It is a very sad moment for our Trentino club. Padre Efrem Trettel passed away at the age of 95 on Friday, January 20th. Padre Efrem was a pillar in the community. For years he broadcast Italian TV and radio programs from his studio in San Francisco. His achievements are numerous. He was an iconic figure both here and in Italy. The news appeared on TV and in print in Trentino the day after his passing, and on a blog produced in his birthplace of Predazzo.
In 2010 club member Christine Bologna visited Padre Efrem and wrote a captivating article chronicling the history of this extraordinary man. Click here to read that article. Around the same time Vincenzo Mancuso of the Trentino Historical Museum created a short subtitled documentary based on interviews with Padre Efrem and other club members. Padre Efrem donated his collection of writings, tapes and film footage to the Museum, and some of this historical footage is included in the documentary. Click here to view the documentary.
Father Efrem was an accomplished writer, poet and musician. In 1960 “Fiumi-Risaie-Anime, Ricordi Della Mia Missione in Cina” was published, an autobiographical account of his years in China. In 1965 the book was translated in English, “Rivers, Rice Fields, Soul: Memoirs of My Mission in China”. He also wrote a book on St. Francis of Assisi and one entitled “The Life of Mary”. In 2011 an anthology of his poetry was published under the title “Son of Francis”. In 2004, in honor of his outstanding life and career, the Province of Trento presented him with the “International Award”
A special thank you goes out to club member Marco Di Ianni, who visited Father Efrem frequently and assisted him as his health failed. Father Efrem will be forever grateful.
Father Efrem was buried along side his brother, Father Flavio, in the Franciscan Cemetery in Colma, south of San Francisco. Father Flavio tragically passed away in a car accident in 1994.
Father Efrem, we thank you for your friendship, support and spiritual guidance over the years. May you rest in peace.
Addio, caro amico.
Circolo Trentino di San Francisco