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Marist Bulletin - Number 6



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Humanitarian aid and looking toward the future

The World Food Program began distributing its first shipments of aid on January 22nd. A UN expert on Volcanology has declared that the Nyiragongo Volcano no longer poses a serious threat to the region. Lava deposits up to ten feet high have buried some parts of the city. The emission of toxic gases no longer seems to be of grave concern. An explosion at a petrol station did cause dozens of deaths. People are making their way back into the city, and several international aid organizations and church-sponsored groups are mobilizing to attend to their immediate needs.

District Council meets in Goma
Our Marist District Council for the Democratic Republic of Congo will meet tomorrow, Friday, in “Casa Champagnat,” the residence of Brother Richard Mutumwa, Superior of the District. Fortunately Br. Richard was not in harm’s way. Last Sunday, January 20th, he managed to travel from Kindu to Goma, overcoming a scarcity of available transport. All the other members on the Council will be on hand for this meeting: Brothers Mununguri Masumbuko, Assistant Superior, Henri Bashisi, Pascal Shanyungu, Daniel Besana and Remy Mbolipasiko, the Administrator. Br. Seán Sammon, Superior General, has asked Br. Théoneste Kalisa from the General Council to interrupt his studies in Salamanca, Spain in order to attend the meeting as his personal representative. At this very moment Br. Kalisa is on a plane bound for Goma.
Several Provinces have contacted the Generalate here in Rome to express their readiness to join in efforts to help the victims of this disaster. We are hoping that the District meeting will provide us with specific suggestions concerning the kinds of assistance needed most.

More breaking news
- Today, January 24th, in Assisi, religious leaders from many faiths and nations have gathered with Pope John Paul II to implore God for peace in our world.
- Yesterday, the 23rd, Father Giovanni Edmundo Vecchi, Rector Major of the Salesians since 1996, passed away in Rome after a long illness. He was 71.

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