HONG KONG (SE): Jesuit Father Pierfilippo Guglielminetti who served the Church in Hong Kong for over three decades died on July 15 in Taipei, Taiwan, at the age of 82. He came to Hong Kong in 1974 and served the Church in various capacities until he returned to Taiwan in 2009.
Father Guglielminetti was born to a traditional Catholic family in Torino (Turin), Italy, on 2 February 1938. He had 11 siblings. He was baptised on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and he nurtured a filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout his life.
Father Guglielminetti studied at the Jesuit-run Istituto Sociale in Torino, from 1951 to 1956, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1956. He made his first vows in 1958 and studied philosophy in the same year.
He was ordained a priest on 3 July 1966 and joined a doctoral programme in systematic theology in Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1968. He then taught theology in Cagliari, Italy, in 1971.
In 1972, he was assigned to Taiwan and spent two years in learning Mandarin. He came to Hong Kong in 1974 and later made his final vows on 22 April 1975. He also worked in a factory to learn about the life of grassroots people.
Father Guglielminetti began working in Hong Kong parishes in 1980. He was assigned to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Mass Centre, Sau Mau Ping and later the Christ the Worker Mass Centre, Ngau Tau Kok.
After a sabbatical year in Manila in 1984, he returned to Hong Kong in 1985 and continued to serve at Christ the Worker Mass Centre. He also served at St. Anne’s parish, Stanley; Our Lady of Fatima parish, Cheung Chau; and St. John the Baptist parish, Kwun Tong.
In 2001, he retired from parish service and spent his time writing in Wah Yan College. In 2009, he went to Hsinchu, Taiwan, to retire. In 2016, he moved to the infirmary on the campus of Fu Jen Faculty of Theology of St. Robert Bellarine, Taipei, where he passed away.
Father Guglielminetti was a poet and is remembered for writing an Italian poem in 1990 about the Jesuit spirit to mark the 500th birth anniversary of St. Ignatius.
The funeral Mass for Father Guglielminetti was held at St. Robert Bellarmine Chapel of Fu Jen Faculty of Theology on July 22.