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Angola – Luanda’s Archbishop marks Holy Week with visit to central prison and other institutions

Archbishop Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias, of the Archdiocese of Luanda, has visited inmates at Luanda’s Central Prison to share the message of hope in Holy Week. The Archbishop also visited one of the country’s Reception Centres for Children in Distress

Anastacio Sasembele – Luanda

Hate speech, conflict and, not infrequently, violent crime have become common place in an increasingly intolerant world. However, in the midst of so much aggression, Holy Week shows that there are people willing to cultivate peace, solidarity and charity.

Cultivating solidarity

It is in this spirit of Holy Week, that the Archbishop of Luanda, Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias, has been carrying out an intense programme of visits to some of Luanda’s critical social institutions.

While visiting inmates at the Luanda Central Prison, Archbishop do Nascimento Vieira Dias said he had come to bring to the prisoners, the Good News and a message of hope. He also donated some basic items for the prisoners to use. The prelate invoked the guidance of the Holy Spirit to descend and dwell in all the world’s prisons, and also appealed to Angolan authorities to improve prison conditions, and ease congestion by limiting custodial sentences.

Prison: A time to also encounter Jesus

Father Basílio Tchikale handing over a sample of  items for prisoners donated by the Archbishop

Father Basílio Tchikale handing over a sample of items for prisoners donated by the Archbishop

Invited to give the homily at the Mass in the prison, Father Basílio Tchikale appealed to the inmates to use the period in prison for reflection and reform. He further encouraged them to encounter Jesus and to seize every opportunity to build a relationship with the Lord.

The Archbishop of Luanda, accompanied by diocesan pastoral workers also visited the Kuzola Reception Centre for Children in Distress.

During the visit to the centre, the Archbishop thanked and encouraged management, staff and volunteers not to lose their joy and courage in caring for the “little ones.”.

Archbishop of Luanda, Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias (centre) with diocesan and some prison officials

Archbishop of Luanda, Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias (centre) with diocesan and some prison officials

Government’s unwavering support to children

The Deputy Governor In-Charge of Political and Social affairs in the City of Luanda, Manuel Gonçalves, assured the Archbishop and his entourage of the Angolan Government’s determination to protect the welfare of children in the country. He highlighted eleven commitments made by the Government that had been implemented or were currently being implemented.

Mr Gonçalves further said that the Angolan Government would continue to monitor and support efforts that enhance the well-being and guarantee the rights of children.

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