Remembering Vittorio Falsina

A memorial service for Vittorio Falsina was held on Monday, September 24, 2001, in the Chapel of Andover Hall.

Vittorio Falsina was born in Brescia, Italy, on October 11, 1962. At the age of 12 he entered training with the Xaverian Missionary Fathers order. A skilled musician, he helped to lead the choir of his school. He was also a gifted pianist.

Falsina received his BA summa cum laude from the Università Urbaniana in Rome. He came to the United States to undertake graduate work at the University of Chicago, and received master's degrees in both the modern study of religion and in international relations and a PhD (with distinction) in ethics and society. His dissertation was entitled "Contemporary Catholic Social Ethics and International Relations: A North-South American Perspective."

While at Chicago, Falsina worked with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation on the World Environment and Resource program. He went on to work for the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City, where he was a Warren Weaver fellow and focused on projects in sustainable development and environmental ethics. He also consulted with the Center for Respect of Life and Environment and the Earth Charter Initiative.

Falsina's first involvement with Harvard was in chairing a panel on "Human Vocation" at the Center for the Study of World Religions conference on Christianity and Ecology in 1998. The next academic year, he returned to the Divinity School as a visiting lecturer and senior fellow. Last year, Falsina became director of a CSWR project, "Recasting Globalization," which is designed to survey and articulate a critique of the world's major religions toward the emerging patterns of trade and investment that characterize our globalizing era.

Falsina died Friday, August 24, 2001, from injuries suffered in a car crash near Marcellus, New York, a few miles south of Syracuse. He was in central New York to meet with a colleague.

His funeral was held on August 31 in Brescia, Italy, where he and his family are much beloved. His HDS colleagues who attended the service reported that virtually all the residents of his hometown and the surrounding area—hundreds of people—attended the funeral.