“God never abandoned me, he gave me strength to help and support my mother…with her faith we carried on. We never stopped trusting in God. His strength cannot be explained, you feel it and experience it,” he said.
The priest said his mother handed on that faith to him ever since he was a child, because she always took him to Mass at Saint John the Evangelist parish, where he received the initial sacraments, was confirmed, and later got married and had his children baptized there.
Avagliano and his wife dated for four years before getting married when he was 23. After he finished school, he worked for almost 48 years, mostly as a public servant, and retired in 2020 during the coronavirus lockdown. During much of this time he served as a permanent deacon in his diocese.
On July 13, 2014, after 38 years of marriage, Flora passed away. Avagliano said he still feels her closeness to him.
“She is up above with God, but she is present in my life always. Just as she accompanied me throughout my earthly life, she continues to accompany me throughout her life in Heaven,” he said.
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After his wife’s death, and following a period of discernment, Avagliano felt a call to the priesthood.
His ordination took place on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph in the Year of Saint Joseph. He said local Bishop Carlos José Tissera told him that this timing was no coincidence, because “like him you have experienced the beauty of love as a couple, the experience of marriage, the joy of being a dad; the responsibility of forming a home, the joy of expecting your children and their birth; the incomparable joy of the first babblings of a baby looking into your eyes and saying the most wonderful word: daddy.”
Avagliano said that the fact that God has called him to live out both vocations is a great commission and a great blessing that he takes up with joy.