Fr. Adriano TITONE, Procurator for the Foreign Missions of the Mediterranean Province, sends us an Easter letter. Here are some excerpts from his letter.

Fondest greetings to each of you, wishing you a heart filled with peace…

I am writing this letter in my few moments of free time during my visits to our missions in Senegal and Guinea Bissau….

I have arrived at the latest foundation in the south of Guinea Bissau: Cacine, where our three Oblates in a mission of first evangelization, Fathers Daniel ALIOU and Carlo ANDOLFI and scholastic Joseph SADIO, are the first steady presence of the Catholic Church. For the people of the place, it is something new which they are discovering day after day.

A Hungarian couple, serving as volunteers, told me how the townspeople are impressed at the singing of the psalms by the little community for their morning prayer.

I went with Fr. Daniel to Quitafine, a town some twenty kilometers from Cacine, where the missionaries have begun to visit a very special community: there are no baptized, but they already have regular meetings, thanks to a good-willed teacher in the area. We could define this teacher as a “Catholic sympathizer” who not only brings the children together for prayer, but together with others, has managed to get a little piece of land and has built a chapel of mud. Although heavy rains have literally dissolved the mud from one side of the chapel, this has not discouraged them and they continue to grow as a budding Christian community. The land is fertile; all they need to do is to sow generously and then cultivate the fruits which grace will provide for the good of all.

In all of these communities of Guinea Bissau and Senegal, they are still feeling the joy of the wonderful experience they lived on the occasion of the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Oblates’ founding.

In recent months a small relic of our Founder, St. Eugene de Mazenod, symbol of his “heart as big as the world”, has traveled through all the communities, including those already turned over to the pastoral care of the diocese, such as Djilas and Kaffrine, bringing together many people who thus expressed their affection and gratitude to the Oblates for their pastoral work in Senegal in the last 40 years. Then there was the great pilgrimage to the national shrine of Poponguine which gathered more than 2000 people and where various cultures expressed their joy at knowing and having a role in the endeavor of the Oblate Mission. Many, many claim to be proudly part of the Oblate Family. … (