Rota's beloved priest, Father Antonelli dies at 100
Archdiocese of Agaña extends prayers
A retired priest of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, Monsignor Louis Antonelli died Tuesday, Feb. 12 in Rota, according to an official statement by Most Reverend Ryan Jimenez, Bishop of Chalan Kanoa.
Living to the age of 100, Monsignor Antonelli had served as a priest for 70 years. He served 46 of those years in Rota. He was ordained at age 30 on June 11, 1949.
On behalf of Archbishop Michael Byrnes and all the faithful on Guam, the Archdiocese of Agaña extends prayers and condolences to all Catholics in the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa on the passing of Monsignor Antonelli.
Monsignor Antonelli was a much-loved priest in the Northern Marianas as well as here in Guam, where he also ministered to the people for many years beginning in 1953. His first assignment here was teaching at Father Duenas Memorial School.
An important figure in the history of the Catholic Church in this region, Monsignor Antonelli was appointed the Rector of the Major Seminary in Tai on Guam in 1971. He was also the Director of the Diocesan Diaconate Program, guiding the first group of Catholic men on Guam to be ordained permanent deacons in then-Diocese of Agaña in 1973, under then-Bishop Felixberto C. Flores.
On Guam, he also served at the Agaña Cathedral, Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo and San Vicente Catholic Church in Barrigada. He was assigned to Rota as Pastor of San Francisco de Borja parish in 1973.
CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold Palacios issued the following statement:
"On behalf of our families and our Commonwealth, we extend our condolences to the people of Rota and the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa for the loss of a spiritual icon of our community.
"For almost half his life, Pale Antonelli served the people of Rota and provided spiritual guidance to everyone he had met. Everyone in the CNMI knew who Pale Antonelli was. We live on different islands, but we know how much he meant to the people of Rota and for the Marianas as a whole. He lived a simple life, but had a profound impact on the people of Rota. We join them and the rest of the Commonwealth in mourning the loss of a servant of God who has shaped the course of our Commonwealth from the very beginning. May he rest in peace."