On Tuesday, January 2, 2024, the “Madonna del Rosario” Parish Church in Palmi, Italy, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the priestly ordination of its Pastor, Friar Giorgio TASSONE. Friar Giorgio has been the pastor there for sixteen years. Until last August, he also served as the Custos of the now suppressed Custody of Calabria.

His Eminence Cardinal Mauro GAMBETTI, OFM Conv., Vicar General for the Vatican State, presided over Mass for the occasion and was warmly welcomed by many parish communities.
The cardinal thanked the Most Reverend Giuseppe Alberti, Bishop of Oppido Mamertina-Palmi, Italy, for his welcome, and greeted the friars of the new Italian Province of the Immaculate Conception (Sicily-Calabria) along with its Minister Provincial, Friar Gaspare LA BARBERA.
Cardinal GAMBETTI praised the Lord and thanked Him for the gift of the priesthood, a gift that Friar Giorgio received on January 2, 1999, through the imposition of the hands of the Most Reverend Giancarlo Maria BREGANTINI, C.S.S., then Bishop of Locri-Gerace, Italy. The ordination took place at the Church of San Giovanni Therestis in Stilo, Italy. Cardinal GAMBETTI praised Friar Giorgio’s character and spirit of sharing, saying, “Friar Giorgio has maintained ties with Amantea and Catanzaro, and here we find ourselves gathered at this ‘birthday celebration.’” Friar Giorgio’s many connections filled the parish church with friends even before civil and religious authorities got there. Among those attending were many priests from Palmi and the local diocese; the Mayor of Palmi, Giuseppe RANUCCIO; the Provincial Commander of the Carabinieri of Reggio Calabria, General Cesario TOTARO; the General of the Carabinieri, Raffaele FEDOCCI; the Commander of the Gioia Tauro Operations Unit, Colonel Gianluca MIGLIOZZI; and other authorities. Also present were Friar Giorgio’s mother and other family members.
The cardinal read a passage to the faithful taken from the letter he received from Friar Giorgio, inviting him to the ceremony: “I certainly was not fully aware of what this gift held in store for me. Gradually, step by step, I realized the inestimable value it had, not just for me, but for others.” To thank the cardinal for his special appearance, Friar Giorgio presented a portrait of the prelate created by Antonino NUCIFORA, an artist from Palmi. After the ceremony, a convivial reception was held at the nearby John Paul II Center for New Evangelization. During the reception, members of Friar Giorgio’s community, in appreciation of their pastor and spiritual guide, transformed their joy into mutual sharing.

Friar Rosario TERRANOVA, Provincial Secretary