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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sunday in white and red


Sunday in white and red
On Sunday, April 23nd we celebrate the Sunday of Mercy. From the earliest times of the Church it was called "in albis" (in-white) because the faithful baptized during the Easter Vigil, after a week in which they strongly participated in catechesis and liturgies, they use to attended the, after Easter, first  Sunday Mass with the white robes of Baptism.
But this year the white went together with red: on this Sunday 115 kids, young adults and adults receive the Sacrament of Confirmation: they are called to say a more convinced YES, with the strength of the Holy Spirit, to their commitment to a Christian life which will bring them to maturity. The General Vicar of the Diocese, Abbé Mirek, is celebrating the Eucharist. The church is really full of people but more important there is much inner participation and much prayer. We accompany all our "children" with prayer asking God to help them to become solid and courageous Christians.
In the early afternoon I leave towards Bangui, because the next day I have the flight to Nairobi and then to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Here I meet the Superiors of the Indian Sisters of the Congregation of the “Mother of Carmel”. They work with us in Bouar. I stay with them for three days, discovering the spiritual richness of this Congregation. With them were there the Indian Sisters and young African Sisters coming from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. On Tuesday I go with them to visit the Bishop, while I took the opportunity to visit once more the cathedral, a construction of the end of the nineteenth century, which stands out among the new skyscrapers. It was built up by the German Benedictines. Tuesday is dedicated to young girls in formation (postulants and novices). I celebrate Mass with them. They sing very well and here are two songs I did tape:
After lunch, I show them photos of Central Africa, and I present the Country, the mission and the work of the Church. On Thursday, before leaving, I give myself a bit of relaxation by visiting the city and enjoying the sea. At 11.15pm I leave towards Italy, to reach my confreres, to be, on May 2nd at the Provincial Chapter. We are going to elect the future Superiors of our Religious Province of Genoa, and to have a discussion on our journey as Discalced Carmelites Friars.

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