Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Father Fernandez, Missionary, Conyers Resident, Dies

Published October 14, 2010

Father Angel Rosendo Fernandez Bravo, a missionary priest who had retired to Conyers some 12 years ago, died after a long illness on Oct. 1, the day of his birth. He was 82.

Born in the Canary Islands, Spain, in 1928, Father Angel was ordained a priest at the Seminary of La Laguna in Tenerife. His missionary vocation initially took him to Puerto Rico, where he worked for 30 years. He then moved to Venezuela to work. In 1993, he moved to the Archdiocese of Miami to seek help for an illness, continuing his parish work. He retired to Georgia in 1998 to further his recovery and continue his dedicated labors as a priest.

In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Father Angel served at St. Pius X Church, Conyers, St. Augustine Church, Conyers, and St. James Church, Madison.

Father John Kieran, pastor of St. Pius X, said that Father Angel’s work “enriched the entire parish.” He said, “Father Angel was dearly loved by our Latino community to whom he freely rendered his priestly services. For several years Father Angel was the only priest to celebrate Mass in Spanish in this area. His pioneering work precipitated having Mass in Spanish at St. Pius.”

Father Kieran recalled Father Angel as a “dedicated brother priest who continually encouraged my pastoral work. In particular, he urged me to celebrate Mass in Spanish so that the pastor would visibly lead all groups in the parish. I greatly appreciate the times he allowed me to concelebrate with him. Those first efforts must have been hard to endure—the Irish version of Spanish!”

Father Angel’s “pastoral concern was for all parishioners” Father Kieran said, though he did not celebrate Mass in English.

In remembering his brother priest, Father Kieran also said, “Father Angel’s humility and pastoral insights led him to practice the Gospel saying: ‘I must decrease, he must increase.’ He realized that a U.S. parish in the 21st century must embrace all cultures within its boundaries so as to form a singular body of Christ’s faithful. For him adjustments in language and cultural awareness were necessary so as to welcome and affirm all.”

Father Kieran added, “His kindly spirit and priestly dedication inspired many.”