My Personal Odyssey from Head to Heart.


John-Paul Ngabirano copieBy John-Paul Ngabirano

My heartfelt gratitude goes to God, my formators and fellow novices who accompanied me up to the end from the beginning of the spiritual year. It has been a nice experience with which I feel fulfilled. We started eighteen novices and ended seventeen. There are many factors that inspired us to be committed up to the end. That was observance of our community project that comprised five objectives: to know the will of God in my life, to deepen my relationship with Jesus, to live in a fraternal and intercultural community, to deepen the knowledge and charism of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa and to know who I am.

Community life was not so much spoken of but lived. The concern of the other fetched a kind of bond with cords that cannot be broken. Also, prayer and Jesus were at the centre of our stay, for we had much time of reflection, prayer, meditation, silence and retreats which helped us deepen our relationship with Jesus. In fact, at the end of the spiritual year there is one common word that comes so often on the tongue of each novice. And that is, “Jesus Christ” from whom priestly vocation precedes. We indeed grew and we continuously grow in knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ to him be glory in present and in eternity.

Kasama July 2017 02We had many occasions that brought a sense of joy and belonging. In order for us to belong, we took the clothing ceremony seriously “Gandoura day” which is our identity in the Society of the Missionaries of Africa. The knowledge of the society was deepened in looking forward to listening to wisdom of old and keeping the dreams and visions of the young. To have a proper foundation of all that is good in life there is one aspect that brings more sense to my life. A sense of being loved by God. Indeed, God cannot hate His own hand. The Ignatian spirituality led us to be committed, have inner freedom to all created things and to come to the realisation that we are loved sinners who need God’s mercy. And that is what we will share in our apostolic training as we go for our apostolic training, also called ‘stage’, of two years.

Be still and know that I am with you!

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A ‘Finale’ on 125 Years of Catholic Faith in Zambia – July 15, 2017.


By Everisto Mwelwa, M.Afr

125 years Catholic Church in Zambia 03
Catholics gather in the show ground during the celebration of the 125 years of the Catholic Church.

Logo 125 Catho ZambiaIt has taken a whole year of various celebrations to mark a hundred and twenty-five years since the Catholic faith was brought to Zambia by the missionaries in 1891. Part of the opening of these celebrations was the Eucharistic celebration held at Mambwe-Mwela on 6th August, 2016. It is at Mambwe-Mwela where the first missionaries settled down in the present day Republic of Zambia.

Catholic dioceses and parishes in Zambia held various celebrations to mark all these years of Catholic faith in Zambia. Kasama Archdiocese, as an example, closed the year with a Eucharistic celebration held at Chilubula (Mary Help of Christians Parish) on 24th June, 2017 on which day two deacons were ordained to priesthood.

For the national celebrations to mark the end of 125 years of Catholic faith in Zambia, two days were set aside in the Archdiocese of Lusaka. On Friday, the 14th July, 2017, all the roads were leading to Lusaka from all the Catholic dioceses in Zambia. This day was dedicated to the Catholic Youth. They had various activities and talks in the Cathedral of the Child Jesus (Lusaka) and then proceeded to the Agricultural Show grounds for the Eucharistic celebration. The youth and their patrons/matrons had a coloured procession of about three quarters of an hour accompanied by two musical bands. At the end of Mass, the Catholic bishops came to convey their wishes to the youth.

125 years Catholic Church in Zambia 07
VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina receives a present from Lusaka Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu during the 125 years commemoration of Catholicism in Zambia in Lusaka yesterday. PICTURE: CHANDA MWENYA

The final ‘finale’ was the Eucharistic celebration held in the Agricultural Show grounds of Lusaka. The Apostolic Nuncio, Most Rev Julio Murat, all the Zambian Catholic bishops and the two archbishops were present. Two bishops from Malawi and Zimbabwe also came. AMECEA sent a representative. The Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa, Fr. Stanley Lubungo, who happened to be in Zambia at that time also attended. Indeed, not fewer than twenty-five Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) were present!  The government of the Republic of Zambia was represented by the Vice-President, Inonge Wina, and several ministers.

The main celebrant of the Eucharist was the Apostolic Nuncio but the homily was delivered by the Archbishop of Lusaka, Telesphore-George Mpundu. In his homily, the Archbishop highlighted the dedication and self-giving of the early missionaries despite the difficulties, many of whom died in their early years of missionary life due to diseases. He urged the present day Catholics to take a leaf from them; quoting the theme of Mansa Diocese “We are the Missionaries of today”. Archbishop Mpundu urged Catholic faithful of today to be more self-reliant. He also underscored the holistic human developmental work carried out by the Catholic Church in Zambia.

One can easily estimate about five thousand Catholic faithful attended the celebration, not counting the priests and the religious.

Medal honour 125 years Catho Zambia JPEGAt the end of the celebration, medals were presented to the Catholic faithful who have dedicated to evangelisation. These were dedicated men and women, laity and religious. For the Missionaries of Africa, three confreres were decorated with medals, namely Henk van Kessel, Jean-Luc Gouiller and Robert Lavertu.

A colourful celebration to mark the ‘finale’ of 125 years of Catholic faith in Zambia.

Links:

Catholics, State pledge unity to fight for people

Catholics celebrate 125 years of existence in Zambia

AMECEA: Chairman applauds ZCCB for the 125 Anniversary of Catholic Faith in the Country

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Mafrwestafrica lettre du 28 juin 2017


Mafrwestafrica logoAujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site http://www.mafrwestafrica.net.

Actualités

« Pèlerinage aux saints d’Afrique en Suisse » une célébration annuelle dont le père Claude Maillard nous a envoyé des nouvelles (lire la suite)

« Toujours l’insécurité au Mali » 2 morts et des dizaines de civils évacués suite à une attaque près de Bamako (lire la suite)

« Approbation de G5 Sahel par le conseil de sécurité » un appui qui était attendu depuis longtemps. Mais qui va financer ? (lire la suite)

Témoignages 

« Fête des jubilaires à Bry sur Marne » jubilaires parmi lesquels ils sont nombreux à avoir vécu en Afrique de l’Ouest (lire la suite)

« Décès du père Joseph Olivaud » à l’âge de 94 ans, le 9 juin dernier. Lui aussi a passé de nombreuses années au Burkina, après treize ans en Guinée (lire la suite)

« Les Pères Blancs au Sénégal » un article rédigé par le père de Benoist, qui n’a pas encore été publié car il vient seulement d’être retrouvé dans les archives de l’auteur (lire la suite)

Dialogue interreligieux

« Islamophobie aux USA et en Grande Bretagne » les actes islamophobes sont en hausse aux Etats Unis comme au Royaume uni (lire la suite)

« Education contre le radicalisme » c’est par le biais d’une éducation bien conçue que les jeunes pourront acquérir une vision objective et humaine du monde et des autres (lire la suite)
« Les musulmans au défi de Daech » compte rendu d’un livre de deux auteurs musulmans, livre facile à lire et qui donne des perspectives d’ouverture (lire la suite)

« Vœux pour fin du ramadan » comme chaque année, plusieurs messages ont été envoyés par les églises locales pour la fin de ce temps de jeûne (lire la suite)

Justice et Paix

« Le film ‘Bayiri’, la ‘patrie’ » l’interview d’un cinéaste burkinabè qui a réalisé un film sur le problème que le retour dans la « patrie » pose, après de très longues années en Côte d’Ivoire (lire la suite)

« Journée mondiale des réfugiés » le 18 juin dernier, au moment de l’angélus, le pape s’est exprimé comme chaque année à cette occasion (lire la suite)

« Tchad : l’opposition dénonce la corruption » sur le site de RFI, cet article ainsi que trois autres au sujet de ce pays (lire la suite)

« Urgence humanitaire au Nigéria » 8,5 millions de personnes réparties dans les Etats de Borno, de l’Adamawa et de Yobe ont besoin d’une assistance urgente (lire la suite)

« Migrants portés disparus » dans le désert du Ténéré, au Niger, une cinquantaine de personnes en route vers la Libye sont portées disparues (lire la suite)

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Présidentielles Côte d’Ivoire 2020 ? » d’après Henri Konan Bédié, Guillaume Soro ne serait pas intéressé à proposer sa candidature (lire la suite)

« Kagame candidat aux présidentielles » Le président sortant, Paul Kagamé, a été désigné sans surprise candidat à l’élection présidentielle par son parti. Elections le 4 août prochain (lire la suite)

The Positivity of Humility.


Brother Patrick Nora, M.Afr, from Ghana but based in Tanzania gave us a spiritual and illuminating retreat in Kasama from May 8 till 16, 2017.

On the third day, there was something that retouched me on the theme of the Mercy of God.

patrick_mumbiBy Patrick Mumbi, M.Afr

Initially I wanted to have as title; ‘forgiveness and humility’. I had the sense that you cannot forgive without humility because the two go together and especially when forgiving someone who is not contrite for what he or she did to you. Those who killed Jesus or St. Stephen were not remorseful as they thought that they were doing a just act. Even terrorists might think so. But Christians must make a difference by not retaliating. They should instead pray even for those who persecute them (Mt 5:44). Our Master Lord Jesus Christ said; ‘if only you reserve your greeting to those you know what difference are you making, even pagans do the same, do they not (Mt 5: 47)’?

alan-kurdiOn the theme of forgiveness, others think otherwise, namely, one can forgive even without humility because forgiveness is a human thing and especially when one sees the other suffering. The human conscious cannot allow one to see the other in a situation of suffering no matter how coarse his or her heart is. The case in point is that of the closure of the borders to immigrants due to terrorism. When a baby boy called Alan Kurdi slipped from its mother’s hands in 2015 and was washed away by the current and landed on a Turkish beach, it sent shock waves and borders were opened for the immigrants. I agree to the fact that forgiveness is part of human nature. God has implanted it into every human heart. When we talk of sisterhood, brotherhood, freedom and indeed all the fruits of our nature and enterprise, they are all present to human nature in a mystery. For us, they are revealed in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and will be brought into full flower when the Lord returns (class notes on Grace). But there is more to why forgiveness hinges on humility. For me it is not only biblical/spiritual but also productive and positive.

The Christian aspect of forgiveness.

My spiritual director once asked me that when someone has insulted you or told you that you are a fool or stupid, who has to apologise? Off the cuff, my answer was: “the one who had insulted me”. To my surprise, he said no! You are the one who has to go and ask for forgiveness or reconciliation. You need to go in humility and ask him or her where you went wrong. This is being Christian. You need to go and ask to your brother or sister and say: my brother/sister, forgive me, I saw you angry with me. This will change your brother or sister’s heart who wronged you or insulted you. This is biblical as scripture says;

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Mt 5:24).

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil (Rm 12:17). Carefully, consider what is right in the eyes of everybody.”

“If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone.” (Rm 12:18).

This is the crux of the matter and why forgiveness calls for humility. It is Christian in the sense that it is not him who wronged you who should ask for forgiveness but it is you who was wronged, who needs reconciliation or to make peace.  We instead wait for the other person who has wronged us to come and apologise. If he or she does not come to me, I will never talk to that person. This can happen to priests, Church elders, leaders of lay groups such that they have never talked to each for ages because something happened between them. Such kinds of hatred have even brought divisions in the Church but people pretend not to bother.

But by taking the first step in humility (and as a Christian) you emulate God who took the first initiative to come and save humanity at the time when we had sinned. St. Paul writes: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. It is rare indeed for anyone to die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die” (Rm 5: 7). We did not go to him but he came to us.

However there are stumbling blocks to this, taking into account our human insecurities, pride and fear. There are fears that others will manipulate me or think that I am too cheap. Additionally, fear in the sense that other people look for the mistakes or weaknesses in other people so as to blow them up. The attitude of blowing up mistakes of others is a sign of insecurity. Likewise the fear of revealing one’s weaknesses is a sign of insecurity. There are insecurities on both sides. Insecurity also in the sense that others may take it as my weakness when I have already built up my self-esteem and I cannot bring myself so low.  But I have also a sense that humility is a feeling of courage when others are pigeonholing you without shaking. Humility is daring to listen to feelings, comments, shameful and awful aspects of oneself which probably I have denied and repressed from my life. This attitude I believe can move me to the level of self-acceptance and wholeness. I would like now talk about the positivity or productivity of humility.

Positivity of humility.

In communities, we live with people whom we do not like and those who do not like us. But how do you feel especially when you are not talking to each other and you have to face each other every so often? The world becomes small having to avoid them all the time. But when you forgive and reconcile you feel free and healed. Someone told me that forgiveness is like swallowing a bitter pill but it heals you. A grudge, on the other hand, sickens and kills you psychologically in the sense that you need a lot of negative energy or emotions to keep it going. You cannot go for a long time before it suffocates you. But if you let go with a lot of pain- if you go to that pain of letting go rather than avoid it, the Kingdom of God comes.

Humility helps to reach out to others strongly. The letter to the Philippians is a prime example of the positivity and productivity of humility of our Lord Jesus Christ (Phil 2:5-11). It says; “though he was God he did not cling to his divine nature but assumed the nature of a slave and through that he reached out to many people.” You know your rights and your importance but as a Christian, you forgive because you want reconciliation and reach out to other(s). It is much easier to talk and write about humility but quite hard to practise it in one’s life. Other people have responded to me by asking and challenging me saying; “what about the humility and forgiveness of you, Patrick”? In other words, I should not only write or talk about humility and forgiveness but I should put it into my life. Let me also talk about what humility is not.

Humility as different from low self-concept.

Humility actually builds up and elevates the self-image. Spiritual masters always tell us that the one who says I am sorry for my wrong doing, builds up self-esteem instead of being proud or putting up a wrong/false façade. Humility does not involve thinking less about yourself or having a negative view of yourself. When you forgive, it does not mean that others are much better than you. When you forgive you also respect the person you have forgiven. Humility involves letting go wholeheartedly and that is freeing. It is also composed of sacrifice, self-denial, fasting and going an extra mile or giving more than what was asked of.

Let me also quote another Bemba proverb about humility. It says that; “tobela tobela akafye inganda.”  The literal translation is that; “endless arguments leave people nowhere.” There needs to be at least one who gives up his or her position or each one of you moves half way so as to bring up peace.  Sticking to one’s position without any movement will not solve any problem. It requires one to relinquish his or her position. For example, one can say; “I am the president” and another says, “I do not recognise your presidency”. If the two sides perpetually stick to their positions, nothing will materialise in terms of peace or reconciliation. Whereas humility is attractive, arrogance is repulsive. You cannot feign humility just as a drunkard cannot feign sobriety.

Therefore, humility does not mean that you look down on yourself. But humility is different from low self-concept, esteem or low locus of evaluation. Forgiveness is not completely due to the realisation of human contingencies or that I am a sinner therefore I need to forgive; this is self-pity. Realisation of one’s contingency or sinfulness could be a step towards forgiveness. Jesus was not a sinner but he forgave those who killed him.

Do not intimidate the offender.

Is it not right to say that preventing humiliating the offender breaks the circle of violence? In being offended we carry with us a lot of anger in our chest believing that the offender must be punished, crushed and feel the pinch of his or her offence. But what actually are we doing to them? Haven’t we created a psychological warfare or created a spirit of vindictiveness in them which will never end? It is part of human nature that even if people have sinned or offended they should not be intimidated but need respect and experience softness in order to foster the attitude of change. Besides there are some people who may not be ready even to relinquish their pride. They would prefer to die with their pride other than swallowing it while others may be shy or find it humiliating by being forgiven.

Les misérablesYou remember in that film “Les misérables” how the pursuant asked his enemy why he did not kill him but forgave him. In other words, he was telling him: “who told you to forgive me”. Sometimes, I am led to think that it is the poor and the humble who appreciate forgiveness. In this world where people have acquired a variety of statuses in forms of richness, education, political mileage, etc. humility to accept forgiveness will be hard to come by. It is up to the victim or the offended to be humble to forgive.

Humility in valuing others or seeing goodness in others.

There was a woman who came to me and said she lent a lot of money to her friend and for many years she asked for that money but to no avail. Her friend always told her that she would give it back to her but she did not. In the end, she just gave up her pursuit of that money for the sake of friendship. There are similar examples of that nature such as giving up the debts, the land, and property helplessly. But is this forgiveness? Wouldn’t it be much better to tell the other one that I have forgiven you, so that the other does not look down when you meet face to face?

Scripture says that humility consists in valuing others above yourself. I quote: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition, or vain conceit but rather think of others as better than you.(Phil 2:3). St. John of the Cross said that rejoice in the goodness of others as if it were your own, desiring that they be given precedence over you in all things. In other words, try to see goodness in other people. This is very difficult especially when you are at loggerheads with them. It is even harder to see goodness in people who pride themselves.

I would like to quote a Bemba proverb or a tale which says something about humility. It says that friendship started by ‘help me look for my arrow’ = Icibusa catampile muli mfwailako umufwi. In the process of helping the other to look for his arrow, the two boys became friends. If it was not for loving humility, the other boy would have gone home and not have spent hours looking for the lost arrow.

Barak Obama PNGLet me also talk about another side of humility. Probably other people may find some truth or meaning in it. There is one thing I liked about Obama’s character. When people talked ill about him such as calling him a nigger and what, he just smiled and laughed. I found that healing instead of having to defend oneself and arguing. If you know who you are, why should you worry about negative remarks people make about you? (ukukuntikilwa = to worry about negative remarks.) We are very quick at defending ourselves whenever people say something negative about us. When I was doing the course of psychotherapy there was a day in a week which was strictly dedicated to each person. Fellow students would point at each and every defect they have known about the person and the person is supposed to keep quiet. Knowing one’s weakness in humility is also empowering. But some students would end up crying all day thinking that others do not like them.

There are some people in this world, when you meet them, you feel like a human being, empowered and magnanimous. This is not pretence or that they are putting up a façade but it is just the way they are. I also believe that we can heal people simply by the way we are. It is the phenomenon which the psychologists call ‘participation mystique’ = when what we are experiencing from inside is in resonance with what is happening from outside. You are truthful to other people in your relationship and forgiveness.

CarlRogersI like what Carl Rogers said which I think is related to healing and it comes from conscious forgiveness. Rogers said: “If only I can be real, if only I can be transparent, if only I can get in touch with my inner self so that the other can see through me that I am not holding anything back, then process of therapy can begin to take place” (Rogers, 1959). In this case forgiveness is coupled with honest and respect of someone, and honouring of that person (hyperecho to elevate/hold above in Greek). It is not pretence or demeaning of someone like; “I have forgiven you, little mosquito”. People are not fools, they can see through whether you have forgiven them or not. If you haven’t, they will always walk with a guilty conscious and will never look into your eyes.

In conclusion. 

We are born in different settings with different upbringing and humility may not be part of our life. Some people are lucky by being born with humility. But if we can train for transformation we can as well train or learn to be humble. We can start by appreciating others; delight in the success of others. All in all, in my view, forgiveness is positive and hinges on true humility.

THE POSITIVITY OF HUMILITY1

Souvenir of a very special meal.


pere-jacques-hamelBy Christophe Boyer, M.Afr

End of April 2017, I was back from holidays in France where the islamo-christian dialogue has improved a lot since the martyrdom of Father Jacques Hamel during mass in a church. Of their own initiative Muslims have come to Church to show their opposition to violence and intolerance.

Toni RowlandI was wondering what could be done here in South Africa. One day I received a phone call from Toni Rowland who is in charge of the family apostolate at the South African Catholic Bishops Conference. She asked me to advise her about a Muslim invitation since I am a contact person for islamo-christian relations at the SACBC. I was lifted up by this answer to my question.

We went together to meet Ayhan Cetin the CEO of the Turquoise Harmony Institute. He told us that this year the Institute invites people motivated to inter religious dialogue to share the breaking of the fast in a Muslim family. Toni had already gone with the Institute to visit Turkey. We said it is a very good project and emailed the invitation to Catholics who might be interested. Toni went to such an iftaar and was delighted meeting such a diversity of people. So I asked Michel Meunier of Canada and George Okwii of Uganda, my two fellow priests in Edenglen if they would be interested in such an invitation. They answered without hesitations.

Then I registered on the Facebook page of the Institute and received an answer within the week with the professional assistance of Ayhan and his secretary. The 12th June at 17:30, we arrived at Sermin and Turker Isler’s flat not far from Nizamiye mosque. We were immediately warmly welcomed by them and three neighbours. I gave in an envelope the message of the Vatican for the Feast of the Sacrifice at end of the Ramadan and a small box of mint green tea. We sat with our three male hosts. The food was tasty and rich. We closed the meal with black tea.

Nizamiye mosque 2The conversation was lively: our respective lives, work, politics, soccer… One and the other went for a prayer at the end of the meal. Finally, after thanking the mistress of the house we moved at the invitation of our three male counterparts to the beautiful pastry parlour of the mosque. On the way we could admire the illuminated mosque in the night.

We were happily surprised to meet Uncle Ali, the builder of the mosque and the boss of the pastry who sat at table with us. There was another round of very refined Turkish delights one of them being hot ice cream…  The conversation became more spiritual. We need such table fellowship to anticipate the one at the end of the world when there will be universal love without discrimination of religion, race, gender, wealth or culture. We promised to follow up with other similar encounters even with the youth and during worship. We parted with a precious new memory in our hearts.

Souvenir of a very special meal

Link: Visit of Nizamiye mosque on Tuesday 5th July 2016.

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 16 juin 2017


Mafrwestafrica logoAujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site http://www.mafrwestafrica.net.

Actualités

« Ordinations dans la province d’Afrique Occidentale » les noms de ceux qui seront ordonnés prêtres et diacres en cette année 2017 (lire la suite)

« Missionnaire d’Afrique en Afrique de l’Ouest » une mise à jour des listes des missionnaires dans la Province, et de ceux qui en sont originaires (lire la suite)

« Blaise Compaoré sera-t-il jugé ? » quelques informations et articles sur le site de la revue « Jeune Afrique » (lire la suite)

Témoignages

« Nouvel évêque de Ghardaia » c’est Mgr John McWilliam qui remplace Mgr Claude Rault comme évêque du Sahara (lire la suite)

« Jeûner au Nord de l’Europe » difficile de suivre les règles du ramadan, quand le soleil reste visible 22 heures sur 24 (lire la suite)

« Vivre la mission aujourd’hui » au Nigéria pour ce Missionnaire d’Afrique originaire de Tanzanie, qui est à la fois curé de paroisse et travaillant pour JPIC (lire la suite)

« Communauté témoin à Lubumbashi » un texte de Theobald Muchunguzi, originaire de Tanzanie et qui témoigne après 7 ans dans la paroisse Ste Bernadette (lire la suite)

Dialogue interreligieux

« Féministes musulmanes en Indonésie » deux personnes sont citées, Raden Ajeng Kartini, décédée en 1904, et Zainah Anwar, fondatrice de Sisters in islam  (lire la suite)

«  Œcuménisme », pour la fête du patriarche œcuménique de Constantinople Bartholomée Ier, le pape François lui a fait parvenir un message (lire la suite)

« Femmes et dialogue interreligieux » sur le journal « La Croix » la contribution des femmes au dialogue interreligieux ne doit pas se limiter aux approches domestiques (lire la suite)

Justice et Paix

« Plus de justice au Mali ? » un effort de lutte contre la corruption, une loi prévue pour réviser la constitution, mais une opposition se manifeste (lire la suite)

« Film de Pierre Yameogo sur la Côte d’Ivoire » un cinéaste burkinabè exprime sa colère contre ce pays dans lequel tant de ses compatriotes vivent (lire la suite)

« Menaces contre les écoles au Mali » dans le centre du Mali, des centaines d’écoles ferment à cause de l’insécurité (lire la suite)

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Force du G5 Sahel ? » Que penser de cette force de lutte contre le djihadisme ? L’Amérique et la Grande Bretagne ne sont pas partants…(lire la suite)

« Pétrole au Tchad » le gouvernement tchadien et le consortium pétrolier qui exploite le bassin de Doba se sont entendus, vendredi 9 juin, à N’Djamena (lire la suite)

« Médecine par internet au Mali » une nouveauté intéressante dans ce pays pour permettre aux gens de prendre leur rendez-vous médicaux par internet (lire la suite)

Priestly ordinations Lusaka-Montreal.


Priestly ordinations Lusaka-Montreal.

By Serge St-Arneault, M.Afr. Director of the Afrika Centre, Montreal.

Ordination Cathedral of the Child Jesus May 27 2017 01On May 27, 2017, I was privileged to take part of the priestly ordination of 14 new priests, among them some Jesuits and Capuchins together with diocesan priests. Two thousands Christians gathered inside the Cathedral of Child Jesus in Lusaka vibrated along the beautiful liturgy by expressing its joy, especially when the names of all those ‘handsome’ young men, according to one of the speakers, were announced.

It happened on the day before my final departure from Zambia. I took off again from Lilongwe on Wednesday to arrive in Montreal on June 1 at noon time. By then, I was very far away from Africa where I lived 25 out of my last 30 years of life.

banniere_anime Centre AfrikaI went home, meaning to my mothers’ place, after few days at St-Hubert Street where I will be stationed by August 1 as Director of the Afrika Centre. Though still on holiday, I wanted to come back to Montreal yesterday to be present this morning to the priestly ordination of a Cameroonian into the Archdiocese of Montreal. Reverent Claude Ngodji was ordained by Mgr. Christian Lépine in a church dedicated to Our Lady of Africa.

Notre-Dame-dAfrique Montréal 02This Catholic Mission is celebrating its 4th year of existence. This community brings together Africans from all over French Speaking African countries who have settled all over Montreal Island. Four major trends make this community special: fraternal gathering, meaningful liturgy, education into faith and opening to a changing world.

I am grateful to witness such great moments into the life of the Church. Free, I went to Africa at the age of 26 in 1981, I feel also free to come back to my mother land today. My joy is to see that Africa is no longer a remote and unknown far distant land but very much present in Montreal with its vibrant faith and hope.

Ordiantion Claude Ngodji

See also the translation into French:

Espace Perso Serge logo

Let us rejoice with Hervé Tougma who will be ordained priest on June 1, 2017 in Burkina Faso.


Carte ordination 1- 2017 frontShalom,

Recevez mes salutations de Jérusalem. Je viens par ce présent mail vous faire part de mon ordination presbytérale qui aura lieu le 1er Juillet prochain au Burkina Faso. Bonne fête de Pentecôte!  

Shalom,

Greetings from Jerusalem. I wish to share with you the news about my priestly ordination which will take place on July 1 in Burkina Faso. Happy Pentecost Feast!

Hervé TOUGMA, Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), St Anne’s Church P.O. Box 19079, 19 Lions’ Gate Street (near Lions’ Gate), 91190 Jerusalem (Old City)

Carte ordination 2- 2017 back

Closing 2016-2017 Intake of Pre First Phase in Chipata, Zambia


Intake Chipata 2017bBy Rodgers Mwansa: Missionaries of Africa Student.

I was privileged to be part of the ceremony that took place at Lavigerie house in Chipata. Among the clear and worth learning ideas that came from different speakers, I found it valuable to share some sentiments that came from the Bishop of Chipata Diocese, George Zumaile Lungu.

THEY EDUCATED US IN FAITH

(We are the products of the missionaries of Africa)

“We awe sincere gratitude to the Missionaries of Africa for having brought the faith to Chipata. What else should we say than thanking them greatly, pray for them and the fruit of faith they have planted in us” (Bishop)? In the process of uttering the above words, Bishop Gorge Zumaile Lungu was pleased with the presence of the Missionaries of Africa in his diocese.

BEING FORMED IN THE AFRICAN POT

(Missionaries of Africa Brewed in an African clay-pot)

Just from his articulation and facial expression one could easily feel a sense of joy in the heart of Bishop George Zumaile Lungu. The Bishop in his words expressed gladness and appreciation to the Society of the Missionaries of Africa for placing a formation House in his diocese. Again he was pleased to discover that his Christians are proudly involved in the formation of young men in readiness for the mission. In as far as the Missionaries of Africa participated in the education of faith in Chipata diocese, George Zumaile Lungu believes that today, the hands of his Christians are forming Missionaries of Africa. The above was in recognition of the families who, without hesitation, opened their doors to welcome Missionary of Africa students in their families.  The Bishop believes that the period students stay in families is as well an experience of formation and transformation. Again he was proud of some Christians who dedicated their time to go and teach some courses in Lavigerie formation house. For him, all the involvement of his Christian families is being part of the formation team and that is what he calls brewing a Missionary of Africa in an African clay-pot.

ROASTED IN THE HEAT OF OCTOBER AND SOILED IN THE MUD OF DECEMBER

(Quoting one of the missionaries)

“I am the commander in chief of this diocese. As a commander I have to know where big fire is coming from. So I will be careful in the manner in which I locate responsibilities. For you Missionaries of Africa always remember your first charism; primary evangelization”. In saying these words, the bishop encouraged the young men who finished candidate course to take formation more serious because the task ahead is not for frail individuals in as far as Missionary life is concerned. He emphasized that the society they were joining has a charism that has no jokes at all hence, adequate preparation and prayer is a necessary value. 

With the above recognition and recommendations from the Bishop, I consider being reminded of the Missionaries of Africa purpose and keeping the zeal that was born at the beginning of this society.  In respect for time and space, the society is playing significant roles that maybe acknowledged and appreciated in little occasions. In all mission involvements, Glory to God for inspiring Cardinal Charles Lavigerie and the entire Society of the Missionaries of Africa with the continuing concern for salvation and wellbeing of humanity.

AT THE OCCASION OF THE CLOSURE OF CANDIDTE COURSE IN CHIPATA

Our Mission Newsletter Edition No 12 – South Africa


Pontfical So 02-2017 logoDear Friends,

I sincerely hope that you are experiencing the peace and joy of the Risen Christ during this Liturgical Season of Easter.

Jesus’ Resurrection is the event central to our Faith and we need to spend time in reflection and prayer for the extent of its reality to take effect in our daily lives. This season should challenge us to see to what extent the Risen Lord has impacted our lives, are we people of hope, of joy, of peace? The realities of life no matter how burdening and complex should not be what dominates our existence. Jesus’ victory over sin and death should set us free from the “slaveries” that imprison us and stop us from reaching our full potential and true happiness.

Eastertide is a time for rejoicing and celebrating our redemption in Christ Jesus, however it would often appear that we find it easier to live the periods of Lent and Advent than that of Easter and Christmas – do we find reflecting on our sinfulness and need for conversion easier than that of celebrating our new life in Christ?

Xt copieAs we now move to the celebration of the Ascension of our Lord it is important for us to recall the last words of Jesus to his disciples: “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19) – this so called “Great Commission” must not be overlooked or taken lightly by us, the disciples of Jesus. This is the last wish, the final instruction of the Master to us and this should indicate how important it was for Him and should also be for us. This needs to become our priority focus with regard to our Christian faith. If we are not evangelizing, bringing the Good News and liberation of Christ to others, then we have missed the very reason for our existence as Christians, the very essence of our Faith.

The Resurrection message needs to be made manifest to all people of all times and this is only possible when you and I do our part in living the Gospel values and are witnesses of the living Christ.

The stark reality is that the so many people live without a notion or experience of Jesus Christ in their lives. Many because they have never heard the Good News of Christ proclaimed to them, others because the witness they have received from so-called Christians has not been convincing and others still, due to indifference or hardened hearts. We as Missionary Disciples need to tirelessly proclaim the love and mercy of Jesus Christ to our world of today. We need also to support the universal missionary efforts of the Church by praying for and supporting the Missions and the Missionaries.

May the Holy Spirit whom we await in the celebration of Pentecost awaken in us that same missionary spirit of the early Church that we read about in the Acts of the Apostles.

Gordon Rees

Fr. Gordon Rees mccj, National Director, Missio SACBC / PMS -South Africa, Botswana & Swaziland

Our Mission12

History of the beginning of the Catholic Church in Zambia in Chipata, Eastern Province.


Meeting of all Priests of Chipata Diocese April 2-5, 2017 at the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Catholic Church in Zambia.

History Catho Church ZambiaBy Fr. Jean-Luc Gouiller, M.Afr 04/04/ 2017

On the page one of the “History of the Catholic Church in Zambia” by Fr. Hugo Hinfelaar, in 2004, we read: “1891 is often considered the year when the Catholic Church was established in our part of Africa now called Zambia when the Missionaries of Africa settled near Mambwe Mwela. But the people of Zambia had been in contact with Catholic Christendom from the beginning of the eighteen century onwards. (…)

The Portuguese-speaking Dominical Missionaries had arrived around 1730 in a market place known as Feira by the Portuguese, situated at the confluence of the Luangwa River and the Zambezi River, near the District Centre of present day Luangwa. (…)

By then, the Chiti mukulu dynasty had been established in Bembaland which had had some contact with Christianity. Their Paramount Chiefs claimed to have come from Kasai in the Congo with some of the sacred relics of Catholic Portuguese origin. (…)

Some Catholic Christians came from India. We know that after Jesus’s departure some of his apostles went to India to bring the Good News of Jesus, the most well-known of them being St Thomas. A place in India became well-known for its Catholics: Goa. This is how, in the 18th century, some Dominican Friars from Goa came to Mozambique as missionaries. Some Catholic priests would come to administer the sacraments and teach catechism. (…)

In 1754, still from India, some resident parish priests came to Mozambique to be in charge of the station of Zumbo. A certain Fr. Pedro, from Goa, became very well known. People would say of him that he had planted the tree of the Holy Gospel. All this very near what is now Zambia, and certainly at times in Zambia. One day, Fr Pedro even met somebody in authority called Mazombwe, whom he wanted to stay with. Fr Pedro was also a medicine man. He died in 1751. His funeral attracted many people, apparently thousands of Cewa, Nsenga, Bisa, and Kunda people. (…)

When the well-known Protestant missionary explorer Livingstone passed where Fr. Pedro had been he still found the remnants of his church and a broken bell. (…)

At the beginning of the 1880s, the Jesuit missionaries opened a small mission among the valley Tonga at Mwembe and visited the Litunga, Lewanika, King of the Lozi at Lealui. However, because of a lot of setbacks, sicknesses and deaths, they abandoned their project a few years after. (…)

Another example around 1798: On the “Danger Hill” road, north of Mpika, a monument has been erected in remembrance of the journey of the Portuguese explorer Jose Maria Delacerda el Almaida. On a board we read this: Was Dr in mathematics, some time he was the royal astronomer in Lisbon, Portugal, Governor of a region in Mozambique and leader of an expedition to cross Africa. Later he also established a chain of fortified trading posts between Mozambique and Angola. He had set out from Tete with a large party including nine Europeans to reach the town of Chief Kazembe, a very well-known Chief at the south of lake Mweru. But he fell sick and died of exhaustion. His diary gives us the first accurate account of the country and its people of the Eastern part of “Northern Rhodesia in Zambia. The expedition returned to Tete under a Father Pinto. (…)

In the Bangweolo there is the mention of a very gentle person, Luchere Nganga, from Brazil, who went to many places helping people to forget about their differences and jalousies. One day he disappeared after having said, it seems, that another one, apparently a missionary (or several of them) would come in the future dressed in white.”

Cardinal_LavigerieNow let us see the position of Cardinal Lavigerie, Bishop of Algiers and founder of the Missionaries of Africa in 1868, and of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Africa in 1869, first called “The Agricultural and Hospital Sisters”. Little by little, Lavigerie was getting ready to send his Missionaries in Central Africa.

In 1878, a group of three set out for Central Africa by a long way which they thought safe, accompanied by guides apparently very cooperative. But, in a desert, they killed the three Missionaries. Three more Missionaries followed another new way and were also killed. It was clear that another way to go to Central Africa would need to be found. This is what was planned for 1889.

Cardinal Lavigerie sent four Missionaries to the South of Malawi. These were: Fr. Adolphe Lechaptois, Fr. Valentin Heutebize, a Brother builder Antoine Verkuelen and Fr. Joseph Mercui. They were sent to a place where they could probably meet some Portuguese Christians. They arrived at Mponda on 28th December 1889, but at a time when they were some troubles between two groups of colonisers: the English and the Portuguese. The area had just been declared a “British Protectorate”. The newly arrived Missionaries were in a dilemma.

Great Britain’s plan (ambition) was to be “at home” from Cape Town in the South to Kairo in the North. Hence the name of “Cairo Road” given to a street of Lusaka town in present Zambia. The Portuguese had another ambition: they had been in that part of Africa since the 16th century. They too felt at home over there. They wanted to link together for themselves the East of Central Africa, Mozambique, with the West: Congo and especially Angola.

However, in the meantime, the four Missionaries had started some activities, especially caring for the sick and organising a school for young people, which they very much enjoined. But on the other hand the Missionaries were not at ease with the local Chief “Mponda” and some of his people.

A decision had to be taken: to go elsewhere. Lavigerie himself, from afar, had realised that the members of another denomination had been campaigning against the Catholic Missionaries, and Chief Mponda was disappointed because he had not received guns or whatever else from the Missionaries of Africa.

ob_8b5b72_siege-de-la-african-lakes-companyThe new plan of Lavigerie was to ask the four Missionaries to go to Karema in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). So the four Missionaries left Mponda in June 1891 by boat towards Karonga on the shore of Lake Malawi. Then they were to travel by following the “Stevenson” Road up to Lake Tanganyika. With the help of an Englishman agent of the African Lakes Company, they gathered a large group of men to protect them and help them carry their luggage. On their journey, men, women and children whose villages had been destroyed by the slave traders, joined them.

They were well received when passing through the village of Chief Mambwe. However, by then, the young Fr. Heurtebise had contacted a bad malaria. He was very sick and his companions were afraid that he would not survive. Providentially, they found a place called in Chimambwe “mwela”, meaning “wind”, because it is in a high place and with a cold weather. They settled in a shed built but then abandoned by the African Lake Company. In July 1891, because of the sickness of Fr. Heurtebise, they began to organise a place as if it was to become a Mission Post. Brother Anton began to build a house for the Missionaries and started a garden while Fr. Heurtebise, feeling better, started to instruct a number of people using the little they knew of Kiswahili, Chichewa and Chimambwe. That was a beginning of evangelisation in Zambia.

cropped-mambwe-mwila-06-08-2016-18-jpeg.jpgMambwe-Mwela becomes a Mission.

 During that time Fr. Lechaptois managed to travel as far as Karema (in Tanganyika) to inform the other missionaries of their intention of establishing a permanent Mission post at Mambwe-Mwela. He dedicated the new Mission to Mary, Our Lady of the Angels. Fr. Heurtebise, sick with malaria, was persuaded to go back home in France. Fr. Lechaptois was appointed Superior of the Missions in Tanganyika, where he would become a Bishop later. He was replaced in Mambwe- Mwela by Fr. Depaillat.

At the end of the rainy season, in May 1892, their new house was hit by lightning. The grass roof burned down. However, more and more visitors (traders, hunters, explorers) were coming to see them seeking accommodation for a night or two. Unfortunately, problems were developing in the area around Mambwe-Mwela, as the Mission was squeezed between the territory controlled by the British South Africa Company and the Tanganyika Territory.

During that period, a new Father, Achille van Oost, arrived and saw the difficult situation of this new Mission Post. He then began to look further South, in the Bemba country, for a new foundation. In January 1894 he succeeded in establishing a first contact, and then a second, with Chief Makasa, explaining to him that he was a God’s messenger. It impressed the Chief, who, in March 1895 offered him to settle to Kayambi. Unhappily, Fr. Achille van Host died on 20th April 1895. His grave is at Mambwe- Mwela. But the idea of building a Mission in Kayambi remained in spite of a fear that Chief Chiti Mukulu would not approve it. He accepted it.

In May 1895, Fr. Lechaptois, Bishop in Tanganyika, came to bring a successor to Fr. Van Host: Fr. Joseph Dupont who would be nicknamed “Motomoto”. Together they visited Chief Makasa. Fr. Dupont immediately took up the challenge of setting up the new foundation of Kayambi. But it was not a simple project, they would have to move with more than two hundred people (some of them orphans of parents killed in war) who lived with them at Mambwe- Mwela. Some others were young men and women who had been prisoners of war and were bought as slaves from various chiefs by the Arab slave traders, but who had been redeemed by the missionaries.

Two months later, in July 1895, the Missionaries, together with their people, started on their journey to Chief Makasa village first. The Chief was not very happy with so many people but Fr. Dupont showed his bravery and strength of character until Chief Makasa allowed them all to move to Kayambi. So, July 1895 became the date of birth of the first permanent Mission post of the Diocese of Chipata and even Zambia as a whole.

Development of the Diocese of Chipata.

Bishop Dupont (Motomoto) was ever ready to advance the development where he was at ease, mostly at first in the Bemba area, just as the Abemba were also very at ease with Motomoto. In 1895 he was sent to Nyasa. (Nyasa was the name given by the Yao people to lake Malawi). Motomoto was consecrated Bishop on 15th August 1895 in Kayambi.

Regularly, at first, new Missionaries would arrive in the country, learn the language spoken where they were posted and get involved in the evangelisation of the people they were sent to, and work in the various activities needed.

In 1899, after some teaching in France, the French Father Mathurin Guilleme was sent first to Zanzibar to take charge of the ‘procure’ and receive the newcomers or those going on leave. There, with his own eyes, Fr. Guilleme saw the horrors of the slave trade. He used some funds of the Holy Childhood and of St Peter Claver to buy back some 1500 boys and girls, including from Congo. In 1899, Fr. Guilleme founded Chilonga. Later he was asked to replace Bishop Dupont who had gone to France for rest. While acting as Bishop, Fr. Guilleme founded Chiwamba, Mua, Kachebere, Nguludi and Kambwiri. These new foundations nicely gave life to the southern part of Nyasa.

On 24th February 1911, Fr. Guilleme was chosen to succeed Bishop Dupont. Something new and very appreciated by all, happened sometime later in January 1913: Bembaland called “Bangweolo” was entrusted to Fr. Étienne Larue, while the Southern part kept the name of “Apostolic Vicariate of Nyasa”, under Mathurin Guilleme. All would be less under pressure. Fr. Guilleme was ordained Bishop in Baudouinville (Congo) on 18th June 1911. Nyasa had had five Mission stations and the new episcopal residence was Bembeke. Bishop Guilleme decided to found a station to the West of Kachebere: Mphangwe. Until that time the “Shire” in what is now Malawi was still served by the Apostolic Vicariate of Nyasa. Little by little it would be only in the hands of the Montfort Fathers, whom Bishop Dupont had called for, without really referring the matter to Rome. But it was finally recognised by Rome.

The First World War diminished the number of Missionaries since some were called as army chaplains. When the war was over, Bishop Guilleme was able to realise one of his dreams: to open a Mission in Sengaland: Minga Mission. He also founded more Missions in Nyasaland.

By the time Bishop Guilleme was 76 years old, he had the consolation of ordaining his successor, Father Oscar Julien. Bishop Guilleme died on 7th April 1942, at 82 years saying; “Into your hands I commend my spirit, ô Lord”.

When Bishop Julien (“Juliere”) started his work, his diocese was a new arrangement of various Vicariates. Bishop Julien had to get used as to which places or peoples of his Vicariate were in; Malawi or Zambia. Moreover, in the North of his Vicariate, the new “Mission sui Juris” of Luangwa was also a little in the same situation; they even had an “Itinerant Catechist school” to make it easier to serve all people. But being given the shape of his Vicariate, as soon as Bishop Julien took charge of it, he transferred his headquarters to Kachebere in order to be within easy reach of all his Missionaries scattered in the various parishes. Between Minga and Naviruli, after having bought a farm he opened Chassa Mission in May 1936. In 1935, he organised and held a synod to discuss Catholic Action, the foundation of a postulate for indigenous Brothers and a common policy to be followed in the different Missions. In fact, they realised that they somehow were in advance concerning Catholic action. Concerning a novitiate for indigenous Brothers, it was thought difficult, at such a point that after some time the effort did not have a happy ending. In 1944 he went home for a long rest. Rome accepted to release him.

On the 1st of July 1937, the Roman Congregation for the Propagation of Faith made a decree, establishing a new ecclesiastical unit made up of Lundazi District which until then had been part of the Luangwa sui juris and the new Apostolic Prefecture of Fort Jameson as well as Petauke District which it received from the Vicariate of Nyasa. This territory was exactly what the Eastern Province of Zambia would be after independence.

Obviously, the rearrangement done for the new Apostolic Prefecture of Fort Jameson of which Monsignor Martin was made the Prefect in 1937, was a very significant arrangement. It was making it possible to have an easier and better unity between people having the same political boundaries, the same administrations or syllabuses in school, a greater unity between the different parishes. Though reluctant to accept his appointment at first, Monsignor Martin worked hard until 1947 to bring unity in his Prefecture and prepare for the future.

At the arrival of Bishop Firmin Courtemanche and later Bishop Medardo Mazombwe and nowadays Bishop George Lungu, and his Auxiliary Bishop Benjamin Phiri, the Diocese did not need big readjustments. But it was and still is the time for new Congregations or Societies to come and enrich the Diocese with their own charisma, the time also for new parishes, to give the chance to many faithful to gather nearer their homes.

                                                           —————————————–

History of the Catholic Church in Zambia, considering the whole country.

The Jesuits Missionaries

After their first attempt to go as Missionaries especially in the West and South West of Zambia, they let a few years pass and they tried again. Fathers involved:  Frs Prestige, Moreau and Torrend in particular.

The first place they chose to become a Mission was Chikuni, not far from Chisekesi in the north of it.  They found plenty of land around near the Magoye River. The BSA (British South African Company) gave them a freehold contract.

Once the routine of evangelisation had started around Chikuni itself, they took the decision to continue northwards to possibly find another Mission place starting from the Ngwerere River. One day, the unbelievable happened. The team of walking Missionaries had with them a young man called Francis Borja, whom they had saved from raiders. As they walked their way forward on the road, some people walking in the other direction met them. Then they recognised in the first group their own son walking with the Missionaries. It was him indeed, what a joy for the parents (He was lost but now found!). What a surprise for all, a great sign of the Providence.

Then after the joyful encounter, the Missionaries went on walking and walking until they found a site fitting, according to their desires for a second foundation. The people called the place Kasisi. It was about 230 km from Chikuni.

The group started building provisional shelters, preparing a place for a garden and making a small dam. It was Christmas time. Some people living there build a small chapel. Later they would build schools. Some other local people gave the Missionaries a dozen heifers and some oxen to start with. Not far away a certain place called “Rusangu” had already been taken by the 7th Day Adventist Church. The Providence was with them all.

On Kasisi and Chikuni, Frs Moreau and Torrend have always insisted on improving agriculture, especially by using cattle for ploughing. From long ago the Tongas are proud of their cattle, still more then because of the help it can give for development.

Other foundations within Zambia by the Missionaries of Africa in the Luapula: Lubwe: 1895-1905.

Some Missionaries of Africa were appointed to Chilubi Island. People had heard about the good work they had done elsewhere. They were happy to receive them. One well-known Father was Fr. Foulon.

Straight away they started meeting the people around in the small or big islands in Lake Bangweolo. With the Montfort Fathers helping in Nyasa, some Missionaries of Africa had become free for the Bangweolo. So the Luapula Province was going forward. The building of Kapatu and Chibote was done at that time.

During the first decade of the 20th century, the Missionaries of Africa founded no fewer than seven mission stations. The Jesuit Missionaries did the following foundations: Katondwe, Kapoche and Ching’ombe near the Eastern Province. Eight White Sisters arrived in Zambia to start a convent in Kayambi. Other Sisters, of Notre-Dame of Namur, arrived at Chikuni.

But the First World War which started in 1914 made life difficult and some Fathers had to return to France as soldiers in the trenches. Some years after the end of the war, the ideology of the “Indirect Rule” was pushed through.

During the 1930s, a wave of Catholic Missionaries arrived in Northern Rhodesia. It has been an important decade of the history of the Missions: arrival of Franciscan Friars and some missionaries from Poland. Chikuni school became an educational Centre. Still during the 1930s, the Missionaries of Africa established themselves more than before in the North of Zambia, in town. The Conventual Franciscans came to Ndola. Seeing the “Barotseland” in need, the Capuchins arrived. Groups of Brothers and Sisters came for schools and other types of formation helpful for the development of the country.

Then, a bit too fast, came the Second World War which had some serious repercussions for the Missions because it meant cutting off both personnel and money. It was a time of great financial difficulties. However, it must be recognised that the two World wars have made things and people also change for the better. But the Lenshina independent Church was a dramatic experience.

With the coming back of peace, Christian life had started growing in towns. The formation of the local clergy, Priests and Sisters, was getting organised, putting into practice what Pope Pius XI had asked for in the past, the “plantare Ecclesia”. Catechists and laity joined in, and the local hierarchy was taking its place. Little by little a Catholic Secretariat was being organised to guide both the clergy and the lay people.  The coming of Independence, 1950-1964 and after, was a challenge to all. The growing Church could not let that time pass without getting involved in the development happening in the country and in planning for the future. The national Office of Social Education, started by Fr. Calmettes, helped people to understand the numerous declarations.

Indeed, like the country as a whole, the Church also was “coming of age”.  Many were the topics which had to be talked about, one of them being for instance the “Philosophy of Humanism” launched by President Kenneth Kaunda or the “Scientific Communism”.

Hugo HinfelaarLittle by little, up to our modern times, themes for discussion have become “plenty”. But many more also are the people who are able to discuss them, explain them and see what they mean for us in our modern life.  In his book History of the Catholic Church in ZambiaFr Hugo Hinfelaar has recalled and presented many of the topics which make the life of modern Zambia and our Church more understandable and challenging!  If you have the book, let us enjoy it and learn from it!

May God bless Zambia and its people!

History of the beginning of the Catholic Church in Zambia in Chipata, Eastern Province.

Prayer sold to the highest bidder.


Zambia Daily Mail LogoMay 21, 2017

TORN APART with BOYD PHIRI

IT seems nowadays if you want to attract a large following to make bucks you add ‘prophet’ to your name.

Forget about prophet Bushili, this is why someone would prefer to call himself prophet Mavuto, even if his traditional name means problems.

Someone would want to call himself prophet Malilo even if his traditional name means funeral, yet someone would want to call himself prophet Masauso even if the traditional name means suffering.

Yes, to some people who bask in the title of men of God, being a prophet means everything, including putting their hands in their congregants’ pockets.

By the time they start distributing fliers headlined “STOP SUFFERING”, they would have made sure that they have stopped suffering themselves using your hard-earned money.

Perhaps this is the reason why you don’t see them distributing fliers headlined “STOP STEALING”.
Not that it is bad to stop suffering, but one thing is sure, some clergymen are obsessed with being in control over people and giving them orders to bring their valuable items, including underwear for anointing.

This is why most people flock to wherever they hear there is a prophet, leaving their own pastors in the hood wondering whether they should abandon preaching and start farming, although it is better for them to sow a seed than force congregants to plant in their pockets every time.

It would not be surprising to hear that most of our local pastors have become fishermen instead of fishers of men after losing their flock to foreign prophets. Of course, a prophet is never welcomed in his own town, not even in his own hood.

Maybe this is why nowadays school classroom churches in the hood are not attracting many people as most of them stay home waiting for a foreign prophet to come to town.

If they want marriage, they call upon the name of a prophet instead of the name of God; if they want their husbands to stop drinking beer, they call upon the name of a prophet instead of God; if they want their underwears to be as white as snow, they call upon a prophet to bring anointed underwear.

Needless to say, it is not right to drag the name of God into problems involving one’s underwear, even if one needs a new one.

In other words, for some people, prophets have become substitutes to witchdoctors who also profess to have solutions to every problem, including bringing back one’s lost lover.

Some people call upon the name of a prophet to heal them instead of the name of God, others call upon the name of a prophet when they need babies instead of the name of God.

This is why some prophets have been demanding a lot of money from some desperate women in the hood, even duping them into having sex with them under the pretext of anointing them with fertility.

Some women are duped into paying huge sums of money to some prophets under the pretext that their marital problems would be solved by prayer.

bushiri_profitThis brings me to the prophet Shepherd Bushiri saga. He has been accused by some of his followers in South Africa of ripping them off.

According to a report by ANN7, a woman who attended his session accused prophet Bushiri of making her pay 5,000 rand after she wrote to him to help her pray for her marriage.
The woman says nothing has changed in her marriage after paying the money to him.
Shepherd Bushiri has been in the news in recent weeks, of course, for wrong reasons.

In Zambia, he has become at odds with Government and some local clergymen whom he has accused of frustrating his trip to the country to conduct healing sessions.

Even if he had insisted that he would travel to Zambia in spite of his travel ban as a foreign prophet, the government says he is not welcome.

Of course, it would be naïve for him to insist on coming to the hood when he has thrown the name of Minister of Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili into the mad.

I support Government’s position to ensure that controversial prophets like Bushiri do not make people in the hood start adding ‘prophet’ to their names and sell prayers to the highest bidder to buy planes.

Of course, not all prophets are bad, but it is some clergymen like Bushiri who have distorted people’s view about prophets.

bjboydphiri@yahoo.com

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 16 mai 2017


Mafrwestafrica logoAujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site http://www.mafrwestafrica.net.

Actualités

 « ND d’Afrique à Rome chez les SMNDA » c’est le 22 avril que les Sœurs Blanches d’Afrique ont célébré la fête de Notre Dame d’Afrique à leur maison générale (lire la suite)

« François : prier pour les vocations » un texte du pape qui date du mois de novembre 2016, mais qui s’applique à la date du 7 mai 2017, journée mondiale de prière pour les vocations (lire la suite)

« A quand le jugement de Blaise Compaoré ? » Blaise Comparoé, resté 27 ans au pouvoir, est cité à comparaître, non pas en tant que Président, mais en tant que ministre de la Défense. (lire la suite)

 Témoignages
« Au nom de la religion ? » (barbarie ou fraternité) recension d’un livre du jésuite François Euvé paru aux éditions de l’Atelier en 2016 (la slire uite)

« Long week-end à Erbil » André Querton était récemment dans le Kurdistan irakien. Après avoir traversé d’anciennes zones de combat, il a visité de nombreux camps de réfugiés. (lire la suite)

« Le patriarche Bartholomée 1er »  À l’invitation du cheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb, le patriarche œcuménique Bartholomée Ier a prononcé une conférence intitulée « Les religions et la paix » (lire la suite)

 Dialogue interreligieux

 « Déclaration conjointe de Rabat » sur le site de l’ARCRE ces informations sur la rencontre entre l’Académie du Royaume du Maroc et le Conseil pontifical pour le dialogue interreligieux (lire la suite)

« Noé » deux articles assez récents parus sur le site du Groupe de Recherches Islamo Chrétien de Tunis, sur le thème de Noé (lire la suite)

« Le Pape à Al-Azhar, espoir pour le Moyen Orient » cette visite du 28 avril 2017, constitue un événement fondamental en cette période si troublée (lire la suite)

« Amitié islamo chrétienne à Taizé » la communauté de Taizé, sur l’appel d’amis musulmans et avec eux  a organisé, du 5 au 8 mai, une rencontre sous le signe du « Goût de Dieu » (lire la suite)

 Justice et Paix

 « Comment étudier si on n’a pas d’argent ? » la question se pose et trois cas sont choisis pour inciter à la réflexion : deux en Côte d’Ivoire et un au Burkina (lire la suite)

« Pêche illégale en Afrique de l’Ouest » Greenpeace mène une opération de repérage de pêche illégale dans les eaux des pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Les chinois sont bien présents (lire la suite)

« Lutter contre l’apatridie » en Afrique de l’Ouest. Être apatride, soit sans nationalité, a beaucoup de répercussions sur la stabilité des pays et la vie quotidienne des personnes concernées (lire la suite)

 Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

 « 82 jeunes nigérianes libérées par Boko Haram » Ces jeunes filles ont été rendues à la liberté, mais cela fait trois ans qu’elles avaient été enlevées. Retour difficile à une vie normale (lire la suite)

« Mauritanie et CEDEAO » La Mauritanie, qui a quitté la Cédéao en 2000, semble s’en rapprocher de nouveau même s’il n’est pas question de réintégrer l’organisation régionale pour le moment (lire la suite)
« Lutter contre le terrorisme en Afrique de l’Ouest » tout particulièrement au Mali, au Tchad et au Niger (lire la suite)

« Comment va le Burkina ? » des informations très détaillées et plutôt optimistes prises sur le site de Jeune Afrique (lire la suite)

Miracle money, talk-time, touch: My foot!


Mirical MoneyGENDER FOCUS with EMELDA MWITWA

Zambia Daily Mail Limited May 4, 2017

A PASTOR was arrested in Chisamba district recently for defiling five girls, two of them his own flesh and blood. The 49-year-old repeatedly had carnal knowledge of the girls aged between 10 and 14. Call him a masquerader who has been disowned by his church, but my concern is on ‘unsuspecting’ women and girls falling in the sexual trap of dishonest clerics. This is just one of the many cases where some of our clerics have made news for the wrong reasons. Women have been the worst victims, but now, we have seen girls also falling prey to dishonest ministers of the gospel.

What makes women and girl children easily fooled than their male counterparts is that the former are normally driven by desperation to do things that are unbiblical at the command of the preacher. As far as some women are concerned, anyone who comes in the name of God is infallible. If he is able to quote a few scriptures and claim to be operating under prophetic power, they will do anything he asks them.

And the men and women who are cheating people in the name of God have seen how people nowadays hunger not for righteousness or service for God, but the gifts and blessings.

People want quick money, miracle talk-time, miracle jobs, supernatural promotions and anything that comes miraculously, regardless of the fashion in which it comes.

In an ideal world, the Church should teach their members to work hard to earn money, but now, the prophets are encouraging laziness among their followers because their miracles allegedly come instantly.

Young girls and boys should be encouraged to study and have future ambitious of what they want to do when they complete school.

Children should know that education presents a myriad of opportunities for them to have a better future and also contribute to socio-economic development.

 And of course, with the Lord helping them, they will pass examinations if they study and will be able to achieve whatever they want in life.

The Bible does not say Christians should get things on a silver platter; they too need to earn their bread by hard work. According to the Bible in Proverbs 10:4 ‘A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich,”, whereas 2 Thesalonnians 3:10 says ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’

These are among, the many scriptures that teach us to work hard, so where this spirit of people flocking to church to with folded hands to get miracles is coming from, no one knows. Even Jesus Christ the son of God was a carpenter before he went into full- time ministry. To me, this teaches us to work hard for what we desire, and then we can pray to God to bless the work of our hands, according to Deuteronomy 15:10.

So adults should model hard work to the children so that they are not cheated, and eventually sexually molested by people who twist the word of God for personal gain.

Believe you me, women and girls who are being cheated by unscrupulous clerics are not grounded in the word of God.

And because of the unique needs of women for such things as attention from their husbands, the desire to meet Mr Right and the need to conceive, they allow these people to abuse them. Some women allow the so called clerics to touch them inappropriately during ‘prayers’ without raising alarm. Ideally, the Bible should serve as a model of how we ought to pray, how we need to conduct ourselves during fellowship and how we should to relate with the clergy or opposite sex.

But when things get to a point where a woman makes a complaint of sexual assault or rape allegedly occasioned by a pastor, one wonders how the cleric was allowed to stray in that area. Not to say that the cleric can’t drift away, but before anyone who comes in the name of God goes that far, there must have been some danger lights flickering. But most women choose to ignore danger signs and hence finding themselves alone in secluded places with the prophet or at the mountains for deliverance.  Any woman in right frame of mind should raise alarm when the prophet starts making funny suggestions like ‘let’s go to the mountains for prayer’ or ‘I need to sleep with you to exorcise the spirit of bareness.’

Surprisingly, some women make it a habit go to the prophet’s house and entering private rooms for prayers or counselling. And sometimes, this cleric will be alone at home though knowing fully well that he has an appointment with a certain woman or girl.       

And why should the clergy of the opposite sex give you private counsel on ‘sensitive’ matters behind closed doors?

Obviously, some bedroom issues will require the clergy to provide counsel in the presence of his spouse, and if possible, the counselee should also be accompanied by their partner.

Emotional attachments development due to carelessness between the counselee and the counsellor. Our girl children are now falling prey because they see their mothers, sisters and aunties going to all lengths to please the ‘prophets’.

How come, it’s only the girl children who are on record of being abused by clerics of questionable character? I believe they have seen women flocking to these places, probably they have accompanied their mothers before.

Some mothers even put their young daughters on ‘special prayer’ programmes at the prophet’s house.

It’s unbelievable that in this era when girl children are at worst vulnerable to sexual abuse, that a mother should send her daughter unaccompanied for a series of prayers.

If need be, there is nothing wrong with young girls going for ‘special prayers’ but they need to be accompanied by adults to protect them from the ongoing abuse of children.  

Apart from that, mothers and fathers alike need to educate their children about the wolves in sheep skin that are going about cheating people.

Girls should be told that no man should touch them inappropriately even if he claims to be a servant of God. They also need to know that a true servant of God will not take them to a secluded place for prayers. Come on women, let’s guide our girl children properly so that they are not misled and abused.

emeldashonga@yahoo.com/eshonga@daily-mail.co.zm

Mirical Money newspaper form

Miracle money

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 2 mai 2017


Mafrwestafrica logoAujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site http://www.mafrwestafrica.net.

Actualités

« Pâques 2017 à Kaya » le récit et quelques photos des célébrations, grâce à un message reçu du curé de la paroisse de Kaya (lire la suite).

« La perpétuité pour Hissène Habré », confirmation du jugement porté en 2016 contre l’ancien chef d’état du Tchad (lire la suite).

« Procès Blaise Compaoré » qui a été reculé et doit avoir lieu le 4 mai 2017, après un long temps de tranquillité pour l’ancien chef d’état (lire la suite).

Témoignages 

« Mission à Marseille », un texte du Père Michel Ouedraogo, originaire du Burkina et à Marseille depuis deux années (lire la suite).

« Projet école primaire bilingue » un article paru sur le site abcburkina.net, qui est en même temps un appel à participer à ce projet (lire la suite).

« Récompense Unesco pour le graffiti » une femme et un homme récompensés pour leur engagement qui se traduit visuellement (lire la suite).

Dialogue interreligieux

« Les nouveaux acteurs de l’Islam », la recension d’un livre de Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner,  parue sur le site de l’ARCRE (lire la suite).

« Mai, calendrier interreligieux » lui aussi paru sur le site de l’ARCRE (lire la suite)

Justice et Paix

« 1er mai en Afrique », l’histoire du syndicalisme en Afrique francophone, sur le site de Radio France Internationale (lire la suite).

« Esclavage en Mauritanie » les Harratines réclament la fin des discriminations dont ils s’estiment toujours victimes, car la situation serait encore bien inégalitaire (lire la suite).

« Éducation secondaire gratuite ? ». Ceci est un projet qui va peut-être voir le jour au Ghana et qui changerait la vie de beaucoup de jeunes (lire la suite).

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« 20 terroristes arrêtés au Mali ». L’armée française annonce avoir « neutralisé » samedi 29 avril près d’une vingtaine de « terroristes » au cours d’une opération de la force Barkhane à la frontière entre le Mali et le Burkina Faso (lire la suite).

« Manifestation à Ouagadougou », premier grand rassemblement de l’opposition depuis l’accession au pouvoir de Rock Marc Christian Kabore (lire la suite).

« Nigéria, un émir soupçonné de corruption » mais ses partisans pensent qu’il est visé à cause de ses projets de réformes sociales (lire la suite).

Challenges for rural substance farmers in Zambia.


By Douglas Ogato, M.AfrDouglas-Ogato-2014

While travelling along the Great North Road in Serenje area, I came across a number of women and children by the roadside selling big and cute looking sweet potatoes. For a distance stretching about 15 kilometers, there were about 10 groups of them at different points airing their commodity for sale. One group of sellers after another kept on waving at moving cars begging them to stop. It became blatant to me that those sellers shared the same serious challenge; lack of market.

sweet potatoes copieMy mind and heart got immersed in the daily lives of these people. As I did so, I took a mental flight to the month of October when they were toiling on their farms under the scorching sun to plant sweet potatoes. While working, their hearts must have been full of vigor and hope for the future. They must have hoped for bumper harvest; enough for household use and for fetching some income for the family. At the end of my mental flight, I landed at their present lives. These women and children virtually spend their whole day by the roadside. At the wee hours of dawn, women are already by the roadside hoping to catch up with a generous motorist. And as the day goes by, their children come to join them. This explains why one always sees children accompanying these women selling by roadside. It has become their life; they cook lunch and supper from there. They only go home late at night to lay their heads. During school days, it must be very difficult for schooling children as they won’t have time to do their homework from home, perhaps they do it by the roadside.

As I kept on reflecting on my mental flight and its eventual landing, I made a decision that on my way back to the parish I will stop by one of this “stop and buy roadside markets” not to extend a hand of solidarity. As I parked my car, they all rushed to me with a bucket of sweet potatoes. And no sooner had I came out of the car than they began one by one promoting their commodities. For the few minutes, I realized that, due to lack of market for their produce, they end up disposing them at a throw away price.

As I drove back home, I kept on thinking about these hardworking women of Serenje who tirelessly work hard to break the chains of poverty. May Saint Joseph, the hardworking worker and patron of all workers, intercede for them and all those in similar conundrums!