|Madagascar – Faith, joy and enthusiasm at Don Boscos arrival|
|Angola – A Cathedral a sign of hope and of peace|
(ANS – Luena) – Don Bosco has arrived in East Angola, at Luena. It was just one day, but a very intense one. The event, well prepared in advance, has left a deep impression in the social and religious fabric of the city, a sign of hope for the Salesian future of Luena and for the good of the young people in Moxico province.
The casket containing the relic of Don Bosco arrived from Benguela at Luena airport on the morning of 8th August. A numerous and lively crowd was there to greet it. The Vice-Governer of Moxico province, Adriana Sofia Cacuassa Bento, gave the first words of welcome, declaring that ‘this gesture represents a moment of recognition for the work done by Don Bosco in Angola’.
The casket was carried in procession for more than three hours, passing through the streets of Luena amid great numbers of curious and astonished people. Along the route there were three halts for short celebrations: at the Mary Help of Christians Centre, at the Cathedral and at Don Bosco School.
In the afternoon there were two other important events: veneration by the faithful in the church of St Peter and St Paul, and celebration of the Eucharist outside the Don Bosco Youth Centre, led by the bishop of Luena diocese, Bishop Tirso Blanco SDB. Then groups of young people and adults from the parish took turns during a vigil of prayer, meditating and singing throughout the night. Very early on the following morning the Superior of the Mamá Muxima Vice-Province, Fr Filiberto Rodríguez Martín, presided at the celebration of Mass. At 6.30am the plane with the mortal remains of Don Bosco left for Calulo.
In an interview for the Angop news agency, Bishop Blanco said that the arrival of the casket in Moxico was an historic and extraordinary occasion, and not just for Catholics. It was an event that had helped to strengthen the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the region.
At Luena, in the sixties, a great resistance movement arose against the colonial power and a peace agreement was signed there ten years ago, after 27 years of war. Salesians have been present in the city since 1981. From 2002 there has also been a community of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. Both religious communities run many activities for evangelisation and human advancement: the parish of St Peter and St Paul (with a mission area covering 80,000 square kilometres), Don Bosco School (with 4000 students working in three shifts), Mary Help of Christians Educational Centre (with 1500 students), Don Bosco Youth Centre and the Artemide Zatti Health Centre.