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PRAGUE

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News from the Sanctuary of the Infant Jesus of Prague and the Mission in Central

Poste Italiane S.p.A. – Spedizione in abbonamento postale – D.L. 353/2003 (conv. in L. 27/02/2004 n.46) art. 1, comma 2 e 3, CB-NO/ TORINO n° 1 anno XX - TAXE PERCUE – TASSA RISCOSSA TORINO CMP

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Missionary Friendship

Responsible manager: P. Anastasio Roggero - BOSI KARMELITANI - KARMELITSKA 9 118 00 PRAHA 1 - REPUBLIKA CESKA Tel. (00420) 2 57 53 36 46 • Fax (00420) 2 57 53 03 70 mail@pragjesu.info • www.pragjesu.info

bimonthly periodical january/february 2010

n.1


A Letter from Father Anastasio was a great joy to see our church filled with faces of all colours: there were Asians and Africans. Fr. Lancy from India celebrated the holy mass, which was accompanied by the music of a Philippine choir whose members are living in Prague. We are getting visits more and more oen from mothers and grandmothers with We have entered a New Year, which is just flying by. Eu- their children, who are coming to look at Infant Jesus. rope has been hit with a tough winter. Some airports e increase of such visits can certainly be attributed have stopped operating and there are many problems to the Pope’s visit in September 2009. on the highways. Unfortunately, ice has also entered Fr. Victor celebrated a holy mass at 5 p.m. in Spanish the hearts of many people and they have become insen- to a church full of faithful primarily from South Amersitive to the needs of their brothers. Benedict XVI. is ica. I celebrated a holy mass in Italian at 6 p.m. During trying to put in our society a warm mission of love, consecration as I raise the chalice, which is concealing which the world needs more than ever before. e Pope the blood of the Lord’s suffering, I remember of all the has been spreading this missuffering, especially our young African sion since the beginning of friends who know how to laugh even in his pontificate and he their difficult trials. e joy of Christmas wanted to remind us of it cannot leave us indifferent to human sufwith his prayer in our fering. e manger is a source of joy but church in Prague in front of he child that we adore is crucified. the statue of Infant Jesus of Now the word goes to Fr. Marcello who Prague. sent, together with his greetings, also sevAnd these are our latest eral pieces of good news: “e newly safe news. Although Christmas situation, despite the lasting difficulties holidays are already over, due to insufficient infrastructure, conthey are still fresh in our tributed to the re-opening of many village memories. For many years schools with over twelve thousand stunow, we have been decoratdents from schools that are led by missioning the little square in front aries from the diocese, as well as to the of our church in the spirit of re-opening of the catechist school in the holiday. Large spruce Ngaoundaye and Bocaranga. trees make up a background for the colourful figures: We also have some news from our formation community shepherds with sheep and the three kings who are in S. Elia in Bouar. Fr. Frederico Trinchero, who has turned, together with camels, in the direction of the en- recently completed his patrology studies, has permanently trance of the church in order to meet Infant Jesus in the joined us, and Brother Giancarlo Cenci has also returned manger. Everything is shining inside of the church among us. Also other Fathers are teaching, mainly Fr. thanks to the many hours of hard work of our sisters Giovanni Tomasi who has recently taken his solemn and Fr. Lancy who was also helping this year; he is a vows. Two external teachers: Fr. Marie-Philippe, a young Carmelite faFrench professor of ther from India and spiritual theology, has been with us for and Fr. Francis, a three years already. professor of At 10 p.m. on Christbioethics from Inmas Eve the Aposdia, have contolic nuncio in tributed to the efPrague, Mons. Diego forts of us Carmelite Causero, celebrated a Fathers in the area holy mass in Italian of teaching. and I concelebrated We currently have with him. Our prior, thirteen Carmelite Fr. Petr Šleich celestudents, out of brated the midnight whom seven are mass in Czech and from Central Africa Fr. Victor and Fr. and the others are Lancy concelebrated from Rwanda and with him. At noon Burundi. on Christmas Day it We are supporting JANUARy 16, 2010: ST. TEREzIE CHAPEL IN PRAgUE ON THE PETříN HILL January 1, 2010

Dear friends,

We are getting visits more and more oen from mothers and grandmothers with their children, who are coming to look at Infant Jesus. e increase of such visits can certainly be attributed to the Pope’s visit in September 2009.


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the agricultural co-operations, teachers’ education and help to orphans through the Charity led by Fr. Aurelio. In S. Elia we have been helping for some time to over 80 orphans in the school and charity area; this is thanks to individual families and the “Missionary Friendship” society from Arenzano. An “SOS village for orphans” was recently opened in Bouar and 72 children are living there already. Mons. Giuda Taddeo Okolo, the Apostolic nuncio in the Central African Republic, visited us. He is tied to the Carmel through deep friendship; he wears a Carmelite scapular. During his diplomatic stay in Prague, he heard about our missions from Fr. Anastasio and he was glad to be able to visit them personally. A great experience was the meeting of all Christians from the villages in the area of Bokayan that Fr. ierryCharles organized in Bozoum. e chosen topic was the belief in witchcra. One of the guests invited was the general procurator from Mbaiki, Gervais Ngovon, who was trying to patiently explain in his contribution that it is only out of ignorance and fear that people consider certain individuals as the carriers of the force of evil, who evoke illness and can cause death. Unfortunately, due to this belief, which is spread in all social levels, many people behave irrationally and poor victims end up in jail with the approval of official representatives.” I had already written these lines when I found out about the events in Haiti. I thought of the Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Apostolic nuncio, and of the Carmelites in this country. I have positive news about them but I don’t have any information about other friends from Port JANUARy 17, 2010: PORT AU PRINCE – HAITI. au Prince. We have SOME MAy CALL IT AN ACCIdENT, OTHERS A to pray and do what MIRACLE… BUT ONE THINg IS CERTAIN FROM THE PHOTO - THE CRUCIFIx IS STANdINg is in our power in order to provide help to the suffering, who are many. I share the grief with the Haiti community, I have met many of its members in our church in the past. I am sending my greetings with this pain in my heart. May the Infant Jesus bless us all. With love,

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Missionary Friendship

The bimonthly periodical published in six languages (Italian, English, French, Spanish, Czech and German) is sent to 114 countries in the world free of charge to the friends of the Missionary Carmelite Fathers. Editing: MISSIONI CARMELITANE LIGURI ARENZANO (GE) - Italy e-mail missioni@carmeloligure.it http: www.amiciziamissionaria.it For information or write to our missionaries: P. ANASTASIO ROggERO BOSI KARMELITANI - KARMELITSKA 9 118 00 PRAHA 1 - REPUBLIKA CESKA Tel. 00420 257 533 646 Fax 00420 257 530 370 e-mail: mail@pragjesu.info www.pragjesu.info To send offerings please use the following: Bank current account IBAN: IT 89 y 05608 31830 000000010043 BIC: NVRBIT21501 Please mark with a number the purpose of your donation: ➀ Education of children in the Seminary in yolé ➁ Help to small orphans ➂ Medicine for medical centres in Bozoum and in yolé ➃ For the Infant Jesus of Prague Church ➄ distance adoption of children from schools ➅ For Holy masses ➆ Wells for village that do not have drinking water

MONASTERy OF THE INFANT JESUS - PRAGUE - CZECH REPUBLIC Mass Schedule Monday to Friday: At 9:00 AM Mass in Czech At 6:00 PM Mass in Czech Saturdays: At 9:00 AM Mass in Czech At 5:00 PM Mass in Spanish At 6:00 PM Mass in Czech Sundays: At 10:00 AM Mass in Czech At 12:00 Noon Mass in English At 5:00 PM Mass in French At 6:00 PM Mass in Italian At 7:00 PM Mass in Czech Thursday: 6:00 PM Mass in Honour of the Infant Jesus May 2, 2010: ANNUAL FEAST OF THE INFANT JESUS www.pragjesu.info • mail@pragjesu.info Tourist services for pilgrims: www.pilgrimages.cz • pilgrimages@centrum.cz Graphical layout and print: BDC Genoa


An album of friendship december 4, 2009 - From Cantabria (Spain) “We have come from Santander to visit Infant Jesus of Prague. We have been coming to Prague for 21 years because our family adores Infant Jesus. The Fathers always receive us with love.”. Munariz, Chiese and Tezanos december 7, 2009 – From Milan “We have come from Milan. Our devotion to Infant Jesus connects us to our country. We are here to bow in front of Him and we would like to thank Fr. Anastasio who celebrated a Holy mass for us and Fr. Victor who kindly took care of us and blessed our sacred objects.” Teresita Rosario (on the right, in the red jacket)

DECEMBER 4, 2009 - FR

OM CANTABRIA

december 17, 2009 – Peking (China) Father prior is giving to Mr. Jean-Charles and Mrs. Chantal Dehaye a statue of Infant Jesus that they will take to China. december 20, 2009 – from Lebanon Anna and Charbel Nawar (centre) with friends. “Infant Jesus, I have great faith in You, I had a miscarriage during the fourth month of my pregnancy, but after a week I started a novena and You gave me little Joe who is now two and a half years old.” Anna Nawar december 24, 2009 – Christmas in Prague Sister Jitka and Sister Joanis are helping Sister Gedeona lift the statue of Infant Jesus of Prague from the little glass casket on the altar in order to change its purple advent robe for the white Christmas one.

DECEMBER 7, 2009 – FROM MI

LAN

december 24, 2009, at 9:30 p.m. Faithful from Venezuela, Argentina, Philippines and other countries participated in a mass in Italian that J. E. Mons. Diego Causero, the Apostolic nuncio in Prague celebrated. december 24, 2009 – From Lebanon Mr. Alain Chlala is speaking to J. E. Apostolic nuncio. december 25, 2009 – Christmas in Prague Brother Pavel Pola, the director of the missionary association “Siriri”, organized a vending booth for the support of the mission.

DECEMBER 17, 2009 – PEKING

december 25, 2009 - Children in Prague Children in the little square in front of the church. december 25, 2009 - Christmas in Prague The church was completely full during the traditional Christmas concert “Luba’s Christmas Mass”. Performing this composition was allowed even during the Communist era. January 2, 2010 Faithful from the Philippines living in Bologna. January 11, 2010 From the left: Sister Gedeona, Sister Joanis and Sister Doubravka who are able to make the altar of Infant Jesus radiate with their decorations.

DECEMBER 20, 2009 –

FROM LEBANON


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N. 1 January / February 2010

RÉPUBLIQUE CENTRAFRICAINE

DECEMBER 24, 2009 – CHRISTMAS IN

DECEMBER 24, 2009, AT

9:30 P.M.

DECEMBER 25, 2009 CHILDREN IN PRAGUE

DECEMBER 25, 2009 - “LUBA’S CHRISTMAS MASS”

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FROM LEBANON

JANUARY 2, 2010 – FR

OM BOLOGNA

JANUARY 11, 2010 – PR

DECEMBER 25, 2009 – CHRISTMAS IN PRAGUE

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Missionary Friendship

DECEMBER 24, 2009 –


A testimony of the Gospel …

“Father, I have been waiting for you for half a year already …” A day in the savannah with Father Marco Poggi

M

ay Christ fill your hearts with peace! It has been four months already since I have come to the mission in Bozoum and in October I joined Father ierry-Charles in his pastoral work in the villages of savannah… ere are 36 villages scattered along the dirt paths. It must have been a huge task for Father ierry to manage to visit all these villages on his own. e Lord wanted for him to find an assistant… e first missionary task is to bring Jesus! I have to state that in some of the villages it was more like to “re-bring” Jesus - to encourage the Christians to start to take their faith seriously, and to once again celebrate the faith in the infinite love of the Lord! I enjoy meeting people, especially at confession and during Mass. eir stories are oen complicated but they are good and simple people; they suffered due to many problems: the war in the year 2003 and because of the zaraguinas rebels in the past years. Now the situation is improving, people feel more secure and they are returning to their work in the fields. Faith has become stronger for some of them, weaker for others. It was not possible to visit some of the villages for a long time… We have not been in two villages directly south towards Baoro since the year 2003 because the road is not accessible. I celebrated a mass in the Ndonga village in the middle of October and then they had to wait half a year for the next mass… In another village, Konkere, it was two months… It is beautiful to see how every time you come to a village, it is a festive event for them and they give you an amazing welcome… In Marsaka, for example, when I arrived there for the first time, they greeted me by shouting and dancing around me and singing: “E wara fini Pere awe, Nzapa a toka lo na e, singuila na mo Nzapa!” “We have a new Father, God sent him to us! ank you Lord!” ese are people who know how to be joyous… but they need for the faith to take solid roots inside them. We are actually all continuing on our path in order for the seed of faith, that was implanted in us, to be able to continue to grow and

for the Gospel not to remain only beautiful words but for it to become the base of our real life. ey also need support because the general mentality is leading them in a different direction… May Jesus Christ encourage the hearts of our Central African brothers and sisters and also our hearts in order for us to be able to pass on the testimony of hope that we carry inside of us. I celebrated the Christmas Eve mass in the village Konkere on the route between Bozoum-Paoua. I brought with me a small “portable” aggregate in order for us to have a little light in the village and I also used it for the showing of a movie about the birth of the Lord. For Christmas Day I was in the villages Mboo and Tatale, while Father ierry was celebrating a Christmas mass in the villages Bokpayan and Kayanga. Surely many things are needed to help the poor, lonely old people and orphans from villages. We have an orphanage in Bozoum but in the villages in the savannah, there is nothing. During this season of the year, there is a big difference between day and night temperatures, when it is very cold at night. Many older people asked for a blanket or warm clothing; I bought some for them. ey cost 2750 CFA or 4 EUR. Oen an orphan when he/she is sick cannot afford to go to the hospital. For example, I sent one girl with a leg sick to the bone to Paoua for money from a charitable gi sent from Italy… We must go on! Siriri na Ndoye ti Nzapa a duti na be ti i! May peace and God’s love guide you! Bara ala kwe!!! Greetings to all of you.

I enjoy meeting people, especially at confession and during Mass.

Father Marco della Speranza

BARÀ (BOZOUM), NO CELEBRATES THE FEAST CLAY AN


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N. 1 January / February 2010

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BOZOUM, ARCHIVE PHOTO: FATHER AURELIO IS BAPTIZING AT EASTER. IN BOZOUM THE FIRST CHRISTIAN WAS BAPTIZED ONLY 80 YEARS AGO, IN FEBRUARY 1929.

A letter from a reader Starting with this edition you can personally send messages to missioni@carmeloligure.it and “brother Carmel” will send you an answer.

OVEMBER 1, 2009: FATHER THIERRY-CHARLES OF ALL SAINTS IN A VILLAGE CHAPEL BUILT FROM ND STRAW, BUT FULL OF CHARM.

Dear Gloria, It is beautiful to share an experience from the mission! You have a daughter in the mission and you are experiencing months of mercy, and it is a little bit as if you were pregnant again, you feel your daughter inside of you in a special way. The mission is a gift to the whole family: make a treasure out of it and always experience it with joy! Brother Carmel

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Missionary Friendship

BETARÀ (BOZOUM), OCTOBER 30, 2009: FATHER MARCO LISTENS WITH FATHERLY PATIENCE TO THE CONFESSIONS OF CHRISTIANS IN THE “SHADOW” OF SILENCE AND GREENERY OF THE SAVANNAH.

Dear Father, I am the mother of Fedory who has been a volunteer in the Central African Mission in Baoro for four months. I would like to thank the fathers and sisters from Baoro and Bozoum for this great opportunity that they are giving to our children. The unforgettable experiences will strengthen these young people and will make them more conscious. Thanks to my daughter’s stories, also our family feels closer to the suffering. One young volunteer wrote: “I saw God in the eyes of those children”. Even I believe that the Lord becomes a child every day in those thousands of little ones… that can help us feel His great love: the Lord who becomes a child in order to smile at us! Gloria


The testimony of volunteers

Raúl, my brother, come and eat with me …he was offering his bowl of rice to me

T

hree years ago in Prague Father Anastasio showed me pictures from the Carmelite mission in the Central African Republic and he gave a wooden giraffe to my family that was made by the people from this country. He was leaving for Africa the next day and he invited me to join him. My immediate answer was “no”. I didn’t think about Africa aer this meeting. When I completed my studies in mechanical engineering I started to work for a large company in Mexico City. One day, although my life was continuing quite well, out of nowhere I started to feel the need to help. It was not difficult to understand that it was God who had chosen me to go to Africa: three months later I was sitting on a plane landing in Bangui, the capital city of the Central African Republic. My experi-

ence began in July 2009 with the intention to change the lives of others and I never imagined that I would change more than anyone. Soon aer that I realized the

opportunity for the time of six months to cooperate on various projects: in the orphanage in Bozoum “Arc-en-Ciel” I helped with the education of amazing children; in the Medical Centre in Bozoum I personally saw the serious consequences of extreme poverty and the lack of education, and in the Nutritional Centre in Baoro I “fought hunger on the front line”, that millions of people and children fight every day. I cannot say that my stay in Africa was always easy, it was actually oen quite difficult, but every time I was in a difficult situation something happened that gave me the strength to go on. When I think about my work in the CAR, I recall so many beautiful moments that I would like to share with you. I have to take this opportunity to tell about one Saturday in “Arc-en-

One day, although my life was continuing quite well, out of nowhere I started to feel the need to help. sphere of the mission, the wide spectrum of the projects of the Discalced Carmelites in the world, especially in the Central African Republic and how a heart full of love and a great strong will can truly change the world. I was proud of the fact that I was the first Mexican missionary here in Bozoum because if God’s love knows no boundaries, neither we should know them. I had the


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N. 1 January / February 2010

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BOZOUM, NOVEMBER 24, 2009: RAUL, HAPPY TO BE THE FIRST MEXICAN MISSIONARY IN BOZOUM.

thing we do for the second time is as if we were doing it for Christ! In conclusion, I would like to thank to everyone that helped me in some way: my family that has always unconditionally supBAORO, NOVEMBER 13, 2009: RAUL IS HELPING IN THE ported me; NUTRITIONAL CENTRE, WHERE EVERY DAY THERE IS A “BATTLE ON THE FRONT LINE” WITH HUNGER. every child that laughed here

with me because that gave me the strength to go on, in addition to that I would like to invite everyone not to waste a single day of our “little life” and to commence the path to changing our world because it needs it so much. Let us listen to the voice of God that is constantly speaking to us, let us work for it diligently and we will see that miracles can truly happen.

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Raúl De Anda Álvarez

BANGUI, JULY 5, 2009: “MY EXPERIENCE STARTED WITH THE INTENTION TO CHANGE THE LIVES OF OTHERS BUT I NEVER IMAGINED THAT I WOULD CHANGE MORE THAN ANYONE.”

Missionary Friendship

Ciel”. We were distributing the rice among the children, everyone got a little bit; when we had finished one boy said to me: “Raul, my brother, come and eat with me.” I turned around and I saw his hand that he was offering me his bowl of rice and there were two spoons in the bowl. e fact that he considered me to be his brother and that he offered me probably the only food that he had that day, caused everything to change inside me. I had never before felt such intense happiness as I had found here. Every time I see a child smiling, it is as if I see God because I am convinced that every-


Silence of the hippo...

Silence of the hippo is a collection of stories written and illustrated by

as volunteers in a mission and it is interpreted also through illustrations put in an environmen

thE magical pot oncE upon a timE in a rEmotE villagE in thE junglE thErE was a pot that sang.

oncE somEonE with a big mouth arrivEd in thE villagE.

hE was all Ears and hE hEard thE singing pot.

EvEryonE hEard it but no onE had thE couragE to talk about it bEcausE it was forbiddEn to rEvEal sEcrEts.

hE startEd to shout: “what is that? it’s a singing pot if i’m not mistakEn.” hE listEnEd carEfully and thE pot continuEd to sing thE most bEautiful songs.

bigmouth wEnt immEdiatEly back to thE villagE whErE hE told EvEryonE that hE discovErEd a singing pot.

but instEad bigmouth wEnt dirEctly to thE royal palacE.

thE villagErs told him that thEy know about it but that no onE darEs to spEak about it bEcausE in thE villagE it is forbiddEn to tEll a sEcrEt and that likE EvEryonE ElsE hE must know kEEp his lips sEalEd.


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N. 1 January / February 2010

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the siblings David and Terezie Bohm. It was inspired by the experiences that they gained nt of an African village.

thE king sEt out with him and his last sErvants to look for thE pot that can sing.

thE disappointEd king said to bigmouth: “you brought us all hErE and it was all a jokE, now you arE going to pay for it.” bigmouth sworE that hE rEally saw a pot that sang.

whEn thEy arrivEd in thE magical placE, thEy didn’t hEar anything; thE pot was gonE; it was hiding in thE trunk of a largE baobab.

but hE had no proof and thE king ordErEd for bigmouth to bE killEd bEcausE hE liEd.

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as soon as EvEryonE lEft, thE pot camE out of its hiding.

and whEn it was rEviving bigmouth, it said to him: “i will savE you this timE.”

“but nExt timE whEn you sEE somEthing, don’t you darE talk about it. and now gEt out of hErE!”

and bigmouth ran for his lifE. thE moral of thE story: it is good to know how to kEEp your lips sEalEd.

Selected from the book of The Silence of the Hippo. Dark Fairy Tales (published by Labyrint, Prague 2009). Copyright © David Böhm

Missionary Friendship

thE pEoplE ExEcutEd him immEdiatEly.


Projects for the mission

We will donate an ambulance to the medical centre in Baoro! Benoît, the lab technician is excellent: he is able to determine an exact diagnosis of malaria, intestine and skin parasite diseases, sexually transmittable diseases, typhus/typhoid and paratyphoid, anaemia, etc. His tests enable targeted treatment rather than prescribing more medicine than is necessary. With the help of coloured bars made for effective communication, we are giving people health education and we speak about nutrition and hygiene. Even the official representative in the area, a respected authority, is helping us spread this information. Only during the month of December we made a malnutrition diagnosis in 21 children (we have a new malnourished child almost every day!) and we are already treating 80 BOZOUM, MARCH 9, 2009: VITTORIA AND GIORGIO ARE HELPING children in various IN THE VILLAGES IN THE SAVANNAH; THE THOUGHT TO DO stages of SOMETHING TOGETHER TO HELP THE SICK ORIGINATED THERE. seriousness. Every day the centre is

THE MEDICAL CENTRE

“Centre de Santé” in Baoro was reopened on December 1st thanks to doctor Vittoria Mattei and two Central African nurses “securistes”, Rachelle and Georgette and the Central African lab technician, Benoît. They visit and examine the sick, they treat the injured, they hand out medicine and explain how to use it. Giorgio treats burns that are often in an awful condition due to the “care” of local healers who use as medical instruments red-hot spear ends or razors… in addition to medicine made from plants and roots.

flooded with people… Sometimes we have “dark days” when everything seems hopeless because the problems exceed our possibilities but we believe in Providence and we do not rely only on our strength.

THE PROJECT OBJECTIVES Our immediate goal is to have an ambulance: it must be a jeep because we are working in an area where there is only one paved road (and even that one is in bad shape) and during the rainy season, the mud roads are extremely slippery due to mud.

EXPENSES We would like to buy it here in Bangui in order to save transportation costs and to have it as soon as possible. The cost is over 45.200 € but our will to help people will not stop due to high costs.


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