1833 – 1889 (February 21)
Antonio Neno was born at Grotte di Castro in the ancient Patrimony of Saint Peter (the Papal States) on June 17, 1833, the third child of Angelo Neno and Pacifica Cristofori. On May 31, 1850 he entered the novitiate at Genazzano, and was professed on June 1, 1851 with the religious name, Pacifico. He pursued studies at the General House of Sant’Agostino, Rome, and was ordained priest on February 16, 1856 at Saint John Lateran by Cardinal Patrizi. After additional studies at Recanati, he was awarded the lectorship in philosophy in 1857. He taught at Recanati for five years and then returned to Sant’Agostino, Rome, where he was made Regent of Studies.
On June 12, 1865, Father Neno and Father Filippo Izzo were sent by the Prior General to Villanova to assist in establishing a theological faculty at the college. Father Neno was appointed the first prefect of studies, a position he held until 1881. He directed the education of clerics and taught dogma, moral theology, canon law and church history, assisting on the weekends in area parishes. In 1869 he was appointed master of novices, and the following year became a naturalized citizen.
At the first Provincial Chapter of 1874, Father Neno was elected first definitor to Father Thomas Galberry. When Father Galberry was named bishop of Hartford, the second Provincial Chapter elected Father Neno as his successor in 1878. He attended the First Provincial Council of Philadelphia in 1880 and served as vice president of the committee on dogma. He rushed to Thomas Galberry’s side as the bishop lay dying in New York. Father Neno later preached the eulogy at his predecessor’s funeral.
After 16 years of fruitful ministry in America, ope Leo XIII recalled Father Neno to Rome to serve as Commissary General of the Order in 1881. Almost seven years later, on December 3, 1887, he was elected Prior General.
Stricken with apoplexy, Father Neno died in Rome on February 21, 1889, at the age of fifty-five, and was interred in the Augustinian mausoleum in Campo Verano, Rome, Italy.