Can One Catholic Priest Put an End to 36 Years of War?

Because 36 years is too long for most things — especially war.

Father Angelo Romano is backed by a wall of books, fiddling with a white tassel — a rosary substitute, perhaps? I dare not ask because the 53-year-old Catholic priest, professor and peacemaker seems agitated, reluctant to waste time. Eventually, he settles, unfurling stories about mediating conflicts across Africa on behalf of the Sant’Egidio community. A lay religious organization with 60,000 members in 73 countries, “Sant’Egidio is three Ps,” Romano says, quoting Pope Francis: “prayer, poor [people] and peace.”

When he’s not presiding over Sunday Mass at the Basilica of Saint Bartholomew in Rome, the Memorial Church for the New Christian Martyrs (we chuckle about long Catholic names), or teaching contemporary history at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Vatican City, Romano facilitates peace through dialogue. His current focus? Senegal, where a decades-long conflict between the government and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) has led to the death and displacement of thousands. (FIND OUT MORE)