The Resident Minister North Alie D. Kamara and the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Sheka Tarawalie have adequately represented Sierra Leone through the ‘Love Bridges’ organisation of Catholic Christians with headquarters in Italy and working as a humanitarian group at Lokomasama, Port Loko District.
At a specially organised meeting with Pope Francis after his papal address to thousands of worshippers at the forecourt of St Peter’s basilica at the Vatican on Wednesday 18th November 2015, the two ministers were led in audience to the pontiff and had a fifteen-minute encounter with him in full public view.
Resident Minister Alie D Kamara thanked the Pope for the prayers of the church and the practical support to Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis, as the ugly chapter has now been closed. He conveyed His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma’s special gratitude to the Pope and thanked him for the tremendous work ‘Love Bridges’ is doing in Sierra Leone especially in the educational and health sectors.
Deputy Minister Sheka Tarawalie during their discussion told the Pope he was touched by his message about Jesus being the door that is open to all mankind for salvation. He said indeed the Church has been built by Christ and the gates of hell shall not prevail.
In the conversation, the Pope blessed the government and people of Sierra Leone and said there is hope through Jesus Christ, saying the work of ‘Love Bridges’ will continue to be supported by the church.
In his earlier general address to the congregation, Pope Francis based his message on Jesus Christ being the door. The passage of reference in the Bible was John 10:9, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” He said Christians should open the doors of their hearts to the needy.
During the exhortation, the Pope recognised the presence of ‘Love Bridges’ among many other organizations represented across the world, while reminding all about the forthcoming ‘International Day of the Rights of the Child’. He said the year of jubilee, a year of forgiveness and love, was approaching and urged Christians to live up to their calling.
Four of the children in supported by ‘ Love Bridges’ in school in Lokomasama, on a holiday in Italy, were introduced and presented to the Pope, and he blessed them.
The Pope gave special gifts to each member of the delegation, with the two ministers receiving bronze papal medals with the inscription in Latin ‘AMOREM CHRISTI IN ANIMO TENEAMVS’ (translated as ‘The love of Christ lives in us’) and the Pope’s full name (also in Latin) written on the other side of the coin with the year of his reign, ‘FRANCISCVS PONT MAX ANNO III’
The two ministers were invited to the Vatican through ‘Love Bridges’ in recognition of their moral and administrative support to the organisation’s success. They were introduced to the Pope by the country coordinator of ‘Love Bridges’ in Sierra Leone, who is also overseer of the Pope John Paul II Hospital in Lokomasama, Father Don Ignazio Poddighe.