» 06/18/2007, 00.00
Mindanao: Father Bossi well according to first contacts
Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions regional superior confirms first verbal contacts with missionary’s still anonymous kidnappers. An 11-hour prayer Vigil was held yesterday in Ipil with witnesses by Christians and Muslims. In Payao, where Father Bossi worked, faithful of every creed pray 24 hours a day.
Zamboanga (AsiaNews) – The first contacts were made with Fr Giancarlo Bossi’s kidnappers after the missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) was abducted on June 10 near his parish church in Payao. According to these sources, the priest is doing well. Fr Gianni Sandalo, PIME regional superior in the Philippines, confirmed the report to AsiaNews. “So far the contact by some anonymous group was verbal. Let us hope to have more news soon,” he added.
Father Sandalo is just back from Ipil, where a prayer vigil for Father Bossi’s release was held yesterday. The service, which began at 5 pm, ended at 4 am. “There were various witnesses by Catholics, Protestants and Muslims. It was very beautiful to hear these people talk about Father Bossi, especially those from his parish.”
In Payao a non-stop prayer for the clergyman’s release is underway with faithful from all religions. All places of worship are open 24 hours a day and filled with people taking turns praying for Father Bossi. Tomorrow a similar initiative will begin at 3 pm in Zamboanga, the provincial capital of the southern archipelago of Mindanao.
In the meantime search operations to find the kidnapped missionaries continue. An area of the archipelago has been isolated by army and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) units.
The guerrilla group offered to help secure Father Bossi’s release as soon as he disappeared.
PIME missionary, Fr Giancarlo Bossi, abducted in Mindanao
The missionary has worked for almost 30 years on the Mindanao Island where Muslim guerrillas have been battling the army for the island’s autonomy.
Father Bossi’s kidnappers probably MILF fighters
The official announcement of the missionary’s abduction was made by Col Godofredo Paderanga, a Filipino Army officer stationed in Mindanao. Father Bossi is the third Italian priest kidnapped in the area in the last ten years.
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According to Father Sandalo, PIME superior in the Philippines, recent violence between the army and rebels forces is an attempt to establish a stronger position before the final agreement is signed. Bishops and rebel leaders call for “peace and development” in Mindanao. However, only today 16 civilians lost their lives.
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Great celebrations in Payao for Father Bossi’s return
Joyful Christians and Muslims come together to welcome PIME missionary home. Freed priest celebrates mass in his parish church, thanks all those who prayed for him during his captivity.
Mindanao: non-stop prayers and continued hope for Father Bossi
One of Father Bossi’s fellow missionaries talks about the moving mobilisation, which includes prayer campaigns and messages of solidarity.
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