Pope Praises Fidelity of Salesian Superior

Father Edmundo Vecchi, Major Rector, Buried in Rome

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ROME, JAN. 28, 2002 (Zenit.org).- In a message for the funeral of Father Edmundo Vecchi, major rector of the Salesians, John Paul II praised the Argentine priest´s fidelity to Christ and the Church.

Father Vecchi died Jan. 23 in Rome, after 20 months of suffering from a cerebral tumor. He was 71. He had been major rector of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco since 1996.

In a telegram sent to Father Luc Van Looy, Father Vecchi´s vicar, John Paul II described the deceased as a «zealous minister of the Gospel» and praised his «integral fidelity to Christ and the Church together with his generous commitment to exercise his duty, in a spirit of service, for the good of the Church.»

Father Vecchi´s funeral service took place Saturday in Don Bosco´s Church.

Father Renato Butera, director of the Salesian News Agency, told Vatican Radio that «Father Vecchi was a man who worked for the meeting of faith and culture … not only in the lives of young people, but in society in general.»

At the same time, Father Vecchi hoped that «every community would become a place for the sanctification of all the religious,» and he opened communities to closer cooperation with the laity, Father Butera added.

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