On Saturday January 25, 2020, the priestly ordination of Friar Diego CANINO took place at the Sacro Cuore di Gesù Church in Catanzaro Lido, Catanzaro Province, Italy. It was an evocative ceremony, full of emotion, tenderness and joy. The Most Reverend Vincenzo BERTOLONE, Metropolitan Archbishop of Catanzaro-Squillace, presided, imposing his hands upon Friar Diego, offering the consecratory prayer and anointing him with chrism. “The priestly ordination of Friar Diego CANINO,” he said in his homily “is for us, a sign that we are never alone in choosing our path, because it is the Lord who chooses us, who calls us and who sends us forth. Finding happiness means listening to his voice and leaving everything behind to follow him.”

The event was greeted with amazement and gratitude. At the conclusion of the celebration, Friar Giorgio TASSONE, the Custos of the Provincial Custody of St. Daniel and Companion Martyrs in Italy (Calabria), explained further: “Amazement—that God desired to reach down to our Custody to give us Friar Diego as a priest, and gratitude—for the host of people who guided him to this day….Here, surrounding him, we have been given an opportunity to reflect on our Franciscan vocation and to be proud of it….Special thanks go to his family, to his sister Marcella, to his aunts and uncles and, most of all, to his parents, Teresa Maria and Umberto, who share our joy and pray for him from Heaven.”
The ceremony was attended by twenty-four concelebrating priests, two deacons and many friars and lay people from the Conventual and parish fraternities of Rome, Assisi, Calabria and Sicily. Friar Gaspare LA BARBERA, the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Agatha and St. Lucy in Italy (Sicily) was also present. Others attending included some of the new priest’s companions along his spiritual and formative journey: Friar Francesco CELESTINO, the first to guide his vocational journey; Friar Giuseppe TONDO, his Spiritual Director; and Friar Silvestru BEJAN, the moderator of his Baccalaureate thesis on St Francis and Martin Luther, which was presented at the Theological Institute of Assisi.
Friar Diego was born on January 24, 1975, in Catanzaro, Italy. Before embarking on his vocational journey, he graduated from the University of Pisa with a Law degree and operated a legal practice for eighteen months. In 2008, he passed the state examination and was recertified to practice law, which he did until 2011. Following the Lord’s call, he took himself off the Register of Lawyers and began his vocational discernment in Amantea, Italy, under the guidance of Friar Francesco Celestino, the then Provincial Custos. On September 29, 2012, he entered the postulancy program in Benevento, Italy, and started his novitiate year on September 12, 2014, at the Friary of St. Anthony in Padua. He made his temporary profession on August 28, 2015, and professed his solemn vows on September 1, 2018, during a concelebrated Mass at the Church of San Bernardino da Siena in Amantea. On June 21, 2019, he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Theology at the Theological Institute of Assisi. On July 15, 2019, he was ordained to the diaconate by the laying on of hands and the consecratory prayer of the Most Reverend Francesco MILITO, Bishop of Oppido Mamertina-Palmi, Italy. Friar Diego’s diaconal ordination was held at the Church of Maria Santissima del Rosario in Palmi.

Friar Piotr ANZULEWICZ, Custodial Secretary