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» 06/10/2007 16:17
PHILIPPINES
Fr. Bossi, “gentle giant” of the mission in Mindanao
Fr. Gianni Sandalo, superior of the mission of PIME in the Philippines, describes the personality of the missionary that was kidnapped and underlines how he was loved and respected by the local people. He had not received any threats and was peacefully going about his work. MILF has denied any involvement in this case.

Zamboanga (AsiaNews) – Fr. Giancarlo Bossi “had not received any threats of any type.  He was loved by the Filippino people and, as he himself said about a month ago, he was peacefully going about his work in Payao.” This is what Fr. Gianni Sandalo, superior of the mission of PIME in the Philippines told Asia News. 
 
Fr. Sandalo is presently in Zamboanga, in the south archipelago of Mindanao, where the kidnapping took place. “This incident is very strange. Now we can only wait and see what the kidnappers of Fr. Bossi will do. At any rate, the area where he has been working has been peaceful for a long time, except the presence of some pirates.” These latter “usually operate only on the water, assaulting the boats of the fishermen, from whom they rob money and materials. They do not operate on land.”
 
The missionary who was kidnapped, the superior explained, “was well loved. Here they call him ‘the gentle giant’ because he is peaceful, quiet, sticking to the essentials. He talks little but is a hard worker: he has always joined manual work with his spiritual life. One of his dreams has been to live in a village as a witness to the radical newness of the Gospel: he wanted to live as a farmer.”
 
He is a man, Fr. Sandalo continued, “who has always expressed a deep solidarity with the poor. When he was asked, this past February, to return to Payao, where he had already worked for three years during his early years in the mission of the Philippines, he gave up what he had dreamed of doing in order to resume his work with the poor.”
 
This past May, before leaving for the General Assembly of PIME, Fr. Sandalo went to visit Fr. Bossi in Payao. “I stayed with him for two days. He was very happy with the work that he was doing with the people. Fr. Bossi is a person who knows how to make himself appreciated by people. For example, when the parish secretary called me this morning to say that he had been kidnapped, she was very worried about him, wondering how he would be treated. Fr. Bossi has the capacity for establishing deep ties with people.”
 
The kidnapping, therefore, is not the work of personal enemies. “There were no threats against him. He himself told me a month ago that everything was calm, that he felt safe and sound. The only worry is that pirates are also operating in that area, although the pirates generally do not operate on land but only on the water. He had never received any indication of danger.”
 
Meanwhile, the guerrillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which the army blamed for the kidnapping, stated that they had nothing to do with it. Eid Kabalu, spokesman for the group, denied any involvement on the part of the MILF. He emphasized that the kidnappers “do not belong to the MILF. We are ready to offer our complete assistance to the Filipino authorities.” 

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See also
06/10/2007 PHILIPPINES
Westerners abducted in southern Philippines (an overview)
06/10/2007 PHILIPPINES
PIME missionary, Fr Giancarlo Bossi, abducted in Mindanao
06/18/2007 PHILIPPINES
Mindanao: Father Bossi well according to first contacts
07/20/2007 PHILIPPINES – ITALY
Fr. Bossi: “They treated me well and I prayed for them”
by Santos Digal
06/29/2007 PHILIPPINES
PIME fathers appeal for Fr. Bossi release
ITALY - PHILIPPINES
PIME gives “thanks” on its anniversary for Fr. Bossi’s release
PHILIPPINES – ITALY
Great celebrations in Payao for Father Bossi’s return
PHILIPPINES – ITALY
Father Bossi to be in Loreto with the Pope and young people to talk about his missionary experience
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P. Bossi: “I would like to meet the Pope”
ITALY – PHILIPPINES
A great truth about Fr Bossi remains hidden; he is a missionary who witnesses Christ
PHILIPPINES – ITALY
Fr. Bossi: “I will return among my people”
ITALY - PHILIPPINES
Fr. Bossi: July 30 PIME celebrate a mass to give thanks
ITALY – PHILIPPINES
PIME thanks all those who contributed to the release of Fr. Bossi
PHILIPPINES – ITALY
Fr. Bossi: “They treated me well and I prayed for them”
PHILIPPINES
Fr. Bossi: “I am well, I want to return to bid farewell to my parishioners”
PHILIPPINES
Fr. Bossi 39 days in the hands of kidnappers
PHILIPPINES
An Islamic missionary murdered and hacked to pieces in Basilan
PHILIPPINES
Fr. Benedetti: we are awaiting “positive developments” for Fr. Bossi
PHILIPPINES
Mediation for Father Bossi’s release continues
PHILIPPINES
A petition for the release of Fr. Bossi
PHILIPPINES
PIME: free Fr Bossi and his captors too
ITALY – PHILIPPINES
Fr Zanchi: Fr Bossi continues his mission
PHILIPPINES
Mass for Father Bossi’s release celebrated in Zamboanga
VATICAN – PHILIPPINES
I think about Father Bossi every day, says Pope
PHILIPPINES
Doubts about Abu Sayyaf hand in abduction of Fr Bossi
PHILIPPINES
Search for Fr Bossi: between anticipation and hope
PHILIPPINES
No certainty about identity of Fr Bossi’s abductors as contact is awaited
PHILIPPINES – ITALY
First photos of Fr Bossi show he is alive
PHILIPPINES
Doing everything possible to free Fr Giancarlo Bossi, say Filipino bishops
PIME - PHILIPPINES
PIME: July 10, international day of prayer for Fr. Bossi
PHILIPPINES
MILF stage “strategic” retreat but search for Fr Bossi goes on
PHILIPPINES – ITALY
PIME press release about Fr Giancarlo Bossi
PHILIPPINES
PIME fathers appeal for Fr. Bossi release
PHILIPPINES
Mindanao: non-stop prayers and continued hope for Father Bossi
PHILIPPINES
No contacts with kidnappers, search for Fr Bossi starts again in Payao
PHILIPPINES
Fr. Bossi, “hypothesis” of new channels linked to civil society
PHILIPPINES
The search for Fr. Bossi restarts
PHILIPPINES
The search for Fr Bossi is halted, cooperation between MILF and the military dissolved
PHILIPPINES
PIME appeals for Father Bossi’s release
PHILIPPINES
Army announces Father Bossi sighted, PIME can’t confirm
PHILIPPINES
A blog to ask for the release of Fr. Giancarlo Bossi
PHILIPPINES
Fr. Bossi, witness that the Kingdom belongs to the meek
PHILIPPINES
Mindanao: Father Bossi well according to first contacts
ITALY – PHILIPPINES
Silent torchlight procession and candle-lit windows for Fr Bossi’s release
PHILIPPINES
The army blocks off an area in Mindanao, the Church prays for Fr. Bossi
PHILIPPINES
Mindanao, the search for Fr. Bossi continues
PHILIPPINES
Philippine Bishops appeal for the release of Fr. Bossi, Milf deny all involvement
VATICAN
Appeal of the Pope for those kidnapped throughout the world, including Catholic priests
PHILIPPINES
Westerners abducted in southern Philippines (an overview)
PHILIPPINES
Father Bossi’s kidnappers probably MILF fighters
PHILIPPINES
PIME missionary, Fr Giancarlo Bossi, abducted in Mindanao

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