Visit of the Superior General to the PAO
Since March 2, 2020, our Superior General, Father Stanley Lubungo, has been in our Province. He was able to visit the communities in Niger, several communities in Mali and he arrived in Burkina Faso, after visiting the community of Bandiagara, a few hours before the border with Mali closed…
It were the communities of Niger that he visited first, since his plane dropped him off in Niamey on the evening of March 2, 2020. He was able to visit His Grace Bishop Laurent Lompo, Archbishop of Niamey, and then go to the parish of St. Joseph of Saga and then to the parish of St. John the Baptist of Nyantala, with Innocent Habimana. Father Stanley Lubungo then went to Birni N’Konni where he was able to meet the confreres and spend some time with them. Then he went to Maradi where he could meet the bishop, Monsignor Ambroise Ouédraogo, and attend some of the days of the presbyterium . From there, he went to Zinder where he was well received by the confreres who shared with him at length what they were experiencing in a parish often affected by insecurity, especially during the events of January 2015.
After Zinder, Father Stanley Lubungo stayed a little longer in Niamey. A plane then took him to Bamako, on the eve of our Provincial Council meeting. He then travelled with Sylvain Musangu to Nioro-du-Sahel. On the way back, he stopped at Faladyè and then, near Kati, at Ntonimba, to meet Father Arvedo Godina. On Sunday, March 15, 2020, Fr. Stanley Lubungo was in Bamako. The photo above shows him in the midst of the MSOLA confreres and Sisters of Kalabankura, who came to share the midday meal with us and to meet Father General. The next day, our Father General was able to participate in a day of our Provincial Council. He spoke in the afternoon to encourage us and share with us his vision of Mission today, following the Plenary Council held in Kampala last December. He promised to send us a letter on his return to Rome, where he will share with us in more detail his visits to the PAO and what he is getting out of them.
When the Provincial Council was over, he took a little rest in Bamako and seized the opportunity to meet Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some confreres who wanted to see him. With Luc Kola, he then set off again for Bandiagara in the diocese of Mopti. There he barely had time to meet the confreres because the radio announced the closure of the borders with Burkina Faso.
Very quickly, with Luc Kola, he took to the road again to cross the border at Bena in Mali. A little further on, the priests of the parish of Bomborokuy offered them hospitality and they spent the night there before taking to the road again to arrive in Ouagadougou in the evening of Sunday 22 March, fortunately a few hours before the curfew. Since that date, Father General has been in the community of the Provincial House. The quarantine declared on Thursday 26 March prevents any entry or exit from Ouagadougou for the moment.
All the flights have been postponed and we do not know when the situation will change. It was from the Provincial House that Father General wrote his letter on the pandemic of covid-19.
All the confreres appreciated his visit among us and regret that he is thus prevented from returning to Rome. It is a situation that he had not foreseen. Fortunately, through the internet and other means of communication, he can reach the members of the General Council and he can work from Ouagadougou. This is a completely new situation in the history of the Society. At least we have, at the Provincial House in Ouagadougou, the pleasure of his presence for a long time.
Extract of Baobab Echoes n°35