HELPING last week to launch a book that brings the voice of New Norcia founder Rosendo Salvado
to life was one of the first official engagements for new WA Italian Consul David Balloni.
Dr Balloni, who moved to Perth about seven weeks ago after marrying wife Consuelo in September, launched Stefano Girola’s translation of Salvado’s 1883 report to Rome and the latest edition of New Norcia Studies.
“It was indeed an honour,” he told the Weekender after the launch. “It is a special feeling to view, from a distance, how the vision of the Benedictine Order based in Italy ensured that West Australians would be impacted by their mission.”
What was the main point Dr Balloni wanted to get across in launching the publications?
“That if we were united together to celebrate these publications it was because we championed the true tests of perseverance, the tests of commitment and the true meaning of hope,” he said.
“Even in 2015 it seems, people only have hope. In my country, hundreds of thousands of refugees, forced to leave their devastated houses in Syria or Lybia, arrive every year with nothing but hope in search for a haven.
“A place free of war, a place that provides freedom, a place of opportunity, education and employment. It was important to point out how Italy is proud to play an active and central role in the complex international effort aimed at politically resolving the instability affecting the Mediterranean region.
“We are also proud to be the lead country that comes to the rescue of these people who risk their lives in the quest to find dignified living conditions for them and their families. The Italian naval on-water search and rescue operation Mare Nostrum is an encouraging example of hope, fraternity, charity and respect for human dignity of every person.
“I am glad that this ongoing humanitarian effort led by us is now a European effort. And the events of recent times have not only reflected this overall unified approach but has served as a test of resilience unmatched by any country in any region in these modern times.
“I connected this with Salvado. He arrived in this land bringing also a message of hope, fraternity and charity. His legacy born from successful achievement which defines a great part of the history of this state.”
Dr Balloni plans to visit New Norcia soon.
Report of Rosendo Salvado to Propaganda Fide in 1883, translated and edited by Stefano Girola, is published by Morning Star Publishing and available through www.newnorcia.wa.edu.au