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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Pope's visit to Central African Republic.1

The Pope's visit to Central African Republic.1
It’s Sunday, November 29, 2015, at 10 am. It was spoken about this event for months, and despite that security is still very uncertain, here is the Pope in Bangui! Pope Francis just landed at the airport! We are here at Carmel with the novices, children of the 2nd cycle of Yolé, the Sisters of Yolé, the fathers (myself, Enrico, Dieudonné, Br. Martial, Cyriaque, Arland, Voytech and Daniel), a nun from Bozoum: here they welcomed us in a very good way, with a great organization (we are just 55 here at Carmel). We came down here in Bangui in many. Just from our parish of Bozoum (the largest delegation from the diocese of Bouar) we are about fifty people! We left Bozoum yesterday at 5.30: Fr. Enrico and I with two cars. Another group left Friday night with a rented truck ... which got broken down the road! But this has not discouraged the travelers, who still managed to arrive in Bangui. All of them: catechists and those involved in the parish, youth and adults, including Gauthier, a handicapped boy, happy to have been chosen to be part of the official delegation! The trip was comfortable, except for some anti Balaka (unarmed) which at 24 km from Bangui demanded money because "we ensure the security of the Country". To which I replied that they ensure the destruction of the Country. Fr. Voytech, Fr. Arland, Daniel and Cyriaque (from our convents of Saint Elie and Yolé) left instead Bouar with the convoy escorted by UN troops and their journey was very slow: they arrived in Bangui at 8.00pm! While we got there at 1.00pm, and after placing our people, we came here at Carmel. This morning at 6:30 am I went to the Cathedral, with Fr.Enrico and Fr. Mesmin who is involved in the Security Commission, which for three months took him a lot busy, doing a great job and everything is ready! The Cathedral, very simple, is freshly painted, and everywhere there are the colors of the Vatican. Here, right here, tonight will be the center of the world, the center of the Church: here Pope Francis will open the Holy Door, beginning the Jubilee of Mercy with a little advance. It is an exceptional event: the first time a Holy Year is opened outside Rome in a very world periphery: Central Africa Republic! After collecting tickets for tomorrow Mass at the Stadium, I go to the Parish of Our Lady of Africa, where I meet with our delegation from Bozoum. I distribute tickets, and some t-shirts, hats and umbrellas with pictures of the Pope. Than I return to Carmel, just in time before the blocking of all roads. To tell the truth the roads are already blocked ... but with a little of audacity I can go on.

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