My main work now is welcoming people to the Basilica of Our Lady of Africa, three days a week. In fact, having lived so many years in Algeria, since 1959, and knowing several languages (Arabic, German, Italian and French), is a valuable asset to receive and inform visitors to this high point in Algeria.
I meet an average of 250 people per day, mostly Algerians who come to pray, because it is their Basilica! It has been completely restored two years ago, and since then, it is not unusual for delegations from the Middle East and other countries to come to visit.
Also the Basilica of Our Lady of Africa has become a place of international worship. Many moving testimonies show this, such as that of an old man arriving from Jerusalem who wanted to visit Our Lady of Africa again before he died. He had lived there during his youth!
The people are proud of this magnificent building and they like to show it off. This is also the only place in Algeria, where Christians and Muslims pray together.
The many friendships that I have always had with the people of the various communities of this country show me that it is possible to live in harmony with our Algerian brothers and sisters. Personally I love this job through which I am conscious of being a Christian presence in the midst of a Muslim world.
Sr. Gertrud, a native of Switzerland