Rome (Agenzia Fides) - On the evening of Saturday, February 18, Father Fernando Galbiati died in Lecco. He was a missionary in China, twelfth Superior General of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), General Secretary of the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU) and of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith (PSPF).
Born on November 14, 1932 in Bussero (Milan), he entered PIME in Monza on September 1, 1943. He was ordained in Milan by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Paul VI, on June 28, 1956, the following year he left for Hong Kong. Here he carries out studies and obtains several diplomas, and becomes a "Qualified Teacher" at the Hong Kong Department of Education. He then obtained a doctorate in Political Science and Economics at the University La Sapienza of Rome, becomes Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford in England and a member of the New York Academy of Science.
In Hong Kong he is engaged in the pastoral activity in various parishes and for some years taught philosophy at the Holy Spirit Seminary. He gave a significant contribution in the academic and social field. He founded several groups for visits to families, for financial support, and youth activities. From 1971 to 1975 he was assistant of Mani Tese, participated in the PIME Assembly of Update 1970-71 (Rome) and at the Ninth General Assembly in which he was elected Superior General (1983-1989). Once his term expired he returned to Hong Kong, but in 1999 was called to go to Rome, first as Secretary General of the Pontifical Missionary Union (1999-2003), then as coordinator of the Pontifical Mission Societies, and as Secretary of the International Society for the Propagation of the Faith (2004-2005). He is also responsible for drafting the new Statute of the Pontifical Mission Societies, published in 2005. In 2006-2007, he was General Secretary of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
After a few years at the PIME General House in Rome, since 2015, for health reasons, he was at the Blessed John Mazzucconi’s House, in Rancio di Lecco, where he died. After the funeral, he was buried in the PIME cemetery in Villa Grugana. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 21/02/2017)