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DECEMBER 2014 / JANUARY 2015

A beautiful time to rediscover God’s love

THIS YEAR, once again, I’ve had the opportunity of leading thirty-one Gambian pilgrims to the Holy Land
for our annual pilgrimage. We stayed in Bethlehem for seven days. For those making the pilgrimage for the first time, staying at the birthplace of Jesus was a dream come true. We celebrated one of our Sunday Masses at one of the oldest surviving churches in the world: the Church of the Nativity, near the place where it is believed that Mary gave birth to Jesus. Around 160 AD, Justin Martyr wrote that Jesus had been born in a cave in this part of Bethlehem. We used the Christmas Day readings and sang carols.

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Rejoicing as four young Gambians make their first profession

FOUR young Gambians made their first profession of vows as Sisters of the Presentation of Mary at a joyful Eucharist
for our annual pilgrimage. We stayed in Bethlehem for seven days. For those making the pilgrimage for the first time, staying at the birthplace of Jesus was a dream come true. We celebrated one of our Sunday Masses at one of the oldest surviving churches in the world: the Church of the Nativity, near the place where it is believed that Mary gave birth to Jesus. Around 160 AD, Justin Martyr wrote that Jesus had been born in a cave

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Well done!
A message from Bishop ROBERT ELLISON on the Centenary Celebrations

THE CELEBRATIONS for the Centenary of our Cathedral have come and gone. For many of you it involved a lot of hard work and commitment, especially as we faced the final great climax of Sang Marie 2014. A special word of gratitude is due to the members of the Centenary Committee for the way in which they kept the process and the implementation of the various events moving right up to the end. For all of us it was a most memorable occasion due to the meticulous preparations of the committee as well as the exceptional attendance of our Catholic community across the entire diocese, along with other friends and visitors - despite the heavy rain with its

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OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2014 Newsletter

Hail and farewell

Bishop Ellison’s appointments and the return of two priests to Senegal
BISHOP Robert Ellison has appointed two newly-arrived missionary priests to serve in the Diocese of Banjul. The newcomers are Fr Joseph K. Fynn CSSp, from Ghana, who is to be Assistant Priest at St Joseph’s, Basse, and Fr Godwin Nnadgiza MSP, from Nigeria, who is be Assistant Priest at Holy Spirit, Banjul. In other appointments, Fr Michael Gomez CSSp is to be Parish Priest at St Peter’s Parish Lamin. Fr Peter Jammeh CSSp, is to be Parish Priest at Sacred Heart, Bansang. Fr Yenes Manneh, formerly at St Augustine’s Senior Secondary School, is to be Priest at Christ the King, Dasilami. Fr Matthew Mendy, formerly at Bwiam, is to be Parish Priest at St Martin’s, Kartong.

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Ebola

What we should all know EBOLA is a disease caused by an ebola virus. Symptoms start two days to three
weeks after the virus has been contacted. The symptoms are fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches. Typically, vomitting, diarrhoea and rash follow, with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys. Around this time, affected people may begin to bleed both within the body and externally. The virus may be acquired upon contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal. Spreading through the air has not been documented in the natural environment. Fruit bats are believed to carry and spread the virus without being affected.

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Sin, suffering and hope

EVER since the advent of regular newspapers in the 18th century much of the news has been ‘bad news’ – stories of conflict, corruption, assassination, scandal. What is it that so fascinates us about ‘bad guys’, rather than ‘good guys’? With the coming of radio and television in the 20th century the daily news output of gloom and doom intensified. And of course in our own high-tech age bad news flashes across the world in seconds: a suicide bomb somewhere in Asia, say, is broadcast round the world in next-to-no-time. So much bad news every day can be depressing. Problems in plenty in our own continent – in the Central African Republic, for example: in Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria; not to mention, elsewhere

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AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2014 Newsletter

Our very own Sang Marie

THE FEAST of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on 15th August throughout the universal Church.
It is a Holy Day of Obligation, when no Catholic should wilfully miss taking part in the Mass. But this doesn’t need to be underlined in The Gambia, where the Catholic Cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, who is Patron of the Diocese of Banjul.

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Gambian pilgrims in Israel in 2010

GAMBIAN pilgrims are to visit Israel and Egypt from 8th to 22nd October. In the Holy Land they will visit holy sites at
Nazareth, Cana, Capernaum, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, Bethany and Jericho. The visit to Mount Sinai will be the second made by Gambian pilgrims. The pilgrims will be led by Fr Peter Lopez – the fourth time that he has fulfilled this role. In previous years, pilgrims have been led

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Priests and sisters consider 'The joy of the Gospel'

PRIESTS, reverend sisters and lay people gathered at GPI on Friday 27th June to mark the end of the Pastoral Year 2013-14.
Led by Bishop Robert Ellison, the day began with Mass for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Fr Joseph Carl Gomez spoke on his experiences in The Gambia and Dafur as Catholic Chaplain to the Gambia Armed Forces.

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