Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará
Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela, IVE, founder of the Institute of the Incarnate Word and the Institute Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara, was born in Buenos Aires on April 4, 1941, into a deeply religious family. At the age of eight he received his First Holy Communion at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Parish on December 8, 1949, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
At the age of 23, Carlos entered Villa Devoto Seminary in Buenos Aires and finished his studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in the city of Rosario. He was ordained a priest on October 7, 1971, in the crypt of the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes of the Holy Places in Buenos Aires. On the following day, he celebrated his First Mass in the main chapel of the Basilica of Our Lady of Luján.
After his ordination, he began to teach at various educational institutions and worked at various parishes in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. As a young priest he was mentored by two influential Argentine priests, Fr. Julio Meinvielle and Fr. Leonardo Castellani, S.J. He was also greatly influenced by the teachings of Pope St. John Paul II. After the Holy Father’s election in 1978, Fr. Buela began to follow very closely his writings and activities from his parish in Buenos Aires.
After ten years as a diocesan priest working in youth ministry and parish work, he received the foundational grace in 1981, inspiring him to found a religious order of missionaries.
Three years later, on March 25, 1984, Fr. Buela founded the Institute of the Incarnate Word, the priests, in the diocese of San Rafael, Mendoza. Four years later, on March 19, 1988, he founded the femele branch, the Institute Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará. The two Institutes share twin constitutions and both have contemplative branches.
Together with the laity of our Third Order, all the members of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word share the same charism: the prolongation of the Incarnation of the Word of God in all the manifestations of the human person. Our specific aim is the evangelization of the culture. The two institutes of religious life have approximately 1600 members who are working in missions around the world.
On April 23, 2023, Fr. Buela died in Genoa, Italy, due to a sudden decline in his health, at 82 years old. It was the Third Sunday of Easter, the same liturgical date on which he had received the foundational grace 42 years before, on Sunday, May 3, 1981. His funeral was held at San Teodoro Parish in Genoa on April 27, with hundreds of members of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word in attendance. We give thanks to God for our founder’s fidelity to the charism that he received from God and which he passed on to all of us.
Fr. Buela was a prolific author who published dozens of titles. His book Youth of the Third Millennium was recognized as best book on Religion and Spirituality in the International Book Fair in Buenos Aires. Other more recent works have been San Ignacio Hoy, Ars Participandi, and El Arte del Padre.
A major promoter of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, he was also a tireless preacher, preaching retreats to over one hundred groups of retreatants throughout his priesthood. He also gave numerous sermons, lectures, and conferences on various Catholic subjects.
He was a teacher at numerous educational institutions such as St. Charles Borromeo Minor Seminary in the Archdiocese of Rosario; Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word Seminary in Mendoza; San Rafael’s Diocesan Seminary in Mendoza; the Diocesan Seminary of the Diocese of San Isidro (Buenos Aires); the Superior Institute of Catholic Culture in Rosario; the Diocesan School of Formation for Catholic Leaders in the Diocese of San Martin (Buenos Aires); and the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA).