Rome (NEV), June 5, 2020 – On May 31 Michelangelo Bastile, who was the master builder of the foundation site of the Monte degli Ulivi Village of the Servizio Cristiano in Riesi (Caltanissetta, Sicily), a diaconal work of the Waldensian church in Italy, passed away.
Michelangelo Bastile, born in 1933, was involved by pastor Tullio Vinay in the realization of what would become the ‘Servizio Cristiano’. The project was entrusted to architect Leonardo Ricci, and Bastile was his passionate and intelligent collaborator and executor.
Michelangelo, every now and then was seen walking among the olive trees of the village and, for those who met him, he was always a source of stories, anecdotes and curiosities of that experience of which he kept memory. He contributed to sowing in a difficult land a great seed of hope which, still today, testifies to his work and to the one of the people who worked with him.
The Christian Service of Riesi, founded in 1961 in the Sicilian hinterland, was born from a vision of pastor Tullio Vinay, theologian and senator of the Republic, who imagined a place of social, cultural, educational commitment in favor of the weaker social classes, in contrast to the mafias, poverty and illiteracy. The construction of the Riesi Christian Service began in 1963 with the collaboration of the architect Leonardo Ricci. Built around the olive trees – hence the name “Mount of Olives” – without cutting down any of them – at the beginning, among the various activities undertaken, there was the factory “Meccanica Riesi” for the production of steel cutters and an embroidery cooperative .
Pastor Tullio Vinay was born in La Spezia on May 13, 1909. The ecumenical center of Agape, in the province of Turin, was also born from his vision. Vinay was part of a Crime Inquiry Commission in South Vietnam, sponsored by Amnesty International and Pax Christi.