Bishop Giuseppe Cavallotto of Cuneo and Fosano, the birthplace of Father Giuseppe Bertaina, will celebrate a memorial Mass for the Italian priest who was killed on January 16 in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to the Italian news agency SIR, the Catholic weekly of Cuneo, “La Guida,” reported that the Mass will be celebrated January 24 at “Madonna dell’Olmo,” where Fr. Bertaina was born on October 3, 1927. “La Guida” has dedicated its latest edition to the slain missionary, including a story on the testimony of his sister, Dominican nun Sister Carla Bertaina.
“When I learned of the news of the murder, it was very difficult to accept the manner in which my brother died. I can’t imagine the violence of this act. Now with the help of God I am at peace because He gave him all of His help in that moment. He has thus crowned his life as a missionary, giving all of himself to his brothers and sisters,” his sister said.
“Certainly Our Lady of Consolation, to whom he was especially devoted, protected him and comforted him. He wanted to be buried in the land he felt was his own: here, he said, is my family,” Sister Carla explained.
Fr. Bertaina was tied and gagged in broad daylight by two men who robbed the Institute of Philosophy of the Missionaries of the Consolata, which he helped to found. He will be buried at the cemetery of Mathari in Nairobi. It is unclear who killed the priest.