The eleventh hour of José Antonio Campos

In the oratory of the community of the provincial curia of Paseo de La Habana, on February 2nd at noon, José Antonio Campos Albero, after the obligatory and special novitiate, committed again himself to live the consecrated Augustinian recollect life in community of brothers. Provincial prior Sergio Sánchez accepts the profession of José Antonio, who with this rite expresses his decision.
News | 2021 Feb 16

At the age of 19, on August 15th , 1981 José Antonio, a natural from Mendavia (Navarra, Spain), made his profession simple in Monteagudo, and on October 18th, 1986 issued the solemn profession in Marcilla (Navarra, Spain). The following year, on September 19th , he received priestly ordination from Monsignor Florentino Zabalza, Bishop of Labrea, Amazonas, Brazil.

Once ordained a priest, the communities and ministries in which Jose Antonio developed his religious-priestly work take place in chains, both while he was part of the Order and when he was available to the diocesan bishop. By his kindness and his dedication he easily conquered the hearts of the people to which he provided his human-pastoral services. After eleven years of insertion into the Diocese of Pamplona-Tudela, he decided to join community life and on February 2nd   Made the profession of religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to live them in community as Augustinian recollect . For this reason, we entered into conversation with José Antonio to get to know a little about the landscape of his life.

As I have already done in a very general way your presentation, with your permission I can already stop by to ask you some questions. The first is: In what ministry have you felt most satisfied and happy, and why?

In question of the ministries I have had in the different destinations, I choose as something very special the work among the sick in the hospital of Zaragoza, but in terms of community life I will say that not only Zaragoza, but also Chiclana and especially Lodosa with Valladolid, that is why there were many of us in the community. I have to point out that in all destinations I was very happy and, if so, you will wonder why of my departure, to which I can only say that, when at times I was obfuscated with myself, I felt like running away to let the brothers live in peace.

At the time you decided to give up community life and devote yourself to priestly ministry. How many years has this situation lasted? In what ministries have you exercised pastoral care? What has been the degree of satisfaction in your pastoral work? Has there been any entrusting you that has marked you in a special way? For what reasons?

My decision to leave life in community was in my destiny of Labrea, although there was already a small previous episode: it was two years in the Diocese of Zaragoza, and still in that time I spent a lot of time among the brothers of the school. In Labrea it was the decision, but I was still collaborating another year in Tapauá to help a little.

I came to Spain for March 2009, and Archbishop Francisco Pérez González, Archbishop of Pamplona, like Provincial Prior Francisco Javier Jiménez, welcomed me with open arms, and behaved very well with me. So it's been eleven and a half years that I've spent outside the community.

During these years, I have been parish priest of Castejón of Navarra for six and a half years, and parish priest of Buñuel also on the banks of Navarra. In addition to attending the parishes mentioned above, I have served as chaplain of the Reina Sofía hospital in Tudela. Another feature added in the last three years has been that of archpriest of the Ribera area of the Diocese of Pamplona-Tudela. I've been very comfortable in these tasks entrusted all these years. People have given me a lot of love and that helped me at all times. The farewells in the two parishes excited me.

As happened to me in Zaragoza, the dedication to the sick in the hospital has been something very special to me; as a priest it is what has made me feel most useful. It's tremendously rewarding that someone in the disease needs your accompaniment.

During these years outside the religious community, have you missed anything in your personal or priestly life? Have you had a regular relationship with some religious or community?

Undoubtedly, community coexistence is very lacking. As they say, "Even to fight it's good not to be alone."

The provincial prior Francisco Javier Jiménez indicated to me with all right at the beginning, to go to  Monteagudo or Marcilla, but these have been the last years when I have come closer to Monteagudo, especially these last two years.

Through some of the closest religious I have kept to know the futures of the friars and also, visiting the website of the Province, because I felt that it was part of me.

What moved you back to community life?

To be accompanied by the friars again, to live in community, and to believe a little more in me, to know how to live the difficult moments that will never be lacking.

And  one last question : In what ministry do you find yourself best suited to serve in the Church to society?

I certainly have no predilection for one thing but another and, although I have said what satisfied me a little more so far, I do not think I have to do anything because I like it better. From my time as a vocational promoter I learned very well that vocation will never be "gustismo", that is, if we have to live the vocation, we will have to do what others need you for.

Marciano, to conclude with this interview, I would like to say that, when I joined this community of Getafe, I had the feeling that it was yesterday only when I left, that is, that I feel like I never left, and I thank the superiors and the community brothers for their welcome.

Thank you, José Antonio, for your fullness and sincerity in your words and for your return to community life to bring you much peace, to share with the friars and with the people you hopefully pay attention to.

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Augustinian Recollects Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.

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