Tuesday, January 8, 2019


In December of 2018 a great man died in PERU where he had given his life for the peoples there.  He was 94.

PADRE UGO  de CENSI SCARAFONI was born in 1924, in Polaggia, a village in the province of Sondrio, Italy. Coming from a humble and simple family, he was educated, together with his five brothers, to love fGod and neighbor.

In 1940, when he was 16, his mother Ursula died. In 1949 he suffered bone tuberculosis, which forced him to spend a long time at the hospital of Santa Corona, in Liguria. Three years later, on March 8, 1952, he was ordained a Salesian priest.

In 1955, he took up work with the boys of the Salesian Center of Arese, a home for young people without families and with behavioral problems. It was a fundamental step in his life, because being among those youths tempered his character.

In 1960, he was appointed spiritual assistant of the oratories of Lombard . He would take the youth climbing the mountains of Val Formazza, helping them study and prepare for their future.

 In 1966, he met Fr Pietro Melesi ,who returning to Italy after ten years of his missionary work in Brazil, told him about the difficulties encountered in his work for the poor of Mato Grosso. Fr Ugo then launched his proposal: "Why do we not help them?"

It was July 8, 1967, when the first group of young missionaries left for Brazil. "It was like lighting a flame among these young people," Fr Ugo later wrote. Thus 'Operation Mato Grosso' was born, to provide assistance to the poorest families in the Brazilian region of Mato Grosso".

With the success of this cooperative movement supported by young Italians, Father Ugo decided to expand his range of action in the Peruvian Andes , arriving in 1976 , to the Ancashino people of Chacas as priest of the San Martín Papa Parish.  

Every week, on the heights of the Andes of Huaraz, he gathered over 20,000 teenagers and young people to talk to them about God, Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco. Don Ugo looked to St. Don Bosco as a father, a friend, a teacher of charity, and a guide to the great work for the benefit of the oratories. Father Ugo did not think of any work without prayer.

This holy Italian missionary founded centers, parishes, schools, workshops, hospitals, shelters, institutes, seminaries, and a monastery.  His work is widely recognized at the local, regional and international level where he managed to practically instill the Catholic faith but at the same time promote the development of the towns where the Mato Grosso Foundation has operated. He was in Chacas between 1976 and 2018. 

The flame of charity that burned on the Cordillera Blanca of the Andes has not been extinguished but will continue to burn in the thousands of young people the holy priest formed.

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