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Letter from Rome: A preacher, teacher and friend of the poor

Don Pietro Sigurani is still on the journey at 85 even after being forced into ‘retirement’ for the second time

Letter from Rome: A preacher, teacher and friend of the poor

Don Pietro Sigurani delivered captivating homilies. (Photo: YouTube)

It's said that he declined an offer (or two) to become an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rome.

Whether that's true or just an urban legend is not really important because Msgr. Pietro Sigurani has certainly had a profound influence on many Catholics in the Eternal City during his 61 years as a presbyter. Count me among them.

The man everyone in town knows as "Don Pietro" was pastor for some 37 years at the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a parish located in a neighborhood that fascist dictator Benito Mussolini built early in his regime just beyond the Cathedral Basilica of St. John Lateran.

I frequently attended the 11.30am Sunday Mass at Natività for about the last 23 years of Don Pietro's tenure at this lively parish.

His homilies were captivating, truly inspired and challenging. Heading off to Sunday pranzo after that liturgy, there was always the feeling that one's faith had been greatly strengthened.

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