Book details collaboration of Roncalli and his Venetian chancellor

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, who was elected John XXIII, shown while Patriarch of Venice, a post he held from 1953 to 1958. Credit: Patriarchate of Venice via wikimedia.

A book published this month in Italian reveals the collaborative relationship between John XXIII, when he was Patriarch of Venice, and his chancellor at the time, Fr. Sergio Sambin.

“Roncalli did not consider Fr. Sambin only a priest whom he met every week because of his capacity in the diocesan curia. He above all deemed him a skilled collaborator, whom he often entrusted with making a bridge between the curia and the patriarch,” wrote Marco Roncalli, a Church historian and great-nephew to John XXIII, in the forward of “Roncalli, padre e pastore: Il Patriarca Roncalli e il suo cancelliere don Sergio Sambin.”

The book, rendered in English “Roncalli, father and pastor: Patriarch Roncalli and his chacellor Fr. Sergio Sambin,” was authored by Sandro G. Franchini and published by Marcianum Press, and utilizes documents from Fr. Sambin’s archives – including letters from Roncalli.

Franchini is himself chancellor of the Venetian Institute of Science, Letters, and the Arts, and worked on the book with Fr. Sambin, who is now 93. The book also includes letters and documents from John XXIII’s archive.

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was Patriarch of Venice from 1953, until his 1958 election as Bishop of Rome.

In the book, Fr. Sambin recounts meeting Patriarch Roncalli for the first time in March 1953.

“I was 33, and I was just back from Rome, where I graduated in canon law at the Gregorian University. I received a phone call from then-Fr. Capovilla, who was already Roncalli’s secretary. He told me: ‘Tomorrow do not go to work in the curia. Come directly to the patriarchal palace.’”

There he found Roncalli, who told him his chancellor had been moved to Rome, and asked him to take the post.

From then until 1958, Fr. Sambin met with Roncalli nearly daily for a half-hour at noon.

Their last meeting was at the Vatican, within weeks of Roncalli’s election as Pope.

Fr. Sambin is among of the living memories of the soon-to-be Saint John XXIII. The documents he has published in Franchini’s book help to better understand the late Pope’s “complex, fascinating and surprising personality,” the author says.

Franchini believes the documents help us “to better understand how the surprising decisions taken by John XXIII in his life were in fact the outcome of a long and deep cultural and spiritual preparation.”


Voices

Was Vatican II needed?

Russell Shaw

Why did we need the Second Vatican Council? Did we need it at all? Hearing those questions, most Catholics who’ve thought about Vatican II would probably cite renewing and updating of the Church as solid reasons for the ecumenical council.

Together in Mission 300x250

Events

July 2014
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

July 30, 2014

  • Wednesday, July 30

    Organ Recital, with Derek Gordon, 12:45 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., L.A. (213) 680-5200.

    “How Dry California? A Drought?” talk by Tom Williams, 7 p.m., Holy Trinity Church, 209 N. Hanford Ave., San Pedro. (310) 548-6535.

    Healing Mass, Fr. Joey Faller presiding, 7:30 p.m., St. John Eudes Church, 9901 Mason Ave., Chatsworth. (818) 620-5880.

    “Signed & Anointed to Witness,” retreat for confirmed youth (to Aug. 1), presented by Office of Religious Education, St. Mary’s Seminary Retreat Center, Santa Barbara; $. (805) 682-5500.

The Tidings - Home Delivery 300x100

Get our news by email

Bob Smith BMW 300x250
Bob Smith Toyota 300x250
Bob Smith Mini 300x250