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7 November 2021


On 16 July, at the conclusion of a Mass presided over by Cardinal Dieudonne Nzapalaing, the foundation stone for a new convent of Bangui Carmel was finally laid.  We had been waiting for this moment for many years. In 2006 we had built a monastery for the friars.  At the same time, our convent had become more and more such a focal point of reference for so many people that the whole quarter around us came to be called Carmel.  Through the course of the years, demands for lodgings increased and more and more people were coming to  participate at our Sunday Mass.  In 2013 the community acquired a venue for student accommodation and an agricultural school was opened in 2020.

All of this finally forced us to reconsider our situation and to provide adequate structures to correspond with the requirements for seminarians’ formation and the requests for lodgings.  More important still, it was necessary to offer our faithful a dignified venue for prayer – our Sunday liturgical celebrations take place under a simple roof of sheet iron.  After long and patient discernment we decided on the construction of a completely new complex.  It will be made up of three sectors:  1.  A convent with twenty rooms for the community, with everything necessary for conventual life and our apostolate;   2.  Fifteen guest rooms with a dining room and a meeting hall;   3.  A large church.  At the moment, the whole quarter Carmel is involved in building the convent and we hope to be able to take up residence in it by the end of next year.

As you can easily understand, we are talking about an ambitious project, something that will be very costly and will engage us for quite a few years.  We would not have had the courage to even consider such an undertaking without the encouragement of many friends.  They were quite aware of our needs if we were to host the young seminarians, guests and particularly the faithful.  These good friends also appreciated our wishes and hopes for the projects we had in mind.  May we be permitted to thank them sincerely with all our hearts.

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