Beautiful church, even more beautiful the CHURCH
Last Sunday we went through a great moment: the inauguration of Bozoum church! About ten months of working and now the church is ready! And it is a wonder!
The new section, bright and airy, is full of light and colors. The form (on the sides of the altar there’re two semicircles of 10 meters each in radius) recalls the embrace of God, in the sacraments, in the Word, in prayer and in being one people.
Two Central African artists (Charlemagne and Alexis) have enriched the presbytery of an original version of the Last Judgement. On one side the damned with no face (as a reminder that when we abandon God our being human get lost), on the other side the saints, with the face barely hinted, but bright. On both sides of the church there are the Apostles and the inscription "UNAM, SANCTAM, CATHOLICAM ET APOSTOLICAM" (One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic) which recall the great characteristics of our Church.
The 26 colorful stained glass windows are a hymn to the Light, reminding to all of us how our life, enlightened by God, becomes real life and a colorful one. In the middle there is the Cross, made with the metals found in the foundations of the old church, as a memorial for those who built it over 60 years ago. Those metals were a substitute of today steel rods, and were obtained by cutting the iron bins: poverty, simplicity and ability to find anyhow a solution.
We did work for months and not even an incident, despite the precariousness of resources. Indeed the protecting hand of God has not abandoned us for a moment!
Great work indeed, made possible thanks to the solidarity and faith of so many people from all over the world (with "Propaganda Fide" and the "Aid to the Church in Need" and so many other people), but also thanks to the hard work and the involvement of our Christians in Bozoum.
It was nice, in recent months, and even more last Sunday, to watch the pride and joy of having at the end such a beautiful church. We wanted it beautiful, because Beauty speaks of God: it is one of his names, and one of its manifestations! We wanted it beautiful, because every man and every woman deserves to live, pray and celebrate in a beautiful environment! We wanted it beautiful, because nothing is enough beautiful for God. And nothing neither enough beautiful for “the Man”!
Last Sunday we were really so many! Already one hour earlier the church was full! A great number of them: from the villages and from the city. Were present children, youth and adults, sick and healthy, moms and dads, poor, Ecclesiastical Movements, in one word: everybody came at the new church.
To mark the occasion, the Bishop (old man and sick) sent his Vicar General, the Abbé Mirek, who presided over the Mass. Came also the Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature (currently there isn’t an Ambassador from the Vatican to the Central African Republic). There were also many Discalced Carmelite friars from all of our communities.
The celebration was wonderful: many songs, dances, but also much prayer! It lasted three hours. The Offertory alone requested 40 minutes! Everyone wanted to bring something for the church and for the poor! Beautiful church and even more beautiful “the Church”!
Monday morning at 4.30 am I leave towards Bouar, where I have to attend to some meetings. Sadly the situation there is still fragile. In the north area the Diocese there are thousands of refugees, while on that same day in Bangui there are protests against the UN Peacekeepers, which degenerate and, after a morning of gunfire and violence, there are at least five casualties.
Once more at 4.30 am on Tuesday I leave hoping to reach Bangui. Thanks God the situation has calmed down and we arrive without any further problems.
And now I'm on my way toward Italy for some rest ... and not only that!
And here is the link to the special edition of the "Journal de Bozoum":