EUROPE/ITALY - To pray and hope: prayer vigil and march for the release of Father Gigi Maccalli

Monday, 17 June 2019


Crema (Agenzia Fides) - Another long month of silence passed from the night between 17 and 18 September 2018 in which Father Pierluigi Maccalli, a priest of the Society for African Missions (SMA), was kidnapped in Niger.
As the SMA missionaries point out to Agenzia Fides, Saturday, June 15 was also the 34th anniversary of the priestly ordination of Fr. Gigi originally from the parish of Madignano. Among the initiatives organized to keep his memory alive and the hope of his release, the diocese of Crema has organized a prayer and march vigil that starts today, June 17, at 9 pm, from the Pieve of Palazzo Pignano to the Shrine of the Madonna delle Assi in Monte Cremasco.
"To pray and hope with the heart to a reality that is distant and in many ways unknown like Africa and in particular Niger", reads the announcement sent to Agenzia Fides, which highlights the event.
"It is not the first vigil organized in the diocese", says Enrico Fantoni, Director of the Crema missionary center, to Agenzia Fides. "In fact, starting from the first, prepared by the parish of St. James, at the Bishop's suggestion, many parishes of the Diocese took part in a real relay race, to ensure that the memory of the missionary is present in every church in the territory", continues Fantoni.
"If in his parish of origin, in Madignano, Father Gigi is remembered every evening with the community prayer of the Rosary, moments of prayer are celebrated a little everywhere, without waiting for particular dates or special occasions", emphasizes the Director of the Missionary Center of Crema. "As evidence of this, there are two posters that stand out in Piazza Duomo: one from the Town Hall, the other from the Bishop's Palace with the same writing: Release Father Gigi. It should also be noted that the solidarity campaign in Lent, in 2019, was intended for the construction of the secondary school in Bomoanga: a dream that Father Maccalli had confided to our Mission Center a few days before leaving".
Fantoni concludes: "While we are anxiously waiting for good news from Niger, everyone hopes for his imminent release, ready to transform the next Vigil from a moment of remembrance to a moment of joy and thanksgiving". (MP/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 17/6/2019)