The President’s Insignia of Mercy attributed to Léopold Lalonde


The President’s Insignia of Mercy attributed to Léopold Lalonde

On the Independence Day of Zambia, 24th October, the President of the country, Michael Chilufya Sata, honoured 18 people for their distinguished service to the country. Among them is our confrere Léopold Lalonde who came to Zambia in October 01, 1956.

His award is attributed to him for two main reasons. The first one is related to his involvement, as a young priest, in protecting the lives of many people who were at risk at the time of the uprising in 1964 of a young prophetess called Alice Lenshina Mulenga Lubusha, founder of an independent church, the Lumpa, meaning “to excel, to be superior” Church. Unfortunately, over two thousand people, including women with their children on their back, lost their lives. For more details, see: History of the Catholic Church in Zambia, 1895-1995, by Hugo F. Hinfelaar, M.Afr, Bookworld Publishers, 2004, pages 184 to 190.

The second but more important reason to receive an award was the commitment of Léopold as Catholic Chaplain in the General Hospital of Kasama. His dedication to the sick lasted fifteen years from 1995 to 2010. Beside the pastoral care, Léopold provided medicine and means of transport for the sick. He was greatly appreciated. He truly deserves the award of Insignia FOR MERCY.

Eighteen recipients surrounded the President of Zambia at the State House for the official picture. Among them, nine wives of freedom fighters and Jules Roy who received the award on behalf of Léopold Lalonde who was referred as Lalonda, which sounds more Zambian.

What this honour represent for me!

I am surprised to receive this honour and I have been asking myself: what have I done out of the ordinary? I have simply tried to be faithful to my missionary call. Looking at the Insignia of Mercy, I look back in the past years into the vineyard of the Lord without nostalgia but rather more with gratitude. I thank the Lord for all those 55 years he has given me to live with the Zambians.

The joy that I feel today seems to me the beginning of the reward that Jesus has promised to all of us.

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Interview with Luc Antaya


Interview with Luc Antaya, 19th & 22nd October 2012 in Kasama.

It is a pleasure to meet you for the first time. Can you tell me more about you?

I was born on the 3rd September 1940. I am a Canadian of mixed origin. As a matter of fact, I am of German and Irish decent on the side of my mother and Algonquin and French on my father side. As you may know, the Algonquin are a tribe of the First Nations of Canada. Actually, my name Antaya is an Algonquin one meaning “ce coureur des bois”, in reference of the first French explorers who came in the early 17th century in the so called “Nouvelle France”. They were “running in the forest”. I identify myself primarily as an Algonquin.

I pronounced my oath on the 25th June 1964 in Eastview, Ottawa, and was ordained priest in Sorel on the 26th June 1965. I arrived in Zambia for the first time by plane at the International airport of Ndola on the 19th December 1965. Soon after, I went to Ilondola to learn Chibemba. Then, I went to Samfya, Kabunda, Nsakaluba, Lufubu which became Kazembe, Kawambwa, Kashokishi, Kasaba, Lubwe and Kasamba with Louis-Philippe “Pady” Girard and Jean-Louis Godinot till 2009. I am now appointed to Kasama up to 2014.

I got my official initiation into the White Fathers Club at the foot of the tree where Bishop Dupont put his tent in Chilubula. My master of initiation was Joseph Fayet (1886-1976), a Frenchman who spoke only his mother tongue and Chibemba. He pointed his finger and said: “Ici, Motomoto a planté sa tente”. Father Fayet came in Zambia before 1910 and knew Bishop Dupont (1851-1930).

Therefore, you have been in Zambia for the past 47 years.

This is right.

How would you describe yourself?

I dislike travelling. So, I stay where I am and never go back to where I was. I simply give 100% of myself wherever I am appointed. Today, I can say that I enjoy very much my knowledge of Chibemba. I spend a lot of time listening to people. If I could give an advice to the young generation of confreres, I would encourage them to spend time listening to the people. Don’t we have two ears and only one mouth? People appreciate it even though I do not solve their problems as such. But my experience shows me that listening brings healing.

What major challenge are you facing as Parish Priest of St. Annie’s New Town?

First of all, I thought that my turn for being a PP was over. But, I have been told that St Annie’s New Town is an easy, small, urban Parish. It might be true on paper but there are so many things going on that it makes me laugh a bit. As for your question, I think that the biggest challenge at the moment is the expansion of Pentecostal Churches. Quite a few of our youth are attracted by them. Some say that the Catholic Church is for old people. As I said, it is a big challenge. Some even see it as a danger.

What could explain this phenomenon?

Recently, I went to visit elderly and sick people in an impoverished area of the town. I discovered that a majority of young people are living with their grand-parents. Either their parents are dead or divorced. The generation gap is a tragedy whereby the grand-parents, coming from an old mentality, are lost or unable to cope with the changing times. Moreover, the young generation is cut off from the tradition and is facing tremendous difficulties to make a living.

As a Christian community, we are not able to find an answer to this social reality. We are losing touch with many young people. This is why I am thought-provoking my pastoral team to reflect and to do something about it. Fortunately, we have a good team for youth apostolate, including young confreres like Camille Konkobo and religious sisters. This is taken up also by the four parishes in Kasama town.

Thanks to you Luc. We wish you to remain an inspiring witness for all of us in years to come.

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An African confrere in the Philippines


An African confrere in the Philippines            by John Itaru

Cebu – Map from Google Cebu

John Fabian Itatu

I left Nairobi on the 16th of May 2012 for the Philippines. On that day, at Mass in Ngong Road, Fr. Roger Tessier prayed for me saying; “Instead of going to Europe for studies, John is now going to the Philippines…it will be a totally new experience…. Lord, hear us! ”

Roger was right! To be an African student in the Philippines is both an adventure and a challenge. It is said that “there is more fun in the Philippines”. Indeed, Filipinos are always smiling and sugar is added with almost every dish. Generally speaking, whoever is black is considered to be a Black American. So, quite often people look at me as being a Black American priest or even as a basketball player. The point of reference for the Filipinos is truly the United States.

The known Africa is the one presented by the Media; famine, wars, HIV, national parks and its abundant species of animals. Kenya is known for her top class athletes. DRCongo is identified by her persistent conflict and South Africa for the World Cup. In a nutshell, Africa is considered by the majority as being a single country, not a continent.

In Cebu where I am the majority of foreign students are from the Asian sub-region such as Korea and China. But Kenyan students are also quite numerous. It is estimated that there are twenty thousand foreign students in the Philippines. English is the official language though, should you need to interact with the Filipinos comfortably, you need to speak Cebuano, the local language of Cebu.

The Catholic Church in the Philippines can still be proud of a massive attendance in religious activities. Big parishes have six to ten Masses on Sundays, without counting confessions. Christmas in the Philippines starts from September and ends in February the following year.

As for myself, I am focusing on my studies in business administration (MBA), catching up with a basic knowledge of Cebuano and admiring the numerous religious devotions as also the pastoral work. Keep me in your prayers.     John Itaru, M.Afr

Bulletin JPIC-ED No 7 Dec 2012-Jan 2013


All born equal and free!       Bulletin JPIC-ED No 7 December 2012 – January 2013

JPIC-ED Bulletin headlineIn the preface of the booklet on Cardinal Charles Lavigerie and the Antislavery Campaign, the Superior General tells us that, in our fight against modern forms of slavery, we are motivated by the belief that we are “all born equal and free”. For us Christians, this belief and conviction is sealed in the birth of our Brother and Lord, Jesus Christ. Saint Paul expresses it well, in his letter to the Galatians: “There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither slave nor freeperson, there can be neither male nor female – for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (3: 28) …                  by Nnyombi Richard, M. Afr.

Bulletin JPIC/ED No 6 Oct-Nov 2012


Conquer evil with good!             Bulletin JPIC-ED No 6 Oct. Nov. 2012

JPIC-ED Bulletin headlineThe month of September has been marked in a number of countries by demonstrations, some very violent, leading to loss of life and property. They were carried out by Muslims in protest against the film that denigrated prophet Muhammad and Islam. Truly, whoever takes to heart the golden rule: ‘Treat others as you would like them to treat you’ (Lk 6: 31), will judge this film as the work of evil and therefore denounce it! And, if it is true that the actors were duped with regard to the subject matter of the film, this would confirm its evil inspiration all the more. …       by Nnyombi Richard, M Afr.

Our confreres in Malawi


– Father Jean Arnaud, French, Chezi Parish – Father Claude Boucher, Canadian, Kungoni Centre – Father Christophe Boyer, French, Lilongwe, CfSC – Father Michel Côté, Canadian, Lilongwe, Sector House – Father Richard Deschênes, Canadian, Mzuzu – Father Filiyanus Ekka, Indian, Chezi Parish – Father Ortega Julio Feliu, Spanish, Lilongwe, Sector House –  Father Bonaventure Gubazire, Ugandan, Balaka, Lechaptois – Father Sebastien Kalengwe, Congolese, Mua Parish – Father Simeon Kalore, Ethiopian, Chezi Parish, Father Julian Kasiya, Malawian, Mua Parish – Father Willem Kerkhof, Dutch, Lilongwe, Sector House – Father Jos Kuppens, Dutch, Lilongwe, CfSC – Father Michael Mawelera, Malawian, Balaka, Lechaptois – Father Philip Meraba, Nigerian, Lilongwe, Kanengo – Father Didasio Mwanza, Zambian, Balaka, Lechaptois – Father Paul Namono, Burkinabe, Mua Parish – Father Brendan O’Shea, Irish, Mua Parish – Jacques Pallas, Canadian, Lilongwe, Sector House – Bishop Rémi Sainte-Marie, Canadian, Lilongwe – Father Michel Sanou, Burkinabe, Lilongwe, Kanengo – Father Robert Tebri, Ghanaian, Balaka, Lechaptois – Father William Turnbull, British, Lilongwe, CfSC – Father Piet van Hulten, Dutch, Mzuzu – Father Moïse Kombe Yébédié, Malian, Chezi Parish

Our confreres in Mozambique


Father Timothée Bationo, Burkinabe, Matacuane – Father Jean de Dieu Bukuru, Burundian, Dombe – Father Fernando Pérez, Spanish, Nazaré – Father Marcin Perfikowski, Polish, Sussundenga – Father Franco Pinna, Italian, Beira, Inhamizua – Father Fidel Salazar del Muro, Mexican, Nazaré – Father Florent Sibiri Sawadogo, Burkinabe, Dombe – Father Hugh Seenan, British, Nazaré – Bishop J. Francisco Silota, Mozambican, Chimoio – Father Richard Ujwigowa, Congolese, Sussundenga – Father Bernhard Wernke, German, Dombe -Father Boris Yabre, Burkinabe, Sussundenga – Father Claudio Zuccala, Italian, Nazaré.

Our confreres in South Africa


Brother James Calder, Canadian, Merrivale – Bishop Jan De Groef, Belgian, Bethleham – Father Philippe Docq, Belgian, Henley Parish – Brother René Garand, Canadian, Henley Parish – Father Raphaël Gasimba, Congolese, Merrivale – Father Quinbert Kinunda, Tanzanian, Merrivale – Father Jean-Pierre Le Scour, French, Lebombo – Father Didier Lemaire, French, Edenglen – Father Raymond McQuarrie, Irish, Lenasia – Father Michel Meunier, Canadian, Edenglen – Father Didier Michon, French, Edenglen – Father Deogratius Ngowi, Merrivale – Father George Okwii, Ugandan – Father Seán O’Leary, Irish, Edenglen – Father Mathieu Van Vlierden, Belgian, Lenasia – Father Chrispin Vungwa, Tanzanian, Lebombo

Our confreres in Zambia


Frédéric Ajaruva Bedijo, Congolese, Lumimba, Lundazi – Saju Jose Akkara, Indian, Kasama, St Charles – Luc Antaya, Canadian, Kasama, St Joseph – Alfred Awogya, Ghanaian, Namushakende – Venerato Babaine, Ugnadan – Romaric Bationo, Burkinabe, FENZA  – Reinhold Bloching, German, Ndola – Francis Bomansaan, Ghanaian, Kasama, Lua Luo – Jaya Bordhan, Indian, Lusaka, Woodlands – Christopher Chileshe, Zambian, Lusaka, Woodlands – Robert Chipumbu, Zambian, Namushakende – Dave Cullen, British, Chipata, Kalongwezi – Vitalis Dero, Kenyan, Lusaka, Kabwata – Jean-Louis Godinot, French, Kasama, Lua Luo – Jean-Luc Gouiller, French, Chipata, Kalongwezi – Léonard Hategekimana, Rwandese,  Kasama, Lua Luo – Karl Kälin, Swiss, Lusaka, Woodlands – Felix Kamunenge, Zambian, Kitwe – Francis Kangwa, Zambian, Lusaka, Woodlands – Faustin Kerumbe, Congolese, Serenje – Camille Konkobo, Burkinabe, Kasama, St Charles – Pierre Lafollie, French, Kasama, St Joseph – Robert Lavertu, Canadian, Namushakende – Oswald Mallya, Tanzanian, Woodlands  – Phelim Malumo, Zambian, Lumimba, Lundazi – Emmanuel Mambwe, Zambian, Serenje – Pawel Mazurek, Polish, Lumimba, Lundazi – Joseph McMenamin, Irish, Chipata, Kalongwezi – Michel Merizzi, Canadian, Kitwe– Patrick Mumbi, Zambian, Lusaka, Fenza – Adelarde Munishi, Tanzanian, Lusaka, Kabwata – Norbert Nkingwa, Tanzanian, Serenje – Marc Nsanzurwimo, Burundian, Lusaka, FENZA – Antoon Oostveen, Dutch, Kasama, St Joseph – Jacek Rakowski, Polish, Lusaka, St. Lawrence – Dieudonné Rizinde, Congolese, Kasamba  – Jules Roy, Canadian, Ndola – Jean-Pierre Sauge, Swiss, Serenje – Patrice Sawadogo, Burkinabe, Kasamba – Serge St-Arneault, Canadian, Lusaka, Woodlands – Bernhard Udelhoven, German, Lusaka, St. Lawrence  – Piet van Heijst, Dutch, Kitwe – Antoon van Kessel, Dutch, Lusaka, St. Lawrence – Henk van Kessel, Dutch, Chipata, Kalongwezi – Piet Verkleij, Dutch, Ndola 

Ordination of three young Missionaries to diaconate in Merrivale, South Africa


Ordination of three young Missionaries to diaconate in Merrivale, South Africa

The 1st of December 2012 was indeed a joyful day for the Society of the Missionaries of Africa and in the formation house in Merrivale, South Africa. Rt. Rev. Francisco J. Silota, Bishop of Chimoio Diocese in Mozambique, a member of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, ordained three young missionaries to the Diaconate. He was assisted by Rt. Rev. Jan De Groef, M.Afr, Bishop of Bethlehem Diocese. … READ MORE

Diaconate Merrivale Diaconate South Africa B 2012 - Copie B

By Harrison Banda M.Afr