Libreville (Agenzia Fides) - "Celebrating the 175th anniversary of the arrival of Spiritan missionaries in this land is important not only for the Church in Gabon but also for the sister Churches. In fact, from Gabon the Fathers of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (popularly known as Spiritani) left to spread the Gospel in neighboring lands such as the present Congo Brazzaville, where they arrived 30 years later", says His Exc. Mgr. Francisco Escalante Molina, Apostolic Nuncio in Gabon and in Congo Brazzaville. On Sunday 29 September there will be a solemn ceremony that closes the Jubilee for the 175th anniversary of the evangelization of Gabon, which started in September 2018.
Mgr. Escalante Molina emphasizes that "in all the dioceses we participated in the celebrations in which there were several priestly and diaconal ordinations. Several pastoral meetings were organized with the participation of priests, religious and laity, as well as cultural activities".
"In short, the Nuncio remarks - each Bishop took the occasion of the Jubilee to reawaken the pastoral life of his own diocese". "It is important to emphasize that all the Bishops of the country participated in the Jubilees of the individual dioceses. We can say that there was a national pilgrimage because delegations from each diocese with their Bishop went to the diocese that at that time was celebrating their Jubilee", said Mgr. Escalante Molina.
"At a national level, jubilee moments were organized for politicians, for education and for other categories, with a strong participation of the faithful", adds the Nuncio
On Sunday 29 September there will be the closing of the Jubilee with the participation of the Bishops of Gabon, and a representation of the Bishops of ACERAC (Association of Episcopal Conferences of the Region of Central Africa which includes Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea). His Exc. Mgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, Assistant Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and President of the Pontifical Mission Societies, will also be present to remember the fundamental role of missionaries in spreading the Gospel in the world.
In this regard, Mgr. Escalante Molina concludes by stressing that "the missionary presence in Gabon is still important. Spiritan missionaries are present throughout the ACERAC region. There are several Bishops who are Spiritans. The Congregation remains a point of reference for the Church in Gabon and spiritual vocations are important in this Country". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 27/9/2019)