don Silvio Lorenzoni


He was born in Cles in 1844, when the Rochdale pioneers founded the first consumer cooperative in Manchester. He was director of the periodical “La Voce Cattolica” on which don Lorenzo Guetti wrote and he was counselor of the Federation of Cooperative Consortia and of the Diocesan Committee. Like Guetti, he was elected deputy at the Assembly of Innsbruck.

He distinguished himself as a great promoter of cooperativism in Trentino: as a member of the provincial Council of Agriculture, he studied, translated and promoted the cooperative way of thinking of Raiffeisen, he simplified the beginning of cooperative credit experiences by speaking to local administrators.

In 1884, eight years before don Lorenzo Guetti established the first deposits and loans fund in Larido, in Bleggio, Lorenzoni published on the agrarian Yearbook, the magazine of the Agrarian Institute of Sam Michele, a study on cooperative banks promoted in Germany by Raiffeisen. The year after, in 1885, he translated from German and he distributed the first statute’s drafts for the founding of rural banks in Trentino. We found in fact his writings relating to the Raiffeisen mindset on the Agrarian Yearbook- edited by the provincial Council of Agriculture for Tyrol, section of Trento, with these titles:
“Sul credito agrario. Due parole alla buona ai nostri bravi agricoltori” (1883)
“Le casse sociali di prestito secondo il sistema Raiffeisen” (1884)
“Le casse sociali di prestito secondo il sistema Raiffeisen - continuazione” (1885)

In 1888 he was nominated priest of Brez, where he stayed for 20 years until his death. He established the Cooperative Society (Famiglia Cooperativa) and the Rural Bank of Brez (Cassa Rurale) and several cooperatives of production. Furthermore he gave an effective contribution to the agrarian Consortium of Valli del Noce.
He also supported the creation of the cooperative of second level “Agricultural-Industrial Union of Trentino (SAIT)”, of which he was an advisor

Further reading:

F. Giacomoni, R. Tommasi, 100 anni di SAIT. Una storia del Trentino. Le radici della cooperazione di consumo trentina: 100 personaggi per 100 anni SAIT, 1999, pp 193-200