Italy – 100th anniversary of priestly ordination of Venerable Msgr. Stefano Ferrando, SDB, Founder of Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians

21 March 2023

(ANS - Rossiglione) - In Rossiglione, in the parish church of Santa Caterina, the 100th anniversary of the priestly ordination of the Venerable Msgr. Stefano Ferrando, SDB, Founder of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, was solemnly celebrated on March 18, 2023. In that church the young Fr. Ferrando celebrated his first Mass, being a native of that locality, incardinated in the ancient diocese of Acqui Terme. To celebrate its anniversary, the Missa de Angelis was celebrated, presided over by the Bishop of Acqui Terme, Bishop Luigi Testore, together with parish priest Fr. Aldo Badano, and numerous priests. 

The church was attended by civil authorities, the mayors of Rossiglione and Moretta, military authorities, the Red Cross, Confraternities, family members of Bishop Ferrando, numerous faithful and compatriots of Venerable Bishop Ferrando, along with numerous Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians from different communities.

During the homily, the Bishop recalled the venerable figure of Bishop Ferrando and his indomitable missionary spirit that always inspired him. That good that he had always lavished on the most needy and dispossessed in lands such as India now returns and is abundantly poured out in his homeland and beyond, bringing help, relief and charitably spreading the word of God.

As a series of celebrations are initiated to commemorate the centenary of Bishop Ferrando's priestly ordination, joyfully remembering his life and holiness, one continues to pray that he may soon be elevated to the honors of the altars as Blessed, to further inspire his spiritual daughters and intercede for us all.

The Religious Institute of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC, from its acronym in English) is the 12th group of the Salesian Family. It was officially founded on Oct. 24, 1942, in Guwahati, Assam State, northeast India, while World War II was still going on. Msgr. Ferrando, to overcome the difficulties of aid of all kinds, was inspired to found this institute, which grew so numerous that it is now present in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America: his spiritual daughters, as he liked to call them, today number more than 1,500, belonging to 60 ethnic groups, working in 190 centers in India and 25 in other countries, and carrying out with enthusiasm, joy, and self-sacrifice their apostolate of prayer and charity, persevering in the missionary evangelization of their founder.


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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