Saturday, July 22, 2006

A pilgrimage to Burundi

Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre writes about traveling to Africa for a meeting of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network in Bujumbura, Burundi.
For about four years now, the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Policy has been involved in a program to develop cadres of Catholics — laity, religious and clerics — who would serve as catalysts for local peace building initiatives. Following the civil war in Burundi, the bishops there were convinced that the church had to play a prominent role in fostering peace.
. . .
The bishops of Burundi have been doing a good job. There are many new social projects that harness the energies of young people and give new hope for productive work in a nation with a very high unemployment rate. I visited a number of places which are like youth villages where young people either live or go to daily. There they study, learn new skills, prepare for entrance into university or receive the kind of training that makes access to employment much more realizable. In addition the programs, including sports and other activities, socialize young people across ethnic lines with a solid grounding in Catholic faith and morals. There is much to be grateful for and even more to hope for the future.

You can read more here.