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Christmas in Mostaganem - Algeria

12/01/2005: Algeria

Our small Christian community in Mostaganem, composed of about a dozen sub-Saharan university students and three Marist Brothers, happily agreed to the offer from our bishop, Alphonse Georger, to come and celebrate with us on Christmas Eve.
With Brother Alex at the forefront, the African students enthusiastically took up the task of preparing the songs for the Mass. The repertoire included songs in various native African languages, as well as songs in French, Spanish and Latin. Bishop Alphonse arrived on time, loaded with gifts.
Our humble chapel was decorated simply but beautifully. The Eucharist was well animated by the songs, symbolic offerings and the guitar sounds of Brother Chema. At the end of the Mass, we participated in the adoration of the Baby Jesus before placing him on the lap of Mary.

The students thanked Bishop Alfonso for his kindness in coming to Mostaganem on Christmas Eve and presented him with a small souvenir as a gift.
The evening concluded with a meal, shared by all in a joyful and convivial atmosphere.
On the following day, the Christian community of Mostaganem (brothers and students) went to Mascara (90 km away) to celebrate Christmas Day with the Christians from this city and from Tiaret (150 km away).
Thirty-five people were present: priests, religious and young students. The Eucharist was followed by a meal that was well prepared by the sisters at Mascara. Following this, the young people spontaneously organised a time of singing and dancing.
We returned to Mostaganem in the evening, thankful for the grace of having been able to celebrate the Birth of Jesus in the “House of Islam” with our Christian sisters and brothers.

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