Friday, March 03, 2017

Italian missionary with strong ties to China dies

Father Fernando Galbiati, an Italian missionary with strong ties to Hong Kong and China, died in northern Italy on Feb 18. He was 84.

Father Galbiati, a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, first went to Hong Kong in 1957. 

He taught philosophy at the Holy Spirit Seminary in Hong Kong and served as parish priest for many years.
The Italian missionary contributed significantly in academic and social fields, including a doctoral thesis on Peng Pai, an early founder of the Chinese Communist party and the Hai-Lu-Feng Soviet in China.

Hai-Lu-Feng, short for Haifeng and Lufeng counties in southern Guangdong province, was also a cradle of faith with Catholicism introduced to the area in the 19th century.

After decades in Hong Kong, Father Galbiati was assigned to Rome in 1999 to become the secretary-general of the Pontifical Missionary Union and secretary of the International Society for the Propagation of the Faith in 2004.

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