Day after day we have finally reached Easter.
Holy Saturday was a day of silence and meditation. In the afternoon, at 6:30 pm, we got together at the square facing the church, around a huge bonfire. It was already dark and fire became soon the symbol of Christ the Risen One. After lighting from the fire the paschal candle we entered the church. Little by little all the candles were lit up and the song of the "Exultet" that proclaims Jesus Resurrection resounds with joy. Then we listen to the many Readings: through the Scriptures we revisited God’s work among the humanity from the very beginning to Jesus the One who made us free from the death, the only Risen One. And finally it was time to celebrate the Baptisms for 85 Catechumens: babies, kids, youth and adults. It was a very intense moment, almost like the moment of a birth, in which the Mother Church brings her children into a new existence.
The joy is immense. The church is full of faithful as outdoors in the square. During the songs, everyone dances with joy. Among the dancing and singing crowd I saw Virginia, an elderly lady, who recently had a slight stroke. She also joined the dance. The great Liturgy ended after 10 pm. Little by little the baptized walked down to the city with the other faithful, and the city is filled with songs, which will last all night and the next day.
On Sunday morning, Easter day, the baptized presented themselves in all their splendor, with the white dress. During the Mass the church resounds of songs and dances. There was also a celebration of a wedding. Happily got married Guy Giscarde and Raissa Irene. After the mass, all the baptized go back to their homes, together with friends and family, wrapped up with colored cloths.
We stay with the Sisters for our meal saying goodbye to Sr. Lidia who, after almost three years, returns to Congo, due to health problems. Throughout the week, Easter octave, there is a party atmosphere. The new baptized come every day for the Mass celebration.
On Thursday I go to Bouar, where we organized a day of formation for the Caritas of the parishes of Bouar (Fatima, Wantingera and Cathedral), Baoro, Baboua, Niem and Bohong. Nearly ten priests are present at the meeting together with the Sisters. With us there are thirty lay people involved in the various communities of the diocese in favor of the poorest to be "the hands of the heart of the Church," as Pope Paul VI said.
|Pasqua, i nuovi battezzati.|
|Saluto a Sr Lydie (a sinistra)|
Au revoir, Sr Lydie (à gauche)