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The bridge between Nairobi and Paris

The embrace of the Kenyan people during the Mass celebrated at the University campus gave Pope Francis a new vigor. Energized by the contagious enthusiasm of the hundreds of thousands of people who were gathered in the city parks, and after a short rest in the nunciature, the Pope visited St Mary's School on Thursday afternoon, 26 November.

On the large sports field of the middle school and high school, owned by the archdiocese, his schedule included a meeting with clergy, men and women religious and seminarians. Around 8,000 people welcomed Pope Francis as he arrived at 3:45 pm in his open popemobile, an opportunity permitted by a short window of sun amidst the stormy weather.

Moved by the displays of affection shown by the faithful, the Pope gave a lengthy speech off the cuff, in which, as a loving father, he offered advice to all of the consecrated.

Before leaving the school, the Pope affectionately greeted a group of sick children. He then traveled 11 kilometers by car to the UN headquarters in Nairobi (UNON), where one of the most important scheduled meetings of the trip took place. At the headquarters, which also houses the offices of two UN programmes, one for the environment (UNEP) and the other for development (UN-Habitat), the Pope forcefully reaffirmed the fundamental concepts of Laudato si', considering also that many of the issues raised are particularly sensitive in the context of the African continent. Right at the continent’s centre, for example, there is the immense basin of the Congo River, one of the lungs of the earth which must be preserved.

Maurizio Fontana

PRINTED EDITION

 

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