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Fr. Joseph Ambrosoli is a contemporary figure whom l have been fortunate to experience. Although l never got the chance to meet him face-to- face, it is evident that Fr Giuseppe Ambrosoli always wanted to please Jesus by serving the poor and the less fortunate; those brothers and sisters who did not have anything, especially, the sick. Ambrosoli cared for them with love and compassion because in so doing, he encountered Christ. He often prayed the Holy Rosary to ask the Virgin Mary for her intercession and help.

The bed he slept on is the same kind of bed l am using and looking at the simplicity of the house; it makes me conclude that Ambrosoli was an ordinary person who lived an extraordinary life. He was like you and I; like each one of us who before reaching the glory of heaven live a normal life, with joys and griefs, struggles and hopes. He was a man who lived a quiet, holy life without drawing attention to himself.

This personal experience of living in the same house of Ambrosoli or even using certain things that he used reminds me that the call to holiness is universal, given to each one of us at the time of our baptism. I think it’s not enough to talk about Ambrosoli but rather to ask myself do I really want holiness? Or do I content myself with being Christian without disgrace and without praise, who believes in God and esteem others? Blessed Ambrosoli points me to Jesus Christ by his words and example.

The light of hope that he stilled in the people of Kalongo shines and his memory will always remain in their hearts and minds. As a missionary, the light of Christ, which he reflected to one degree or another, illumines every person in Kalongo and it grows in intensity to me as an individual to accept my baptismal call to grow in holiness. Obviously, through the witness of his daily life, the choices he made, his willingness to sacrifice for the sake of others and his devotion to Christ. His words and examples are helpful guides to daily Christian living.

The secret of his success in navigating the dark and stormy seas of life is closeness to God through prayer. Joseph Ambrosoli was a man who knew how to

pray i.e. that before doing any operation in the hospital, he would first pray. He was a person who, in times of difficulty as well as in good times, raised his mind and heart to the Lord. He seeks God’s will in his life. He shared his hopes and frustrations with the people (and sometimes even his anger).

Through his prayer, he strived to be in constant contact with God. From my personal encounter and experience of what people remember of him, I feel that l will not always succeed in my intense desire to experience God’s closeness. However, l will need to endure periods when God appears to be absent from my life, when he seems not to respond to my petitions for humility, patience, purity and the power to do God’s will. In spite of these dry, discouraging periods, Fr Ambrosoli did not give up. He persisted in praising God and trusting in his mercy.

I thank God for the grace granted to me to live in the same house and in the same community of Ambrosoli in which he lived and served the poor to share and/or use certain material things. l pray for the grace to walk in his footsteps and to be a spark of the light of Christ in our world’s darkness today.

By SC. Robert Nsinga, MCCJ

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