In Pace Christi

Brunelli Adelino

Brunelli Adelino
Date of birth : 23/03/1943
Place of birth : Volta Montana/I
Temporary Vows : 17/05/1975
Perpetual Vows : 29/04/1979
Date of ordination : 03/09/1967
Date of death : 15/03/2018
Place of death : Brescia/I

Fr. Adelino arrived in Central Africa on 9 July 1975. After his introduction at Mongoumba, he was appointed to Obo, in the east of the country, 110 Km from Sudan, where he arrived on 27 November of that same year.

There he made his perpetual profession on 29 April 1979. When he asked to join the Combonis he was already a priest of the diocese of Mantova, having been ordained on 3 September 1967.

After six years of mission, mostly in the savannah of Obo, he was substituted by Fr. Juan José Aguirre, the present bishop of Bangassou who, when Fr. Adelino died, recalled those few months he lived together with him before he left Obo, emphasising his availability, his consideration for people and his spirit of prayer.

On 17 July 1981, he returned to Italy to take up the post of superior at Padua Secondary School, a task he did not particularly like: he was more of a counsellor and spiritual director than an organiser, as was apparent to us here in the CAR. After seven years spent with his usual availability in Padua, Fr. Adelino returned to central Africa where he was appointed to the parish of Notre Dame de Fatima, Bangui, where the Combonis had worked since 1967 and he worked there till 1993. He then went to the Major Seminary, Bangui, that had been entrusted to the Combonis in 1987, where he helped with the finances and also lent a hand to the nearby Comboni Postulancy. In 1994 he moved to the Postulancy to assist Fr. Natale Mandelli, taking his place soon afterwards, both as formator and superior until June 1998.

Starting in 1999, he asked to have an experience of the eremitical life outside the Comboni community, in the compound of the Benedictine Sisters where he built a house with a few rooms. There he could pray and receive people seeking spiritual direction.

This demonstrated his unease as he sought a life of prayer and, at the same time, his desire to dedicate himself to the poor, to the sick in the hospitals of Bangui (3) and to the prisoners, especially the women accused of witchcraft imprisoned at Bimbo, not far from his dwelling.

When he had ended this experience (in March 2003), he was appointed to Maison Comboni (the provincial house) as superior, though this was only to last a year as, on 24 December 2004, he went to live at the house of the small confraternity he had founded (“Friends of Jesus the Compassionate”). On 15 April 2007, the first (and last...) two members made their first profession.

On 22 February 2008, Fr. Adelino re-joined the Comboni community and went to the mission of Boda as superior and parish priest. He left the mission in 2014 (also for health reasons) and returned to the Postulancy of Bimbo-Bangui, where he resumed his usual activities: visiting the sick, the poor and the imprisoned. He remained there until his departure for Italy in 2017, to celebrate his priestly Golden Jubilee (3 September), while waiting for his final encounter with the Father on 15 March 2018.