EUROPE/ITALY - Italian missionary dies in Madagascar after 59 years dedicated to education and the poor

Wednesday, 1 July 2020 missionary animation   missionaries   fidei donum   education   poverty  

Diocesi Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia (Agenzia Fides) - "Don Pietro Ganapini is one of the most singular figures, perhaps the most significant, of the missionaries from Reggio who lived their ministry in the second half of the twentieth century and in these first years of the new millennium. It can be said that his whole adult life coincided with the missionary vocation. Since 1961 he lived in Madagascar where he was sent by Bishop Beniamino Socche.
Mgr. Massimo Camisasca, Bishop of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla, recalls: "The schools he created and managed are today a fundamental axis of the country's weak educational system. The more than one hundred school residences that, with the help of Pietro Ganapini's friends, he set up in recent years are the sign of a tireless and lucid perception of the value of education for the present and future of a Church and a nation. Don Pietro gave us the testimony of a missionary life at the service of the poor, without any shadow of sociological or ideological reduction. He was simply a Christian".
At 4 in the morning on Tuesday 30 June, Don Pietro Ganapini, for 59 years a Fidei Donum missionary in Madagascar, died. He was the pioneer and dean of the Reggio missionaries, and he spent every day of his life at the service of the poorest, especially children, those whom he affectionately called "the poorest of the poor", those who did not have the opportunity to study. Born in Pantano di Carpineti on 19 January 1928, he received priestly ordination on 13 August 1950. After a few years of teaching in the seminary, enthusiasm for the publication of the encyclical "Fidei Donum" led him to leave as a missionary in November of 1961 for Madagascar, first of the Diocese of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla, opening the way for many missionaries: priests, nuns and lay people. According to his will, his mortal remains will remain in Madagascar. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 1/7/2020)