(Source: MJ/Fides)

The Catholic Church, in its missionary commitment in many parts of the world, is paying for its contribution to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic which does not spare peoples and nations from all continents.

In Antananarivo, two Italian missionaries have died. They had spent decades serving the African country and remained close to the population even during this pandemic period.

On July 21, Father Albano Passarotto, an 80-year-old Vincentian religious who had been a missionary in Madagascar for 56 years passed away and on July 23, 65-year-old Don Luigi Piotto, of the Opera Don Orione, died after having served as a missionary on the African island for 28 years.

Ordained a priest in 1965, Father Albano Passarotto always carried out his mission in Madagascar, dedicating himself especially to the poorest children, creating schools, orphanages, care centres and structures that would guarantee education and assistance to the population and in particular to children.

Upon his death, he was running school in the south of the island that he had founded to guarantee hundreds of children the opportunity to study, as well as offering them two meals a day, since most of them come from families who live in camps.

In 1992 Don Luigi Piotto left Italy for Madagascar. He spent all twenty-eight years of his missionary life in Antsofinondry, as parish priest and as director of the professional school.

He was always at the service of the poor. He dedicated his life to promoting the education of children and young people, ensuring them a worthy future.

From 2003 to 2010 he was coordinator of the Orionine Missions in Madagascar, and had been appointed director and treasurer of the “Marie, Reine du Madagascar” delegation.

More on the toll of COVID-19 on the Church:

“He was simply a Christian”: Italian missionary dies in Madagascar after 59 years of service to “poorest of the poor”

COVID-19: Italian Caritas faces twofold increase in requests for help, death of 10 volunteers

Coronavirus: 14 Italian missionaries from single community die within a month, first bishop also passes away

Migrants in Milan mourn priest “father and friend” lost to COVID-19


Progressive Catholic journalist, author and educator. Working on social justice, equality and Church renewal.