2 white roses
It has been tre months since I went to Bouar, where the dioceses and other Carmelitan's communities are located. I finally went on Monday with abbé Mirek, the vicar, who was visiting.
On our way we came across a big trucks convoy going to Bangui: transportation is still dangerous, they were escorted by MISCA
In Baoro I finally met father Dieudonne, father Daniel and the nuns. Since last month they have been hosting 3700 people, 1700 of which were Muslims. Just few days ago they set off to Cameroon, the rest f the people came back home... However what home? Selekas burned more than 1300 houses these past weeks!
In Bouar I was leased to see the fathers and the sisters, brave missionaries who stayed, despite everything! On Tuesday afternoon we had caritas meeting, to assess the situation and decide what to do next. It strikes me how any religious homes and parishes are open to help refugees without any discrimination between Christians or Muslims! These people, laics, monks, nuns, of different ages and countless countries (car, Cameroon, Chad, Madagascar, India, Uruguay, Italy, France, Poland, Czech Republic) caritas international!
Last week, father Emilio Martinez, the vicar of the Carmelitan's family, was here. And he had a wonderful idea. He brought two roses to Pope Francis, as a symbol of all the work done here by the missionaries. Here's what he also wrote:
I was able to give these two white roses to Pope Francis during the hearing on Wednesday. I told Hume these roses were from Car, from the missionaries and their refugees
I wish I could describe my feeling when he told his assistant “Esto me lo sube arriba, a mi despacho”, which means "bring this into my office ”.
Your faces, your lives, as well as the nuns and friends, each and everyone of the refugees especially the children...I carried all of this in my heart, after my visit and gave it to Pope Francis and I felt I've been your messenger and carrier of such treasure, thanks to The Lord!
Please do send this message to all brothers and sisters: the pope is with you and you are with him! Thank you all for everything, your smaller brother, Emilio.
On Wednesday I went to the North with couple of journalists from the associated press.
We passed by Bohong, where it finally seems possible co-existing of Muslims and non-Muslims, after months of fighting. Along the way we saw many of the villages burnt by Selekas, and almost all chapels have bullets in their walls, their holes are clearly visible!
I saw the capuchins in Ngaundaye, they are reorganizing for reconstructions. I also drove Father Francesco down to his farm (it's 3 km fR from here and Selekas stole his car so he must walk and he's not as young anymore!) I was able to see hundreds of small plants and mangos sprouts.
And today I saw the primary schools kids all excited because it's quarter end and they'll get their reports soon. Seems little, but it's actually a big step, especially now....
|rifugiati alla Misisone di Baoro|
réfugiés à la Mision de Baoro
|convoglio di camions provenienti dal Cameroun e diretti a Bangui|
le convoi provenant du Cameroun, destinés à Bangui
|Fra Francesco con i suoi manghi innesati|
frère Francesco, avec ses mangues greffés