Chad: A New Church in N'Djamena

Source: FSSPX News

A newly built church bearing the name  of “Divine Mercy” was consecrated on Sunday, April 23, 2017, in N'Djamena by Bishop Andrzej Jeż , a bishop of the diocese of Tarnó w, Poland. A sign of hope in a predominately Muslim country where pressures to “convert” to Islam have become particularly intense.

For 15 years, the faithful of the Holy Family parish of Dembe have been hearing Mass in warehouses, exposed to the hostilities of the weather. This precarious situation pushed them to roll up their sleeves and build a church. Collections were organized, but it was thanks to the financial help of a few well-wishers and supporters, the diocese of Tarnó w in Poland and the Vatican in particular, that they were able to raise the 365 million CFA francs they needed. They were able to build a church big enough to hold 1,200 people.

While the construction was underway, relates  Vatican Radio, the different parishes provided the workers with bags of cement, wheelbarrows, shovels, pickaxes, meals, sugar and tea, not only to fortify the workers, but also to encourage them to build well the house of God.

In his sermon during the celebration, Bishop Andrzej Jeż  asked the faithful to be peacemakers. According to him, Christians are called to love even their enemies. He invited Christians not only to love their enemies but also to pray for those who persecute them.

The archbishop of N'Djamena and president of the Episcopal Conference of Chad, Archbishop Edmond Djitangar, congratulated the faithful for their efforts. “This church is not just the church of the Christian community of Dembé; it is the universal Catholic Church in its material expression but also in its spiritual expression, through the living stones that we are, and the way we should live,” declared the archbishop of N'Djamena.

The Catholic Church in Chad has seven dioceses and an apostolic vicariate. She represents 20% of the country’s population, Islam being the majority – 54% - in a country that has a population of over 11.6 million.

In this former French colony where secularism has been written into the Constitution, Islam is making constant progress in the administration, in commerce and in politics, remarked Bishop Bouchard, bishop of Pala and president of the Episcopal Conference of Chad, in a speech for Benedict XVI in 2013 – not to mention the number of mosques being built “even in villages where there are no Muslims”.

More worrying, he continued, is that “the heads of villages and townships especially are pressured to convert to Islam, as are the youth by some of their teachers.”

Sources : Vatican Radio / La Croix - FSSPX.News - 05/23/2017)