Mons. Carmine Cesarano.
Born in Pagani in 1869, he soon became a priest of the Congregation of Rendentorists. 1 He was appointed bishop of the diocese of Conza and administrator of ours on 30 September 1918.
Mons.Cesarano falls in an important way among the great bishops that our city can count, he had at heart both the churches and our fellow citizens as I will tell you below.
Having entered Campagna in 1918, he immediately nurtured large projects for the city and carried them all out.
One of the first great works was to realize the great dream of Melchiorre Warrior , or to make the our diocese detaching it definitively from other cities such as the primordial Satriano or that of Conza (union which took place in 1818 under Mons.Lupoli), this project cost him quite a few adversities, such as when he went on a pastoral visit on 4 September 1921 in the town Lucana, the local citizens bitterly contested him with stone throwing and harassment towards his carriage, evidently worried about the fate of their city once the union with Campagna , the fact is that Cesarano did not give up and on 30 September of the same year he obtained from Pope Benedict XV the assent so that Campagna could become autonomous. < br /> The Città di Campagna, together with the Municipal Council of the time, welcomed this news with great enthusiasm, so much so as to appoint him an honorary citizen.
On June 22, 1922, the bishop asked the new Pope Pius XII to appoint our patron Sant'Antonino < / a>, patron of the entire diocese of Campagna (with the annexed villages such as the ancient Satriano and three detachments of Conza) was also favored in this.
For these reasons, the New York society "Cacciottolo campagnese di mutual assistance", made up of emigrants from the countryside, appointed him honorary president on June 4, 1922.
He immediately realized the importance of the rural seminary and with the opening of the school year of 1922/23 he soon took action to strengthen and embellish it, to finance this work he even organized a pro-seminary lottery. 2 This is of interest to the fact that the seminary was a constant construction site from 1922 to 1927, so as to reach its historical maximum (in terms of number of seminarians) of 80 units present on site, but his love for this place knew no bounds. < br /> In 1923, the last, the last friars present in the sanctuary of the Madonna d'Avigliano definitively left the convent, Cesarano requested and obtained from the Municipality of Campagna the free delivery of the entire area to be used as the summer home of the seminary, with this move he guaranteed the survival of the place from neglect and abandonment, a choice that has rewarded the structure up to the last century with the same activities of the Catholic Action.
The maintenance and restoration works were immediately started, Cesarano who certainly did not lose heart, on the occasion of the Eucharistic congress, held in Chicago on June 5, 1926, even managed to raise 200 thousand lire from the emigrants from Campania to fix the structure.
On May 10, 1925, however, he succeeded in another undertaking, with stubbornness he obtained from Pius XII to have the elevation of the Countryside Cathedral to the Papal Basilica decreed, the bull of erection was read in the cathedral on July 19 personally by the bishop.
On May 27, 1927, he wrote a letter to the Chapter in which he communicated the death of his father and that he had inherited a large sum for the time, 40 thousand lire, this sum he wanted to donate to the cathedral for everlasting memory with the construction of an imposing throne in marble, yet another act of love towards our city, then inexplicably canceled, with other beauties present in the various temples by Bishop Nuzzi in the 1960s.
Several other works were completed: on 15 October 1925 he established the new parish of Serradarce, on 19 July he inaugurated the new hospital of Mendicità, on 5 December 1931 he elevated the church of Santa Maria La Nova to vicariate.
In February 1931, he was sent by the pope to rule the episcopal church of Aversa against his will, who after the technical time of installation of his successor, sent to the Cathedral Chapter begging them to publish a moving letter of farewell.
He died in Aversa on November 22, 1935, his body was buried in the city cathedral, the locals, full of gratitude as well as appointing him an honorary citizen, entitled the road that leads to the cathedral in his name so that his memory and his great memories would remain indelible works.
Text by Cristian Viglione.
Revisions: Francesco Pezzuti.
1. Valentino Izzo - Telling the Campaign ... Illustrious people. Vol. P - Year 2005
2. Valentino Izzo - Telling the Campaign ... Illustrious people. Vol. P - Year 2005