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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Seven novices and a Bishop

La danza in chiesa, a Bocaranga, senza limiti di età
la danse à l'église à Bocaranga. Pas de limites d'age!

Seven novices and a Bishop
At the end of last week a lovely group of seven Carmelite novices came to Bozoum. Five of them are from Cameroon and two from Central Africa. They have already one year of serious experience of community life, of prayer and formation in Carmel. Their coming to Bozoum, together with their trainer Father Alexandre, is an opportunity to get to know our Community lifestyle, in order to have a firsthand knowledge of a community of friars in care of a Parish. In addition to this, the novices will give three catechesis to our catechumens who will receive the baptism at Easter. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday they will meet the catechumens in order to have a conversation with them about the sacrament of Baptism, the Eucharist and Confession.
Wednesday morning I leave for Bocaranga, 125 km far from here. The road is rather bumpy, but in 3 and a half hours I reach the destination. I’m here in Bocaranga for a meeting regarding a training session for the parish Caritas. We are present in five parishes: Bossemptele, Bozoum, Bocaranga, Ndim and Ngaundaye. It is a beautiful moment of comparison of ideas, formation and sharing on what we live and do in our parishes to help those in need and to coordinate the charitable activity.
While we attend our updating course in Bocaranga, we are surprised to receive the visit of the new bishop of Bouar, Monsignor Mirek. He is here after visiting Ndim. All this area is “read zone”. Kind of.  Here the presence of rebel militias (Seleka, 3r, MPC) is a big problem. The Minusca (Blue Helmets) takes action sporadically, and the armed gangs are the scaring rulers: theft, looting, fires, illegal barriers, racketeering, torture, violence. I have just arrived in Bocaranga, when I did see an armored car and other two Blue Helmet cars coming off the Gendarmerie: they were taking away a young man who stole in a store the night before, killing the owner.
The big problem is that the "justice" is not managed by the police or by the authorities, but by the rebellious elements of 3R. They intervene directly, deciding in this case that the young man does not have to be   lynched in the square by the crowd, but has to be brought to another place. I asked myself: which will be the end of that man?
During this week in Bozoum we have also began welcoming about seventy displaced families fleeing the city of Paoua and the surrounding villages, where during the past weeks the violence has been continuously present.
The road to peace is still long and covered by great difficulties. Much more than that between Bozoum and Bocaranga.

Catechesi dei Novizi

I rifugiati di Paoua

Sessione formazione Caritas a Bocaranga

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