AFRICA/ANGOLA - Missionaries' warning: young people risk losing their faith due to the pandemic

Monday, 22 February 2021


Kikolo (Agenzia Fides) - "Unfortunately, the pandemic almost killed the faith of the youth of the Parish. Few are now those who participate in the life of the Church and in the sacraments". Father Ulrich Houenahin Kossivi, of the Society of African Missions (SMA), originally from Benin, is engaged in Youth Ministry in the Parish of Saint Isabelle in the Kikolo district, north of the greater belt of the capital, Luanda.
"Our most urgent commitment now is to form a solid group of dynamic young people to go out to meet their peerss who have lost the path of faith and to bring them closer to Jesus", says the missionary to Agenzia Fides, who has been, since October 2019, vocational animator and responsible for the SMA formation house in which he currently resides.
In his account, the missionary indicates that the propaedeutic year had started well with seven seminarians including three from the SMA and four from the Diocese of Caxito until the pandemic required a change of program. "Pastoral experiences, an important part of the formation, were limited. The young people were only able sometimes to accompany the Fathers of the SMA to visit the sick and animated Masses for the young people of the Parish. On October 18, 2020, the activities of the Seminary were suspended and since then I have been helping the Parish of the Holy Family, whose Parish priest is Father Angelo Besenzoni (SMA)".
The missionary also discusses the country's critical economic situation. "Famine - he writes - has entered many homes and frustration manifests itself in the streets with processions and protests, especially among young people. Many Angolans openly declare that there is no longer any hope for a better future. Despite the many complaints and protests addressed to the government, things still remain the same. Many say that things are going from bad to worse".
"Looking back and in particular the last three years, I can calmly say that they have been years of grace and growth", concludes the missionary ordained a priest on July 1, 2017 and sent on a mission to Angola. (UHK/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 22/2/2021)