From 1989 through till 2003 Liberia went through one of the bloodiest civil wars on the African continent. To this day this West African nation has still not fully recovered from it. More than two thirds of the country‘s almost 5 million population still have little faith in a lasting peace. One reason for this, among many others, is the fact that to this day there have been no prosecutions of the known war criminals. All levels of social life are vitiated by a feeling of profound mistrust. „More than the infrastructure, it was our souls that were destroyed“, says Father Dennis Nimene, the secretary general of the Liberian Catholic bishops‘ conference.
For the Church too the aftermath of the war has been a great challenge. For although – after the end of the war and the subsequent Ebola crisis – various trauma recovery programmes were offered to people, she knows that it is the spiritual dimension that is above all important, and especially for her priests. Consequently, the bishops are hoping to offer spiritual retreats and recovery times for her priests during the current year 2019, so that they in turn can find the serenity to better help the laity.
Accordingly, this year 25 priests from the diocese of Cape Palmas will be given an opportunity to recharge their spiritual batteries and find new strength in God, also sharing their problems and experiences with one another so that they can take new ideas back to their home parishes. ACN is supporting these retreats with a contribution of 4600 Euros. This represents 184 Euros for each priest, to cover travel costs, board and lodging. A small investment indeed, but one that will have a big impact.