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Monday, May 21, 2018

Italy, Italy

 
Italy, Italy
These past days I have been a bit absent from my blog, focusing more about my being in Italy. I wanted to accomplish my plans, giving time in meeting my own family, the Discalced Carmelite family, and the many people who wish to learn more about Central Africa and Bozoum.
In my family I met my mother that also if 91 years old is still in good shape, apart some walking problems. My sister Marisa, with her family and Bar Barò (“baro’ “is the way how to greet people in Sango, the national language of Central Africa). My brother Giovanni. And then the Parish Community, and the many people I’m use to meet.
This week I'm in Liguria, where I meet our Carmelite communities. Warm reception, much fraternity, with the support of sympathy and prayer promised by convents and monasteries.
Last week (In 3 days I covered 1,500 km) I’m in Milan to meet friends working at “Popoli e Missioni”, “Famiglia Cristiana” and “Avvenire”. With them I have conversations about Central Africa, Church, and Bozoum ... The following day I'm in Pegognaga visiting Mario Mazzali, our unbeatable volunteer handyman, and his wife Luigina. Then I drive towards Ferrara and Lendinara (Rovigo), where I meet other Bozoum friends. The third day I go to Turin, at the Book Fair. Here I meet other friends, but also a special person: Grégoire Ahongbonon. Born in Benin, for years he has dedicated himself to the mentally ill in many African Countries, literally freeing them from the chains and taking care of them. An idea useful for Bozoum too. After a greeting to the daily newspaper “La Stampa”, I return to Cuneo.
And the journey goes on. I will stay in Italy until May 29th , but there is still a lot to do and many beautiful people to meet.
 




Grégoire Ahongbon






Sunday, May 6, 2018

The BOOK
















The BOOK
May 1st 2018: in Bangui, Capital city of Central Africa, armed people enter the parish church of Fatima, throwing grenades and shooting on the crowd gathered for the Mass. They leave at least 16 dead, including the priest which I know. The people really strained organize a march bringing with them the bodies of some of the victims to the Presidential Palace, where the march is broken up by the military.
It's a terrible news. The fear that violence is unleashed is reality: 80% of the Country is in the hands of rebels, and in the Capital itself there are entire neighborhoods in the hands of armed bands.
The Cardinal, Archbishop of Bangui, has launched a message calling for prayer and calm, but at the same time asks that the truth be made about what happened at Fatima parish church. Peace is still far away!
The first week of May, after a brief visit to my confreres of Bocca di Magra, where I give a press conference about the book just printed containing the texts of this blog, beginning from January 1st of 2008, to the other 320 texts from 2011 to the whole 2017.
As I said newly printed, the book is titled: "Courage. We must fight so that God grants victory ".
Thursday evening there is the official presentation of the book in Cuneo, in a beautiful location: a greenhouse full of plants and flowers, made available by some friends like Roagna. Paolo Silvestro (but not only) who worked on the making of the book, and together with Fabrizio Brignone, the author of the foreword, all of them introduce the meeting, and then leave me the floor. At this happening there is a good number of person. Some of my Carmelite confreres are also present. And at the end of the evening, we sell the first 77 copies. On Friday, I am guest of the University of Turin, where I speak of Bozoum to a hundred third-curriculum students. And in the evening I'm in Dogliani, where Rai-Italian Television interview me and where I can talk about the book.
Take courage!







Università di Torino



A Dogliani con RAI 3





Saturday, April 28, 2018

Roads




Roads
And here I am in Europe!
Last week, April Wednesday 18th  and Thursday 19th , I took part, together with about seventy other participants priests, friars and nuns, at the Diocesan Session. Together with the new Bishop of Bouar we have tried to understand how to handle the situation mostly regarding the security (almost half of the parishes are in dangerous conditions, because in areas occupied by rebels). We discussed also about the future of our Diocese: what to do, and how to act. We plan, among other things, the reopening of schools for catechists, next fall. The meeting concludes with the Eucharistic celebration in the chapel of the Clarisse nuns, preceded by a meeting among the Bishop with Friars and Sisters of the diocese.
On Thursday afternoon I go to Baoro, and on early Friday at 4.30am I’m on my way to Bangui. There I have a couple of meetings and finally the check-in for my flight to Europe. In the afternoon I have the flight to Paris, where I arrive Saturday morning, to continue towards Genoa. My confreres come to pick me up at the airport, and in the afternoon I go to Cuneo, for a few days with my family.
But Monday and Tuesday I am in Prague, to meet the Brothers looking after the Shrine of the Child Jesus and for some meetings. On Monday afternoon I take part to the meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and above all, the friends of the NGO SIRIRI.OPS, with whom we have been collaborating for years. At present I’m back to Italy for a few weeks.
On Thursday May 3rd there will be the presentation of the book "Courage. We must fight so that God grants victory ". I have in my hands the just printed book! Over 300 pages, which collect what I wrote on the blog in recent years. All enriched by some information on the Country, the mission, education, agriculture and much more! It will be possible to find it here:













Sunday, April 22, 2018

Flights, Confirmations and books





Flights, Confirmations and books
Just before Christmas I began taking care of Isaac, a poor blind man who had been the victim of an accident. The International Red Cross had taken him to Bangui by plane, to undergo a surgery and to receive the necessary medical attentions. This week Isaac has finally returned to Bozoum, fit and very happy!
The week is deeply marked by the celebration of Confirmations: it is the Sacrament in which boys, girls, young people and adults receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which confirms what was received in Baptism. It is the sacrament of Christian maturity, which makes all of them living witnesses of God.
We celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmations not only in Bozoum, but also in Bokaya, Boyele and Manga, villages on the way to Bouar, an also in Paoua and Bocaranga. For the occasion comes the Bishop of Bouar, Monsignor Mirek Gucwa. On Saturday I celebrates in Bokaya, while on Sunday in Bozoum and on Monday morning in Manga and in the afternoon at Boyele. It is an opportunity to meet the Bishop not only because of the Sacrament of Confirmation but also because the Bishop has a chance to meet the youth and the students of our schools, whom He met on Tuesday morning, before leaving.
 And what about the two surprises? Here they are:
1. The following weeks will be published: "COURAGE. We must fight so that God grants victory ". The book collects what I write weekly on this blog, since its beginning until the end of 2017. Thanks to the friendship and generosity of many friends and of our “Missions of Arenzano”, the book will be available in a few days.
2. The second surprise is that at the end of the week I leave for a few weeks in Italy, until May 29th.


Isaac






Visita del Vescovo nel Lycée St.Augustin
Visite de l'Eveque au Lycée St.Augustin



Lettura davanti al Vescovo nella nostra scuola Bakandja
Un peu de lecture devant l'Eveque à l'école Bakandja