domenica 7 aprile 2019

blog closure

Dear friends,

in the last few weeks I have been reading a lot about what happens to our datas and all we put in our social medias, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Blog as well.

I do not like it at all!!

Therefore I have cancelled my Facebook and I am also about to close this blog.

If anyone of you is interested in keeping following me you can easily do in a new blog I am opening with a more secure provider, just follow the link below

I hope to see you all there

May God bless you all

fr. Federico Loro Gatluak

giovedì 4 aprile 2019

2/2019 Four countries and three busses tons of hours

Well yes, the title says it all. On Saturday the 30th of March I left Juba with 4 candidates, four youth willing to join the Order of the Friars Minor, and we headed to Mwanza in Tanzania. We could not afford five flight tickets so we opted for the bus...
Our first stop was Kampala, in Uganda, that we reached after 14 hours. The journey was ok and we had a chance to see a lot of South Sudan. It's been heartbreaking. Almost 90% of the villages we passed by were completely abandoned...
As soon as we crossed the border that landscape changed, more green, less desert, and small well kept houses and huts. Uganda seems very nice. Big difference? People were smiling to one another and also to foreigners. This is something I miss in South Sudan but, given the whole situation and history, it's perfect understandable. In Kampala we were hosted by some South Sudanese who have really treated us too well. We slept all together in one room, we shared dinner and talks and a good night sleep. The day after we went for mass to the cathedral of Kampala, a very nice church and in the afternoon we were just being tourists. We also had a great fun in a local swimming pool, the very last treat for the boys before joining the postulancy. At 9 pm we head off on the second bus towards Mwanza.... Horrible bus, crowded and exhausting journey. We reached Mwanza at 3 pm the day after. The postulancy house is nice and I was so happy to see our former postulants doing so well. They have really grown up in one year of formation and have become men of prayer, this is what we need.

After one day I left my boys behind and jumped onto another bus, quite comfortable actually and again after 18 hours I reached Nairobi. And here I am writing this post sipping my first coffee of the day, it is 6am, and with a vibrating cat on my lap. Sunday I'll go back to Juba, but I'll fly this time.

Books. Yes about books. I want to go back to my habit of one book per week, impossible I'm too busy, but I'm trying. In the last three weeks I read two books by Stephen Hawking, so inspiring and me mentally challenging. Great man, great mind, we need more like him. I know he couldn't believe in God, yet the explanation he gives on why God does not exists is for me the reason why God is out/in there/here...

After these two books I needed some neurological activity rest, so I choose one I was recommended called "magic bitter magic sweet" too girlish but amazingly written and outstanding fantasy. And now I'm engaged on a EVERYONE MUST READ BOOK called

"Why I am no longer talking to white people about race"
by Reni Eddo-Lodge.

If you are a white person read it and draw your own conclusions. It is eyes opening, painful and enjoyable, realistic and angry, biased and understandable, powerful and tender. I don't agree with all she says, but I would probably be more on her side if I were black, I need to question myself more on that issue. Two days ago I was chatting with my lovely sis who lives in the UK and who's recommended me this book, she was shocked as, while this book is challenging us on the race issue, she had had to call the police some nights ago as some youth were being too noisy on the road. The first question of the police officer, a woman, asked was "are they balck or white?". I feel shocked, I think I'll need to send the book to that police officer...

Anyway, times for prayer now, I hear the brothers are waking up.

Have a good day everyone!
Br. Fred
Abuna Loro Gatluak

And some pics

Our postulants making chapati!!

Ready to leave 

venerdì 29 marzo 2019

1/2019 one year after

It's been more than a year since my last post on this blog. I was actually more concentrated on my other blog in Italian that you find here  you can use google translator if interested in the posts.

Anyway, why back here? To say the truth I don't even know. I have just finished an extremely fascinating book "My answers to the big questions" by Stephen Hawking. Amazing book. Yet, I dare to say I disagree with some of his ideas. Who am I to disagree with the great Hawking? Well I am myself and I am sure he wouldn't mind at all, on the contrary he would accept the challenge and then smash me like an ant. THANKS HAWKING!!

Stephen Hawking has been one of the greatest minds of our time and he denied the existence of God. His reasoning is very simple. Everything we know has been caused by something which had happened before. At the time of the Big Bang singularity there was no time nor space. If there was no time God could not have created the Big Bang because there was nothing before.... I DISAGREE, God is outside time and space... If I am correct I don't know. God, and Hawking in a far less way, are so far above me that I stop here and I enjoy my little faith, in God, not in Hawking. The book is worth reading as any other book from the same author. 

Life in Juba, back to our small universe. Since the last few months we have experienced some stability, yet the country is not at complete peace. There are small fights in other states but the situation is overall ok. People are still struggling for food and for school fees or university fees and for life in general. If you want to support university students just drop me a line. 

Great event of this 2019 was the very first edition of the "Football camp". We had three weeks of intense football; 72 girls in the morning and 54 boys in the afternoon. It's been an amazing experience for all of us. I was exhausted at the end, but so worth it.
We are planning for this December for the Children football camp and then in January 2020 for the young adults. The costs are very high, so I do need to find funds. The football camp gives us the opportunity to feed all this children with good meals every day from Monday to Saturday.

Another very important event which has taken place in this first months of 2019 was a peace and reconciliation meeting we held here in the Parish. I don't want to go into details, but more than 50 youth participated and it was a great success. Working for peace and reconciliation shall be a never ending project for us missionary in South Sudan and it shall be carried out at any level of the society. Good enough there are so many good people who are constantly working on this issue.

In conclusion I simply want to leave you with the ending words of Hawking's book, and I quote

So remember to look up at the stars, not your feet. Try to understand what you see and ask yourself why the universe exists. Be curious. As difficult as life may seem, there is always something you can do successfully. The important thing is not to give up. Free your imagination. Shape the future.

giovedì 15 giugno 2017

11/2017 Parish Feast

Last Sunday, the 11th of June, we had our annual Parish feast in occasion of the Holy Trinity. It was simple and it was good.

The auxiliary bishop of our Archdiocese presided Mass which was celebrated under a big tend and in front of hundreds of parishioners.

In our parish we have more than 16 tribes and people from at least 4 different nations and the bishop mastered three languages trying not to exclude anyone. He spoke of the gift of languages by the Holy Spirit and I do wonder where I was when this gift was given... after two years here in Juba I am still struggling with the main local language, Bari, and the spoken common one which is a sort of Arabic.

After Mass we had an afternoon programme with traditional songs and dances. The most touching moment had been the dance and song by our Nuer people. Unfortunately, due to the actual political situation in South Sudan, they are obliged to live in an IDP (Internal Displaced People) camp under the protection of the United Nation. The camp is within the territory of our Parish and I thank the Lord to be their servant priest. I go to the camp as often as I can and EVERY TIME I receive a heartwarming welcoming. I obviously invited them to the Parish for the feast and MANY and I mean MANY of them turned up (they had to walk for 7km to reach the parish). They offered us a couple of song and dances and while I was looking and listening to "my" youth I almost had tears in my eyes and goos-bumps all over. When we see Bari, Nuer, Zande, Lotuho, Acholi and Italians :-) singing and dancing together then hope rise again in our heart and we know that, some day, sooner or later, peace will come.

Enjoy the pictures

martedì 4 aprile 2017

9-2017 Some days are special days

One of the things I have learned here in Africa is community life at its most. Not that I did not know it, I have been a scout most of my life, I studied in a military college, lived on campus at the uni and shared houses with students of different nationalities and culture. Yet, here there's something more. Mainly all over Africa there is this philosophy call Ubuntu which can be to shortly summarized by the phrase “I am because you are”. The life of the individual depends on the whole community; this is a big distinction from our western individualism shaped by a totally different anthropology where the individual is at the centre of his/her own rights. Here “your” life depends on others.

This is to introduce last Saturday parish activity. We finished our new kitchen and after having called everyone on the previous Sunday after Mass, many people “heard the call” and on the 1st of April turned up. We worked and we ate and had laughed and I learned how to make a small building with soil and water. It’s been an extremely pleasant day for me, while for them it their life. What is wrong with our western world? Maybe nothing, maybe we are simply different, but I believe I bit of Ubuntu would be nice all over the world, maybe it should connect the whole world.