AFRICA/TOGO - The proclamation of the Gospel and stories of popular cultures. The singular experience of the missionary Silvano Galli

Thursday, 8 June 2023

Lomé (Agenzia Fides) - Father Silvano Galli wants to use the knowledge of stories, legends and tales handed down from generation to generation in popular cultures as a testimony of faith, which is why he recently held a meeting in Lomé with a group of storytellers and local cultural figures. "Faith must first be proclaimed and then told," emphasizes the missionary. And to bear witness to faith, familiarity with the narrative forms used in local folk tales can also help, says the priest of the Society for African Missions, who has been collecting popular stories and legends for more than fifty years. During the meeting in Lomé Father Galli presented to the participants his pastoral journey with the collection of fairy tales in Ivory Coast and Togo.
"It was Simon Amorofi, an Ivorian collaborator, who introduced me to the collection of hundreds of stories and taught me to listen to people, especially in Koun-Fao, a community in the Gontougo region of Ivory Coast, where I met a great artist of the word, François Kwakou," said Father Galli during the meeting, which took place at the Goethe Institute in the Togolese capital and promoted on the initiative of the Communication et Développement Intégral association.
Before settling in Togo, the missionary lived and worked for over 30 years in the Ivory Coast, in the Catholic parish of Koun-Abronso, northeast of Abidjan. Finally, in 2004, Father Silvano arrived in Kolowaré, in the diocese of Sokodé, where he continued to write stories thanks to good relations with Muslims, "because almost all the storytellers were Muslims," he explains.
From Kolowaré, Father Galli went to Lomé, where since 2021 he has been accompanying young aspirants of the Society for African Missions, also drawing on the stories and stories of the missionaries who pioneered the proclamation of the Christian faith. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 8/6/2023)