AFRICA/DR CONGO – After 120 years of evangelization, the village of Yanonge celebrates its first nun

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AFRICA/DR CONGO – After 120 years of evangelization, the village of Yanonge celebrates its first nun

Saturday July 16, 2022

Yanonge (Agenzia Fides) – “Martha represents us all, as a Church that seeks the face of the Lord”, writes Fr. Vittorio Farronato from the Democratic Republic of Congo, referring to the first girl to become a nun in the village of Yanonge after 120 years of evangelism. “Looking at the face of the Lord – continues the Comboni missionary – in his eyes we see, as in a mirror, the people he loves and we turn to the people of the world to look at them with his eyes, and translate his concern “. Pr. Farronato testifies to the missionary activity carried out this year by recounting the life of the village. “We concluded the cycle of baptisms this year: between the center and the villages, there were about 150, mainly adolescents between 12 and 17 years old, who completed the three years of catechumenate. I am trying to invent new forms, sometimes small theatrical scenes, biblical story telling where there is a child/teenager they can relate to in. Bought a small color copier, painted a lot of African style drawings for photocopy booklets for all the villages. Now we organize ourselves to recover many young people left to their own devices, we have good collaboration from the local lay people. We accompany them in formation. There is a young Congolese missionary, Fr. Biangbali Abaingu Blaise with us, and a new member has arrived in the community, Br. Romero Arias Hernán, from Peru, a doctor with many years of experience between Congo and Sudan”. “Climate change is also being felt here with irregular rains and exaggerated heat – he adds. A European Union body has established a base in Yanonge, to protect the forest, improve traditional agriculture, promote small-scale farming, valuing trees by selling a semi-finished product We are also carrying out important initiatives: 7 large fish ponds where there were brush and swamps; we planted a forest of acacia trees, hundreds citrus fruits, a thousand forest trees, coffee, cocoa, fruit trees…”. The missionary explains that there is no paid labor in the country, “apart from a few teachers and state employees, the money that circulates is rare. We have started training and experiments in beekeeping. now we want to put 6 more houses, maybe reach 30. The organism of the European Union accompanies us in the technical training, we have created an association recognized by the state. In the future, we hope to set up a honeypot sales office in Yanonge. said to friends: an organization makes projects with the strength of dollars; the Church does works of mercy with the strength of solidarity. In the school of Jesus we know the value of each person, we know the care of the Father, we try to say it with our hands, explain it with words, celebrate it in the liturgy”. Pr. Ferronato concludes : “life hurts us all and then, between Covid and Ukraine, everything gets complicated, we are anxious for the future. Sometimes we go against the tide, but it is prophetic service, not just optimism, but hope”. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 16/7/2022)


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