The official opening of the Alabaster Jubilee of the presence of Redemptorists took place on January 31, 2021, in Burkina Faso and Niger. We prepared for this day with a triduum at Saint Joseph Cathedral in Fada, Diocese of Fada N’Gourma (Burkina Faso). The Holy Mass was presided over by the local ordinary Bishop Peter Claver MALGO. There were about ten priests, Redemptorists, and Diocesans who concelebrated during the Mass. We were happy to have the presence of Fathers Nicolas AYOUBA, the delegate of the General Government, Noël Koutré SOTTIMA, the coordinator of the Redemptorists of Africa, and Madagascar, and Patrice NYANDA, the Vice-Provincial of the Redemptorists of West Africa.
The celebration began at 7:00 am with the word of welcome by Father Theophile, the Vicar General of the diocese of Fada, followed by the Holy Eucharist. The lay faithful came in great numbers to celebrate and witness this event. There were present our theology students and Lay Associates of the Redemptorists. In his homily, Father Gabriel BOURGOU exhorted us to be committed and convincing missionaries of Christ the Redeemer. In fact, we cannot hope for being convinced Christians if we hesitate to teach them who Jesus Christ is.
There was also an offertory procession with the logo of the missionary presence of 75 years and the placards of the different countries that make up the Vice-Province of West Africa. The celebration was marked by songs of thanksgiving. At the end of the celebration, the guest speakers in their words congratulated the Redemptorists on the completion of the missionary work of 75 years and wished them best for the future missionary works. The General consultor, Father Nicolas, wished everyone on behalf of the General Government and invited all to be missionaries. The bishop also invited us all to work effectively in our mission as first missionaries. Finally, around 9.45 am the Bishop gave his final blessings, and the faithful dispersed.
Father François Xavier SAWADOGO, C.Ss.R.
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