Italian priest who died to Covid-19 was ‘father’ to OFWs

Italian priest who died to Covid-19 was ‘father’ to OFWs


By Roy Lagarde

March 27, 2020

Manila, Philippines

One of the Italian priests who died of coronavirus was a “father” to the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Italy, a Catholic bishop said.

Bishop Ruperto Santos expressed sympathy over the death of Fr. Giancarlo Quadri, 75, who was instrumental in the establishment of Filipino chaplaincies in northern Italy.

“It is with deep sorrow and great loss when I learned of the passing of Don Giancarlo Quadri because of Covid-19,” Santos said.

The prelate met Quadri when he was still in Rome as rector of Pontificio Collegio Filippino (PCF) and, at the same time, national coordinator for the pastoral care of Filipino migrants in Italy.

Quadri was the head the pastoral care of migrants in the Archdiocese of Milan, the second-largest city in Italy.

“Together, we have established Filipino chaplaincies in Milan, then in Como and Bergamo,” Santos said.

“He was a friend and a father to our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), working hard spiritually and economically for us,” the prelate said.

Quadri dedicated his priesthood helping migrants with different religions and cultures.

The bishop also mourned Italian Fr. Giuseppe Berardelli, who sacrificed his life to save a younger coronavirus patient

Berardelli, 72, made headlines after he gave up a respirator that parishioners had bought for him for the sake of a young person who he did not know.

Santos, who chairs the bishops’ Commission on PCF, said that what Berardelli did was “a powerful lesson of supreme act of sacrifice”.

“We have asked our OFW’s and chaplains to remember him together with the 66 priests who perished, with God’s mercy and love, granting them eternal rest,” he added.

Italian officials said 712 people died of the illness in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 8,215, while new infections to 80,689.

“Learning what is happening in Italy, let us not forget our OFWs and their loved ones here. We pray for them and help their families,” Santos said.