Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Paolo Albera and Calogero Gusmao. Lettere a Don Giulio Barberis Durante la Loro Visita Alle Case d'America (1900-1903)

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Paolo Albera and Calogero Gusmao. Lettere a Don Giulio Barberis Durante la Loro Visita Alle Case d'America (1900-1903)

Article excerpt

Paolo Albera and Calogero Gusmano. Lettere a don Giulio Barberis durante la loro visita alle case d America (1900-1903). Edited by Brenno Casali. [Istituto Storico Salesiano-Roma, Fonti-Serie Seconda, 9.] (Rome: LAS [Libreria Ateneo Salesiano]. 2001. Pp. 515. Life 50.000 paperback.)

This volume is part of a series of the Salesians' founding documents. It consists of letters to Father Michael Rua, Don John Bosco's successor as the Salesians' superior general, and to Father Giulio Barberis, who held various posts in the Salesians' administration, from Father Paolo Albera, Father Rua's representative, and from Father Calogero Gusmano, Father Albera's secretary The letters were written between 1900 and 1903, when Father Albera and Father Gusmano were on a pastoral visit of Salesian houses in the Americas. Their assignment was to visit each establishment staffed by the Salesians of Don Bosco or the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians, and to report on the houses' activities. They stuck to their task, seldom commenting on political, economic, or social situations they encountered.

The letters were written from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, United States, Great Britain, and France. The South American letters are the heart of the collection; the letters from the last four places concern mostly travel arrangements. The letters contain four sorts of information. Father Albera and Father Gusmano always included how they were feeling and what their travel plans were. Occasionally they produced vivid paragraphs describing pastoral ministry (or, in the case of the evangelization of the Indians, lack of it; no one knew the languages). …

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