SOUTH SUDAN – “Suffering is God’s accomplice”: a small church is born inside the hospital of Naandi

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Naandi (Agenzia Fides) – “The missionary Church wants to be witness to the love of the Heart of Christ for all the inhabitants of this remote village, people who suffer so much, are wonderful, sensitive, who pray so much, who love so much, who wait so long”. This is how Fr. Christopher Hartley Sartorius, a missionary in the diocese of Tombura-Yambio, described to Fides the start of work on the construction of a small church inside the small hospital located in Naandi, where he is parish priest.

“The initiative to build this small church was born from the requests of so many poor people, the sick and the health staff of the hospital where I go to celebrate the Word and distribute the Eucharist every week. Sometimes we manage to gather about fifty people, testifying to what French philosopher Paul Claudel argued, who said that ‘suffering is God’s accomplice’.”

“The people who approach this small hospital – continues the missionary – arrive with physical and spiritual wounds. Unfortunately, there is often not much to do due to their health conditions but what is not lacking is prayer. These people love to pray!”

To thank those who are making it possible to build and start work on the church, a very simple rite of blessing was celebrated yesterday, September 15. “The church will be dedicated to Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus, co-patroness with Saint Francis Xavier of the missionary works of the Church. We want to entrust all suffering people to the Saint so that she, who said: ‘in the heart of the Church I will be love’, covers us all with a bundle of roses from heaven”, concluded Fr. Christopher.

SOURCE (CHS/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 16/9/2021)

PHOTO SOURCE Cecil Lee – St. Francis Xavier statue