Fernando Gaetano Tirro Arias, Italian-Venezuelan, son of a migrant Italian father and Venezuelan mother, with professional experience as a translator in English, Italian and Spanish, I was an assistant to senior management in Commercial Industries, who decided to change his personal and professional direction, after learning about the Charisma of Juan Bautista Scalabrini when I started as a Lay Scalabrinian. So now I dedicate myself full time as a layperson helping the “Left Behind” in the community (children and elderly victims of migration) as well as the “Invisible Left Behind” (disabled children left behind) at the Scalabrini center located near the San Antonio de Prebo Church of the missionaries of San Carlos in Valencia-Venezuela. All this is thanks to the strength given by the Rosary that we frequently meditate on in favor of migrants.


What initially led you to choose the Online Human Mobility Pastoral Diploma and then to continue with the second level?

In the Laico Scalabrinian Formation courses that I started in 2018 with Maestro Francesco Santoro, Painter, and Director of the MLS. When the phenomenon of Human Mobility was being analyzed, he told me that it was necessary for me to deepen my knowledge at a higher level with the SIMI diploma. Since he considers that the current dimensions of Venezuelan Migration are so complex that it is necessary to have highly trained people in the subject. Therefore, he presented the proposal to the Missionaries of San Carlos in Venezuela who supported the request for a scholarship for my formation.


How important do you think vocational training is? And, specifically, to what extent has this course been useful for you both to understand the migratory phenomenon on a practical level? 

This course was transformative for me in many aspects, not only because of the content, but in the two years I experienced it in highly transformative situations that made my training more in-depth: The great dimensions of the Venezuelan Migration, the Pandemic that made me even more sensitive to the suffering of migrants, a virus that also blinded the life of Father Miguel Pan who proposed me for the 1st year of studies, as well as other events successive periods where the migrant always continues to be the “victim of inhumane speculation”.

 All of this in my case helped me promote, together with Father Francesco Bortignon, a radio program: “Migrants: Today like yesterday” on the Radio of the Archdiocese of Valencia, despite the extreme caution and censorship in the media. in a country where nobody wants to talk or hear about migrants, especially at high levels of government. This Program has already been aired for two years and is broadcast on www.radiomigrantes.net in Brazil.

Furthermore, finishing the Formation Course during this Scalabrinian Jubilee Year, together with the announcement of the Canonization of Blessed Scalabrini, It’s something really exciting and moving for me.


Would you recommend the course to someone and why?

Without a doubt to the general public, in fact, Pope Francis recently warned:

“Along with migration, old age is one of the most urgent issues that the human family is called to face at this time.”

This diploma teaches that we cannot simply be spectators with a “virtual and ephemeral” solidarity that observes photos and videos in high definition, with compassion that disappears once the channel is changed or the computer is turned off. If not rather learn to exercise charity with action and prayer.

It is necessary that we learn to open our minds and our hearts to the global human reality, so we must take advantage of these training spaces. The Diploma has very high-level professors who left an indelible mark on my mind, heart, and spirit of an immense social, human, and religious perspective impregnated by a lot of faith.

I learned that there is hope without falling into despair and that the worst enemy of hope is indifference.

Translation by Lina Roa Rodríguez

Photo: on the left Fernando Tirro with Father Francesco Bortignon, cs