EDITORIAL

Solidarity

The Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers and White Sisters), their parents, friends and benefactors, are men and women capable of solidarity with those in whose midst they live. On December 8, when the 19 martyrs of Algeria were beatified, including four White Fathers, we could not help but think of the Muslims who were killed out of fidelity to their conscience. It is the dialogue of solidarity in fidelity to deeply human and religious values.    

Today, we stand in solidarity with the cry from the Sudanese people and the Algerian people for real democracy for the well-being of all. Youth on the streets are demanding a change in political culture and a complete renewal of the system. In Algeria, where we were founded 150 years ago, 15 White Sisters and 17 White Fathers are currently working. Four White Sisters and 13 White Fathers are also present in Tunisia. Both countries have a population with a very large Muslim majority.  

59 White Fathers and 11 White Sisters are also present in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There too, we hear the cry of the people who want a real civil peace to be established. The same is true for Nigeria, where 14 White Fathers work, close to those who call for social peace with all their heart and the acceptance of ethnic and regional differences. 
 
We stand in solidarity with the cry of the victims of the deadly and devastating floods in Mozambique and Malawi. In Mozambique, 13 White Fathers work in three dioceses affected by the storms. Project No. 55 in this issue asks for your help for them. In Malawi, 26 White Fathers and five White Sisters are in four dioceses.
 
How do I live a dialogue of solidarity with my human brothers and sisters on the level of common values while respecting particular differences?
 
Fathers and Sisters, in Africa or elsewhere, pray this beautiful hymn found in the breviary:
"Since God has chosen us as the people of his peace, how can we see an enemy in some man for whom Jesus died now?"
 

Gilles Barrette, M.Afr.