Thanksgiving for the life of Fr Giovanni Scudiero

James Teague plays Giovanni's trumpet; Simon Teague  on piano

James Teague plays Giovanni's trumpet; Simon Teague on piano

An evening of thanksgiving and celebration for the life of Fr Giovanni Scudiero took place last night (8 July) at the Pax Christi headquarters in St Joseph’s Pastoral Centre in Hendon, north London.

Family and friends, former students and colleagues, gathered to pay tribute to Fr Giovanni with prayer, music, poetry and readings.
A member of the Consolata Missionary Fathers, Fr Giovanni  worked with them in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, the United States and in London, where he was Dean of Studies at the Missionary Institute. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s he was very active  working for Justice and Peace  with CAFOD and Pax Christi.  Recently he served on the Executive of Pax Christi International.

One person said: "His life was a blessing to all who knew him. He saw everything as gift. He even managed to turn his illness into a gift, seeing it as an opportunity to make new friends in the hospital and cheer them up.”

Bruce Kent recalled how he had brought Giovanni English jokes to translate into Italian for his fellow patients.

Colleagues recalled how Giovanni had introduced the rainbow-coloured peace flag to England and written the vision statement for Pax Christi. One of his passions was photography and he has left a collection of very beautiful images that are being used by Pax Christi in their literature.

A Brazilian woman, who came with her young son, spoke about the support Fr Giovanni had given her and her family. When she in the throes a very difficult birth Fr Giovanni  had held her hand after her husband fainted. She said: “After the baby was delivered the doctors thought Fr Giovanni was the father. He said ‘I’m not but you could say I am his spiritual father.’  That’s why we decided to call our son Giovanni.”

The music  throughout the gathering was led by Ellen Teague with her family who were friends of Fr Giovanni.

James and Simon Teague also performed the Andante from Piano Concerto No 21 by Mozart, with James playing the trumpet which Giovanni had given him.

The service ended with a recording of Daniel Berrigan SJ reading his poem ‘Some’,  a prayer and the  upbeat South African song Ipharadisi

Giovanni  Scudiero   11.12.1946 – 14.06.2009

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