Oldest Consolata Missionary Eulogized in Kenya as Priest Who “built his life in Eucharist”, Loved “without segregation”

Late Fr. Antonio Bianchi. Credit: Institute of Consolata Missionaries (IMC)

Fr. Antonio Bianchi, reportedly the oldest member of the Institute of Consolata Missionaries (IMC), who “passed away in his sleep” at the Consolata Regional House in Westlands in the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi (ADN) has been remembered as a Priest with passion for the Eucharist and love for “people without segregation”.

In his homily during the Funeral Mass for the late Italian-born Priest, who was to turn 102 years on June 13, Bishop Hieronymus Emusugut Joya of Kenya’s Maralal Diocese said Fr. Bianchi showed the “secrets of fighting the battle of faith and remaining faithful to the end in our vocation and ministry.”

“In consecrated life and missionary work, Fr. Bianchi has had a good struggle, efforts and contention without quitting or giving up and that is why he had died faithfully,” Bishop Joya said Tuesday, April 23 at the chapel of the Consolata Cemetery Mathari in the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri in Kenya.

The Kenyan-born IMC member said that in the 78 years that his late confrere served as a Priest, he “faithfully preached the word of God and administered the Sacraments that sanctified many.”

“The secret of this man was the love of the people without segregation. His second secret was the love of the Eucharist. (Fr.) Bianchi, even in hospital, could not go without the blessed Sacrament. He built his life in the Eucharist,” Bishop Joya said.


He continued, “This man teaches us that to live longer we need to build our lives in the Church.”

Fr. Bianchi, Bishop Joya said, “leaves a legacy of being the greatest preacher of our time, the most faithful Church planter and a faithful missionary with a sound mind and steadfast in keeping the doctrine of our Church.”

“Fr Bianchi has rested in the Lord, but the missionary work must continue; we must continue to preach, reprove, rebuke and exhort with great pain and instruction as we minister in the vineyard of the Lord; we must continue to run, guard and share the faith because our time has not yet come,” the Local Ordinary of Maralal since his Episcopal Ordination in October 2022 said.

He added, “We are also to love and long for our Lord's appearing demands that we remain engaged in the tasks at hand to live our lives in humble submission to God who is coming to reign and rule us.”

Popularly known as Guka (grandfather), late Fr. Bianchi joined the Consolata missionaries at the age of 17. 

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He arrived in Kenya in 1955; he was 33. The native of Italy served in various IMC missions in the East African nation, including Murang'a, Kerugoya and Rumuruti before moving to the Consolata Fathers Regional House in Nairobi.

At the April 23 Funeral Mass, the IMC Regional Superior in Kenya, Fr. Peter Makau Munguti, remembered his late confrere for his love of “his Priesthood”.

“Fr Bianchi, despite his age, each and every day he loved his Priesthood. He celebrated Mass every day. He really loved his Priesthood and cherished it a lot,” Fr. Makau said, and added, “Fr. Bianchi loved missionary work.”

The Kenyan-born IMC Regional Superior also said he remembered Fr. Bianchi as a jovial person, and called on the people of God to emulate the values that Fr. Bianchi portrayed.

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