Clergy database

This page makes it possibile to search the database containing the biographical records organized by the names of the priests present in the Diocese of Como for various reasons during the bishopric of Alessandro Macchi (1930-1947). The examined subjects are principally the diocesan priests - those ordained in the diocese who play various roles (parish priests, administrative offices, teaching, etc.) -, priest who, although they were from outside the diocese, were incardinated in the diocese or resided there for a wide variety of reasons, up to subjects belonging to the regular clergy involved in pastoral activities - like the priests of the regular Congregation of Somasca. In reality, the chronological period of 1930-1947 is broader and more extensive since the files are biographical , or rather they follow the life of the person as much as possible and therefore extend from approximately the mid 19th century to today.

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The database: the elaboration of the project

[By Rolando Fasana]

On the basis of available sources - which vary in terms of type, unique features and limits - the construction of the database began with those that have already been published and, especially, from the alphabetized lists of priests, alive and deceased, of Como Sacra, to define and delineate all of the subjects who responded to the characteristics above [1]. Having therefore created the architecture of the database, research and the gathering of biographical information began. The study of Como Sacra, published irregularly (for example: 1892, 1905, 1909, 1912, 1933-1938-1950, etc.) made it possible to identify the chronological succession of the positions of each priest (parish, teaching, administrative offices, etc.), the date of presbyteral ordination and death.
The partiality of the result of the study was filled in with detailed analysis of the entire collection of the Bollettino ecclesiastico ufficiale (Ecclesiastical Gazette) - the official diocesan organ with varying intervals (monthly, bi-monthly, sometimes quarterly) - which publishes papal acts, pastoral letters, diocesan communications, communications of the administration, administration reports, official decrees, and various other documents. The majority of the data are on ordinations, appointments, transfers, resignations, incardinations, transfers to a different diocese, suspensions, honours and obituaries (with numerous records), emerging from the entry "Comunicazioni della curia" of the BEU, made it possible to extend the more or less complete chronological succession of the positions of the priests, at least in reference to the period 1927-2004.
In following, to complete the previous time span and likewise verify the exactness of the published sources, it was necessary to study the documentation preserved at the archives of the diocesan administration [2]. In detail, beyond the control of the personal information done through the Ordinazioni series and the integrations and specific annotations drawn from the Titolo III series, the Canonical Institutionswere primarily examined, since they contain diocesan appointment decrees, decrees of the civil authority confirming the appointment or new appointments, communications of the administration regarding resignations, transfers, Episcopal appointment bulls to new parish entities, the results of competitions for vacant parishes, minutes of meetings, prefectorial minutes or communications of the magistrature, etc. 

Description of files 

The database is composed of 852 files, corresponding to the same number of "priests".
Each file is composed of the following fields:
general information
date and place of birth
date and place of death
date of presbyteral ordination[3]
appointments and positions in the diocese, in chronological order. In this field, the dates of the transfer of the position have been indicated when possible. For example: parish, spiritual steward [4], or rather the Episcopal or vicar delegate, etc. Moreover, secondary positions have also been included, or rather all those official functions - spiritual steward in a nearby parish, president of a religious or lay association, member of administrations of public or private entities, titular of offices in a military context, etc. - that a subject carries out while performing a main function in a parish, in an administration office, in the seminary, or another one. Finally, the dedications of the destination seats of the priests (be they coadjutorship, vicarship, parishes, archipriestships, etc.) were entered in the form reported by the documentation [5], while the geographic location is the current one [6].
appointments and positions outside the diocese
civil and religious honours, where any biographical works pertaining to the priest in question are indicated.
notes, which gather together annotations regarding the creation of new parish entities, disciplinary measures inflicted on the subject, the place of hospital stay, indications of particular initiatives, such as help to people during wars, the creation of significant works, etc.

Research criteria 

The research possibilities that the database offers are numerous, starting from a simple name search, up to the date of presbyteral ordination or the place of birth, or rather data that can extend to numerous subjects. Even more interesting are searches targeted to the name and positions and notes fields, where it is possible, for example, to type in the name of the parish, of a coadjutorship, or vicarship and obtain a sort of chronological arrangement of the parishes, coadjutorships or vicarships, from the last quarter of the 19th century to the second half of the 20th century. Other derived searches - or rather not directly pertaining to the "priest" subject - can be directed at parish entities: joint dedications, unions, and the creation of new or the suppression of old ones.


[1] Como Sacra - stato del clero e delle parrocchie della città e diocesi di Como (1868-1977); La diocesi di Como (1983-2004) [= Como Sacra]; Bollettino ecclesiastico ufficiale della diocesi di Como (1926-2003) [= BEU].
[2] Archivio storico della diocesi di Como, Curia vescovile, Titolo III (1868-1906); Istituzioni canoniche; Ordinazioni (1865-1947).
[3] Dato che costituisce l'elemento più specifico e discriminante di questa banca dati.
[4] Amministratore della parrocchia priva del titolare, con tutte le mansioni spirituali connesse.
[5] Ad esempio: parroco di "S. Bartolomeo" nelle Vigne in Tavernola, frazione di Como - sino al 1937 - oppure parroco di "Cristo Re" in Tavernola, frazione di Como, dal 1937 ad oggi. Per gli accorpamenti ed unioni di parrocchie in precedenza autonome si è introdotta l'intitolazione della nuova entità giuridica e si sono specificati i singoli soggetti costituenti.
[6] Le indicazioni geografiche, sia nei campi testo che nelle tabelle, sono state rese specificando l'entità più piccola - località o frazione -, quindi il comune di appartenenza, infine, la sigla della provincia, o della nazione in caso di luoghi esteri. Ad esempio: Casnedo, frazione di Cernobbio (CO); Albate, frazione di Como; Buenos Aires (ARG).