According to Anziano Steve Inman, a new chapel is to be dedicated in Sassari, Sardegna this summer. This will be the second chapel owned by the Church in the Italy Rome Mission!
It has been announced that the Padova Mission will be split and joined into the Milan and Rome Missions. This will officially take place in July 2002. Evidently, the Rome Mission will take over the districts of Pisa, Florence and Rimini and the other districts and the Padova Stake will go to the Milan Mission. President Jensen, from the Padova Mission, will take President Pacini's place in Rome at his release in July.
From the invitation to the 1998 All Italian Missions Reunion
Report of the 1997 Italian Missions Reunion
This year's reunion was held on April 4, 1997 at the chapel on 680 East 2nd Avenue in Salt Lake City. President Favero conducted and offered a special welcome to President Raimondo Castellani, who is serving as an Area Authority in Italy and to President Giuseppe Pasta who is working with the translation of the conference talks into Italian. Other mission presidents in attendance were Presidents Anderson, Cardon, DeWitt, Lombardo, Parker, Radman, Turner, Watkins, and Williams. President Favero also announced that President Gillespie, who has been serving in the Swiss temple, is now learning Korean so that he can serve in the Korean Temple.
The opening hymn, Genti Guardate, was directed by Sister Flavia Acceta-Wilsey and accompanied by Sister Favero. The invocation was offered by Paulo Battestato, of Catania.
Brother Pacini gave a financial report stating that we had taken in $2,240 and spent $957 for a net gain of approximately $1,300. We now have a fund balance of $13,420. It was voted by the executive committee to send funds to President Conforte who has agreed to organize an all-Italian Missionary Reunion in September, probably in Florence. Those who are capable of doing so are encouraged to continue to contribute to the Italian Missionary Fund. It is the aim of the association to have sufficient finds so that the interest can be used to support more and more missionaries in Italy, or from Italy, such that the General Missionary Fund of the Church will not be needed for Italian related support and can be used elsewhere. The group was also reminded that the IRS has authorized the group to be a charitable organization, which allows all contributions to be tax deductible.
President Pasta was invited to speak. He said that he was happy to see that the Church is not only true in Italy, but in the U.S. as well. He brought the love of all the former mission presidents in Italy: Presidents Vaira, Conforte, Loito, Larcher and also from President Ascione who is serving in Catania at the present time, and of course from Sister Pasta. Italy is growing and there are many baptisms of good quality people. President Pasta said that he was in the temple a few weeks ago carrying out his assignment as a sealer and was greatly impressed buy the Saints who continue to sacrifice to go to the Temple. He spoke of the love of the Italian saints for the missionaries who have served among them and of the great influence the missionaries have had on their lives. Every night he and Sister Pasta pray for the missionaries whom they consider to be a part of their eternal family. He bore witness of the truthfulness of the Gospel.
President Parker, who recently returned from the Rome mission, was asked to give a report of his mission. He said that a few days earlier he had spoken with President Flosi who is now serving as the President of the Rome mission. President Flosi was born in Italy and moved to the U.S. when he was seven years old. He graduated from the University with a law degree and met his future wife who happened to be from Utah. He had been raised a Catholic, but under the influence of his wife, he joined the LDS Church and a year later was called to be a bishop. Later he and his wife returned to Rome as legal attache at the U.S. Embassy. During that time he served as a branch president, District President and counselor in the Mission Presidency. At the present time, there are two mission presidents living in the mission home in Rome. One of them is President Flosi, and the other is President Holman, who is the president of the Albanian Mission. President Holman, his wife, and two other missionary couples are living in the mission home together with 10 missionaries who are serving in Rome. When President Parker left the mission last July, there were 160 missionaries serving. There are now 198 (including the Albanian missionaries). The sister missionaries have also increased from 22 to the present 38 sisters. Several new cities have been opened including Spoleto in the north, Mazzarata, formerly of the Padova Mission, and Potenza, formerly part of the Catania Mission. The city of Parbogna on the Island of Sardegna has also been opened. With the new Bari Stake in the Catania Mission, Rome is the only Italian Mission without a Stake. In anticipation of the creation of a Rome Stake, the five branches there have been consolidated into three. They anticipate having a stake in Rome next year and have applied for permission to build a stake center just north of Rome. The site has 15 acres, and has room not only for a stake center but perhaps a temple some time in the future. Four missionaries were recently sent to Mazzarata to open that city. To counteract the influence of our missionaries the Catholic Church sent 16 of their own missionaries. There are some 58,000,000 people in Italy. About 20,000 of them are LDS, which means that there are about 3600 non-members for every member, and we have a lot of work to do. In March of 1995, President Parker received a call from Elder Dallas Merrill of the Seventy, who is serving in the South Pacific Area. Elder Merrill had received an invitation from Cardinal Cassidy to visit the Vatican. He had met Cardinal Cassidy in Australia when the Pope visited there. During the visit with the Cardinal, they presented him with several gifts, including a quadruple combination of the scriptures. They also had the opportunity of discussing the origin of The Book of Mormon and its relationship with the Bible. They spent four and a half hours with the Cardinal discussing the origins of the Church and our missionary system. During his mission term, President Parker organized a Christmas zone conference with his missionaries at the branch chapel near Vatican City. Following the conference they decided to go caroling and ended up singing carols at Saint Peterís square. As they moved closer to the apartments of the Pope, they were approached by the Vatican Police, who asked them for their permit to sing in Saint Peterís Square. Since they did not have one, the police told them where they could get a permit. The next day they applied for and received a permit and with it, an invitation to sing in Saint Peterís Basilica for the mass the Sunday evening before Christmas. Fifty Mormon missionaries provided music for Mass that Sunday. They were then informed that the Mass had been broadcast over Vatican Radio throughout the world. President Parker bore his testimony to the thruthfulness of the Gospel.
Elder Raimondo Castellani was then invited to speak. He spoke of a third stake of the Church in Italy that was recently organized in Bari. It is presided over by President DiCarlo of Foggia, who with his wife served a full-time mission in Italy. His counselors are President Modugno and President Castaldo. President Conforte was ordained Patriarch for the Stake. President Castellani spoke of the work that has been sown by the missionaries from America, which is now growing rapidly. President Conforte asked him to embrace everyone for him. President Vaira also sends his love and greeting. He mentioned that Italy needs missionary couples and it is hoped that many of you will return in that capacity. He bore his testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel. He again thanked the missionaries for what they have done for the members and reminded them that they will forever be remembered by those who love them in Italy.
After a closing hymn, the benediction was offered by Dan Broadbent of the Catania Mission. The next reunion will be April 3, 1998 in the same location. All who have e-mail addresses were encouraged to make them known to speed up communication and reduce administrative time and expense.
Submitted by Max D'Ambrosio
Submitted by Trevor Clifton
President Parker left Italy on a BOOM. In his last month as Mission President the mission had 23 baptisms, one of which was performed by President himself. He and Sister Parker had been involved in the teaching of a sister earlier in January who was baptized, but in his last month, President actually performed a baptism and it was a special moment for him as he Saluted Italy goodbye. His heart was left there and, as President Monsen promises to Mission Presidents, 'many more tears were shed as they left their service lands then when they left their families at the beginning of the 3 years.' The mission gave the the Parkers a large silver platter with an engraven message thanking them for their wonderful service.
Currently Leone J. Flosi and his wife and daughter Gena are living in the mission home and President Flosi is Rocking the mission. He had lived in Rome as an FBI agent for 9 years so his knowing the members helped him to gain the love and the trust of the people.
In 1995 the mission finished the year off with at total of 125 baptisms and then again in 1996 with 125 baptisms. This was a great success because the mission hasn't had over 100 baptismes in many years. Rome is curently preparing for a stake and their goal is to be organized by the end of 1997.
A few facts: The LAMANITE GENERATIONS 'Living Legends' visited Rome last spring and this past summer the Goodman Family directed by Kenneth Cope made a visit to Rome and even sang for the Pope. They have a non Church affiliated group that is made to strengthen families. Since Sister Goodman (the daughter) was finishing her mission in Rome they came and performed. Their performance is called 'Fortress of Love' and it brought in many referals for the Missionaries.
An announcement that is official but hasn't been made known to all just yet is that the Mormon Tabernacle Chior will be visiting Rome in 1998 (what a break through for confronting the Catholic Society).
Four new cities opened in the mission of Rome in 1997 - they were: Spoletto, Macerata, Carbonia and Potenza.
Well, the work is going strong in Rome and all of its cities inclued within the mission bounderies. A site for the Stake Center is being sought out as well as prospective temple sites.
President Flosi also had an encounter with the current President of Italy and will have successive meetings to help to recognize the Church and set up its policy among the political authorities there in Italy. The Church has been officially recognized, but final paperwork is still on hold for decisions.
The name of the next mission president for the italy rome mission has been announced. Brother Leone J. Flosi will be taking President Parker's place around the end of June. I don't have any other info yet. If any of you do, please mail me.