AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Testimony of a fidei donum: "I do not feel like a lonely sailor but a missionary who feels close to his Church of origin"

Friday, 28 July 2017


Adaba (Agenzia Fides) - "Nagaa, akkam jirtuu? Peace, how are you? I like to start with this greeting in Oromo, much used to greet, to wish all the good to the person to whom it is addressed". This is how the testimony sent to Agenzia Fides by Don Giuseppe Ghirelli begins, a diocesan fidei donum missionary, after mission camp 1 of the Missionary Center of the diocese of Anagni (Italy) which has just ended in Adaba. "Your visit has been a great joy for me - continues Don Giuseppe addressed to the participants. You have lived with me the anniversary of my three-year mission in Ethiopia. The Lord, who speaks to us through the story that happens every day, around us and far away from us, has strengthened me in feeling even more a 'diocesan fidei donum', not a lonely sailor but a missionary who feels his Church of origin close to him. Your presence has helped me feel and interiorize that the Diocese is not far but very close, though, I confess, that in so many moments I felt 'abandoned' in this environment which is so different from ours. Thanks to you I have received a good push to continue my missionary service".
"In the past week you got to know the mission of Robe, its missionaries, laity and enjoyed some of the great things that are in Ethiopia - continues Don Giuseppe. Do you remember the faces, the situations, the places you visited? You also saw an Africa you did not expect. I was happy to see that you felt at ease in the missionary daily life where many unexpected things happen; there was no water for showers, but you immediately adapted, you did not complain too much, you were really good. Now when you return to your natural environment bear the fruits of this experience. Ask yourselves what led you to participate in the missio camp 1, I think there are different reasons in each of you, but try to see what the Lord has taught you, what precious thing he has given you for your life".
"Certainly you have understood that, as Jesus says,"there is more joy in giving than in receiving, "then if you look at the example that He has left us you will be able to understand that life is worth only if it is donated, in style, attitudes and generosity shown by Jesus. The belief that the mission of announcing the Gospel to those who have not yet received it remains an important task and missionaries working for this service are to be encouraged and supported. You are now called to be missionary animators in the diocese. I hope so much that ecclesial communion between the young Church in Robe and the Ancient Church of Anagni grow thanks to you", concludes Don Giuseppe. (GG/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 28/7/2017)