EUROPE/ITALY - Fr. Grigoletto: 35 years of Camillian mission in Burkina Faso, among the poor and terminally ill

Friday, 29 January 2016 missionaries  


Turin (Agenzia Fides) - "At the end of September I will leave the Camillian Mission in Burkina Faso. After 35 years it is certainly not easy for me to leave Africa, a country I loved very much and where I was loved; a place where I tried to help spiritually and concretely, and tried to 'cure and heal' sick people". This is what Fr. John Grigoletto wrote, a Camillian Missionary (MI), in September 2007, communicating his return to Italy for health reasons (see Fides 06/09/2007).
Fr. Grigoletto died in Milan on January 27 after a long illness. He was born in Turin in 1942, and was among the first Camillian missionaries who arrived in the African country. As he told Fides: "I arrived in Burkina Faso in April 1973. The country at the time was called Alto Volta. The Camillian Order had recently opened a medical mission in one of the poorest countries in the world. At the time there was no electricity, no running water, only hot weather and misery" (see Fides 16/02/2004).
In the clinic of the "San Camillo" Medical center in Ouagadougou, Fr. Grigoletto began his service early in the morning until late in the evening.
As a registered nurse, he took care of a group of terminally ill AIDS patients. "It is really an important, delicate, heavy and difficult task, but very rewarding".
Along with a host of people who came to Italy from Burkina Faso to greet Fr. Grigoletto, Fr. Paul Ouedrago, Burkinabe missionary, describes to Agenzia Fides the current status of the mission of which Fr. Grigoletto was among the pioneers.
"At present the Province of Burkina has 80 religious, 39 clerics in formation and three Italian missionaries, a pediatrician, a nurse and a spiritual guide who also takes care of the Camillian social works. Besides the religious have opened three communities: one in the Ivory Coast, one in Florence, in two hospitals in the city, and one is being opened in Chieti, at the public hospital". The missionary adds: "after having been helped by other Camillians, our province is opening up to new horizons with a partnership in France and one in Spain where there are two missionaries from Burkina Faso". (AP) (Agenzia Fides 29/01/2016)