Mali: The Blessing of the Great Silence

After two years living as a captive in the desert, somewhere between Niger and Mali, the Italian missionary Father Pierluigi Maccalli, who was received by the Pope on November 9, 2020, recalled his first impressions in an interview conducted by the SMA Media Center a few hours after his liberation. Aid to the Church in Need summaries his impressive testimony given to the Society of African Missions (SMA) on 10 October 2020.

“I find it hard to speak because after spending such a long time in silence I now find myself in this world of quickly moving events and words”. These were Father Maccalli’s first words after liberation, which he experienced with great joy and emotion but also as a moment of confusion.

It all began on September 17, 2018. “It had been a quiet Monday. I had celebrated the Eucharist and eaten my evening meal. I had retired, as I usually do, to prepare the morning Mass. When I heard a noise, I thought it was perhaps someone coming looking for medicines at the medical store I had established. Going out, I found myself face to face with men armed with guns, who tied my hands behind my back. I thought at first they were robbers. I gave them the money I had with me and thought things would end there. Everything happened very quickly; I was surprised and unprepared for what was about to happen to me.”

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Canada to Mark National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples

On December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Church in Canada will celebrate the National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples. This project, with the approval of the Bishops of Canada, has been coordinated since 2002 by the Canadian Catholic Indigenous Council (formerly the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council). This year, the reflection by the Council centers on the theme Healing of the Earth. “Together we share one common home, Mother Earth, and we are all dependant on her for our existence. We continue to face very real threats to our ecology and way of life, which has never been more apparent as we live through the present Covid-19 pandemic. We must come together as one human family. Pope Francis reminds us in his encyclical Laudato Si that: ‘Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.’ We turn to the Earth for sustenance: for shelter, food, and medicines. And when we die, our bodies will return to the Earth where our ancestors reside as we await to be with God in Heaven forever.”

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‘Be Missionaries, not Just Disciples’ — Cardinal Advincula

The Philippine’s new cardinal, Jose Advincula, called on laypeople to be living witnesses and “missionary disciples” even amid the coronavirus pandemic, reported CBCP News.

Cardinal Jose Advincula of Capiz said there are many ways to be missionaries — taking what they have learned and sharing it with others.

“…Even if most of us are forced to stay at home, we can still carry out our mandate to be missionary disciples,” Advincula said.

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