Sisters and brothers, Greetings from the 21st SMA General Assembly in Rome. We are entering the final days of our Assembly. Please continue to pray for us and the decisions we must take this week.
A message was received from the Archdiocese of Niamey, Niger, that Archbishop Laurent Lompo has composed a prayer for our confrere, Fr Pierluigi Maccalli, which is recited at all Masses in the Archdiocese.
I’m aware that many of us are doing so in our own communities. Could I suggest that you use this prayer, as a further sign of our unity with the Church in Niger, the Italian SMA Province and Fr Pierluigi himself?
The prayer was translated into English by Fr Vito Girotto SMA, who is working in Niger for many years.
Let us keep all our SMAs in Niger (from Benin, India, Italy and Spain), the Archbishop and the Christian communities in our prayers as well as missionaries from the Sisters of Our Lady of the Apostles (OLA), the Redemptorists, Missionaires of Africa (White Fathers) and Brothers of the Christian Schools.
As I write this I’m conscious that a Spanish Salesian priest, Father Fernando Fernández, was stabbed to death, and another injured on Friday in the Don Bosco centre in the southwest of Burkina Faso. God rest him, grant a full recovery to his fellow Salesian and be with all who are suffering similar attacks and violence for the faith in this part of Africa.
God our Father, you call us to freedom,
your Son Jesus submitted to suffering to take away the sin of the world,
grant your servant Fr Pierluigi,
the freedom that you want to give to all your children.
Give us, in our time, the grace of peace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Saviour and our Lord.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, protect us. Amen.