As a journalist for this magazine, I’m used to traveling to what seem like the ends of the earth to report on the work of Maryknoll missioners. So it was earlier this year when I flew to East Africa and caught up with Maryknoll Father John Barth in Uganda. We drove overland a day and a half north to reach a refugee site near the border of South Sudan. I did not expect to find there such hope and resilience.
The needs of the refugees are tremendous, and Father Barth and priests of the Salesians of Don Bosco order he works with are doing all they can to provide for them spiritually and physically. Simple things like a bar of soap or a bowl of porridge are blessings.
And yet, although many of the people are displaced for their second or third time and have lost family or friends to violence, they smiled. They graciously welcomed us visitors, and, somehow wearing their Sunday best, they clapped and sang and celebrated at Mass in a kind of defiance of the evil that drove them from their homes. I invite you to read their stories in this issue of Maryknoll.
Lynn F. Monahan