Advent, Christmas and Year 2021
We have already entered Advent and are preparing ourselves for the festivities of Holy Christmas with the joy and confidence that comes from faith in the Lord who is coming to visit us and especially this year to heal us.
First of all, I pray every day and hope that you enjoy the grace of good health. The coronavirus is passing through for the second time, sowing drama and tears in all nations and continents. On the Mozambique side, the pandemic is also present but without creating the dramas and tragedies of other nations and continents. We thank Providence from the bottom of our hearts, because Mozambique is undoubtedly not at all equipped to overcome the virulence of the current pandemic, without forgetting that malaria claims more victims in Mozambique every year than covid-19, only it is not considered a pandemic. It is said and even suspected that it is precisely the intensive treatment of malaria that gives a certain immunity to covid-19.
For my part, I can only thank the Lord, the years go by and increase fluidly, but it also seems to me that if they take away one part, they rejuvenate me on the other: just like a plant in our forest, Rokosi, that if it dries up on one side, it flourishes again on the other. Already in last year's circular letter I mentioned that a certain change in Maúa was approaching after almost 30 plus years. Now I can announce to you that on 27th February of this year I ceased to be parish priest of the parishes of Saint Luke in Maua and Saint Francisco Zaverio in Maiaca. As always, it costs a lot to leave one's history, even more if it is a history of 33 years in dialogue with 112 small ministerial communities, but I am grateful to God, to the Consolata and to the Diocese of Lichinga, because they allow me to continue to be the vice-parish priest in Maua and Maiaca, practically following the civil structure of each Shirima Macua village: there is the chief and with him his grandmother or uterine aunt: he commands, she gives advice, he is the sun, she is the moon, he is the roof of the hut, she is the walls. Amen Maranatha alleluia.
If I am retiring as a parish priest, I am not retiring as a little mouse who seeks, gnaws and feeds on the culture and religiosity of the Shia people. Already last year I mentioned that I was preparing another publication and formulated the faint hope of finding someone who would provide me with the necessary capital. Since my name is Joseph, and Josephs are almost always dreamers and their dreams are not vain utopias, here I am helped in this dream too. The Pontifical Missionary Union (PUM) has appreciated my new work entitled Fragments and Segments of Biosophy and Biosphere Scirma and has allocated the necessary sum for the publication that will soon come to light here in the capital of Mozambique. The publication will soon be published here in the capital city of Mozambique. It consists of 124 themes of the culture of the Scirmas, which a group of Christians from the parish wanted to discuss, looking sympathetically at their own culture and religion, and then reviewing it in the light of the Christian faith.
This year, thanks to the offerings of the CEI and the CMD of Bergamo, it was possible to complete the Centro de Promoção Humana Integral (CPHI), that is, a new diocesan catechistate, located in the old mission of Maúa. I was thus able to hand over to the Diocese of Lichinga and the new Parish Priest of Maúa also this endeavour that had been keeping me busy since the 2017 holidays. The CPHI has not yet been inaugurated because of the coronavirus, but for me it is very important to have been freed from the responsibility of a project that weighed on me and at times made me afraid.
This year, too, the two boarding schools: 30 boys and 25 girls from secondary school. At the end of the first quarter of the year, the government suspended school attendance even before any cases of covid-19 were registered, and only in September did it reopen but only partially, for universities and for classes with final exams. However, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the generosity of all those who have persevered in this charitable endeavour. I hope that the covid-19 does not extinguish the flame of generosity among you completely, even though we know the constraints imposed by the pandemic situation. In your Christmas gifts, please include a little something for the needy of Maúa. Thank you and thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart, also on behalf of those who directly benefit.
Many times in the short messages I receive, people ask me when I plan to return to Italy for a short period of time, so that we can directly exchange news and concerns. It's true, almost four years have passed since my last visit, and to tell the truth I had already planned to come for Christmas. But the second wave of covid-19 among you and in Europe does not allow me to do so. Sooner or later we will see each other again. But rest assured that in Maua, every morning at Holy Mass and every evening in the Rosary, you will be reminded of the immunity-rich energy. Won't the pandemic be a siren or sibyl reminding us of values and truths that are a little too dormant and marginalised in our lives?
Amen alleluia Maranatha.
Happy and Holy Christmas.
Happy New Year 2021.