By Fr. David Buenaventura, SDB
Manila, Philippines, 5 January 2016 - The old man is gone to heaven. The confession box at the back of St. John Bosco Parish (Manila – Makati) will no longer be the same. As is best friend, Mr. Pacheco texted me yesterday: “Although he appeared strict and demanding we will miss him”.
Yes, we will miss Fr. Adolf Faroni. But his death is a very strong reminder to all of us that our real home is heaven. We build houses for ourselves. We decorate them. We become settled in life. Very few people like moving around from one place to another. And yet despite the fact that we are so settled where we are, death reminds us that this is not our real home. Our homeland is heaven.
As we pay your respects to Fr. Faroni, it is good to ask ourselves what we are doing to prepare ourselves to occupy our homes in heaven. When it is our time to leave this world?
The Lord gave Fr. Faroni ample time to prepare himself for his real home. Yes, he was a stern and demanding as a person. But we, Salesians are like that, we do a lot of crazy things, but the bottom line is… we love the people we serve. Fr. Faroni would shout, lose his temper, even paternally hit you with his cane, but always with the intention to shake us up and to awaken the godly in us.
During his last weeks with us, he transformed himself into a humble, loving, thoughtful, and caring person. He asked forgiveness from his caregivers, from Salesians he met and even from those working at our bookstore. He knew his end was near. He knew that he had to leave everything that was dear to him in order to be worthy of that which all throughout his life he had worked and longed for.
Fr. Faroni is now heading to his real home. What he needs from us now are our prayers said with love. Flowers we offer will fade away. Homilies we say of him will be forgotten…But our prayers said with love have the power to forgive his sins and transform Fr. Faroni into a worthy resident of his home, our home, God’s Kingdom.
Fr. Adolf Faroni:
- He was the most senior member of FIN province.
- Born in Treviso, Italy in 1923.
- Has one brother, Giovanni Paolo, Salesian priest, former missionary in Japan, since 2003 living in Italy.
- His family migrated to Argentina, Buenos Aires.
- Fr. Adolf joined the Congregation when he was a catechist in the ‘Colegio San Francisco de Sales, Almagro (Buenos Aires).
- He did his first profession on January 31st 1947 in Morón, Postnovitiate (1947-1949) and practical training in Bernal and Ramos Mejía (1950-1952).
- In 1953 left for his theological studies in England (Beckford and Melchet Court and was ordained there on 7th July 1957.
- Since that time he spent almost 60 years as a missionary in the Philippines, last twenty years as a confessor in the St. John Bosco Parish – Makati, Metro Manila.