The AVAN news agency is reporting that an 84 year-old widow and mother of two is the oldest volunteer for the World Meeting of Families, set to take place in Spain this July. Her task will be to assist priests prepare to concelebrate the final Mass of the WMF with Pope Benedict XVI. .-
There are some 8,000 volunteers registered to help at the WMF, but Hortensia Bartolo Jarque is the oldest.
She explained that when she signed up to volunteer, she told organizers she would like to help priests vest for Mass, as she has been in charge of the priestly vestments at her parish in Valencia for over ten years. Jarque, who is a member of the Neocatechumenate, said, "Washing and ironing the chasubles and albs, as well as helping priests vest for Mass has been my job for a long time, but I will do whatever task they assign me."
Hortensia was born in the Spanish town of Teruel but she has lived in Valencia for more than 60 years, "and I thank God that I will soon be a witness of this historic moment of the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI."
She said she is awaiting the arrival of the Pope with "much excitement since, because of my age I doubt I will ever see such an event again."