The Writings and the Testimonies
The Congregation’s historical heritage is made up of the work and writings of the Founder, as well as the documentary evidence relating to the life and work of the first missionaries. It is an essential reference source for the vitality of the Scalabrinian missionary charism.
The scope of competence of the Historical Institute, which operates in close collaboration and synergy with the General Archives, includes the study and publication of the writings of the Founder (works, pastoral letters, homilies), appropriately placed in their historical perspective, and of the history of the Congregation, from the events which marked its origin and early development.
Numerous publications make up the assets of the Historical Institute. We recall, among many, the excellent Life of John Baptist Scalabrini by Fr. Mario Francesconi, postulator of the cause of Beatification of the Founder, and the publication of Scalabrini’s Pastoral Letters by Fr. Ottaviano Sartori.
The study of the historical assets
In addition to the above-mentioned Frs. Francesconi and Sartori , Frs. Gianfausto Rosoli , Antonio Perotti and Agostino Lovatin have successively headed the Historical Institute
Fr. Perotti must be credited for giving a significant contribution to the Institute through his intense documentary survey of the early years of the Congregation, which was posted in a volume tracing its early history. Unfortunately, Fr. Perotti’s untimely passing, in September 2004, prevented him from completing and publishing his work. It also prevented him from directing and overseeing a prestigious historic conference on the The Ecclesiology of Scalabrini, he had already thoroughly prepared, and which was held the following year on October 2005 in Mother House in Piacenza, as part of the celebrations for the Centennial of the Founder’s death.
After an almost ten-year break, the work of the Scalabrinian Historical Institute resumed in June 2019 with the appointment of a new director: Matteo Sanfilippo, historian and scientific director of the Fondazione Centro Studi Emigrazione di Roma (CSER), appointed to the position on 21 May 2019 by Father Leonir Chiarello, Scalabrinian Superior General.