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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Widow in the Dolomites

La Famiglia Cristiana often has a number of good and interesting stories. A glossy magazine. It`s a kind of Italian Catholic weekly without the sex and violence.

One story caught my eye.

Forty years ago, Signora Maria Heiss then aged 41 years, gave birth to her first son in the Town of Bolzano, Italy. The birth was difficult. She nearly died.

She decided she wanted to do something as a thanksgiving.

She found a magazine of a group of missionary nuns and decided that she wanted to do something for them.

Once out of hospital, she went to a jeweller`s shop, bought a chalice and sent it to Cameroon.

After a few months, she received a letter from Sister Assunta, one of the missionaries. The letter thanked her and sent over a photograph showing the priest celebrating Mass with the new chalice.

Another few months passed. Sister Assunta wrote to Signora Heiss again. The letter spoke of George. He was a poor young boy. He had just lost his father. He was very intelligent and wanted to study. However there was no money. In the letter there was a photo of George.

Maria Heiss decided to help. Eventually she persuaded her husband. Both sent over to Cameroon enough money for George to study for a year.

And so it went on. Each year they would send over more money to help George.

George became a priest. They continued to send money. This time George used it to help others.

Last year Pope Benedict XVI nominated George Nkuo bishop of the diocese of Kumbo.

Bishop Nkuo came over to Bolzano and met with Signora Heiss, now a widow.

Full story and photos here.