Messina mourns the passing of Don Antonio Dino, parish priest in the Runci district of S. Margherita


By John

He passed away in silence just as Father Antonio Dino, parish priest of the Santa Maria Madre della Chiesa community in the Runci district of Santa Margherita, had lived. A simple priest but capable of making himself loved by those who have known and cultivated the beauty of living the parish as a family of families. A long illness had undermined him in recent years but he, dignified and calm, never showed signs of suffering on his face: talking about the missing 81-year-old priest are his ordination companions Lorenzo Campagna and Andrea Cardile, who a few days ago met at his house to share the last unimaginable afternoon in friendship and brotherhood.

The priests ordained on 26 October 1996 were the three adult vocations desired by Msgr. Ignazio Cannavò; “Our here I am pronounced out loud was the most eloquent sign of the fact that it is never too late to entrust oneself to the Lord,” said Cardile. There are many memories that link “the three madmen who never knew whether to place themselves among the young priests or among the young priests”: the expression used by Father Campagna on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of priesthood celebrated at the Montalto sanctuary, contains the lightness of a bond outside of patterns and conformism. Three vocations – school teacher Campagna, surgeon Cardile and employment consultant Dino – merged into the Vocation, always lived in proximity and love. Born in 1942, originally from Castell'Umberto, Father Dino had practiced as a freelancer for years, also working in a well-known travel agency in the city. He was 54 years old when he was ordained and since then he has always dedicated himself to the diocesan community: in addition to having led the parishes of Scaletta, Villaggio Aldisio and Santa Maria dell'Arco alongside the late Father Zanghì, he held the role of president of the diocesan institute for the support of the clergy. Among the testimonies, that of the director of the S. Ignazio college Maria Muserà and the pastoral worker Salvatore Loria, who underlined Father Antonio's great dedication to the parish of Runci, which was born with him, and the bond with young people. Among the memories that of the priests Marco D'Arrigo and Giuseppe Mirabito, ordained the same year, a few months earlier: the latter, parish priest of San Giuseppe in Lipari, spoke of the bond of the deceased brother with the island where his journey of faith has begun. Father Dino's father was commander of the local Carabinieri station and he took his first steps there, among the ranks of the Catholic Action of the parish, governed by Msgr. Onofrio Paino nephew of the well-known archbishop; his two sisters also followed the path of a religious vocation. He frequented the Society of Jesus a lot, whose charisma he appreciated and was part of the Work of the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ. Father Antonio Dino's funeral will be celebrated on Thursday at 11am in the Santa Maria Madre della Chiesa church in Runci, the home he shared with his beloved community for 26 years.