BENIN – Parish church in Kalalé is bursting at the seams!
The parish of Saint Pierre in Kalalé is situated in the northeast of Benin, close to the frontier with Nigeria. The present parish church was built in 1990. At that time it was large enough to accommodate all the faithful, but now the parish has grown much larger. For one thing, over the past 25 years many children have been born in the parish, many of whom have themselves now started their own families. There have also been many adults and young people who wished to be baptised. As a result, the church is now far too small – on Sundays many of the faithful have to sit or stand outside the church during Holy Mass.
Needless to say, the church is also used as a place for religious instruction. Various groups, from those seeking baptism to the groups of children and young people, are given instruction in the Catholic Faith here. Some of these gatherings have to be held outside, since the church is simply too small. This is a very active parish community, where Holy Mass is celebrated every day and where the priests are daily available to hear confessions. On Friday evenings there is a regular Holy Hour of Eucharistic adoration, and there are various prayer groups and catechetical sessions. At the same time the priests also minister to the faithful in the outlying villages, which also belong to the parish but which are too far out for the people to be able to get to the parish centre regularly. Normally, it is the priests who travel out to the villages but on the great feast days – such as Christmas and Easter, for the Sacrament of Confirmation or for the patronal feast of the parish – many of the faithful come in from outlying villages to the main church in Kalalé. At such times the church really is bursting at the seams!
Father Saturnino Pasero, the parish priest, would therefore like to extend his church so that it can accommodate more of the faithful. We are hoping to be able to help him with a contribution of 7,000 Euros.