Monsignor Pier Giorgio Debernardi: A Life of Mission and Hope in Burkina Faso
The former bishop of Pinerolo, now bishop emeritus, continues his mission in Burkina Faso: amid social contrasts, labor and the challenge of Al Qaeda
On Feb. 27, 2018, Monsignor Pier Giorgio Debernardi celebrated a Mass at the cathedral in Dori, Burkina Faso, offering a vivid portrait of the challenges faced in his missionary endeavors. Born in the valleys of Canavese, the bishop emeritus of Pinerolo left his homeland to devote himself to a mission that now takes him to the heart of Africa.
His commitment to social justice has been evident since his time as bishop in Pinerolo. Taking in displaced young Africans affected by the labor crisis and forced to sleep in disused factories, Monsignor Debernardi embodied a pastoral ministry focused on listening and helping souls bent by economic hardship.
Now 78 years old, aged by ecclesiastical age limits, Monsignor Debernardi has chosen not to retire but to continue his mission in Burkina Faso. Away from the valleys and plains of Pinerolo, he moved Jan. 31 to minister in the dioceses of Dori and Kayà. His commitment persists despite the complex context and instability related to terrorist threats from groups such as Al Qaeda.
The bishop emeritus maintains close ties with Pinerolo, communicating his experiences through social channels and planning a brief return in April before departing for Africa. His work continues to embody dedication and hope, even in contexts where personal safety requires a military escort.
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