Prayers, Fasting and Marching for the Release of Kidnapped SMA Priest


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Protests for the release of Fr Maccalli (image via Fides)

On 17 September 2018 Father Pier Luigi Maccalli (SMA) was attacked and abducted by “unidentified individuals” from his home opposite the church where he served.  

The Vatican News Agency, Agenzia Fides, reported at the time: “… missionaries in the General Curia of SMA in Genoa stated that a group of armed men entered the village at 9.30pm local time (11.30pm Italian time) yesterday, abducted the priest, stole his computer and his phone. It was possible to reconstruct the facts thanks to the testimony of an Indian confrere, who lives with father Pierluigi, who managed to escape…”

Fr Maccalli has served in Niger for 11 years, most recently in the parish of Bomoanga in the diocese of Niamey.

Agenzia Fides reported this week that Christian inmates in the prison of Abidjan, the largest prison in the Ivory Coast, are concerned about the fate of Fr. Gigi Maccalli. The prisoners regularly organise prayer vigils for Fr Maccalli and they held a day of fasting on the eve of his second month of capture.

Father Ramon Bernard, a native of Saragossa, a missionary in the Ivory Coast, and confrère of Father Maccalli, said that a march was held on 18 November to demand the release of Fr Maccalli and it was well attended. [Agenzia Fides, 19/11/2018]

SMA missionary Fr. Donald Zagore asks, "Is the African continent becoming hostile to priests? The number of kidnappings and murders against the religious continues to grow disproportionately, disturbing the commitment of many pastoral workers.”

Muslim leaders of Niger (see Fides 24/9/2018) have joined the Christians in the prayer for the release, launching a message that his kidnappers, following the true teaching of Islam, stop all violence and respect the rights of every person. 

We ask that all our readers join us in our continued prayers for Fr Maccalli.