Monsignor Bassano Dedè, an extraordinary figure

The history of Sant’Angelo is not only marked by the characters associated with the events at Bolognini Castle.
A little further on is the parish. An extraordinary figure of a pastor was Monsignor Bassano Dedè.
Born in Lodi on January 17, 1818, and ordained a priest on May 5, 1841, he served in several parishes. On September 29, 1857, he was promoted to pastor of Sant’Angelo, one of the most important communities with more than 13,000 inhabitants. The new provost had a desire for a larger and more beautiful parish church suitable for the population. He commissioned the designer engineer Vandoni, but the project remained as such. The new church was then built by his successor, Monsignor Rizzi.
Monsignor Dedè “knew the smell of his sheep and lived among his flock,” as Pope Francis says today. Concerned about the ‘neglect of the poorest elderly, on Jan. 1, 1884, he established a “hospice for old age” in the center of the town, near the parish house. He died in 1892 at the age of 74, leaving all his possessions to the hospice. He was a wise and discreet spiritual father of St. Frances Cabrini, encouraging her to start the new religious institute of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. His financial resources were all spent on charity. In the entrance hall of the current Cabrini Foundation nursing home, one can see his austere figure, marked by years, with the insignia of monsignor; next to it is the biblical text he had noted in the parish register at the time of the nursing home’s foundation. It speaks of a work born of love, which would grow with the love and Christian faith of so many.

The parish priest strongly loved the Church and was anchored in its Catholic doctrine; these were the times of national secularism and the birth of the Kingdom of Italy. Due to political events (among other things, he did not harbor strong “sympathies” toward Garibaldians) he was arrested twice. His faithful always loved and defended him. Today a street in the city center is named after him. The provost is remembered for many works: the new cemetery, the six bells in the bell tower, the restoration of the lazaretto, the expansion of the Delmati hospital, in a time of high mortality, especially infant mortality, the festive oratory at the church of St. Bartholomew, an orphanage. He took an interest in workers with the Workers’ Mutual Aid Society. They called him “father of the poor and defender of the faith.” Today one cannot forget the 140th anniversary of the founding of the present Rsa. From Monsignor Dedè to the current Monsignor Enzo Raimondi, with a facility in full expansion and now undergoing radical renovation. Elderly guests and the eight priests who live within the walls of the current Cabrini Foundation remember with gratitude those who began the work.
Fr Peppino Codecasa.

Monsignor Bassano Dedè

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