From 21st to 22nd April 2018 the Diocese of Bissau celebrated the “Diocesan day of the Bishop”. In it thousands of faithful participated both from Bissau and the neighbouring pastoral sectors belonging to the Diocese. The event essentially was meant to aim at two purposes: to make the Christians aware of the sense of belonging to the Local Church in collaboration with the Bishop of the Diocese Dom José Camnate Bissing and to raise funds to finance the charitable, educative and pastoral activities that the Diocese is carrying out. The theme chosen for this year by the organizational committee was: “I am a living stone of this Church… and you”?.

The Diocese some years ago had already formed a financial Commission, for the collection of tithes, with the intention to educate the Christian faithful and to make them aware of the need to show an active participation. To realize this in the future, the Diocese proposed an economic autonomy for everybody to be able to assume one’s own initiatives in first person and to continue to grow in an “African manner”.

It was a memorable day. The first day of the Bishop was celebrated in 2016. Even this “second edition” has left a positive sign in the story of this young Diocese because it involved more lay people in the preparation of the various activities.

Despite the unfavourable circumstances in which the country finds itself, and the difficulties in organising an event like this, the result certainly was positive. The auxiliary bishop Mons. Lambra, gave his speech highlighting the beauty of this initiative:

Every day, God does miracles but at times the persons do not recognise it. Therefore, I tell you that the realization of the Diocesan day of the Bishop is a miracle of God in order to show us that it is possible to transform our Church and to transform our country in which we live.

The Diocesan day of Bishop began with the march past. It involved all the people, especially the youth who walked beside the Bishop Dom Camnate and his auxiliary Bishop Dom Lampra Cá. Thanks to the march past the closeness between the Shepherd and his flock increased greatly, as Pope Francis says: “The Shepherds should live with the smell of the sheep”, in the same way as the sheep can recognize the voice of the shepherd.

Among the many activities organized for the occasion, the football games for men and women involved priests, sisters and lay people of the organizational committee. The prize competition involved school children in the performance of theatrical recitation, songs, dances, poetries and musical animation.

The Holy Mass was celebrated solemnly in the school courtyard named after John XXIII near the Diocesan curia. The sacred rite was followed by lunch. The day was concluded with the solemn benediction with a warm appeal to everyone to commit themselves to be living stones in this Church.

sr. Ornella Garzetti – Guinea Bissau


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