On the 28th of May 2016, the two Christian communities: St. Francis Xavier, Sayinoh and St. Charles Lwanga, Allen town, assisted by Fr. Munari, Fr. Piero with the three Xaverian students Mark, Francis and Peter, animated a retreat in our house at Africanus Road. Since the Xaverians in Kissy started facilitating retreats, this was one of the most remarkable. The main reason is that the retreat was not focused on only one particular group, but on three active ones in the Catholic Church: Infant Jesus, Altar servers and C.Y.O. were together.
"The Jubilee Year of Mercy is a precious time for changing our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh"
HOMILY OF BISHOP NATALE PAGANELLI, SX DURING THE OPENING OF THE HOLY DOOR
I start my reflection by quoting a passage of Pope Francis’ homily during the opening of the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome on 8th December 2015:
This Extraordinary Year is itself a gift of grace. To pass through the Holy Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father, who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each one of them. It is he who seeks us! It is he who comes to encounter us! This will be a year in which we grow ever more convinced of God’s mercy. How much wrong we do to God and his grace when we speak of sins being punished by his judgment before we speak of their being forgiven by his mercy (cf. Saint Augustine, De Praedestinatione Sanctorum, 12, 24)! But that is the truth. We have to put mercy before judgment, and in any event God’s judgement will always be in the light of his mercy. In passing through the Holy Door, then, may we feel that we ourselves are part of this mystery of love, of tenderness. Let us set aside all fear and dread, for these do not befit men and women who are loved. Instead, let us experience the joy of encountering that grace which transforms all things.
Missionary Church, Witness of Mercy
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which the Church is celebrating, casts a distinct light on World Mission Sunday 2016: it invites us to consider the missio ad gentes as a great, immense work of mercy, both spiritual and material. On this World Mission Sunday, all of us are invited to "go out" as missionary disciples, each generously offering their talents, creativity, wisdom and experience in order to bring the message of God’s tenderness and compassion to the entire human family. By virtue of the missionary mandate, the Church cares for those who do not know the Gospel, because she wants everyone to be saved and to experience the Lord’s love. She “is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel” (Misericordiae Vultus, 12) and to proclaim mercy in every corner of the world, reaching every person, young or old.
During all difficult times in Burundi the Xaverian Missionaries have remained in solidarity with local people facing the same difficulties and enduring death (1995 and 2014 = three Xaverian Sisters). The evangelization method they use in search of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation consists in not taking part for any side while raising the awareness of local people on equal dignity of all God’s children.
“Be a real Koranko Catholic!” was the message of Bishop Natale Paganelli sx to the Mongo Bendugu community during his visit on 12th – 14th March 2016. His visit was to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Parish and administer the sacrament of confirmation to 29 young boys and girls. It was really an encouragement for the community to hear that being a Catholic is not something opposed to their ethnic identity at all, but on the contrary an enrichment. He didn’t just pay lip-service to the idea of being a real Koranko Catholic, if we realise the fact that the people of Mongo Bendugu welcome the Catholic mission. Moreover, little by little some of them embrace the Catholic faith.
On March 16, 2016, here in Holy Martyrs of Uganda Parish, Kabala, we held a District Pilgrimage. Hence, the Parish Church was chosen as the center for Pilgrims in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. The occasion was graced by the presence of His Lordship Bishop Natale Paganelli, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Makeni.