19 Nov In memory of Br. Sereno Baiardi (1941-2020)
Sereno Baiardi, Director of the General Secretariat of the OFM Missions in the USA from 1971 to 2014, died on 17 November 2020 in Trento (Italy).
Br. Sereno Giuseppe (Angelo) Baiardi was born on 27 January 1941 in Rivanazzano (PV), Italy. He made his temporary profession on 9 August 1959, made his solemn profession on 14 July 1964 and was ordained a priest on 26 June 1966 in Levanto.
In the summer of 1969, he was in Libya in Benghazi as Episcopal Secretary; he was expelled by the Libyan government on 12 October 1970 together with all Italians. He was sent to the USA in March 1971, initially to Burlington as an official of the General Secretariat of the OFM Missions in the USA. A few months later he was appointed Director of the same Secretariat and transferred to Waterford, Wisconsin (USA). For 45 years he dedicated himself to the service of the Franciscan missions through itinerant preaching and the creation and organisation of the Fundraising Office.
In October 2015 he returned to Italy and was assigned to Voghera, then from September 2016 to La Spezia.
His closest collaborators said about him on his departure from the USA:
You came here, to this immense country, when you were not yet 30 years old, barely knowing English. And little by little, from that little centre in Bonher’s Lake, Wisconsin, a horizon was opened up which connected with places all over the world. You visited every continent, bringing joy and hope to a lot of people … All you have accomplished is a treasure that you will always carry with you, wherever you go, to a place where it cannot be ruined or stolen, as the Lord says in the Gospel.
All the Friars of the Order are invited to pray for the repose of the soul of our dear Brother Sereno who has done so much good for the Order, for the Church, and especially for the poor and needy in all parts of the world. May the Lord receive him into heaven.