NewsChurch & ReligionFormer SIGNIS President Gustavo Andújar dies in Havana

Former SIGNIS President Gustavo Andújar dies in Havana

A faithful supporter of our organization, elected president during the World Congress in Rome in 2014, the Cuban communicator Gustavo Andújar died this afternoon in his beloved Havana, Cuba.

Gustavo was president of SIGNIS from 2014 to 2017 and vice president from 2005 to 2014. He was a member of the Cuban national associate of OCIC-SIGNIS since 1965 and chaired it from 1994 to 2016. Until his death, he directed the Padre Félix Varela Cultural Center of the Archdiocese of Havana and was a member of the National Communication Commission of the Cuban Conference of Catholic Bishops, director of the influential Cuban Catholic magazine Espacio Laical, and the biannual magazine ECOS

He was a member and also chaired international SIGNIS juries at the film festivals of Havana, Mar del Plata, Amiens, Quito, Buenos Aires, Paris, Santo Domingo, Zanzibar, Washington and Venice, and the Ecumenical Jury in Berlin. 
Gustavo represented SIGNIS World in various Latin American communication congresses such as Loja (2007), Porto Alegre (2010) and Asunción (2016), Latin American Congress of Catholic TV Stations of Medellín (2006) and the SIGNIS International congresses for Catholic TV Producers of Buenos Aires (2008), San José, Costa Rica (2011) and St. Petersburg (2015).
In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI awarded him the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross; in 2017, upon the conclusion of his service as president of SIGNIS, Pope Francis appointed him Knight of the Order of San Silvestre.

“Gustavo Andujar was a kind, quintessential gentleman. His deep faith motivated him to take on enormous responsibilities, including serving as president of SIGNIS. He worked tirelessly to support the work of Catholic communicators, often behind the scene, to empower so many to be able to make a difference. We extend our deepest sympathy to his dear wife and all who loved him. Rest In peace, good and faithful servant.” SIGNIS president, Helen Osman, said. 

In SIGNIS, we wish to pay a sincere and affectionate tribute to those who have dedicated their efforts to build a more professional organization, through their own words, their deep relationship with SIGNIS, with the Church, and with Catholic communications, is revealed to us. 

“Blessed Monsignor Oscar Romero understood very well that the proclamation of the Gospel goes beyond denunciation, to the witness of the Christian hope that he found in the poor, and he decided to live with and for them. It is a very strong sign that we have chosen a martyr as our employer. May he help us to work tirelessly in SIGNIS to achieve that future of peace, justice and reconciliation that all humanity longs for and of which he himself was the most shining example.” (On Blessed Monsignor Oscar Romero, model communicator, patron of SIGNIS, Gustavo Andújar).

 “By meeting, renewing old friendships and forging new ones, exceeding language and cultural barriers, we will be sending a very eloquent message of hope… And the fact is that this Congress is about meeting face to face with old and new friends. In an effort to forge friendships, nothing beats a smile, a handshake, a hug. We will have many opportunities to celebrate our meetings… For SIGNIS, our Congress is the right time to plan our course towards the future, in continuity with a long and rich history of almost 90 years of service, and also with imagination and inventiveness, as the current times demand.” (Opening address at the SIGNIS World Congress, 2017).

Only the Risen Christ can shine a light of hope in such a world. Only a victory as final as his could make the Apostle exclaim: “Death, where is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor 15, 55). It is in that certainty that we celebrate Easter, the feast of renewal and hope, with complete trust in God’s merciful love, as we prepare for our World Congress by sowing hope. (Easter Message, 2017)


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