The brother of Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli, abducted one year ago in Niger, still holds out “hope for his liberation”.

by Paulo Aido

“Of course!” Walter Maccalli, also a missionary and priest, does not have the least doubt that his brother, Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli, who was abducted in Niger exactly one year ago on 17 September 2018, will eventually be set free.

Precisely on the first anniversary of his brother’s abduction, Father Walter, an Italian SMA missionary currently working in Foya, Liberia, sent a message exclusively to the international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation ACN International. In it, while expressing his certainty that it is still possible for him to be set free, he confesses that he has had no news about the whereabouts of his brother since the day he was abducted, on 17 September 2018, by eight armed men on motorcycles from his home in Bamoanga, Niger, directly opposite the local church.

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Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli with families in his parish, before his abduction. Photo copyright ©DR.

One Million Children Praying the Rosary for Unity and Peace - October 18th

2019 will mark the 14th year that the Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need has held a prayer campaign titled One million children praying the Rosary for Unity and Peace. 

However in 2019 in order to respond to Pope Francis' Extraordinary Mission Month ACN is devoting the prayer initiative to the theme of mission and is encouraging adults to pray, together with their children, especially for missionaries and for new missionary vocations.

And so we are inviting you all – teachers, catechists, educators, parents and grandparents – to participate as in previous years in this great mission of prayer by the children and to pray the Rosary with the children under your care on 18 October 2019 at 9 a.m. (or at another time that is more suitable for you), in union with thousands of other groups of children all over the world.

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Children worldwide pray for peace and unity in the world

by Matthias Böhnke

The pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is calling for all children worldwide to take part in the joint campaign “One Million Children Praying the Rosary”. This year’s theme is mission, as Pope Francis has designated the month of October as the Extraordinary Missionary Month. With the motto “Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World”, the intention is to revive the missionary spirit worldwide through pastoral and spiritual initiatives. For this reason, missionaries and new missionary vocations will be the focus of the prayers spoken with the children.

This year’s prayer campaign will once again take place on 18 October. “Traditionally, after all, October is the month of the rosary and we also celebrate the feast day of St. Luke the Evangelist on 18 October. He was the only evangelist to write about the childhood of Jesus and is traditionally thought to have had close ties to the Virgin Mary,” Father Martin Barta, the Ecclesiastical Assistant of ACN International, explained. On this day, at 9 o’clock in the morning – or at any other appropriate time – thousands of groups of children worldwide will pray the rosary together.

MADAGASCAR : Pope Francis to visit this large island nation, teetering on the edge of the abyss

In a country ravaged by poverty, corruption and entrenched attitudes, the visit of the Holy Father is good news for its people, 58% of whom are Christians.

by Thomas Oswald.

In the diocesan grounds of  Soamandrakizay, in Androhibe on the southern fringes of the capital Antananarivo, the authorities are preparing a vast 60-hectare site for the great outdoor Mass which will be celebrated by Pope Francis on Sunday, 8 September 2019. This will be the first visit to the island by a Pope since the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1989.

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Completion of a parish church completed with support from Aid to the Church in Need. Blessed by Victoire Rasomana. Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need. Photographer Razouka R.

MAURITIUS: "The Pope will unifiy the mosaic of people that make up our island"

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On September 9, 2019 Pope Francis will be the second Pope to set foot on the soil of Mauritius, 30 years after Saint John Paul II. During this papal journey, in the course of his visit to the churches of the Indian Ocean, the Pope will meet not only with Christians, but with Hindus and Muslims as well, who also make up part of Mauritian society.

The island of Mauritius is a tiny country of some 730 square miles (18 65 km²) – around a quarter the size of the island of Corsica, yet with four times the number of inhabitants. It is unusual in that it has no endemic population, but is inhabited today by Africans, Europeans and Indians. The religious makeup of the country also reflects this ethnic diversity, including Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus. It is a mixture of different characteristics which makes it a remarkable place where the local communities generally live in harmony, to the evident delight of Father Alexis Wiehe, a native of the island who is currently in charge of the cathedral parish in the city of Toulon, in France, but will be back on the island in September. “There are some tensions at times, certainly, but generally we get along well”, he says with evident satisfaction. “Our little island society could even be cited as an example of amicable relations between the different communities”, he adds.

Image caption: Father Alexis Wiehe with Bishop Dominique Rey (Toulon, France) in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegowina. Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need.

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