Colombia - In memory of Fr Mario Leonardo Peresson Tonelli, SDB

15 May 2019

(ANS - Bogotà) - The funeral of Fr Mario Leonardo Peresson Tonelli, SDB, who passed away on 30 April, was held on Thursday 2 May, at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Bogotà. Born in Colombia to Italian parents, he spent his 78 years of life for young people.

In the courtyard of the Salesian School "León XIII" the Symphonic Band of the Don Bosco Center shared some musical works to remember his passion for bands. The Eucharist of suffrage was presided over by Msgr. Héctor Julio López, SDB, bishop emeritus of Girardot, and was concelebrated by four other bishops, about ninety priests and a large number of people close to Fr Peresson. It was an impressive manifestation of what he came to mean in the lives of many people: lay and religious, priests and bishops, representatives of the Salesian Family, together with friends, students and past pupils, colleagues, leaders, and many others.

It could be said that everyone underscored Fr Peresson Tonelli's being a man of God and close to men for the faith that, as a backbone, defined all his life, and for his innate ability to be a friend: close, faithful, respectful, prompt, generous. Behind this great humanity hid a priest of wide intellectual formation, one characterized by his love for Jesus Christ, which he also knew how to search for in the suffering faces of the poor and in the troubled looks of young people and students.

His status as an educator, his ministry as a teacher and his charism as a formator kept him anchored in the school of personal and apostolic learning. Here lies the genius that led him to intuit, to develop, to teach what today is understood as the anthropology of the poor and the methodology that implies its leading role in the theological citizenship of the Kingdom.

In his numerous services, from the Pastoral Institute "IPLAJ", to the one of education "EDUCLAR", from the chairs he held from schools to universities, from the provincial assignments to the service in the streets and in the parishes, Fr Peresson Tonelli was a missionary, a witness, a traveler ... A paradigm of those who are able to make their mark among people, institutions and the epoch in which they live.

And on May 10, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the educational community of the Salesian School "León XIII" gathered around the mortal remains of Fr Peresson Tonelli to give thanks for his life. On that occasion the Eucharist was presided over by the Provincial, Fr Jaime Morales.


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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