One Mass, two bishops, three continents!

A year ago I went to Brazil for the "World Youth Day". Being the direct flight from Argentina nearly as expensive as flying from South Africa to Brazil, I tried to find other alternatives. A cheaper one included changing flights and ... airports in Sao Paulo and that was the one I chose. 

I must say it was a "providential" choice. Reaching the second airport in Sao Paulo I found, together with lots of young people flying to Rio de Janeiro for the gathering, a number of bishops traveling with them. One of them stopped me and asked in Italian: "who are you?". I normally do not have a "simple" answer. "I was born in Argentina, joined the Consolata Missionaries and now I am a bishop in South Africa and Swaziland".

Bishop Pietro Santoro, bishop of Avezzano in Italia, said: "I have attended every single World Youth Day from the very first one... but I have never been in Africa". I invited him to visit us any time. So he did.

Last week he arrived in South Africa with his nice, Franca, who is a pediatrician. The following day we came to the diocese of Manzini where he spent most of these ten days. 

Sunday we visited Lulameni, one of the outstations of Hluthi. Fr Mafola, the priest in charge, took great care of keeping the "secret" and asked Mr Skhosana to lead us to the church. The community arrived slowly as it was not the "Sunday of the priest" and were unaware of the presence of the two bishops.

Being Bp Santoro from Italy and myself from Argentina... three continents had gathered for the celebration on my very first visit at this church, still to be dedicated to "Our Lady of Hope".

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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