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In the name of Father Aristide, a Clinical Research Center on Viruses in Brazil

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In the name of Father Aristide, a Clinical Research Center on Viruses in Brazil
26 years after the death of Msgr. Pirovano, missionary bishop of PIME, his city of Erba remembers him with a Mass and with a new project for the Marituba hospital

«Father Aristide’s works – and ours too – are rooted in faith and are nourished by prayer. So let’s pray for him and that his example and witness continue to inspire our journey”. This was the memory of Rosanna Pirovano, president of the Friends of Monsignor Aristide Pirovano Association during the Mass celebrated last Saturday and presided over by Monsignor Angelo Pirovano, head of the Sant’Eufemia di Erba pastoral community in memory of the missionary bishop who died on February 3 1997.

«Father Aristide’s life and mission are a sign of God’s love, in imitation of Jesus, who gave himself to all, without distinction – Monsignor Pirovano pointed out in his homily -. That was his path, and he walked it in love and service.’ The Provost then recalled a passage from the homily delivered by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, celebrating Mass in Erba on 29 May 2022 for the 25th anniversary of the missionary bishop’s disappearance: «His life was not a life of “ordinary administration”; it was a succession of moments, in which the diffusion of the Gospel, the missionary commitment, the love for the little ones – where not only those in age are small, but also those who suffer, are marginalized and alone -, are been a sure point of reference, a constant line in his journey to meet the Lord”.

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A project for the Maituba hospital

After the Mass, an important project linked to the “Divina Provvidenza” Hospital in Marituba was presented, in which the Friends of Father Aristide will collaborate in partnership with the Poveri Servi, the Marcello Candia Foundation, the San Giovanni Calabria Committee and the non-profit organization Missioni Don Calabria.

The project was illustrated by Dr. Concetta Castilletti, a world-renowned virologist, appointed Knight of the Republic for the studies on Covid-19 carried out at the Spallanzani Institute in Rome and today engaged at the Irccs “Sacro Cuore Don Calabria” in Negrar ( Verona), “engine” of this work whose heart will be the “Divine Providence” of Marituba, the last work desired by Father Aristide. A structure that has constantly developed in the last 25 years, assuming a key role in the health system of its territory and becoming a cornerstone of the “network” of Calabrian hospitals in the world (in addition to Negrar, those existing in Angola and in the Philippines).

A progress that passes through the continuous implementation of the equipment: the next step will be the purchase of a magnetic resonance machine, to which the Friends of Father Aristide have also allocated a significant financial contribution. The goal is to always be in step with the times and to know how to respond even to unforeseen challenges, such as that of Covid, in the face of which – albeit in a highly dramatic context – “Divine Providence” proved to be up to it

The Research Center’s “Embryo” is a small, already operational laboratory, managed by a highly esteemed researcher who has always been involved in leprosy. «Our aim is to prevent what happened with Covid – the researcher specified -, especially on the front of neglected diseases (chronic infectious diseases widespread especially in less developed countries, ed) and antibiotic-resistant pathogens, from which the greatest threats will probably come in the future. For this you need to create a team of research”. It is premature to talk about overall times and costs: «They are still in the study phase, you always start with small steps… The project is demanding, but we are not alone, because we are also trying to involve the scientific authorities of Parà (the Brazilian state to which Marituba belongs, ed). The collaboration of the entire scientific community is fundamental”.

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The research work carried out in Marituba will bear fruit on a global level: thus a mission hitherto subject to aid and assistance will “give back” what it has received. «I was impressed by what has been achieved in Marituba in recent years, where highly trained professionals work at the service of their territory – concluded Dr. Castilletti -. From here a virtuous exchange will be born, and it could not be otherwise ». In a scientific initiative that will still maintain the focus on the human person, there is already a concrete proposal: to name the future Center after Father Aristide.

Dr. Enrico Fiorio, president of the San Giovanni Calabria Committee (born three years ago as a “rib” of the Congregation), then recalled what he had done in favor of Marituba (such as the supply of a CT scan) and illustrated the commitment aimed at the purchase of the magnetic resonance equipment, which will soon be completed with the help of the Friends of Father Aristide.

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