During the night of June 14th Omar Diaz, well-known especially in Latin America, responsible for the young men’s School in the little town of Lia in Argentina, left us unexpectedly. It was the kind of news which one hopes to never receive.
Sunday morning, Omar was supposed to go to Rosario (350 km away) to vote. The idea was to leave early and so he had arranged for a ride with friends to the nearby city of Junin, where he would take the bus to Rosario. But seeing as he didn’t show up, they went to his house to look for him, thinking maybe he had overslept…During the night a heart attack had caused an instant death, leaving him, however, with a serene expression.
Born on Febrary 5th in 1969 in Tandil, Argentina, the third son of the Diaz family, he had a happy childhood. His father was the owner of a butcher shop and the whole family collaborated in running the shop smoothly, so at home they wanted for nothing. At the end of secondary school he came in contact with the Focolare Movement. The spirituality of Chiara Lubich was a light which he embraced immediately and never let go. After finishing the last year of highschool he spent a period of time in Lia, in the Argentinian “pampa,” where he understood his vocation to consecrate himself to God in the Focolare. Thereafter he went to Loppiano (Italy) to participate in the school of formation of the focolarini.
At the end of this period, he returned to Argentina, in the Focolare in Rosario. There he studied pedagogy and began working, first as a teacher and then as director and headmaster of various schools and institutes in the city. Omar was a passionate educator who was never satisfied; on the contrary, he always sought to push himself further: he wanted the young people to be profoundly changed by their experience as students. This desire to improve and keep himself up to date is what urged him to take post-graduate courses, and at the same time, to dedicate himself to the new generations of the Focolare Movement; in particular to the gen4 (children up to 9 years of age) and to the gen3 (adolescents). The striking number of testimonies that many of them, now adults, are leaving on his Facebook page makes it impossible to transcribe them all here.
In 2012 a new adventure started for him in the little town Lia, as he had the responsibility of the School of Formation of the young men. Many are those who could give testimony of his commitment and personal love for each young person who went through the school, as he respected their origins and culture. With each one he took the time to try to discover with them which steps to take to grow as a person and in spiritual life.
He left us at 46 years of age, without forewarning of his departure. We will remember him for his parting words to the young men who left Lia to return to their own cities: “We’ll see each other in Paradise.”