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Friday, September 29, 2017

San Michele and warning signs of war

Gauthier con la carrozzina nuova

San Michele and warning signs of war
On Sunday we celebrated, with a few days in advance, the patron saint of the Parish of Bozoum, Saint Michael Archangel.  We got ready for the celebration by a couple of days of preparation. The feast of Saint Michael is a strong moment for our parish, which finds itself reflecting on its origins, and reaffirming God's authority and protection.
On Saturday afternoon we went in procession through the Mission area with the statue of St. Michael followed by a very large crowd of people praying and singing. On Sunday at 8.30am we celebrate the solemn Mass. Once more large number of people, intense prayer and songs and dances. Right after Mass there were the finals of some football and basketball games. At 12.30 we have had lunch (matanga) with the catechists, the responsible of the various Groups and all those who in one way or another are committed to help the parish.
The celebration day somehow was disturbed by a serious concern: the day before, on Saturday 23rd , the city of Bocaranga was again attacked by rebels from the 3R group (Seleka area), forcing people to flee. The rebels' intention is to occupy the city, and they do not seem to have any intention of leaving soon. Their arrival has triggered general panic and escape fugitives. There were dead, killed by the rebels, and everything happened under the eyes of the UN Peace Keepers, doing just nothing to stop the rebels.
Many of the fleeing people arrived here at Bozoum: 125 km of road, and for many on foot! The concern of the nearby war, so close to our Mission, goes together with the suffering of seeing thousands of people who have lost everything. These days we need to organize their presence.
Tomorrow morning, Saturday, we will start a census, family by family, so we have a better idea how to intervene. We are in need of homes, food, medicine, school, cooking utensils ... But most of all we need PEACE! It’s an urgent and almost desperate need.


Osso di elefante
Un os d'éléphant

Riunione rifugiati
Réunion déplacés

Rifugiati di Bocaranga a Bozoum
Déplacés de Bocarnga à Bozoum

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