AFRICA/TOGO – Missionary reports from Kolawarè: “No church closure can slow down the faith of the people”

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Kolowarè – “We all felt the need to be together in order to feel alive as a church, beyond the confinements and closures of our churches. But on October 31st we all met in the church, the five base communities, with the rest of the faith community to end the month of the Rosary together “, writes Father Silvano Galli, priest of the Society of African Missions in Kolowarè. “We all needed this community celebration, this explosion of life, to celebrate together, these moments when we can call out our faith. No church closure can stop the faith of God’s people”, the missionary says with conviction. “The next day, on the feast of All Saints’ Day – continues Fr. Galli – we went to our two cemeteries to pray. The ceremony in honor and in memory of our deceased begins in the church at the end of Mass. Usually the whole community visits and prays in the two cemeteries. This year the parish priest suggested accompanying a group to the old cemetery that is behind our mission, and a second group to the new cemetery, where most of the deceased are buried. Together with the parish priest, I accompanied the faithful to the first cemetery. After praying for the deceased, the faithful lit a candle and placed it next to the graves, whereupon the priest blessed the graves scattered among the trees. While we were praying in this cemetery, another part of the faithful gathered in the new cemetery, which is in the middle of the forest and where most of our dead are buried”. “The animation of this event was so original that I believe that all the spirits of the forest next door looked astonished at the church and tried to understand what was happening. And our ancestors lay smiling in their graves”, concluded the missionary.