10/03/2016, 16.48
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Nepalis, Catholic and non-Catholic, bid farewell to apostolic nuncio Mgr Salvatore Pennacchio

by Christopher Sharma

The archbishop was appointed nuncio to Poland. He served in Nepal for six years, making visible the Church’s commitment in the most difficult moments. During the 2015 earthquake, he asked everyone to be united to help.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepal’s Catholic community "is numerically small but big in faith," said Mgr Salvatore Pennacchio during his farewell ceremony as apostolic nuncio in Nepal.

Many, Catholic and non-Catholic, lay people as well as clergy, came to bid him goodbye on Saturday at Kathmandu’s cathedral.

“The people of Nepal needs to experience the grace of God through the Good News,” the prelate said, who has already been appointed to Poland.

Mgr Pennacchio arrived in Nepal six years ago to take up the post apostolic nuncio. "I was fortunate that I could serve the country during the earthquake disaster*,” he noted. “I tried to bring the Vatican message through the aid to the victims. I prayed that Catholic churches, groups and Caritas could make visible God’s presence during the rescue of earthquake victims."

The archbishop noted that "Caritas led the way in helping people without discrimination on religious grounds."

"Today I have mixed feelings,” he added, “because on one hand I am saddened to leave Nepal, and I will miss you. On the other, however, I am happy to see this beautiful community, Catholics and non-Catholics, pray for me in this ceremony."

"We express our gratitude and appreciation to the Archbishop because he has led and supported Nepal in spreading God’s message,” said Mgr Paul Simick, apostolic vicar.

“Excellency, you have stood with the people of Nepal as the number of pastoral centres and activities of the Church grew. Thanks to your support, we have made visible God’s presence in difficult situations."

"We are grateful,” the vicar added, “for the example of great encouragement, evangelisation and spreading of the Gospel, which has brought many non-Catholics to our community."

* The quake struck on 25 April 2015.

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