The last of the Stalwarts

By: Fr. Tom Juarez, SDB
Community of San Luis Rey Church – Laredo, TX

On the morning of July 10th, 2020 I received a phone call from Lidia, daughter of Angelo Biasutto, who passed away yesterday in Edmonton, Alberta. He was not like the men that Fr. Louis Masoero had contacted, even twisted arms, to patch the flimsy fire station that was the home of St. Mary’s. They were all known and important men either in the City of Edmonton or in the Province of Alberta, even in Ottawa. Before long through their support the new St.Mary’s Boys Home (later Salesian Junior High) became the new residence in North East Edmonton. Fr. Louis needed other help, so he reached out to the growing Italian Community. Angelo Baisutto, Italian Consul, became cook and purchaser learning from Fr. Louis, how to twist here and there to get needed assistance from Safeway. He was not the only one. There was Mr. Marchese who lived in the Salesian residence and was janitor for many long years, until his eighty years. When there was need of improvement or embellishment the many men who worked in construction were there to help. They were always rewarded with a gala Italian dinner and good wines. I remember how many times he would ask me to go with him on errands … all for the boys. He and Fr. Louis both enlisted Carlo Palliotto and wife to take charge of the kitchen also for many years.
Angelo was a faithful presence in the school, as he was in Sta. Maria Goretti Church. There he was also a Deacon for many years. He cared not for recognition on any level. He loved the Church and shared his faith with others. His daughter Lidia took in her father after the death of his wife Rosa with loving care. As the years went by he reminisced so often of his dedication to the school and the many Salesians who were part of the history of the school. I visited him last year and we went on and on recalling so many different moments. some of  the boys, the great men and women that supported St. Mary’s. Lidia told me that dementia was very noticeable. He had fallen, his head was injured and was taken to the hospital. There he died at the age of ninety-eight. A good and faithful servant. The last of the builders has gone to rest.