“Every day, at every Eucharistic celebration, let us take up the prayer for peace. And to give wings to our prayer, we must extend it with gestures of solidarity and sharing,” the immediate former President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) said.
He continued, “All that we are and all that we have are gifts from God and we must share with our brothers and sisters in need.”
The 77-year-old Cardinal appealed for solidarity with the close to 2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Burkina Faso, saying, “Our displaced brothers and sisters live in poverty and in precarious situations.”
“Each parish, movement, association or spiritual or apostolic group is invited to intensify prayer for reconciliation, justice and peace, and to take initiatives of solidarity,” the Burkinabe Cardinal said in his homily August 15.
He also reflected on the conclusion of the Year of the Family proposed by Pope Francis and “lived throughout the year in our local Church”, saying the family is the “future of the Church and of humanity. We must therefore take great care of it, and defend it.”
“Do not allow the family to be polluted by the poisons of selfishness, individualism, the culture of indifference, death (abortion, euthanasia...),” Cardinal Ouédraogo said, and added, “Instead, cultivate hospitality and the spirit of service and forgiveness.”
He called on the people of God in the West African nation to commit themselves “to reconciliation, justice and social cohesion, the guarantees of true and lasting peace.”
“Let us pray unceasingly for peace, reconciliation and justice, for the conversion of the forces of evil; for the Internally Displaced Persons; and not forgetting our brothers and sisters who have been kidnapped and held hostage! We plead for their release,” Cardinal Ouédraogo implored.
He added, “Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of the Church and Mother of humanity, and St. Joseph Protector of the Church, may our families be blessed and become true communities of life and love.”
Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.
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