Nigeria celebrates the 50th of Sant’Egidio looking towards the future

The events in the major cities across the country

A series of events marked last week the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Community in Nigeria. On this special occasion, Hilde Kieboom, vice-president of Sant’Egidio, visited the Communities in the country.

Celebrations began in Lagos - one of the largest and most populous megalopolis in the world - with a feast for the elderly of the Yaba district, where older people live in a state of marginality and often abandonment. They found new life and a family through the friendship with the youngsters of Sant’Egidio. Indeed, the free and familiar encounter of generations is the concrete answer to the question of anonymity and abandonment caused by the urban fabric of the city.

Second leg, Jos. Here, at the presence of Monsignor Ignatius Kaigama - Catholic Archbishop of the city - a protocol has been signed which gives Sant’Egidio an area of land to build a house of Prayer, Encounter, Friendship with the Poor, Dialogue and Peace. While the foundation stone was laid, Mgr. Kaigama expressed his appreciation for the faithful closeness of Sant’Egidio in those hard times when violence hit the Nigerian State of the Plateau. Moreover, Mgr. Kaigama stressed his confidence in the work for the peace of the Community.

Lastly, on Saturday 3rd November, an inter-religious symposium was held in Abuja. The event was attended by Cardinal John Onaiyekan (Archbishop of Abuja), Pastor James Wuye, the Imam Mohamed Ashafa (Interfaith Mediation Center in Kaduna), Raffaele De Parolis (Italian Embassy), Jan De Volder and Hilde Kieboom (Community of Sant’Egidio), and Henry Ezike (National Director of Sant’Egidio - Nigeria). On Sunday 4th November, to end these days of encounter and looking towards the future, Cardinal Onaiyekan celebrated a thanksgiving liturgy in the Cathedral of Abuja, recalling how much this great African country needs the 'spirit of Sant'Egidio'.