Rome, January, 5th, 2018 (CRUX). One of the Church’s great media missionaries of the 20th century, Father Piero Gheddo, died last month at the age of 88. Gheddo died on Dec. 20, after more than half a century of work in Catholic media apostolates.

An Italian member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), Gheddo was the editor of missionary magazines, a founder of communications agencies, and a prolific author, whose books were translated into 30 languages.

Born in 1929 in Tronzano Vercellese, in the Piedmont region of Italy, he entered the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions in 1942, hoping to follow a vocation to foreign missionary work among non-Christians.

He was ordained a priest in 1953, and hoped to be sent as a missionary to India. Instead, his superiors gave him a post in the missionary media. In 1959, he was appointed editor-in-chief of the magazine Le Missioni Cattoliche.

He took part in the Second Vatican Council while working for the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, and helped to draft Ad Gentes, the Second Vatican Council’s decree on missionary work.

He traveled the world as a journalist and media missionary. In Brazil, he became a friend to Archbishop Helder Camara, supporting his work for the poor. Though Camara was an advocate of liberation theology, Gheddo opposed that movement, and the Marxist drift he believed that some Latin American theologians had taken.

Gheddo published stories and articles to the end.