ANSELMO GOBBI (priest)
Born at Mazzagatta di Oppeano (Verona): 19.12.1933
Temporary profession: 25.9.1954
Final profession: 25.9.1957
Death: Verona, S. Leonardo, 6.12.2008
Age: 74 y.o.
Fr. Anselmo was born at Mazzagatta (Verona) on the 19th December 1933 from Mr. Angelo and Mrs. Begnoni Maria.
At the age of 15 he entered the Congregation at Cadellara (Verona) with Fr. Giovanni Armani as a Formator. He received his first formation from Fr. Nello Dalle Vedove, Fr. Luigi Dusi and Fr. Fausto Longo. He spent his first years at Sezano and then, from 1954, he worked at S. Leonardo and with his companions and the aspirants gave a great contribution to beautify the surroundings of that house of formation: he was the director of the works. He was always available for the young aspirants and he cared for them as an elder brother and as a barber always attentive to their look.
At the age of 29, on the 24th June 1962, he was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Verona, Giuseppe Carraro. For 11 years he was the Provincial vocation promoter, while living at Cadellara, Battipaglia and S. Leonardo. He is famous for managing to quench the thirst of about 30 boys with just 2 litres of orange juice.
In 1973 he was appointed director of the house of Malosco (Trento). There, in the valley of Non, he exercised his ministry, working in different villages as a preacher and confessor, an always-ready helper for 4 years. That experience developed in him also the contemplative gift.
Then he dedicated himself to the ministry as a parish priest at Pavia (1977-1984) and he had a short missionary experience in Tanzania (Hombolo, 1985). He always had a missionary spirit and helped in different occasions Fr. Pietro Marchesini in the Mission Office at S. Leonardo.
He spend a year in the community of Sezano (1986-1987) and then worked in parish ministry at Parma (1987-1994) and at Rieti (1994-1997).
For two years he was the committed rector of the church of Stimmate (Verona, 1997-1999), then he had another 5 year term at Parma (1999-2004) and at Rome, (Holy Trinity parish, 2004-2006). Here he was very much appreciated for his availability to the needs of people and for the long hours spent at prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament. He used his stay in Rome as a means to deeply experience the universal dimension of the faith and of the Church of God.
While he was in Rome the sickness which led him to his death, appeared: in order to get better treatments, he was sent back to Parma. There he intensively exercised his parish ministry, notwithstanding the frequent interruptions due to hospitalization at Negrar (Verona) for medicaments and check-ups. He had a particular attention for the sick and the old aged whom he frequently and faithfully visited.
The desire of going back to Parma sustained him during the last weeks of his life, when, at S. Leonardo, the burden of his sickness did not give many hopes. On Saturday, the 6th December 2008, in the morning, the Lordís voice called him to eternal life, the day before the eve of the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary whom he particularly loved. On the previous evening he had received the Last Sacraments which ensured him of the loving embrace of the Lord.
We remember Fr. Anselmo as a simple and caring brother, a generous priest and a man of deep spirituality, matured in prayer and with evangelical spirit.