Sister Josephine Ong ICM

The Dead Were Buried But Life Continues

By Sister Josephine Ong ICM

Burundi, a former Belgian colony, is a landlocked country in central Africa with an area of 27,830 sq kms, just over a quarter of the size of Luzon. 62 percent of its 6,223,897 people (July 2001 estimate) are Catholics. 85 percent are ethnically Hutus and 14 percent Tutsis. Inter-ethnic conflict has broken out a number of times and at least 200,000 died in a civil war that lasted from1993 into 2000. Trouble broke out again last year, as Sister Josephine writes.

On 5 July 2003 five new priests were ordained in our diocese in a beautiful ceremony that lasted nearly six hours. These were the first ordinations at Our Lady’s shrine, north of the city proper of Bujumbura, the capital. About a thousand attended the agape. And can you imagine nine choirs? It was impressive how all the parishes and the reception committee put their hands together to make this day memorable.