Opening of the Jubilee Year in Rome
Most provinces and sectors celebrated the opening of the Jubilee Year on December 8, 2018. But in Rome, we could not celebrate that day because the bishops of Algeria had decided to beatify the 19 martyrs of Algeria on that December 8. The superiors general of our two missionary institutes in Africa, White Fathers and White Sisters, had to be present in Oran (Algeria) that day, especially since four of our confreres were among the 19 blessed ones. The following week, it was the official opening of the Jubilee Year at the international level in Tunis, an opening wonderfully prepared by the Missionaries of Africa and the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa present in the Maghreb. There, once again, our superiors had to be present. We obviously could not celebrate in Rome without them. Thus the date of Saturday 26 January 2019 was set as the official opening date of the Jubilee Year. As a reminder, this Jubilee Year will end at the end of the year with an international celebration in Namugongo, Uganda.
It was therefore last Saturday, January 26, 2019, that we celebrated with the Church of Rome, but also with the many representatives of the male and female missionary institutes present in Rome. We wanted to celebrate the event in the Church of St. Louis of the French, which is located in the historic centre of Rome, a stone’s throw from the famous Piazza Navona. As its name suggests, this church is the place of worship of the French residing in Rome, but also of all the French who pass through Rome, on pilgrimage or simply as tourists. Besides, this church is also famous because it houses some paintings, and not the least, of Caravaggio, the famous 16th century Italian painter. But that is not the reason for our choice. In fact, our founder, Charles Martial Allemand Lavigerie, was ordained bishop in this church on March 22, 1863. The celebration of 150 years of existence was therefore the perfect opportunity to honour this place with our presence and leave a mark. Thus was born the idea of asking the rector of the church, Monsignor François Bousquet, for permission to place a souvenir plaque somewhere on the estate. Our request was accepted by the French Embassy, since this territory is, de facto, French territory, and a marble plaque was blessed on Saturday, which will be placed on one of the walls near the sacristy. Continue reading
Source : mafrome.org