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.













venerdì 24 marzo 2017

7/2017

We have a new arrival in the house, actually two, a rooster and a hen... and they are a nightmare, not for me but for our watchdog who clearly does not like them, at least alive and freely wandering in the garden. The first night the hen slept on the roof of the house and the morning after flew away - DO NOT TELL ME HENS CANNOT FLY, THEY DO, HERE. The second day she decided to give us a nice egg and the dog ate it...

But first things first: our Parish is getting ready for tomorrow friendly match between us and St. Joseph Parish, every afternoon we have some youth - apparently of the parish but that I've never seen in Church.......... - practicing for the match. As a former very sportive man who understood the importance of sport for the growth of the youth, I have told them that if they lose they better change parish. They laughed, I WAS serious! :-)








domenica 19 marzo 2017

6/2017

It's 7.24 pm and in my room I have 39 Celsius degree... how nice isn't it?

Anyhow, cannot pretend much by being only 4 degrees above the equator. Yet, rainy season shall start sooner this year and I am really looking forward to it. I prefer mud to dust.

Today has been a good day. I have celebrated two Masses, one in English and one in Bari language and then I was off for a nice italian meal within the WFP compound and guest of two italians who are working here in Juba. I think they live in a  golden cage. Their compound looks very secure and they can access best markets for food, they have a small canteen with satellite tv, AC in all houses, electricity 24h per day, Wi-Fi and so on and so forth the major comforts. Yet they cannot walk around the city, curfew at 7pm, no possibility to take boda-boda (local motorbike taxi), little chance to get in to know local people, no driving (they must have a driver) and so on and so forth some few restrictions for security reason.

I feel free.

Free to spend time with my local friends, free to drive my motorbike or take the boda, free to walk around the city. Free to taste the local street "restaurants...", free to visit the local market and buy local product and so on and so free.

Freedom comes to a cost.

Yet we do have to thank all those people, local and foreigners, who work in and for those golden cages. They are doing a great job in trying to help the South Sudanese population. They are silent workers who provide security and food and some of them have lost their lives, others have been raped and more have been traumatised. This world is strange; it's up to us to see its beauty and work to improve it.

This late afternoon I had been in the parish compound looking at the youth getting ready for their friendly football match this coming saturday, hopefully they'll win... let me not say too much.

Almost time for some dinner here; have a safe night all of you

Abuna Loro

giovedì 16 marzo 2017

5/2017

Just few days ago I was talking to someone about names, it can be a very important issue! Names have a meaning and have a story, have a past and have a memory to be carried on. For example my name is Federico and I was named after my grand mother. People here carry names according to the time of the year in which they born or if it was raining at the time of birth or what number they are in the family and so on and so forth depending on the different tribes.

I karin kwe Loro (which means the first male born in the family). Beside all that I was telling a friend of mine I really like the name Leonardo, I do not know why, I simply like it.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT?


Last night I got an email from our general curia in Rome saying there is a friar from Brazil who will join our mission here in Juba and whose name is... guess.... Leonardo... how cool!


Moving on

This morning I want to repost a picture I really like:


Being able to dance when life's difficult
the body moves and the mind forgets the hardness
the smile is born in between
small drops of sweat
just a drum rhythm 
ancestral 
and there is a future
and there is hope

4/2017

What do you do when life is difficult? When you cannot plan for your future because maybe tomorrow a new big fight start again and everything you have planned and hope has just been thrown away from you?

we do not give up! This is what people here are teaching me and it is a life lesson!

Anyway, talking randomly:

1) last week we were give a live rooster during Mass offertory, it died of natural causes the day after - I did not eat it, some people did and they are still alive, i should have eaten it too.

2) A second rooster has been offered to us, he’s a night creature and I hate him, he starts crowing at 2.20 every morning. I am gonna so eat it!!! 

3) the dog, the terrible watchdog is scared of the rooster… so sad

4) a small improvement in the house garden



Probably you are wondering where the improvement is... the very nice wooden fence to protect (me) from the poisonous cactus... I hate those plants!

Well, that's it for now

God bless you all

Abuna Loro