In 2001, the Società set out to fulfill one of its mandates as stipulated in the revised Constitution of 2000, that is, to establish a library that could be used by all members. It was decided to construct the library on the Upper level just outside the Sala Da Vinci. With the help of the Vice Consul of Italy, Sudbury, Paul Colilli, the first 250 books were secured from the Italian government. These books were our first donation. Since then we have received countless donations from members of the Italian community of Greater Sudbury. The books vary in range and scope. However, one can find novels along with books dealing with history, cuisine, music and other aspects of Italian culture. The Bressani Library also houses costumes made by the Ladies’ Auxiliary from the regions of Italy and from the Commedia dell’Arte also with other artifacts. The library was officially opened in November, 2001.
Only members of the Società Caruso are able to borrow books from the Bressani Library. However, members of the Greate Sudbury community are more than welcome to consult by simply calling the office (705.675.1357) and making an appointment.
Why is the library named after Francesco Giuseppe Bressani? When the time came to name the library we wanted one that would be recognizable to the Italian community and also appropriate for a library.
Did you know that Francesco Bressani, a Jesuit missionary, wrote the first history of central Canada in Italian? He lived, worked and worshiped among the Huron Indians in the first European settlement in Ontario (Ste-Marie), situated at Midland, alongside Jean de Brébeuf, Jérome Lalemant and the other martyrs. He wrote his “Breve relatione di alcune Missioni della Compagnia di Gesù nella Nuova Francia” in Italian in 1653, which was translated into French by Father Martin, S.J. in 1852.
- Born in Rome on May 6, 1612
- Entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus on August 15, 1626 and studied in Rome and Clermont, France.
- Before his ordination he taught at Sezze, Tivoli and Paris.
- On his arrival in America, he was assigned to the spiritual care of the French in Québec, but the following year he was sent to Trois Rivières to serve among the Algonquins. He was the only Italian Jesuit missionary.
- In April, 1644, on the way to the Huron mission in Ontario, he was captured by the Iroquois and cruelly tortured by them, at intervals, for over two months.
- He was rescued by the Dutch at Fort Orange and was sent to France in November of 1644.
- He returned to Huronia the following year and worked at Ste-Marie in Midland until its destruction in 1649.
- He continued, however, to minister to the scattered and fugitive Hurons.
- Because of failing health, in November of 1650, Bressani returned to Italy, where he spent many years as a preacher and missionary.
- Wrote “Breve relatione di alcune Missioni della Compagnia di Gesù nella Nuova Francia” in Italian in 1653.
- Died in Florence in 1672.
(Above) Map of Huronia drawn by Bressani, National Archives of Canada
Images of the Bressani Library, Società Caruso