Kidnapping of Italian Missionary

Today, on June 10, 2007 around 9:30 in the morning an Italian Missionary Fr. Giancarlo Bossi, PIME was kidnapped by unidentified yet group. The incident took place in the area of Bulawan village, where Fr. Giancarlo, the parish priest of Payao (Zamboanga Sibuguey – Prelature of Ipil), was going to say the Mass. According to the information obtained from undisclosed sources he was brought into area of Tungawan, the same place where another PIME Fr. Luciano Benedetti and Fr. Giuseppe Pierantoni, SCJ were kept.

Fr. Giancarlo Bossi belongs to the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) founded on July 30, 1850 at Saronno (Milan) by Fr. Angelo Ramazzotti.

The first PIME missionaries arrived in the Philippines in 1968. After a brief period of working at a diocesan seminary, the missionaries found themselves immersed in pastoral work. First they were sent to the north of the country, to Santa Cruz, within the province of Laguna, and to Tondo, an area of shanty dwellers on the bay of Manila. Then they moved south, to the island of Mindanao, where in 1969 PIME assumed responsibility for the missionary of Siocon, in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.

In 1981 Fr. Giancarlo Bossi together with Fr. Fernando Milani joined the Prelature of Ipil, where they helped to organize the parishes of Kumalarang and Siay and founded three new parishes in Lakewood, Payao and Sampoli.

Fr. Giancarlo Bossi is not the first PIME victim of violence in Mindanao. One of his companions mentioned above, Fr. Luciano Benedetti was also kidnapped in the area of Sibucao, Zamboanga del Norte on September 8, 1998 and kept in captivity for 69 days, while two other companions were killed: Fr. Tulio Favali in Kidapawan on April 11, 1985 and Fr. Salvatore Carzedda on May 20, 1992 in Zamboanga City.

Let us unite together in our prayers asking for God’s protection for Fr. Giancarlo and his soon release.