On 29 and 30 August last, the “Alberione” community of Verona received a visit from the bishop of Pemba (Mozambique), Msgr. António Juliasse. His presence among us was simple and fraternal: he brought us greetings and news from the Shepherdesses of Pemba; we celebrated the Eucharist together (for him it was the first time he celebrated in Italian!) and with him we also made a very brief visit to the community of Negrar (VR) where he was able to greet the Mozambican Juniors Jacinta and Atija.
The Bishop shared the situation they are experiencing in Cabo Delgado. Unfortunately, Msgr. António said, the guerrilla continues to terrorize the population especially in some areas of the North of Cabo Delgado, especially Macomia, Mueda and Muidumbe and there are many atrocities afflicting that land. We also had a significant testimony of this situation from the young Marta di Mueda, during the youth meeting (WYD) in Lisbon (Portugal), who experienced firsthand the horrors of jihadist terrorism which has been going on for 6 years now.
But the arrival in Italy of Msgr. António had very different purposes: to participate in the training of recently appointed bishops promoted by the Vatican and, at the same time, to meet some benefactors of the Diocese of Pemba including the "Missionary Center of Mantua". In fact, on the afternoon of August 30, in the curia of Mantua, Mons. António expressed his dream during a meeting in which were present: Mons. Marco Busca, bishop of Mantua, some members of the diocesan Missionary Center (Don Gianfranco Magalini, Don Luigi Caramaschi and Mrs. Gloria), Sr Cesarina Pisanelli our Provincial and myself.
The dream is to be able to give the Diocesan Sanctuary of Pemba, dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima, a material arrangement and a religious decoration to welcome groups of pilgrims not only for the month of May, but all year round. Almost a center of Marian spirituality; for this work, Mons. António, mentioned the possibility of having a married couple as a 'fidei donum' for an extended period of one or two years.
The proposal was welcomed by Archbishop Busca and by the members of the Missionary Centre; for the future, both sides have made concrete commitments to start this beautiful and significant collaboration between the two Dioceses.
There was also the opportunity to greet the Pastorelle community of Mantua (Lunetta), where Sr Zita (Mozambican) did the honors of the house, and took us to visit the sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie, near Mantua, to admire the beauties of the city and the lakes that surround it, describing it as a little Venice.
On August 31, Mons. António continued his journey and we exchanged a BIG THANK YOU!
Sr. Dina Ranzato, sjbp