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Thursday, December 29, 2011

It’s Christmas too in Bozoum!

A child holding a small present (could be a whistle, a doll, a small car
or a ball, even a fake mobile phone) this is Christmas as well.

Last year Hyppolite had an accident during class…unfortunately he was
paralyzed waist down from the fall. Yet he keeps a smile on his face, even
if he suffers from a deep wound affecting his spine…. Finally today he was
baptized, along with a girl and another boy, Ulrich who suffers from Down
This too, is Christmas! 
 Christmas is an afternoon spent with the orphans at the “Rainbow” Center;
with their nativity set made out of air-drying clay, blue elephants and
clothe trees….

Christmas is in the queue of the poor, waiting patiently for some food,
this day we managed to feed them some cookies and goodies, it’s Christmas
for them too

Christmas is in the nativity set, Christmas is in the twinkling lights
Christmas is in the wreaths made out of old newspaper scraps and some
Christmas blown glass ornaments.
Christmas is in the Panettone we made (even if it’s a little burnt!)

Christmas is in the song GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO that bursted out our
voices after the communion (a sumba, they say, in sango, the local

It is yet another Christmas, and praise the Lord (it is really the right
thing to say!)
It is always! 

 The Child lying in the manger is truly God's Son. God is not eternal
Solitude but rather a circle of love and mutual self-giving. He is
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

But there is more: in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God himself, and God
rom God, became man. To him the Father says: "You are my son". God's
everlasting "today" has come down into the fleeting today of the world
And lifted our momentary today into God's eternal today. God is so great
That he can become small. God is so powerful that he can make himself
Vulnerable and come to us as a defenseless child, so that we can love
Him. God is so good that he can give up his divine splendor and come
Down to a stable, so that we might find him, so that his goodness might
touch us, give it to us and continue to work through us. This is
Christmas: "You are my son, this day I have begotten you". God has become
one of us, so that we can be with him and become like him. As a sign, he
chose the Child lying in the manger: this is how God is. This
Is how we come to know him? And on every child shines something of the
Splendor of that "today", of that closeness of God, which we ought to
Love and to which we must yield -- it shines on every child, even on
Those still unborn.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Big celebration on the 18th of December in Bozoum

 Big celebration on the 18th of December here in Bozoum: the Carmelitan Fathers celebrated their 40th years anniversary of the first missionary arrival in Bozoum. Many years ago, that December, Father Carlo and Father Nicola (in the picture below) with Father Marco arrived in Bozoum, welcomed by Capuchin monks. (The former priest is now bishop of Bouar's Diocese, in which Bozoum is included) Yesterday we celebrated the sacerdotal ordering of a young Central African father Cyriaque

We all gathered together here in Bozoum. Yole seminarians came after 250
km drive in a truck...
Clerical students, nuns and fathers of different missions were there
Saturday evening, dinnertime, we were 50 people in the community, more
than 200 were in the schools, which came from the nearby villages!

Sunday 18th of December we had a great celebration, deeply intense and
beautiful. 23 priests, 2 deacons, the Bishop and a massive flood of people
We celebrated Mass in front of the new College St. Augustin, with
magnificent hymns, beautiful dances and a profound involvement
After the homily we sang the litanies chants for all the saints, whilst
the ordered person was lying on the floor. Then the Bishop laid his hands
on Father Cyriaque and everyone along with him and Father Cyriaque became

Right after he wore the chasuble and sacerdotal vestments, the Bishop
presented him with the chalice and the paten, as a symbol of his ministry,
at the service of Eucharist and sacraments.

On that moment all the priests came to hug him, we were all very emotional!
Then the young Carmelitans danced around him!
Following the Mass, the celebration kept going with a big lunch (almost
400 people!!!)
Also his family invited the Carmelitan community to a local party in their
...When the newly ordered pries arrived…they made him siting on a chair
and carried him while dancing into the party!

 40 years can be a lot but also just a little. It is good to see how the
Lord can make big things, day after day, despite our feebleness and misery

We prayed and we keep praying that the Lord will keep us in the joy of
working at His service, here in Bozoum, where He called us!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

On Africa we can count

The 1st of December is a big day for the Central African Republic: in 1958 it became a Republic, then few years later in 1960 was proclaimed independent.
Every year, this day represents the essence of this country. 53 years of independence is not bad after all, although there's still a long way to go!

The evening before the day, the Public Representatives were participating to different religious moments, spreading themselves into various churches, chapels and mosques.

Yesterday at 3 pm we gathered into our Church along with a small group of christians and some local authorities for the Eucharistical Celebration.

Just few weeks back the Pope was visiting Africa, in the State of Benin and he spoke about very important topics, focusing  on the Hope that Africa could live and could bring into the world.

He did not hesitate on presenting Africa as a model!
After the Benin trip he mentioned these words:" There's a standby of life and vitality for the future that we can depend on, that Church can depend on"
 Retracing the most striking moments of his second trip to Africa, today the Pope has reinstated in the cathechesis of general papal hearing in the Vatican City with these words: "In this crucial phase for the whole continent the Church in Africa, with her commitment to serving the Gospel and with the courageous witness of effective solidarity can play the lead in a new season of hope. In Africa I saw spontaneity in the yes to life, a freshness of the religious sense and of hope, a perception of reality in its totality with God and not reduced to positivism which, in the end, extinguishes hope. All this shows that in this continent there is a reserve of life and vitality for the future, on which we can count, on which the Church can count. My journey has also been an important appeal to Africa to direct its every effort to announcing the Gospel to those who do not yet know it. It is a renewed commitment to evangelization to which every baptized person is called, promoting reconciliation, justice and peace.

And just leaving from Benin, on his last speech at the airport, he said:"Why should an African country not show the rest of the world the path to be taken towards living an authentic fraternity in justice, based on the greatness of the family and of labour? May Africans be able to experience reconciliation in peace and justice! These are the prayerful good wishes which I express to you, with confidence and hope, before I leave Benin and the African continent."

Today, 1st of December, there is a big celebration, with the "DEFILE", a parade with schoolchildren, groups, local authorities and various people
Our kids too (which among the creche, primary, secondary schools, High school and Orphanage Centre count more than 1100) took part in the parade all with their different school uniform
They are the future of this country!