2023, a challenge for youth institutions

Gregorio Guitian
Dean of the Faculty of Theology

In these days, Christians have lived the “Advent”, to celebrate the arrival of Christ. That arrival of the Savior has already been definitive for D. José Morales Marín, professor emeritus of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarra, who has just been called to the Father’s house.

On the 13th, after several years of illness, Professor Morales passed away when he had just turned 88. José Morales was one of the pioneers of the Faculty of Theology, where he worked for more than thirty years. Before arriving in Pamplona, ​​he had obtained a doctorate in Law, at the University of Barcelona (1960), and in Theology, at the Lateran University of Rome (1962).

Since he joined Opus Dei in 1955, and especially since his ordination to the priesthood in 1961, Don José’s vital orientation was directed towards pastoral service in the Church. Among other tasks, he moved for a time to the Philippines, where he was a chaplain of Opus Dei between 1964 and 1967.

José Morales was one of the pioneers of the Faculty of Theology.

Professor Morales leaves behind a remarkable published work. As J. Bosch points out in his Dictionary of Contemporary Theologians (Burgos 2004, p. 692), J. Morales has worked directly in four areas of theology: fundamental theology and theological method; Newman’s thought, the theology of creation and the theology of religions.

On these and other issues, he has left important works such as Introduction to Theology or The Mystery of Creation, translated into several languages; editions and studies on the figure of S. John H. Newman, books on religions, works on spirituality, etc.

His vast knowledge appears in all of them, as well as his sharp and direct wit that allowed him to synthetically express his opinion on the issues he studied. José Morales has not been a very well-known figure, partly due to his character not given to showing off or cultivating merely social relationships.

For this reason, despite being the author of more than twenty books and hundreds of scientific articles, he has not appeared much in the media or in church circles. Pepe Morales, as his friends called him, was a man of deep and permanent friendships, which he cultivated by devoting time and interest to dealing with and attending to the needs of his friends, both colleagues and students and disciples.

It was common to see him sitting on a street bench with people in a situation of poverty, with migrants in difficulties, etc., whom he helped materially and spiritually, frequently also receiving them at home.

Of the just, the book of Revelation says that they rest in the Lord and that “their works accompany them.” The works of the priest and professor José Morales Marín are not only his writings, which remain, but above all the example of charity and service that he admires and inspires us. In short, he has been a very complete theologian at the service of all.

2023, a challenge for youth institutions