Niamey (Agenzia Fides) – After fourteen months since the abduction of the missionary of the SAM (Society of African Missions), Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli, which took place in Niger on 17 September 2018 (see Fides, 18/9/2018), his confrere Fr. Mauro Armanino, sent Fides the following note.
"Prayer for the release of Pier Luigi: God our Father, you call us to freedom ... grant your servant, enslaved, to find freedom". This prayer, recited during Mass throughout the diocese of Niamey and elsewhere, began the meeting with the catechumens of the Niamey sector, yesterday, Sunday 17 November. The place where this prayer was recited is not accidental. It was the 'place of memory', which recalls, through a statue of charred Mary, a broken cross and a layer of ashes, the attack on the churches of Zinder and Niamey of 16-17 January 2015 (see Fides, 21 and 22 January 2015).
Between the two events, we reminded the over one hundred catechumens gathered for formation, that there is a dramatic continuity. World tolerance day was celebrated on November 16th. An ambiguous word, yet the bearer of innumerable consequences.
The catechumens, gathered near the ashes of the churches, were silent and attentive. Sunday is the day of the resurrection". (Agenzia Fides, 18/11/2019)