Fr. Daniel Cerofolini (1919-2015)
On 9 March 2015 Fr. Daniel passed away in the infirmary of the Capuchin Friary of Montughi in Florence, at the age of 95, a professed Capuchin for 75 years, a priest for 69 years and a missionary for 56 years.
Born on 27 December 1919 he joined the Capuchin Seminary at 16. Two years after his ordination in 1946 he travelled by boat to India and worked in the mission of his province in the north for 23 years, became fluent in Hindi and Urdu which was later of great help in the Gulf.
From 1972-1974 he served in the mission of his Tuscan Province in Central Tanzania and was then transferred to the Gulf mission of the Capuchins and stayed for 30 years until his retirement in 2004 at the age of 85.
Aden was his first appointment in the Gulf where the political turmoil of the time brought a lot of suffering for the missionaries.
From 1976 to the blessing of the new St. Joseph's Church in Abu Dhabi he was Parish Priest of Abu Dhabi for 8 years, then of St. Mary's Dubai for 20 years - with a short stay in Al Ain in the mid-80s. As Parish Priest of St. Mary's he built the new St. Francis of Assisi Church in Jebel Ali which was inaugurated in November 2001 and became an independent parish.
Fr. Daniel was loved by everybody; his leadership was strong but also just, he gave himself totally. For many years he was also Regular Superior of the Capuchin Friars in the Gulf and on the council of the Bishop.
During the 10 years since his return to Italy his health gradually diminished, he lost his hearing but kept his strong body and was bedridden only for the last month.
May he rest in peace. An appreciation of his rich life and personality will follow later.
On Wednesday, 11th March 2015 at 7.00 p.m. there will be a memorial service in St. Mary's Church, Dubai and the Holy Mass will be presided over by Bishop Paul Hinder.