Confirmations in and around Baoro
Sunday, May 28, is the great feast of Pentecost: 50 days after Easter we commemorate the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In recent days we too have had our Pentecost, with the celebration of the sacrament of Confirmation in the villages of Dobere and Igwe, and here in Baoro.
Last Friday, May 19, I went to Bayanga Didi for the Confirmation exams. The area is a little quieter: Yoro's school is open, as is Bayanga Didi's nursery school.
In the evening I returned to Baoro, where I found the bishop, Mirek Gucwa, who had come from Bouar and will stay with us over the next few days.
Saturday morning I left a little early for Dobere, the 50 km on the road to Bangui. Here we have the 48 confirmands from the villages of: Mbormo, Bawi, Balembe and Dobere.
While I finished with the confessions, the Bishop arrived, he met with the confirmandi, and explained and deepened the gift of the Holy Spirit and the sacrament of Confirmation for them. Around 10 we began Mass: the women of the village prepared a carpet, made with local fabrics: a real walkway that speaks of the pride of being able to welcome the Bishop and the celebration.
We finished Mass around 1pm. We had a bite to eat, and then we returned to Baoro.
Here on Sundays Confirmations are celebrated for the city and for the nearest villages. There are 68, including boys, girls, young people and adults. Many wear red, the liturgical color of Pentecost.
I left for Igwe on Monday morning. Even though it is only 60 km of road, it takes almost 2 hours. The village is very small (about a dozen houses). The catechist recently returned from school, and we chose to celebrate here to give courage to the small community. In the village, the new well that we had built for the community has been working for a few days.
The 31 confirmands from the villages of Bayanga Didi, Yoro and Samba Bougoulou gathered here.
While I was confessing, the bishop arrived with the altar boys, and after the meeting with the confirmands, we began Mass in the straw chapel. It was all very simple, but the power of the Holy Spirit doesn't frighten, quite the opposite actually!
The people of Igwe are happy with this celebration. At the Offertory they even brought a goat, as a gift for the Bishop!