Published on 17 September 2021

New Rector of the Basilica

The Basilica of Saint Anthony’s church bells rang joyously on September 8 this year when the friars got word that their Shrine had a new Rector in the person of Father Antonio Ramina. The news had been broken by the Minister General of the Conventual Franciscan friars, Fr. Carlos Trovarelli and by the Pontifical Delegate, Monsignor Fabio Dal Cin. It was the Holy Father himself who had indicated the name of Fr. Ramina from a choice of two other candidates that had been put to him by the Minister General.

Born in Vicenza on April 7, 1970, Fr. Ramina made his solemn profession as a Conventual Franciscan on October 4, 2002, and was ordained as a priest on May 1, 2004. He has a degree in Modern Letters from the University of Padua, and also holds the title of Doctor of Theology. Fr. Ramina was the Rector of the Theological Seminary St. Anthony Doctor and then Guardian of the Community of St. Anthony Doctor. He taught Spiritual Theology at the Theologiacl Faculty of the Triveneto and in the School of Spirituality at the Theological Institute St. Anthony Doctor. He has also held the major role of Definitor within his Province.

Fr. Antonio Ramina takes over from Fr. Oliviero Svanera, who has been nominated Guardian of St Francis Friary in Treviso, and will remain in charge until the 2025 Chapter.

The Franciscan friars of the Basilica received the nomination with joy: “We thank the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for this decision. Fr. Ramina will continue with fervor the work of his predecessor, in collaboration with the Pontifical Delegate, in favor of the numerous pilgrims who daily flock to the Basilica.” Gratitude was also expressed to Fr. Oliviero Svanera for his work during these last five years, particularly for having been able to guide the Shrine and its friars during the hardest months of the pandemic. Despite the hardships experienced by all the friars of the Basilica because of Covid-19, and the bereavement of losing three fellow friars, Fr. Svanera was able to keep the fire of faith and devotion to St. Anthony alive with many new creative initiatives.”

“The place which is closest to my heart,” says the new Rector, “is the Shrine where St. Anthony’s body is kept. Not only because of his presence here, but also because at the Saint’s Tomb you can feel the living spirit of all of the Saint’s devotees who entrust their prayers to him.”

Foto: P. Gabriel Bejan, Archiv MSA