On Saturday, October 15, the Salesian Province of New Rochelle honored 21 confreres who have accumulated 1,045 years of religious profession or priestly ordination. The Eucharistic celebration took place at the Marian Shrine chapel in Haverstraw with the provincial, Fr. Timothy Zak, SDB, presiding and preaching and more than 200 Salesians, Salesian sisters, family members, and friends of the jubilarians participating.

by Fr. Michael Mendl, SDB

Among the jubilarians were 17 priests and four brothers. Twelve of the 21 were present in person. Ten jubilarians and 24 other priests concelebrated.

The New Rochelle Province includes 17 works in the Eastern United States and all of Canada. Through their origins in not only the U.S. and Canada, but also Argentina (1 confrere), India (3), the Philippines (1), Poland (1), Spain (1), and Uruguay (1), the jubilarians display the internationality of the Salesian Congregation. By birth they represent the Canadian province of Quebec (2) and the U.S. states of Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), New Jersey (2), New York (5), Pennsylvania (2), and Rhode Island (1).

Father Zak’s homily highlighted the jubilarians’ witness to the Easter life of Christ in manners similar to what St. Artemides Zatti did; a Salesian brother who served the sick in Argentina for over 40 years, he was canonized on October 9.

Two of the jubilarians are in the Salesian community of Montreal.

Fr. Tito Iannaccio, SDB, a member of the Salesian community at the Don Bosco Youth Leadership Centre in Montreal since 2014, and for six years before that parochial vicar at Maria Ausiliatrice Parish in Montreal, was ordained 50 years ago, August 6, 1972, in Rotello, Italy, after theological studies in Messina. He was born in Buenos Aires in 1944; those roots, when Francis was elected Pope in 2013 while a Salesian provincial chapter was meeting, enabled him immediately to inform the chapter that our new Pope is a Salesian past pupil. Fr. Iannaccio made his first profession on January 31, 1961, in Argentina. He filled various teaching and parish positions in Argentina and was vicar general of the diocese of Rio Gallego for 13 years as well. He served as a missionary in Mozambique for two years and immigrated to Montreal in 2008.

Fr. Luc Lantagne, SDB, has been director of the Canadian mission office in Montreal since 2006 and is currently also director of the Salesian community there. He has been a professed Salesian for 50 years. He comes from Sherbrooke, where he was born in 1951. He entered the Salesians there in 1971 and made his first profession at Newton, N.J., on September 1, 1972. He studied theology in Turin and Columbus, Ohio, and was ordained in 1984, at Rock Forest, Que. Except for one year of practical training in Tampa, he has lived his Salesian life in Canada: seven years of teaching in Sherbrooke, eight years as a pastor in Edmonton and three years as assistant pastor at Maria Ausiliatrice Parish in Montreal. He was Salesian provincial in Canada from 2000 to 2006.