By Vatican News
The Pope has appointed Sister Alessandra Smerilli "to replace Msgr. Bruno Marie Duffé and Fr. Augusto Zampini, respectively Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the same Dicastery, both of whom have returned to their dioceses."
The Italian religious sister has served as an Undersecretary at the Dicastery since March 2021.
According to the Holy See Press Office, Pope Francis has “ordered that management team of the Vatican Covid-19 Commission be composed" of Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery, Sister Alessandra Smerilli, and Father Fabio Baggio, Undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section.
Born in the Italian town of Vasto (Chieti) in 1974, Sister Smerilli has been the Undersecretary of the Dicastery since March 2021, as well as coordinator of the Economic Taskforce of the Vatican Commission Covid-19.
As Secretary she takes the place of Msgr. Bruno-Marie Duffé, who left the Dicastery in July, and as delegate of the Task Force she replaces Father Augusto Zampini. The latter is also leaving the Dicastery and returning to serve in his home diocese in Argentina.
Grateful for chance to serve
"I am grateful to the Holy Father,” said Sr. Smerilli, “for the challenging task he has called me to take on, and I pray the Lord will help me honor this call in a spirit of obedience to the Church, with the humility, passion, creativity and ability to listen that it requires. My desire and commitment are to be able to serve the mission of the Church to the best of my ability, for as long as the Pope sees fit."
After thanking her superiors, Sr. Smerilli said she was certain she could "count on the spirit of communion and collaboration of the entire Dicastery, as well as the many international partners who collaborate with the Covid Commission, for the integral promotion of the person and the care of creation by promoting and developing those principles of the Church's social doctrine to which Pope Francis constantly calls us for the construction of a better world."
New phase of Commission’s work
A statement from Father Augusto Zampini was also posted on the Dicastery's website.
"I am grateful to the Holy Father for entrusting me with the challenging task of coordinating the Vatican Covid-19 Commission and serving as the Dicastery's assistant secretary. Now that the Commission is ready to enter a new phase, and in communion with my bishop, I have asked Pope Francis for permission to return to my Diocese. I am confident that under the leadership of Sister Alessandra Smerilli the Commission will be able to continue the healing journey to help both people and the planet out of this difficult situation."