On March 6, 2022, one year after the death of Friar Gianfranco GRIECO, the Parish of Santa Dorotea in Rome hosted two commemorative events for their departed confrere. The first was a Mass of Suffrage presided over by the Secretary of State of His Holiness, Pietro Cardinal PAROLIN. The second was the presentation of a new book dedicated to the journalist Friar Gianfranco.
Those concelebrating at the Mass included the Most Reverend Piero MARINI, Titular Archbishop of Martirano; the Most Reverend Gianfranco GIROTTI, OFM Conv., Titular Bishop of Meta; the Minister General, Friar Carlos TROVARELLI; the Procurator General, Friar Maurizio DI PAOLO; the Pastor, Friar Umberto FANFARILLO; the Vicar of the San Giacomo Friary, Friar Sergio COGNIGNI; and many other priests and confreres. Others present included Friar Gianfranco’s sister and nephews, several journalists from L’Osservatore Romano and Avvenire, and the friends and faithful of the parish.
During his homily, the cardinal focused on the Word of God for the first Sunday of Lent and spoke about the multifaceted personality of his personal friend Friar Gianfranco, who served the Holy See for many years. The cardinal shared some memories and recounted the great Franciscan humanity and spirituality that distinguished Friar Gianfranco during his thirty-seven years as a journalist in the editorial office of L’Osservatore Romano. Friar Gianfranco also served for eight years in the Pontifical Council for the Family and did pastoral ministry for fifty years at the Parish of Santa Dorotea in Rome’s Trastevere quarter.
After the Mass, the book “FATHER GIANFRANCO GRIECO: The Friar, the Journalist and the Shepherd.” The 192-page book was published by the parish and the Franciscan Missionary Center and edited by Friar Paolo FIASCONARO.
The Most Reverend Vincenzo PAGLIA, Archbishop and President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, was also present.
Speakers during the book presentation included Vincenzo MORGANTE, Director of TV2000; Friar Raffaele DI MURO, Dean of the Seraphicum; Angelo SCELZO, a journalist for L’Osservatore Romano; Archbishop Piero MARINI; and the Pastor, Friar Umberto FANFARILLO. The speakers highlighted Friar Gianfranco’s traits as a friar, a journalist and a pastor as well as his service to the Church and the Franciscan Order. They also spoke about his singular skill as a communicator and a “clear-eyed reporter” who covered five Popes during their 104 international trips, 146 trips within Italy, 301 visits to parishes in Rome, and fifty-four visits to the Vatican Dicasteries. In addition, Friar Gianfranco published seventy-three books and 4,550 written articles. The commemorative book being presented contains a preface by Cardinal PAROLIN. The book features twenty-two testimonial accounts from confreres, friends and journalists, various articles, a list of Friar Gianfranco’s literary works and many photos.
At the end of the day, Cardinal PAROLIN visited the Franciscan Missionary Center located on the fourth floor of the former friary. He spoke with the Center’s director and took an interest in the activities that the Center carries out in forty countries. He also visited the “Dads’ House” which accommodates, free of charge, the fathers of children with cancer who have been admitted to Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome.
Friar Paolo FIASCONARO, Director of the Franciscan Missionary Center