Most importantly for us - and this is highlighted in Mauro Neri’s work -
Father Chini was committed to defending the dignity of the Sonoran Indians,
notably by opposing the Spanish monarchy’s efforts to make them work in the
silver mines. This stance led to a series of conflicts, even with his fellow
The libretto of ‘Kino, Builder of Bridges’ presents the Jesuit’s
influence in three very different periods and contexts. First, his missionary
work with the indigenous people in the late 1600s; second, the influence of his
“presence” among the indigenous Pima people in mid-20th century,
after the Second World War; and finally, the Kino who today still protects the destitute,
vulnerable Central American migrants traveling north and hoping to find work.
As they risk their lives crossing the harsh Sonoran desert, they pray earnestly
to Kino, their patron saint, so that he will help them reach the coveted “America”.
2020, Pope Francis recognised the heroic virtues of Padre Kino, who is already a
“venerable,” and the proceedings for his beatification are underway, with the
patronage of the Society of Jesus. This process is being carried out in close
collaboration with the Diocese of Trento (Italy), the Archdiocese of Hermosillo
(Mexico) and the Diocese of Tucson (USA).