A young Italian immigrant, Angelo Petazzi, watched anxiously as the English steamship, the Werra, approached New York harbor. Clutched in his hand was a letter from the then Salesian superior general, Father Michael Rua, which informed him of the impending arrival of a group of four Salesians in New York. At their head was Father Raphael Piperni.
In the early afternoon, of the first week of March, the Werra, docked in New York harbor. Don Rua’s letter requested young Petazzi to serve as a welcoming committee-of-one, and to greet the small band of Salesian missionaries in his name. It further asked him to escort the group across the continent to their destination in San Francisco, California.
Anselmo quickly identified the group as they descended the gangplank. The youth introduced himself and proffered the Ieuer of introduction to the obvious leader of the four, Father Raphael Piperni.
- The Four Who Came to the City of Saint Francis
- Strangers in a Strange Land
- The Earth Shook, the Sky Burned
- Fr. Piperni Begins the ‘Italian Cathedral’ of the West
- Golden Jubilee of Priesthood, 1867-1917
- The Mad Bomber
- SS. Peter and Paul’s Church Bombed
- Church Dynamiter Slain Firing Fuse
Reference time period: 1892 – 1927
M. Ribotta, Discovering America: Father Raphael Pipemi and the first salesian missionaries in North America, in «Journal of Salesian Sudies» 5 (1994) 1, 1-33.
Institute of Salesian Studies