Zamboanga (AsiaNews) – Fr. Giancarlo Bossi “is the evidence that the Kingdom of God belongs to the meek”, and the ability to be a servant of God “not through big projects, but through the ability to listen to others”.
It is the portrait of the missionary kidnapped June 10th last, contained in an open letter-prayer written by the Regional Superior of Pime in the Philippines to those who long for his return home and who have written to Pime and AsiaNews in a sign of solidarity in this “important moment of our lives”. The text has also been published on http://pimephilippines.wordpress.com/, the blog created by the Pime community in the Philippines to follow the plight of Fr. Bossi. Below we publish the full version of the text, translated from the original Italian.
Dear friends: May the God of life and hope be with you all! Together with the Pime community in the Philippines and the community of the faithful in Payao, allow me to join you, in prayer, in this most important moment in our lives.
Let us pray together for the return of Fr. Giancarlo to the safety of his community. Our prayer is part request, but principally, a prayer of thanksgiving. Together we thank the Father for the gift of Giancarlo, to each one of us. His person, his ability to listen to others, his ability to render himself a friend of those around him, his desire to be a witness to the life of God, are the concrete signs that teach us that life is a gift to be shared with others.
In his 29 years in the priesthood and all along the years of his life Fr. Giancarlo was and is conscious of the fact that the Kingdom of God belongs to the meek. In the community where he lived he had become an important point of reference for his ability to be a witness to that Kingdom, not through big projects but through his ability to listen to everyone.
Following his ordination in 1978 and his study of the language, Giancarlo left for the Philippines. He remained a few months in Tondo, the large shanty town on the outskirts of Manila, before moving on towards Kumaarang, Siay, Payao, Sibuco, Paranaque, Bayog, and once again to Payao. In all of these places Fr. Giancarlo was a symbol of the simplicity of the meek.
Payao is a special place that has a very special significance for Fr. Giancarlo. Payao is a simple place, immersed in poverty but rich in friendship and solidarity. There Fr. Giancarlo worked with great simplicity, witnessing the concrete reality of the Kingdom. After a few months he returned to he returned to his favourite place of work, and rolling up his sleeves, rejuvenated, he settled down to realising simple projects, such as picking up contacts with the local people.
For Fr. Giancarlo there were no distinctions or divisions. Each and every person has the possibility for welcome and joy. Over these days the people of Payao are keeping constant vigil in their Church to pray together and ask for the safe and happy return of their Parish priest. They want him back among them. They miss him. They feel like a flock without its Shepherd.
With them, we too pray that Giancarlo can continue on that journey of hope, interrupted by violence, that journey of peace and of unity. We also pray for those who interrupted his journey. May they see in Giancarlo, God’s gift in his presence and solid friendship. Thank you Lord for the gift that Fr. Giancarlo is.
We want he back among us so ha the can continue to reveal in simplicity the face of God. May Thy will be done o Lord. A will that is born of daily wonder and the friendship you offer us. Let Your Servant and our Friend be soon back among us to show us through his life the beauty of your love. With friendship and in the name of the Lord,
Fr. Gianni Sandalo, Pime Superior in the Philippines together with the entire community of the faithful in Payao and the friends and brothers of Pime – Philippines.