Angelo Capuano tells us about Carlo Domenico Albini, born in 1790 in Italy and ordained a diocesan priest in 1814.

In July 1823, he was appointed to teach moral theology in the major seminary of Nice. He did not limit his activity to teaching, however, but gladly did priestly ministry in the city’s cathedral. It was when he was helping the parish priest conduct a retreat for ex-prisoners and misfits in July 1824 that he met Fathers de Mazenod and Suzanne: the latter had been called in to preach this retreat.

Father Albini was struck by their apostolic zeal, by the missionary ideal which animated them, by their fraternal relationship. From this he began to entertain the idea of living in a religious community. At the end of the retreat, he decided to join the recently founded Society of the Missionaries of Provence.

In 1824 he began mission preaching – an activity that he excelled at for the rest of his life –  and then was appointed professor in the Oblate scholasticate in Aix. In 1825, he was to undertake to translate part of the Constitutions and Rules into Latin in preparation for their presentation to the Holy See for approval. It was Father Albini who pressurized the Founder and convinced him to go to Rome in view of obtaining an official recognition of the Congregation.

In October 1827, Father Albini was appointed to teach moral theology at the major seminary of Marseilles which had just been entrusted to the Oblates. At the end of July 1828, he was given the spiritual care of the “Work for the Italians” in Marseilles. This was an apostolate among the Italian immigrants and Father Albini carried it out with passionate dedication.

Appointed to the group of Oblates going to Corsica, Father Albini had to wait until October 1835 before he could join the missionary group. The Founder, in fact, had hesitated a great deal before letting him go, for he saw Father Albini as almost indispensable for the apostolic service he was rendering to the Work of the Italians.

He was a seminary professor and a successful missionary preacher who was known for bringing reconciliation between warring families and communities.

He became seriously ill in November 1838, to the point that his death was feared to be imminent. He rallied somewhat in February 1839 and was beginning eagerly to look ahead to more mission preaching. His health become more problematical, however, and he began to weaken. He died on May 20, 1839.

Father Albini’s demise was felt as a grave loss for the Congregation, especially so by the Founder who considered him an example of apostolic zeal and holiness of religious life that all Oblates should look up to as a model. The people, too, lamented his passing and began to look upon him as a saint. His cause for beatification is complete, and awaits the mandatory miracle through his intercession.

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One Response to CARLO DOMENICO ALBINI OMI, 1790 – 1839

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Another of our founding community. Albini who helped to translate into Latin the Constitutions and Rules that would be received by the Pope and approved by him in 1826 – almost 200 years ago. In reading about him I am reminded of Eugene himself – a man “on fire with the love of God” and the need to share that in whatever way was asked of him.

    Angelo Capuano, OMI in his biography of Albini writes: “In November 1837, he was in Ajaccio to preach the spiritual retreat to the diocesan clergy. On that occasion, the project was mentioned of putting him in charge of the formation and renewal of a group of priests who would reside at the monastery of Vico. This would have occasioned a radical transformation of the community there. Father Albini was quite concerned. While he acknowledged the vital importance of this project, he feared that putting it into effect would seriously handicap parish missions. He considered the latter to be of prime importance and he himself was very much drawn to this kind of ministry. The project was not put into effect, however.”

    I think of what is taking place at this moment and being shared with all of us around the world; pictures from the Inter-Chapter which is being held in Poland. Provincials from all over the world are looking at and evaluating how they are doing in following the Acts of the 36th General Chapter.

    Charles Albini’s time with the Oblates was a scant 15 years (from his Oblation in 1824 until his death in 1839). Yet in that time he was filled with the Charism and spirit of Eugene and the other early Oblates. The Mazenodian Charism and spirituality was shared through and in and with his life and this is our heritage today; the heritage that we who are members of the Mazenodian Family will pass on and share through our own lives.
    From within me there wells up pride – gratitude and an immense and ever-deepening awe of the Spirit who orchestrates this symphony of life.

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