Just before the 5:30 P.M. Mass on Thursday, October 8th, I received a text message and a voicemail from Fr. Desiré Salako in Africa, relaying the joyful news that his missionary priest Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli had been freed.

On Saturday, October 10th, the New York Times reported from Dakar, Senegal, on the story: “4 HOSTAGES ARE RELEASED BY MALI ALLIES OF AL QUAEDA.”

Four hostages held by armed insurgents in Mali were freed on Thursday after the country’s newly-formed government released around 200 prisoners, including some suspected of being jihadists. 

The four hostages released included Soumaila Cissé, a prominent Malian politician, Sophie Pétronin, a French aid worker who had been held for almost four years, and two Italians: Pierluigi Maccalli, a priest abducted in neighboring Niger in 2018, and Nicola Chiacchio, who was kidnapped last year during a solo bicycle trip. ...

In Italy, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio welcomed the “good news” of the release. “Father Pierluigi Maccalli and Nicola Chiacchio are finally free and well,” Mr. DiMaio said on Twitter.

The Malian authorities said the four hostages had been held by Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam walMuslimin, or the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims, a coalition of Al-Quaeda aligned groups in Mali.

On this World Mission Sunday we give thanks to God in “Te Deum” for Fr. Maccalli’s deliverance, and we do not forget to pray for the intentions of all captives throughout the world.


About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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