Tuesday, July 16, 2013

outreach for world understanding

In the spirit of seeking world understanding, the Ode Street Tribune's investigative journalist tonight walked about two miles west from the center of Rosslyn.  He attended at St. Charles Borromeo Church a talk about the Rwandan genocide and youth ministry in its aftermath.  A priest from Rwanda, Fr. Salvain, is in resident at St. Charles.  Fr. Salvain talked about the terrible events and his work in running a school in Rwanda for about 500 genocide orphans.

Fr. Salvain explained that he formed families by dividing the orphans into groups of ten.  Within each group, the orphans adopted other orphans as their new fathers and mothers.   That's nearly incomprehensible, especially after what these children had been through.  But it apparently worked.  Perhaps the parents and the children understanding each other well helped.

Fr. Salvain's dedication as a priest came through clearly.  Rwanda has a strong Christian tradition, with nearly 94% of the population being Christian.  That was also true before the genocide.  In the Catholic liturgy for Good Friday, the congregation takes the part of the people gathered at Jesus's trial, and they shout in unison, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"  Fr. Salvain took the orphans for an Easter Mass to a Church were thousands of persons, seeking shelter there, had been killed. Fr. Salvain and others in Rwanda are working to bring alive hope in Rwanda for the future.  One priest serves many people.  Fr. Salvain spoke of hearing confessions for 12 hours in one day.  

The Ode Street Tribune pledges to respect the memory of the Rwandan genocide.  According to Wikipedia:
the news media played a crucial role in the genocide; local print and radio media fueled the killings while the international media either ignored or seriously misconstrued events on the ground. The print media in Rwanda is believed to have started hate speech against Tutsis, which was later continued by radio stations. According to commentators, anti-Tutsi hate speech "...became so systemic as to seem the norm." The state-owned newspaper Kangura had a central role, starting an anti-Tutsi and anti-RPF campaign in October 1990. In the ongoing International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the individuals behind Kangura have been accused of producing leaflets in 1992 picturing a machete and asking "What shall we do to complete the social revolution of 1959?" – a reference to the Hutu revolt that overthrew the Tutsi monarchy and the subsequent politically orchestrated communal violence that resulted in thousands of mostly Tutsi casualties and forced roughly 300,000 Tutsis to flee to neighboring Burundi and Uganda. 
The Ode Street Tribune pledges never to support fear, hostility, and anger among neighbors.


Anonymous said...

Your “outreach for world understanding” is excellent. Fr. Salvain’s work and attitude is exactly in line with Pope Francis’s recent teachings. The two miles that the Ode Street Tribune’s investigative journalist walked no doubt helped both the journalist’s body and soul. The Ode Street Tribune’s pledge to “never support fear, hostility, and anger among neighbors” is wonderful. We all should make such a pledge.

Anonymous said...

Does the Tribune's pledge even apply to North Rosslyn?

Douglas Galbi said...

Yes, the Tribune's pledge even applies to North Rosslyn.