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DAL CORSO Card. Eugenio, P.S.D.P.


DAL CORSO

Cardinal Eugenio Dal Corso, P.S.D.P., bishop emeritus of Benguela, Angola, was born on 16 May 1939 in a small district called Corso – hence the surname – in the territory of the parish of Lugo Valpantena di Grezzana, in the diocese and province of Verona. The second of the six children of Rodolfo Dal Corso and Teresa Bellorio, he attended primary school in his area and at the age of 10 was welcomed, as an aspirant to the priesthood and already with the idea of the mission, in a house of the congregation founded by the Veronese priest Giovanni Calabria (Poor Servants of Divine Providence). Subsequently, after completing his high school education, he entered the novitiate of the congregation and took his first vows on 8 September 1959.

After his religious profession he was sent to Grottaferrata, near Rome, to a residence of the Opera Don Calabria, to study dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Lateran University. He was ordained priest on 7 July 1963 in the house of Nazareth, in Verona, he began his pastoral service in Rome in the parish – then entrusted to his congregation – of Santa Maria della Misericordia in the Gordiani quarter, among the shantytowns on the eastern outskirts of the city.

Three years later he was transferred to the college of the Poor Servants of Divine Providence in Verona to complete his thesis on “Don Giovanni Calabria and the separated brothers”. After receiving his doctorate at the Lateranense, he remained for another four years in the city of Verona as a teacher in the House of Formation and as deputy parish priest in the parish of Santa Maria della Pace (Madonna di Campagna), also in this case in the outskirts.

In December 1970 he was sent to Naples as parish priest of San Giacomo degli Italiani in Poggioreale, near the prison. He carried out his pastoral service in that delicate social context for almost five years.

In January 1975 his superiors, accepting his request, sent him as a missionary to Argentina: his first assignment was in a border area, in the town of Laferrere, thirty kilometers from the capital Buenos Aires, where he founded the parish dedicated to Nuestra Senhora de la Paz, which embraces a territory with around twenty thousand inhabitants.

In 1986, after eleven years of ministry in Argentina, he asked to leave for Angola, where the Poor Servants of Divine Providence had agreed to head the seminary of the diocese of Uije, in the north of the country, on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He arrived in the former Portuguese colony on 7 March 1986 and still today, more than thirty years later, he is there as a missionary, despite the civil war that began in 1975 and continued, with some interruptions, until 2002.

In particular, after five years in Uije, he was sent to the capital Luanda to direct the new congregation house, an elementary and middle school and even a small hospital, which have now become points of reference for the population. In 1991 he was also elected provincial of his religious family.

On December 15, 1995 John Paul II appointed him as coadjutor of the diocese of Saurimo, in northeastern Angola, in the province of Lunda Sud. He was ordained on 3 March 1976 in Luanda by Archbishop Félix del Blanco Prieto, apostolic nuncio; the co-consecrators were Bishop Andrea Veggio, auxiliary of Verona, and Bishop Pedro Marcos Ribeiro da Costa, ordinary of Saurimo.

Sapientia is the episcopal motto that has inspired his work. On 15 January 1997 he succeeded Bishop Ribeiro da Costa, serving for twelve years in Saurimo. Then, on 18 February 2008, Benedict XVI transferred him to the larger diocese of Benguela, in the center-south of the country. Ten years later, on 26 March 2018, he resigned from the pastoral care of the diocese upon reaching the age limit.

However, he chose not to retire, but rather to continue to work in the front line in the diocese of Menongue, one of the most needy in Angola. On 22 July 2018 the apostolic administrator Pío Hipunyati appointed him as chaplain of the Saint Josephine Bakhita pastoral centre in Caiundo. A small community in the province of Kuando Kubango.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 5 October 2019, of the Title of Sant’Anastasia.