Father Salvatore Putzu, SDB.

By CBCP News

January 27, 2023

Manila, Philippines

Salesian Fr. Salvatore “Sal” Putzu, an instrumental figure in the Philippine Catholic Church’s catechetical ministry, died on Thursday at 84.

The Italian priest passed away after battling pancreatic cancer, which was diagnosed only in September 2022 “but was already in an advanced stage,” his congregation said.

“He lived a very fruitful and grace-filled life as a true son of Don Bosco, the patron saint of publishers and the Catholic press. He served the Lord as someone who always has in his heart the spread of the Good News of His Kingdom,” it said.

“He will always be remembered as someone who has championed the field of Catechesis and New Evangelization; as a Salesian priest who always have a gentle and caring heart for the poor and the most in need; and as a great devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as seen in most of his writings,” the congregation added.

Fr. Sal spent the last 40 years of his mission in the Philippines in the ministry of catechesis.

In 1989, he founded the multi-awarded Word And Life Publications (WLP) in the service of catechesis and new evangelization.

He served as executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE) from 1993 to 2001.

While serving at ECCCE, he has contributed much to the success of many catechetical conventions and catechetical fora in the country and was active in publishing DOCETE, a quarterly catechetical review.

He will also be remembered for pioneering the popular “Study Edition” of official Church documents like the papal encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, the Directory for Catechesis, among others.

As part of his numerous works, he has been instrumental in the production of the National Catechetical Directory of the Philippines (NCDP) and the wider expansion and circulation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), and the Catechism for the Filipino Catholics (CFC).

Fr. Sal was born on October 12, 1938, in the Italian island of Sardinia. He made his first profession as a Salesian of Don Bosco on Oct. 27, 1963, and was ordained a priest on Sept. 7, 1974.

Asian Catholic Communications Inc. (ACCI) awarded Fr. Sal with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 16th Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards on Sept. 15, 2022.


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