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Argentina – A statue in honor of Brother Randisi, SDB, "Salesian Teacher"

05 November 2019

(ANS - Puerto Deseado) - Education is made up of many small gestures that, even if they sometimes go unnoticed, leave traces over time, like cast seeds that bloom over the years. This explains the thrilling tribute that the town community of Puerto Deseado, a small Argentine municipality in the province of Santa Cruz, gave to Salesian brother Andrés Randisi, who had been a missionary in Angola for thirty years, but that in the 1970s had committed himself to educating the children of Puerto Deseado, thus marking, positively, a generation.

Br. Randisi returned to his homeland in the middle of last month, at the invitation of the Mayor of Puerto Deseado, Gustavo González, precisely because of the homage the citizens wanted to give him: a metal statue by the blacksmith and craftsman Aldo Soto.

On the morning of October 15, therefore, the Municipality of Puerto Deseado nominated Andrés Randisi, SDB, as "Guest of Honor", and then proceeded to the public act of unveiling the statue. "Andres Randisi, Salesian Maestro - Let us sow hope" is written on the plaque at the base of the sculpture, which was placed at the Piazza Ezequiel Ramos Meíja and which, on the following day, was declared "of cultural interest", or a heritage site, by the Municipal Council.

During the ceremony, various local authorities and artists intervened, including "La Banda de Juan", the musical band founded by the Salesian at the time when he taught in Puerto Deseado. "I accept this tribute as the will of God and I want to thank the citizens of today and those who were boys at the time and who today are men, who greeted me with their children and grandchildren ... I try to live emotions with serenity, but I thank God and you ... I can do nothing but give thanks," said the missionary.

Other activities also marked the subsequent days of stay of Br. Randisi in Argentina: a large music and dance festival was organized in his honor; he gave several interviews to spread the Salesian charism and to thank the citizens; he visited the students of the Salesian Institutes "Saint Joseph" and "Mary Help of Christians" to offer them a missionary witness; and he brought greetings to a retirement home for the elderly ...

"There is only one tool that we Salesians use with young people, all over the world: it is to accompany them ... That means talking heart to heart with the boys, to correct them and help them grow." This was the gift that Br. Randisi, a Salesian teacher, finally left in Puerto Deseado.

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