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Brother Gildo Cotta dies

15/10/2007: Italy

Brother Gildo Cotta died in Carmagnola on September 30, 2007 at the age of 93. Brother Paolo Penna wrote of him: “You left on tiptoe, without bother, like you lived. Your kindness and your courtesy, so discreet, marked our lives and those who knew and admired you. Your openness and availability permitted the Lord to do great things in you.”

Gildo was born in Apricale (Imperia) on November 19, 1913, of Angelo and Stella María. After his years in the juniorate in Mondovi, he went on to Ventimiglia as a postulant in 1928. He began his novitiate in July of 1929, and the following year made first vows on July 16, the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He consecrated himself fully to the Lord with the profession of perpetual vows in Ventimiglia on July 26, 1935 and pronounced the vow of stability in 1946.

He began his active life in Rome in 1931. The following year he returned to Ventimiglia to complete his formation, obtaining qualification for elementary instruction. In 1933 he was among the first brothers who arrived in Giuliano. He remained there until 1936, the year he returned to Rome as a teacher. They were times of intense work and study. In 1940 he graduated with a degree in letters and in 1942 he obtained the qualifications to teach letters, philosophy and pedagogy

In 1943 he was named director of Mondovi, and three years later he held that same position in Rome. He made his second novitiate at Saint Quentin in 1949-50. From there we went to Ventimiglia as Director of Scholastics for two years. In 1952 he was appointed Provincial of Italy. Six years later he returned to San Leone Magno as a teacher for a short time since in 1959 he was elected Assistant General in the term of Brother Charles Raphael. During some of that time he also was responsible for the direction of the international college Jesu Magister.

After finishing that period, he enjoyed a year of sabbatical, and then he was put in charge of the brothers studying at the university. But, during that year, the General Council asked of him a special service to the Institute naming him “ex officio” Provincial of Lebanon. Once again he accepted without conditions.

In 1971 he went back to the Province of Italy for good and was stationed in Rome, where he returned to the classroom teaching history, philosophy and religion. There he remained until 1991, serving as president of the school, representative in the AGESC and in the FIDAE and, in the last years, as superior of the community.

In 1991 he was transferred to Carmagnola as superior until 1997. From 1997 until 2004 he assumed responsibility of presiding over the “Inmobiliaria Alpestre.”

Many times he was heard to say how he liked the coincidence between the name of his mother Stella Maria and the title of the Virgen “Stella Maris.” May that close presence accompany him to the merciful arms of the Father. May the Lord, our Good Mother, Saint Marcellin and the whole Marist Family in heaven welcome him!

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