AFRICA/ANGOLA - New inauguration of the Cathedral of Lwena, a sign of rebirth and hope

Friday, 13 July 2012

Lwena (Agenzia Fides) - The Apostolic Nuncio of São Tomé and Principe, His Exc. Mgr. Novatus Rugambwa, presided along with some Angolan Bishops, the celebration of the inauguration of the Cathedral of the Diocese of Lwena, in the province of Moxico on Sunday, July 8. The celebration, which lasted several hours and was deeply felt by many of the faithful, was also attended by government authorities.
The inauguration of the Cathedral is a sign of rebirth and peace. During the 34 years of war in Angola (from 1968, the beginning of armed struggle for independence, to 2002, signing of the peace) the deterioration of the structures at all levels - the people and the Church – was incalculable.
According to information provided by Ans agency, the diocese of Lwena, which covers an area of 233,000 square kilometers, lived under the sign of persecution and violence. Many Christian communities for years - some even for decades – did not have or meet a priest or a missionary, kept themselves alive in total isolation imposed by the situation of war, thanks to the courage and decisive witness of so many lay catechists, in some cases reaching martyrdom.
When unexpectedly peace arrived, in 2002, the local Church started a process of reconstruction of the social and ecclesial fabric. Mgr. Tirso Blanco, SDB, Bishop of Lwena since March 2008, has promoted the creation of a diocesan preparatory seminary, the gradual reactivation of ancient churches and missions (main fruit of the lengthy missionary work of the Portuguese Benedictines in the colonial era), the return or the arrival of many religious congregations in the territory of the diocese. A Salesian community has been present in Lwena since 1982 where four Salesians work at the service of the parish, some Christian communities scattered in the rural area, the Oratory-Youth Center, a primary and secondary school, literacy centers and professional formation. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 13/7/2012)