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 together! 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 a PRIEST
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 neighborhood ...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!