Burundi – Salesians and young people visit hospital and prison in Gahombo

07 October 2020

(ANS - Rukago) - As part of the parish's pastoral plan, carried out according to the teaching of Pope Francis, the guidelines of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and the pastoral plan of the diocese of Ngozi on the social commitment of Christians, two priests from the Salesian parish of Rukago, in Burundi - Fr Benjamin Gahungu and Fr Raphael Katanga - accompanied by 25 young leaders of the oratory, went to visit the sick and prisoners of the nearby town of Gahombo.

The activities, which took place in September, began with Mass at the local hospital, presided over by the parish priest, Fr Gahungu, and animated by the choir of the oratory animators. At the end of the celebration, staff of the hospital’s social office helped the Salesian delegation distribute food and laundry soap to all the sick and healthcare personnel.

“It was a moment of relief and consolation for the sick housed in the hospital. In our service, we also made sure that patients who are alone and have no relatives or friends to support them would receive something extra,” says Fr Katanga.

From the Salesian parish another team instead left for the prison to offer the same kind of assistance and comfort to the prisoners. The visit was a great surprise for the prisoners and the guards, who were able to share a moment of emotion and serenity.

Through expeditions such as these, the Salesian house in Rukago seeks to motivate young people on their possibility of having an impact on society, and to give society a powerful testimony of the importance of young people's social commitment.

The youths who participated in the two initiatives are animators at the Salesian center, engaged in ongoing formation courses that make them increasingly effective in assisting the needy. In the near future, they have already planned other gestures of closeness and support to the vulnerable subjects of the municipality of Gahombo.

“The young people of the parish of Rukago have decided to become protagonists of change,” says Fr Katanga. “They carry out charitable activities among the most vulnerable without expecting anything in return. Others participate in community programs for the renovation of roads and bridges. Sometimes they participate in the construction and renovation of homes for the needy.”

“They, like other Christians in the parish, have understood that there can be no authentic Christian life without social commitment, especially in favor of the most needy,” concludes the Salesian.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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