Guam – The late Monsignor Louis Antonelli has led the faithful, on the close knit community of Rota for 46 years, having also extended his impact on the Catholic community throughout the entire Mariana region.
Having just turned a century old last September, the announcement of the beloved monsignor’s passing leaves the entire region in mourning having been a staple figure for the catholic faith since 1973.
News of the highly revered Monsignor’s passing has become a beacon for a wide range of stories and memories from the entire community, not just from the resident’s of Rota where he lived for most of his life, but from the neighboring islands throughout the Marianas.
A fellow clergyman and friend to the Monsignor, Father Mike Crisostomo of the Archdiocese of Agana shares a fond memory of the Father Antonelli on NewsTalk K57’s Morning’s with Patti, “Indeed a great loss for the church not just for the people of the Marianas but for us here on Guam. People of Guam, we fondly remember Monsignor Antonelli. Gosh I was just a seminarian when I met him and I was assigned to Rota for the summer and boy that was an experience… He introduced me to the Pennsylvania Pink Belly. That was like a punch to your right shoulder or left and a slap to your belly and that was his affection.”
Father Crisostomo continues, “He remembers everyone by name and it was just an interesting relationship with his people. A true pastor. A true priest.”
Spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Agana, Tony Diaz also shared his memories with the beloved Monsignor on NewsTalk K57.
“Yes Father Antonelli as you know was very beloved, quite a character, quite a unique priest. Last time I saw Father Antonelli… I was either in junior high or high school. And as you know, he served on Guam and is very much beloved as well as in the Northern Marianas but he had his grip, his handshake grip like a steel vice. He would always look you right in the eye. And he was always so loving and caring and engaging with his people.”
A statement was also released by the archdiocese that reads: “On Behalf of Archbishop Michael Byrnes and all the faithful on Guam, the Archdiocese of Agana extends prayers and condolences to all Catholics in the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa on the passing of their beloved clergyman Monsignor Louis Antonelli.”
The statement continues, “Monsignor Antonelli was a much-loved priest in the Northern Marianas as well as here on Guam where he also ministered to the people for many years beginning in 1953. His first assignment here was teaching at Father Duenas Memorial School… An important figure in the history of the Catholic Church in this region. We give thanks to God for Monsignor Antonelli and extend prayers for him and to his family and loved ones.”
Monsignor Antonelli has served the faithful as a priest for 70 years, having been ordained at the age of 30 on June 11th 1949
At the request of the late Monsignor, to complete his burial within 24 hours after his death, a Christian burial was held at 1 pm this afternoon at the San Isidro Church. He was then laid to rest at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine or as most commonly known, Santa Lourdes, on Rota. A Tridentine Mass on the 9th day after his death, which is next Thursday will also be held at Santa Lourdes, according to Bishop of Chalan Kanoa Ryan Jimenez.
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