ASIA NEWS REPORT:
Benedict XVI remembers PIME missionary's work, in
mission to Brazil and in service of the Holy See. His death comes right after he
celebrated 37 years of priesthood.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "My thoughts and yours in this moment go to Fr
Massimo Cenci, undersecretary, who died suddenly. May the Lord reward him for
all the work he accomplished in mission and service of Holy See," Benedict XVI
said as he remembered Fr Massimo Cenci, a missionary with the Pontifical
Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) who passed away this morning. The Pontiff
spoke at the annual audience of the Pontifical Missionary Works.
Fr Massimo Cenci, 68, was undersecretary of the Congregation for the
Evangelisation of peoples since 2001. The pope had just renewed his mandate for
another five years, a task to which he had devoted all his energy in terms of
organisation, visits to the missions and relations with bishops in missionary
dioceses. Before that, in the late 1990s, because of his knowledge of the
Brazilian Church, he was called to work at nunciature in Brasilia.
Ordained in 1975, he had been vocation guide, stimulating a missionary
vocation among many young people. In 1979, he was sent to Amazonia, Brazil,
where he took on a number of tasks: parishes in the city of Manaus, "street"
pastoral work, evangelisation among indigenous peoples and principal at the
Manaus regional seminary.
Fr Cenci was born on 7 February 1944 in Desio, Milan (Italy). Very early, he
and his family moved to Cannes, France, where he lived until 1958.
He entered PIME as an adult in 1964, attending the Institute's seminary in
Cervignano del Friuli, Udine (Italy).
His encounter with the Communione e Liberazione movement strengthened his
missionary and priestly vocation, which began at the Dergano Parish Church in
Milan and continued in Brazil.
Mgr Giuliano Frigeni, current bishop of Parintins, Amazonia (Brazil), studied
and went on mission with him. Last night, he spoke from Brazil with his fellow
brother to reminisce about their 37 years as priests, whose anniversary was
Fr Cenci passed away this morning around 6.40 am, probably from a heart
attack according to doctors.
His funeral will be celebrated at 11 am next Monday at Regina Pacis Church in
Rosolino Pilo Square, Rome. Card Fernando Filoni, prefect of Propaganda Fide,
will conduct the service.