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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Years and years...

La porta di una casa a Tataley
La porte d'une maison à Tataley

Years and years...
Monday morning, after organizing the widening church site, I leave towards Bocaranga 125 km far from here. I arrive after only 3 hours. I give my farewell to Sr. Renata Dutto, returning definitively to Italy, after working for 48 years in Ngaundaye as a obstetric and nurse responsible of malnourished and blind people. At the table I am with the Capuchin Mission: Fr. Cipriano with 56 years of Africa, Fr.Valentino with 54 as missionary. By adding their years of work in the mission along with Sister Renata, the three of them reach 158 years of service to the Central Africa Republic! Ahead with courage!
In the early afternoon I’m on the road, in a very bad condition, toward Ndim. I came here in Ndim because for months the everyday life is very tense. Some armed groups have reorganized themselves creating dangerous alliances, under the indifferent eyes of the UN peacekeepers and the absent control of state authorities. In recent weeks tension has risen, with groups of ex-Seleka fighting Koui, and the reaction of antibalaka who often take advantage of the disorder to attack the Mbororo populations (nomads who live breeding) stealing their cattle. The tension in recent days: about 200 Mbororo took refuge in the Mission, but thank God we were able to have the presence of UN peacekeepers who took them under their protection.
Once in Ndim I greet Fr. Robert, a Polish Capuchin, who does a great job to prevent the tragedy, the Sisters of Mercy, the Mayor (a brave woman), the leader of the Blue Helmets and, most importantly, the Mbororo families. We have a positive discussion trying to reflect and to keep their hope alive.
On Tuesday I’m back to Bozoum just in time to say bye to Fr.Norberto who is leaving for a well-deserved time of resting in Italy.
Thursday morning I go with Fr.Enrico to Kosso, a small village 8 km from Bozoum (8 km distance and 40 minutes by car ...). Here, thanks to the generosity of some friends, we are starting the construction of a primary school for about 230 students who at present attend classes in hangars made of straw and wood.
Keep always going !

Sr Christina e Sr Renata Dutto

la strada tra Bocaranga e Ndim
La route entre Bocarnga et Ndim

Ndim: sr Mediatrice e il sindaco
Ndim: sr Médiatrice et Mme le Maire

Caschi Blu a Ndim

Alunni della scuola di Kosso
Elèves de l'école de Kosso

I lavori proseguono a Bozoum

Monday, May 23, 2016

Buildings underway….

Buildings underway….
This week about eighty parishioners have gone through a special time of training on Marriage, to discover or rediscover the beauty and the grace of the Sacrament, guided by Fr. Marcello Bartolomei. Here often family life is very fragile and accompanied by several problems as the weight of the dowry, poverty, the lack of mutual knowledge and the difficulty of living a responsible sexuality.
During this same time a group of Muslims, mostly women, it was here at the Mission for a period of training on Agriculture. In the recent past a good number of them were already accustomed to trade or farming, but the war has changed everything.
The work at the construction site of the church is going on in a satisfactory way.
Thursday afternoon I was about to leave towards Bouar, but began raining: the classic storm which left   the country roads impracticable. I traveled therefore on Friday leaving at 04.00 am, arriving at 08:30 am in Bouar, 250 km far. I deal immediately with various meetings with the communities and Caritas. Before leaving on Saturday morning I meet the Missionaries committed to the Healthcare. They are here for a stage on AIDS training guided by an Italian volunteer, specialist of the subject. I meet them briefly to present the project funded by the Czech Republic, which will help pregnant women (prenatal visits, delivering and emergency procedures), malnourished, disabled people and people with AIDS.  
Saturday afternoon I’m on my way back home in Bozoum where I arrive in the evening.

Formazione sul Matrimonio
Formation Mariage

Formazione sull'Agricoltura

Il pleut

Luigina e Mario

Riunione dei responsabili dei vari servizi sanitari della Diocesi
Réunion des agents de Santé du Dopcèse.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Zero kilometers

Zero kilometers
A miracle happened this week: I could stay at home, in Bozoum, without traveling! Long time now that I didn’t experience something like this, and I have to tell you that it was a pleasure!
Since Sunday we have with us our seven Carmelite novices. Normally they live in St. Elia near Bouar. They’ll stay with us all week long. It is good to see a nice group of young people praying, working, eating and having fun. I kept busy in catechism examinations and, above all, in following the construction work of the church.
The extension of the building proceeds, although a bit slow for a number of reasons: my being often away, and the lack of work site supervisors , engineers and construction workers with the experience of Alessio Vada and Enrico Massone.  Anyhow, on Monday we began working inside the church by breaking down the side of the presbytery and starting to build the wall that will contain the sacristy which will be in the background of the church. It almost seems to make archaeological excavations! We find stones, bricks and even metal strips obtained from old cans used in place of iron bars as reinforcement. The team of carpenters, composed of a dozen people, is working very hard and I hope to complete the sacristy area within a month. Meanwhile we should get the glasses for the windows.
I hope to get even some carpenter from Italy or anywhere else… to help us out. By any chance do you know someone?


Saturday, May 7, 2016


Le "danseuses" preparano i fiori per la liturgia

For a Parish of a Christian community, the Sacrament of Baptism is a great gift. Even greater if, instead of one baptism, the candidates to this Sacrament are 160. Then it is a Grace river!
Sunday, May 1st is the big day of Baptisms celebration. Usually this celebration takes place at Easter. But this year Easter came too early and the catechumens were not ready.  Because of this we decided for a month of patience, so we could have more catechism lessons ending in a better preparation for the last tests. I wanted to be present at these last tests in order to meet each of the candidates and, above all, trying to figure out if they were "ready" for this gift. Some questions were straight about the catechism followed by other questions like: "Who is Jesus for you?"; "When you read the Gospel, what do you like most?", and so on.
Finally the Sunday, the great day, comes! We celebrate outdoors, because there is no room for everyone in the Church. Are present altar servers, choir, liturgical dancers, the catechumens and a large number of Parish members.  All our people came simply to experience and enjoy the celebration of this moment of grace.
For a Parish of a Christian community, baptism is a great gift and at the same time a great responsibility: the new Christians should be able to find a community, a place where it is comfortable to live in and share the faith, where you can find live examples in order to be faithful and generous, where you can enjoy the beauty and the joy to be "wa-Christ", a Christian, as they say in Sango, the national language of Central Africa Republic.
At 6.00am on Monday morning we celebrate few marriages. A bit on a modest way to try to avoid too many expenses. But the 4 couples who got married, even without too many accessories and too much money, they knew well that the Sacrament of marriage is a gift and that the love between a man and a woman needs strength from above and the God's blessing.
Monday I’ll leave going to Bangui for some meetings. I’ll be back on Wednesday just in time for the Ascension feast that is celebrated here on Thursday.

Sr Lydie e Sr Annita preparano l'altare


Soeur Christine

da guardare con attenzione...
à regarder avec beaucoup d'attention