Jesus Christ, Catholic spiritual life, and evangelization. I carry out my priestly ministry as a missioner in Maldonado-Punta del Este, Uruguay. I’m the founder and content director of the Catholic evangelization channel “Se Buscan Rebeldes.”

I was born in a Christian family from Madrid, and my parents always cared about giving me and my brothers a good Catholic formation and taught us to be devoted to Mother Mary.

I studied in a British School until I was twelve, where they taught me to have great discipline in my studies. Later, my parents sent me to Aldovea, a high school with Christian principles where I had the opportunity to frequent the sacraments and get spiritual accompaniment. In the evenings, I went to an Opus Dei club for young kids where we received Christian formation and took part in cultural and sport activities. They taught me how to have a friendship with Jesus and to put God in every aspect of my life.

I had an encounter with Jesus when I was fifteen, while I was praying in a chapel of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the Blessed Sacrament exposed, reading this famous verse from the Gospel: “I am the way, the truth and the life” (Jn. 14:6) and another from the first letter of St. John: “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8). From that moment, Jesus Christ’s name was engraved in my heart, and God became the center of my life. 

Faith led me to charity, and at that point, I started to get acquainted with Mother Teresa and work with the Missionaries of Charity in the house for Aids patients in Madrid. It was there where Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity made me discover the beauty of Christian charity. Later, in 2006, I traveled to Calcutta to pray before Mother Teresa’s grave and work with the sisters. From 2007 on, I’ve been working with the Missionaries of Charity in many places of Africa, Latin America and now in Argentina and Uruguay. The missionary spark was sowed in my heart.

I’m a priest of Jesus Christ. That’s my identity. 

After finishing high school, I pursued my college degree in Management and Business Administration. During those years, I founded the Asociación Solidaria Universitaria (Solidary University Association), an NGO that carries out volunteer and cooperative projects in countries as Burundi, Nicaragua, India, and Spain, collaborating especially with the Missionaries of Charity. I graduated from college in 2009 and worked several years in bank investment as a derivative broker in Madrid and London. In 2011, I co-founded Tom Black, a textile importer and men’s fashion company.

Throughout all this academic, cooperative, and professional journey, I strongly felt the call to be a priest. In March 2013, God gave me the grace to answer his call to priesthood, and I studied at the International Seminary Bidasoa in Navarra (Spain) directed by Opus Dei priests, where I was able to study with brothers from different countries and charismas. I was formed in philosophy and theology at the University of Navarra (Spain). Some bishops from Uruguay told us about the great secularization process that their country had suffered and the need for priests that they had, and they invited us to go and work there as missioners. In January 2018, with the blessing of the Cardinal from Madrid, I traveled to Uruguay as a missionary.   

In 2018, I received the diaconal ordination and on June 16, 2019, I was ordained a priest. Since then, and with a pandemic in between, I’ve been working for the Maldonado-Punta del Este-Minas dioceses, where I’m the rector of the Divine Mercy Sanctuary, the vicar of the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria Parish, and university professor.

I’m a member of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, and I work with the Corpus Christi movement for priests that live Mother Teresa’s spirituality, who help me continue with my formation and care for my spiritual life.  

Between 2020 and 2022, I conducted my doctoral studies in the Theology Faculty of the University of Navarra (Spain) in Systematic Theology: Morality and Spirituality. In 2021, I was a visiting scholar in the Spiritual Theology department at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. The topic of my doctoral thesis is: “I thirst” (Jn. 19:28), biblical and theological fundaments of St. Teresa from Calcutta and Missionaries of Charity charism (Monte Carmelo, Burgos, 2022).  

Finally, I’m the author of some books with the special focus on the twenty-first century evangelization, such as: Se buscan rebeldes… y luego que sea lo que Dios quiera (Rialp, 2018) [Rebels wanted . . . and then it will be God’s will]; El misterio de la sed de Jesús. Madre Teresa (Nueva Eva, 2020) [The Mystery of Jesus’s thirst. Mother Teresa]; Viacrucis de la misericordia. Para enamorarse de Dios (Nueva Eva, 2022) [Merciful Stations of the Cross. To fall in love with God]; La revolución de Dios. La belleza de la fe católica hoy (Nueva Eva, 2022) [God’s revolution. The beauty of catholic faith today]; and Tocar a Dios. Los Sacramentos de la Iglesia hoy (Nueva Eva, 2023) [To touch God. Church Sacraments today].

In a nutshell: I’m a priest of Jesus Christ. That’s my identity. 

Can you tell us about your Institute community? What are your goals and plans?  

The community of Word on Fire Institute (in Spanish, “Palabra Ardiente”), it’s a space in the Institute for those Catholic Spanish speakers from all over the world who would like to learn about the Catholic faith and pray together, following the Scriptures, the tradition, and the Catholic Church Magisterium. 

This community will be a place to discuss, ask questions, and be encouraged to grow together in our faith as Catholics.

The goal of this community is to provide an online space to go deep into the Catholic faith. Our will is that the participants could get a solid Catholic formation applicable to daily life, and it helps them communicate the faith in their circles. This community intends to be a safe place to feed our soul with Catholic doctrine, community, learning, and prayer. Tools on how to evangelize in the twenty-first century and in the digital world will be provided as well.

Catholic faith will be taught and predicated, from the basic principles of the faith (kerygma) to the Sacraments details and what the Church teaches about God’s plan for your life. You’ll find biblical, traditional, and Magisterium fundaments from the Catholic faith.  

One of the principles of this community is getting more knowledge of God to help us love him more and better. Hence, Catholic doctrine will be offered tightly linked to spiritual theology, to make present the revealed truth in our daily life. As John Henry Cardinal Newman’s motto says: “cor ad cor loquitur” (“the heart talks to the heart”). Along with this, the community leaders will try to help deepening the praying life, and we will offer some spaces to pray together in real time. 

This community will be a place to discuss, ask questions, and be encouraged to grow together in our faith as Catholics.

What is your first Institute course about?

This first course of Word on Fire Institute in Spanish will be about evangelization and the kerygma. It will give some keys for the evangelization in the twenty-first century to young people in the digital culture, based on the greatest human questions: What is the meaning of the life? What is the secret for happiness? What is the source and meaning of the suffering? What is our goal in life?

In the middle of a world that seems has forgotten God, the “digital man” keeps aiming for transcendence and answers to the great questions of life. The high number of digital searches related to essential topics of life, the transcendence, and spirituality is remarkable. It is fascinating how new technologies can be applied to serve evangelization and the work of apostolates.

In this course, we will try to present how these questions were answered in their whole extension and coherently by the Judeo-Christian revelation, whose fulfillment is preached in Christ by the Catholic Church. Everything we cover will be based in the Scriptures, the tradition, and the Church Magisterium. We’ll take advantage of the rich intellectual Christian tradition to have a well-grounded exposition.      

What is the main insight you hope people will take away from this course?

I hope throughout the course the participants can get to know better the beauty of our Catholic faith, answer the essential questions of the human being, and learn some key methods to evangelize the youth in the twenty-first century.

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We’ll make sure to cover how to evangelize through the kerygma, summarized in the four great questions I mentioned, and answer them with the Christian revelation. We’ll reference two books that are the Catholic pillars: the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church; the Sacred Scriptures and the tradition.    

To conclude, what do you like to do in your free time? What are some of your hobbies? 

I like to spend time with my priest brothers, enjoy time with my friends, and play sports—mainly soccer, but I like tennis, going to the gym, and outdoor sports as well. When I play any sports, I usually listen to podcasts from Bishop Barron, Word on Fire, Ascension Press, Mons. José Ignacio Munilla, or other Catholic channels that I love and feed my soul. Since I live next to the sea, I like to pray and walk along the shore, especially with my Rosary. 

One of my favorite hobbies, related to my priestly work, is reading, especially the great Catholic spirituality books, particularly from the Church fathers, the Church doctors, the saints, or other contemporary authors. In particular, I love to finish my day by reading a saint’s biography, which helps me sleep and learn more about their lives.    

On the other hand, I like movies too much, especially historic and action films. I enjoy watching a Real Madrid soccer match with family and friends. 

Since I was fifteen, my passion has been mission, particularly with those in need. It thrills me to bring hope and affection where there’s suffering. It is true as well that a lack of sense is the greatest poverty of our time. Mother Teresa found that out during her trips to the West, and she spoke about spiritual poverty, which is harder to heal than material poverty. Hence, the greatest work of charity that we can do is to announce Jesus Christ and that the meaning of life is that we were created to love and be loved and to go to heaven, giving of ourselves every day in the name of love. And this is what we will address in the first course and within this community.

Finally, I love to be a Catholic priest, and what excites me the most is to announce Jesus Christ and the beautiful Catholic doctrine. I’m always seeking new ways and means for people, especially the young, to enjoy the joy of God’s love and to live as authentic Christians in the Church.  

Find out more about the Word on Fire Institute and
join this group of evangelizers in the new Spanish community! Stay tuned for Fr. Ignacio’s first English course too!