Josefina Cortadella: “If I’m here it’s because my religious vocation has led me to be a Mercedarian missionary”

Extraordinary Plenary. Josefina Cortadella

The mercenary missionary Josefina Cortadella i Archs is, since this evening, the Favorite Daughter of Martorell. This was decided unanimously by the municipal government in an Extraordinary Plenary Session held at the Casa de la Vila. Martorell has appealed to the fact that she is a mercenary missionary and to her faith in promoting all her development projects, especially the last 30 years in Angola.

Cortadella has received a commemorative diploma as Favorite Daughter, following in the footsteps of Jaume Muxart (2002); Montserrat Campmany (2010); Màrius García (2016) and Salvador Esteve (2021). It was in a brief ceremony, culminating in the delivery of the commemorative diploma, and where the honoree was accompanied by family and friends, who filled the Plenary Hall.

Extraordinary Plenary. Appointment of Josefina Cortadella as Martorell’s Favorite Daughter

“I can only say that many thanks to everyone, to God, who has guided me to continue with a missionary mercenary vocation, and to Jesus, with whom I am in love and who has helped me to work, to achieve improvements and to attend to the needs of a part of Angola “, Cortadella emphasized at the beginning of his speech. He added that “if I hadn’t become a nun, I don’t know if I would have done all that. If I’m here, it’s because I’m a mercenary missionary. “

Cortadella thanked his family “who have always accepted me as I am and my vocation”, the Mercedarian sisters, the NGO Mans Mercedàries “and their initiatives and sponsors”, and the City of Martorell “He has always trusted in my project.”

Josefina Cortadella

In the turn of interventions, the mayor Xavier Fonollosa has highlighted of Cortadella that “it is of those unique people. It is very difficult to find like-minded people who dedicate their lives to others, in an altruistic and tireless way to cover the basic and vital needs of so many people ”.

Xavier Fonollosa, alcalde de Martorell

Toni Carvajal (PSC) emphasized that she had “opened a path of solidarity in such a turbulent world, and that she has done so on the basis of knowledge, work, personality and, above all, generosity”.

Toni Carvajal, regidor del PSC

Xavier Sáez de Cortázar (Movem) said that “justice is done, because he works tirelessly, is kind to everyone and is organized”, and praised his courage to leave a whole life behind to go to a country in war, with the simple aim of helping people ”.

Xavi Sáez de Cortázar, regidor de Movem Martorell

Soulimane Messaoudi (ERC) emphasized that Cortadella “has dedicated his whole life to helping people, both here and in a country that has emerged from a Civil War to help the most vulnerable groups, children and women, by encouraging basic essential services for people ”.

Soulimane Messaouidi, regidor d'ERC

“I have always thought that one of the maxims is to try to improve people’s lives. You have far exceeded that, “said Citizens spokesman Juan Jose Perez.

Juan José Pérez, regidor de C's

Life trajectory of Josefina Cortadella

“Everyone who knows Josefina describes her” as an extroverted person, vital and with a great organizational capacity; and she is loved and respected by everyone who has worked there and those around her. ” This was emphasized by the Councilor for Cooperation of the City Council, Belén Leiva, when presenting all the merits of the tribute throughout her life.

Belén Leiva, regidora de Cooperació

Josefina Cortadella i Archs is a mercenary missionary who has dedicated her life to working for the benefit of the community, both in Catalonia and in Africa. She was born in Martorell on August 18, 1947, the eldest of four siblings. She studied at La Mercè school and studied religion in Corella (Navarra) and at the Institut de Religioses de de Sant Gervasi (Barcelona).

From a very young age she took an active part in the JAC (Joventut Agrícola Catalana) of the parish and in the pastoral care of La Mercè. in Martorell, Rellinars and Vallromanes. She was one of the creators of the Martorell-Montserrat Colonies, pioneers in leisure education activities for 50 years.

In 1971 she professed as a nun and continued in the convent until 1974, while pursuing her high school and basic theological studies. Since then he has worked in the community of the Polvorí de Barcelona -until 1989-, was ordained in 1976 and graduated as a social worker, while collaborating in the community’s nursery in this neighborhood. Two years later he moved to the community of Estrellas Altas (Zona Franca) and from 1986 he worked in the reception of young people and women leaving the Wad-Ras prison. Following this line, in 1989 he joined the community of Les Roses in Sant Feliu de Llobregat and joined the training team in Zaragoza and Valladolid.

In 1992 she asked to go to the Mercedarian missions and was sent to Angola, a country at war in 1975. She will work there to help people fleeing the conflict, helping to feed the population and caring for the wounded. After the war ended in 2002, his community in the neighborhood of Villa Matilde (Malanje) set up an orphanage to take in children who had lost their families in the conflict.

Today, 30 years later, she continues to lead the community of missionary mercenaries at Villa Matilde. A mission of the ‘Montserrat Vilanova Puertas’ School -with about 1,600 children and young people who study there until high school-; a small ‘Posto de Saude’ or medical dispensary; and the orphanage that cares for about thirty children in Kudielela (a word that in the Abantu language means “hope that is already fulfilled”), giving them a home, food, medical care and education, which have allowed many of them to finish. university or vocational training.


Source: Web de notícies de l'Ajuntament de Martorell by martorelldigital.cat.

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