When most Americans think of Africa, they don’t realize just how large it is. For example, Uganda is similar in size to the state of Colorado. Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of Congo, which neighbors Uganda to the West, is about the same size as one quarter of all of the United States!

Also, did you know that there are 54 countries within the African continent?

These are just a few of the details guests learned at the Comboni Missionaries annual Meet the Missionaries Night in Cincinnati, Ohio.

During the hour long presentation Fr. Paolino Tipo Deng talked about the history of South Sudan, the current political situation, and the ecumenical work of the Comboni Missionaries at the Good Shepherd Peace Center.

Fr. Gregor Schmidt spoke next. He shared pictures from his mission in Malakal Diocese in South Sudan. With 80 chapels in his parish and only three priests to serve them all, Fr. Gregor said some chapels only see a priest twice a year.

Many people commented that Fr. Paolino’s and Fr. Gregor’s presentations helped them understand more about the Comboni Missions than anything else they’ve seen or read. Fr. Gregor’s pictures showed in vivid detail the terrain of the area, the housing people live in, the remoteness of the villages, and what daily life is like for the people of South Sudan.

Fr. Collins Mweshi, Fr. Romano Dada, Fr. Daniel Chisha, Fr. Mike Barton, and Fr. Maciej Zielinksi were also present for Meet the Missionaries Night.

Everyone stayed after for refreshments and one-on-one conversations with the visiting missionaries.

The Cincinnati community in the North American Province hosts this special event each year with the hope that more people will come to know the good work the Comboni Missionaries are doing throughout the world.

The missionaries will remain in the United States throughout the summer visiting parishes in different cities. You can view more pictures from Meet the Missionaries Night on our Facebook page.

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