Pope Francis appoints peacemaking soldier as bishop over desert diocese that spans two million square kilometers
FREE Catholic Classes
Pope Francis has appointed Fr. John MacWilliam as bishop of the diocese of Laghouat-Ghardaia in Algeria. Algeria is a predominately Muslim country and few Catholics remain following persecution in the 1990s.
A peacemaking priest in Algeria has been elevated to the rank of bishop by Pope Francis.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Pope Francis has appointed Fr. John MacWilliam, 68, as the new bishop of the diocese of Laghouat-Ghardadia in Algeria. The decision follows Fr. MacWIlliam's work in building trust and friendship with the local Muslim population.
Algeria is a predominately Muslim country and there were persecutions of the Catholic Church there in the 1990s. Embassies and businesses closed as troubles caused many foreigners to leave. One person who stayed behind was Fr. MacWilliam. When asked why he didn't leave, he simple answered, "When things get difficult you don't leave your friends."
Fr. John MacWIlliam is a British Army veteran. He spent 18 years in the British Army, working in Northern Ireland during the troubles there. After his term of service, he was ordained in 1991 and joined the White Fathers in Algeria in 1994. He volunteered for the mission following the assassinations of several Trappist monks by Muslim extremists.
His tiny parish focused on dialogue and service, and providing help for disadvantaged people such as foreigners, prisoners, and women. He has forged new, positive relationships with his Muslim neighbors, which has attracted the notice of Pope Francis.
Fr. MacWilliam remarked that being around faithful Muslims who prayed daily also strengthened his own faith in God.
There are perhaps only a few hundred Catholics left in Algeria. Most of them are young students from other countries. Despite the small numbers, his diocese spans more than two million square kilometers, mostly across the Sahara desert.
As bishop, his job will be to provide pastoral care for the Catholics in his diocese and to serve as their advocate.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2019
Young People and the Example of Mary. That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.
by Catholic Online
- Salvation is found in Jesus - not in ideologies - says Cuban priest
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, April 25th, 2019 HD Video
- Now is the time to defend the truth, Phoenix bishop says at prayer ...
- St. Mark: Saint of the Day for Thursday, April 25, 2019
- Daily Reading for Saturday, April 27th, 2019 HD Video
- Catholic church vandalized in Northern Ireland
- Daily Readings for Thursday, April 25, 2019
- Prayer Requests Live for Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Friday, April 26th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, April 25th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.