97-year-old priest made his first contact with Church in China in the 1970s after the Cultural Revolution.
Confreres and friends of an Italian missionary, who helped re-establish dialogue between the Catholic Church and China after the Cultural Revolution, have celebrated a rare event by marking the 75th anniversary of his priestly ordination at a simple ceremony in Italy.
Father Angelo S. Lazzarotto’s ordination anniversary was celebrated on Dec. 22 with a Mass and cake cutting at the Blessed Giovanni Mazzucconi community in Lecco, where the 97-year-old priest lives.
Members of Father Lazzarotto’s Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) in Italy said many friends and admirers from Italy, China and other countries sent him their good wishes.
The frail priest finds it difficult to hold long conversations and only a limited number of visitors were allowed to the home for elderly and sick missionaries where he lives.
“I was committed to the association of Catholic Action with enthusiasm”
Father Lazzarotto was born in Falzé di Piave in northern Italy on May 14, 1925, in the Diocese of Vittorio Veneto.“My missionary choice matured while I was attending the municipal gymnasium of Conegliano Veneto. I was committed to the association of Catholic Action with enthusiasm,” he told friends.
“We read about the tragic events of the civil war in Spain, with its numerous martyrs and I admired their sacrifice. I also remember the courageous denunciations by our teacher in religion against the anti-Jewish legislation introduced by Mussolini,” he recalled.China dialogue pioneer marks 75 years of priesthood – UCA News