Italy – Fr Francesco Pampinella: a goalkeeper sent from heaven

10 July 2017

(ANS - Blera) – Can the little gestures of attention and kindness, one's smile and positivity really be fruitful, transmit a message of life, guide towards good? It would seem so - yes. "If it's true that Buffon is my current model and Peruzzi the idol who most influenced my growth in becoming a goalkeeper, Fr Francesco Pampinella was my first ever great meeting with a true number one," says Giuseppe Iacomini, a professional football goalkeeper who learned a lot from his encounter with a Salesian educator.

As a child, there are so many things that affect your future. You meet people who do make the difference in the formation of the man you will become. You get to know people who appear to be ordinary, but in their simplicity hides the secret of their being special. So it happened with Francesco when he came to Blera to sell fish. A traveling salesman like many others, but he had so much to give to his neighbors.

When he visit, to me it was the week's biggest emotion because it meant he would play ball with me. He knew of my passion for goalkeeping and maybe he saw in me the child he had been, as he played as a goalkeeper. He would teach me to kick, to position myself, how to put my hands ... But most of all, he transmitted a passion for this role.

Everyone in Blera liked him and for several years he became the town team's goalkeeper. My father was a manager and the friendship that started in the streets of the old town continued onto the playing field which, in those years, was a bit like my second home. He was very tall. He had huge hands and an engaging smile that filled any place he was in.

His gestures of attention and affection for me are among the most beautiful memories of a childhood lived with simplicity, but at the same time, one that was full of people who were able to give me an important part of themselves. Today Francesco Pampinella has become "don" Francesco Pampinella, parish priest and director of the Salesian oratory of Vasto where he brings the voice of the Lord among the many young people who are part of his community, young people who may be aware of the wonderfu things he's already accomplished in the past and the difference he can make in helping one become the person one wants to be.

Source: La Fune


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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