The Congregation of Scalabrinian Missionaries was born in Piacenza in 1887 to assist to Italian migrants who were leaving en masse to go to America. Over the decades, the mission of assistance to migrants has extended to other continents, nationalities and people related to human mobility. For over 50 years the congregation has been international both in its recipients and in its members. Today the missionaries are about 700, of about 40 different nationalities who offer service in 34 different countries.

In Europe and in Africa, united in a single Scalabrinian Region, today there are 200 missionaries in 29 cities of 10 different nations, all engaged in a varied range of social and religious services offered to migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and seamen of different nationalities and religion. The work of missionaries, religious and priests is assisted by about 600 lay workers who, full-time or part-time, participate in various assistance activities.

Biographical Notes

  • Born and baptized on the same day in Fino Mornasco (Como) on the 8th July 1839.
  • Ordained priest on the 30th May 1863; professor and rector of the St. Abbondiodiocesan seminary.
  • In 1870 he was named pastor of St. Bartholomew parish in Como.
  • Ordained bishop in Rome on the 30th January 1876.
  • Entry into the diocese of Piacenza on the 13th February 1876.

Bishop of Piacenza

  • He did five pastoral visits to the 365 parishes of the diocese.
  • He celebrated three Synods: 1879, 1893, 1899.
  • • He founded the School of Christian Doctrine; Pope Pius IX called him Apostle of the Catechism. Founded the catechetical review il Catechista Cattolico; held the first National Catechetical Congress in 1889. Pope Pius IX called him Apostle of the Catechism.

Father to the Migrants

  • • He founded the Congregation of the missionaries of St. Charles on the 28th November 1887.
  • • He established the St. RaphaelLay Association for Assistance to Migrants
  • • He founded the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles in 25th October 1895.
  • • He visited the scalabrinian missions in the Americas: in the United States of America in 1901 and in Brazil in 1904.
  • • He died in Piacenza the 1st June 1905, Solemnity of the Ascension.

The Santa Maria del Carmine Church is a church of the decanato “Centro Storico” of the Archdiocese of Milan. Built in 1400 initially as the seat of the Carmelite Order, it became a territorial parish in the 18th century, known as the Parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. At the end of the 1980s, it was entrusted to the Scalabrinian Missionaries to be the seat of the “Personal Parish for English-speaking Community” as well, the Parish of Saint Charles in Carmine Church.

The ASCS – Scalabrinian Agency for Development Cooperation, since 2004, has been the social, operational and cultural arm of the Missionaries of St. Charles – Scalabrinians who work in the Europe and Africa Region.

ASCS operates by involving migrants, refugees and local communities in a transversal way. The three work areas are:

Integrated Welcoming

First assistance, housing, psychological and socio-legal support and job training.

Intercultural Engagement

Training on the phenomena of human mobility, volunteering and fields of service, awareness of citizenship.

Development Cooperation

Projects and volunteering in Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Italy, Mexico, Mozambique and South Africa.