Do you believe Boko Haram is evil?
Absolutely! When you kill and destroy not only combatants but women and children, poor people, it is evil. In the attack on the Jos market, 118 died; they were not office workers or important people; those who died were orange sellers, ground nut sellers, milk sellers, looking to make a little money for the evening. This is an expression of evil.
What do the people need most?
They need comfort. The first thing I will do upon my return from this journey is to go to a parish; and to join a celebration of a congregation that celebrates its 50th in a village that has no electricity—no matter. I have to be present.
Because of the shortage of priests, a growing number of Nigerian priests are coming to the US to serve in parishes. What is the gift of Nigerian spirituality, the charism of the Nigerian Church? What is your gift to the universal Church?
Nigerians are a very resilient people. We have gone through so much—civil war, violence, the atrocities of Boko Haram—but you find every Nigerian still smiling and ready to go. We never say it is all ending. That vibrant spirit we also bring into the Church. Our liturgies are something special—it is not just a routine affair. By Friday, everybody is already thinking about Sunday—to prepare. On Saturday, the dresses are being washed and readied. That tells you—something big is expected. Also, because we don’t have many social and recreational opportunities, Sunday Mass is both a spiritual and social event.
Courtesy of Aid to the Church in Need,an international Catholic charity under the guidance of the Holy See, providing assistance to the suffering and persecuted Church in more than 140 countries.