Saint Anselm; one of the first opponents of the slave trade

Saint Anselm of Canterbury SealAnselm lived from 1033 to 1109. Having decided to enter a monastery, he was attracted to Bec in Normandy by the reputation of the great teacher, Lanfranc. Anselm became a monk at 27. A student and close friend of Lanfranc, he eventually succeeded him as prior and abbot of Bec, and became a still more famous teacher.
After the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, William I replaced the English hierarchy with Normans, and Lanfranc was sent as Archbishop of Canterbury. Three years after Lanfranc’s death, Anselm was in England (1093) and was forcibly made archbishop. He was not be nature either an administrator or a politician, but persevered in difficult times and, through his encouragement of English devotions, helped heal the wounds of the Conquest on the English.
Anselm’s fame lies in his role as theologian and philosopher; his argument for the existence of God still holds strong appeal for many. His spirituality greatly influenced the Church and in his concern for the oppressed, he was one of the first opponents of the slave trade. Never formally canonized, he was made a Doctor of the Church in 1720.
From: Living with Christ, April 2013, pages 171-172
Other reference:

Second interview with Pierre Lukusa

In the first Interview with Pierre Lukusa, we learned how our confrere found his way to Brazil and some discoveries he made on the path of his inner self-awareness related to alcohol dependency. In a new interview, Pierre offers us a deeper understanding of himself and the environment surrounding Fezenda de Esperança in Brazil.

Fezenda da Esperança

Can you remind us about your journey leading to Brazil?
It happened that the founders of Fazenda da Esperança, Fr. Hans Stapel OFM, and Mr. Nelson Giovanneli, knew the Missionaries of Africa in Mozambique very well. They offered me the opportunity to go to Brazil for a full year programme. I came here on the 17th August 2012. I was very well received. So much so, that I felt part of a family from the very beginning. My immigration papers are in order till August 2013 when the programme officially ends.
Tell us a bit more about the physical environment of Fezenda da Esperança.
The Centre is located at about 300km North-East of the mega city of São Paulo. The place is encircled by few Christian communities belonging to the neighbouring parish. In a valley, the Centre is surrounded by the Sierra de Mantiqueira Mountains. In general, the weather is cool and the environment is conducive to personal meditation and reflection. It is like a retreat centre whereby I can reflect upon my life and my missionary vocation.
Made up of ten houses, the Centre can accommodate 160 people for a therapeutic programme. To this figure, we need to add 15 residents; the father in charge and his counsellors. At the moment we number 167. Each house forms a community under the guidance of two coordinators who are themselves under the responsibility of a “Padrinho”, usually an ex-dependent who had already finished his therapy and work as a volunteer. Since last February, I am one of those “Padrinhos” in charge of two houses.
At this point, I need to mention that there are currently 90 Fazenda da Esperança Therapeutic Centres, throughout the world, including one in Dombe, Mozambique, at the White Fathers Mission.
What is the specific charism or spirituality of Fazenda da Esperança?
Thanks to the spirituality of the Fazenda, my way of thinking and perceiving reality has positively changed towards everything. My daily experiences among my fellow drug addicts, as well as the “Direct Approach to the Unconscious” (ADI) programme, have helped me to understand the therapeutic method used in the Fazenda to help people caught by chemical dependency such as drug addiction and alcoholism.
In his own time, Saint Francis of Assisi was a God´s sign for the Church when he proposed poverty and fraternal life style as a path leading to hope. Up to now, many people are inspired by this spirituality. Nowadays, this insight embraces drug addicted people and alcoholics.
More recently, Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolari movement, brought in the world the great charism of “Unity”. It has become a collective spirituality bearing in itself a new hope for our century. This spirit of unity consists in putting Jesus at the centre of every single activity, including the decision making process.
Those charismatic insights inspired Fr. Stapel and three young people; Nelson, Iraci and Lucilene. As a result, the Franciscan spirituality and the Focolari Movement have become the soul that animate Fazenda da Esperança; to bring hope to desperate people of our time, not only the drug addicted people and alcoholics but also families affected by all kind of behavioural disorders of their members.
In a nutshell, Fazenda da Esperança is a Catholic community that is taking care of young drug and alcohol addicts, trying to show them a new way of life by living each day according to the Gospel.
Can you tell us more about the therapeutic method used by Fazenda?
The experience shows that those who seek help are suffering from inner problems before becoming drug or alcohol addicts. In other words, they are spiritually, psychologically, mentally, emotionally and morally disturbed before being physically dependant on drugs or alcohol.
In order to be efficient in its mission, the Fazenda has understood that the main concern is not to fight against drugs and alcohol, but is to help the victims to be holistically reconciled. The method used is a threefold therapeutic method based on an active spiritual life, community living and manual work. The three elements are logically drawn from the Franciscan spirituality and the Focolari movement. This threefold therapeutic methodology helps people to gain back their ability to live in society, to master their own emotions and to strengthen their relationship with Christ, even though no one is obliged to be or to become a Christian. It has been evaluated that 80% of those who went through the twelve months therapeutic programme in different Fazendas have recovered their dignity and are back to a normal life, always trying to live according to the Gospel recommendations.
Can you clarify the steps you have been through since your arrival at Fazenda da Esperança in Brazil?
Upon arrival, I was given three months of initiation into the threefold therapeutic methodology. In December 2012, I was blessed to follow the “Direct Approach to the Unconscious” (ADI) experience that helped me to recover from my loss of self-esteem. In January this year, I followed the session of initiation to the Focolari movement together with other members of the Fazenda. After it, from February, I have been asked to accompany two houses as spiritual director. Currently, I have 40 persons under my guidance. Besides helping as spiritual director, I also give some sessions of formation to those being prepared and trained as coordinators for different houses. By doing this, I am working also on my own problem.
Is your action limited to the two houses under your responsibility?
As I said, our Centre is encircled by few Christian communities belonging to a neighbouring parish. I help the Parish Priest on demand. It gives me an opportunity to put into practice my new knowledge. I happened to meet desperate families suffering from misbehaviour caused by drug or alcohol abuse. So far, I have managed to reconcile two families. This makes me believe that what I am gaining here will help me later in my ministry.
Has your prayer been transform because of Fazenda?
When I feel frightened, I pray the Lord to transform my fear into trust.
When I feel like suffering, I ask the Lord to transform my suffering into growth.
When I experience a disturbing silence, I ask the Lord to transform it into a time of adoration.
When I experience any crisis, I pray the Lord to transform it into maturity.
When tears drop from my eyes, I ask the Lord to transform them into prayers.
When I feel furious, I ask the Lord to transform this anger of mine into intimacy.
Whenever I feel depressed, I ask the Lord to transform my discouragement into faith.
When I experience solitude, I ask the Lord to transform it into contemplation.
Being conscious of my own dignity enables me to go ahead with confidence, strength and courage.
Positive attitudes in life, the desire to do well and helping others bring satisfaction in a constructive mind.
The time to be happy is now! The place where to experience happiness is where I am.
I am going through a new birth because of Fazenda de Esperança. I am asking the Lord to help me to see the colour of love in every living being. I want to feel the beauty of hope in every dawn. I aspire to always be able to decide about what is authentic, just and true.

What would be your last word at the end of the interview?

Once reconciled with oneself, everything else seems possible. It is like putting the Gospel into practice; loving your neighbour as yourself. In this regard, with his simplicity, our new Pope Francis is inspiring me greatly.

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Missionary Oath in Jerusalem

Missionary Oath invitation Card Jerusalem 06 (2)The Missionary Oath of Bonaventure Bwanakweli, Emmanuel Mubanga Chisanga, Fredrick Limo Ng’etich and Vincent Kyererezi will take place in Jerusalem on Tuesday the 30th April 2013 at 17:00 hours in Saint Anne’s Basilica.
We as the SAP are proud of all of you.
May the good Lord bless this day always and make it a memorable day for your missionary journeys.
United in prayer.
Christopher Chileshe, SAP Provincial

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Sad news about the health of Clement Alekwe

Clement_AlekweOur confrere , who was part of the Lua-Luo noviciate in Kasama last year, has been diagnosed with cancer of the bones. He is undergoing radiation treatment in Nairobi which will last till the 10th May. After it, according to the results of another medical test, he will continue with chemotherapy. Even though Clement is a strong man, as we know him, this treatment is heavy on him. Let us unite our prayer for him that he may find health and strength once more.

Interview with Monika Grzelak

Monika Grzelak 03Monika Grzelak came to Zambia on the 9th March after six months working as a volunteer in Kenya. Let us discover her journey of life.
What is your background?
I am a 25 year old Polish woman. I got my diploma in Social Studies at the University of Nicolas Copernicus in Toruń. I also got a Master degree in Education in Warsaw. My parents are still at home with my younger brother. I quit my job last year and left everything behind to fulfil my dream to come to Africa. I have no fear. My basic trust brings me the necessary freedom I need to be where I am today. I love it.
How did you made your way up to Zambia?
After half a year in Kenya, I wanted to know more about Africa. This continent has always fascinating me. So, I went to Dar es Salaam and bought a ticket just two hours before the departure of the train. Forty-eight hours later, I stopped at Kapiri Mposhi where I met a Polish Sister from the Congregation of the Holy Family. Two days later, I took a bus to Lusaka without knowing anyone. I didn’t have any idea what to expect. Simply, I was hoping to find a place where I could do some voluntary work. I was directed to Good Shepherd Parish at Kabwata and met Father Vitalis Dero. He phoned to Jacek Rakowski who came within fifteen minutes. I was so enthusiastic about his description of Home of Hope that my decision to become a volunteer was taken on the spot.
Monika Grzelak 01Is it not surprising for a young woman like you to travel alone in various African countries as you did? Do you really need to travel so far to do voluntary work?
As a matter of fact, I have always been a volunteer, even in Poland. It is part of my life. I like to discover new places, new cultures and new people. What really matter for me, besides helping people, is simply to be with them. My few weeks at Home of Hope have been great. My only regret is my lack of knowledge of the Chi Nyanja language. Time was too short.
Have you shared your experience with other people?
Yes indeed! Just few days ago, I met a Zambian woman working in town. She found it bizarre that a stranger like me came from so far to do voluntary work in Zambia. I felt that she might become herself a volunteer soon.
You will be leaving Zambia in a week from now. Which prospects do you have once back to Poland?
I will be going back to Dar es Salaam by train. Then, I go back to Kenya once more to work for two weeks in a small home for disable boys. Finally, I should be back to my country by the end of June. Once there, I will look around to find a job. I will add my experience in Africa on my C.V. adding that it has been the best time of my life, so far. I am pretty sure to come back again. I feel as if I could go anywhere.
What is your most important discovery in Africa?
You know! The mentality of the Polish people is not always easy to understand. They have the tendency of complaining about anything, even when things go well. Very often, my friends feel worry about me when I am telling them that everything is fine. Life in Africa is by far harder than in Europe but people are smiling. There is a taste of joy here which attracts me.
Monika Grzelak webpageFor more information about Monika, see her webpage on

Child Abuse and Trauma Management – Facts, Culture, Lessons to be learned

FENZA attracted over 50 people to its regular conference on the 24th April 2013 dedicated this time to child abuse and trauma management. The Director, Father Gotthard Rosner, was very pleased to introduce the Bemba group Fimbusa founded in 2008 and aiming at preserving traditional cultural values. This group is composed of six men and 17 women from various cultural backgrounds but using primarily Bemba symbols in their teaching. They operate as a research group within FENZA.
Jacek Rakowski, from the Home of Hope, was also invited to present facts about the reality of child abuse. According to his research, 85% of cases of abuse are related to neglect, so called emotional abuse. It is particularly the case in dysfunctional families or related to social poverty. For many children, life is nothing else than a hostile environment. Consequently, traumatic experiences remain as lifelong scars. Physical abuse, including sexual ones, from which discipline beatings are not easy to distinguish, ends up with injuries.
Sexual abuse takes place most of the time within the family set up where the “conspiracy of silence” and the denial of abuse reinforce the traumatic burden of the victim. Very often, abusers have been abused themselves and also need help.
Finally, to conclude the presentations, Patrick Mumbi, psychologist and anthropologist, gave a magisterial presentation of the negative effects imparted upon victims of child abuse. As counsellors or helpers, we are all invited to listen to the various personalities which are hidden within a traumatised person. By all means, an abuse should never be hidden. It must be said, preferably denounced. The wrongdoer is the abuser, not the child.
We are looking forward to attend the next FENZA Conference.

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Lumimba Pastoral Team 2013

Lumimba Pastoral Team 2013

From Left to Right:
1. Abusa Zimba-Catechist-(Mwanya outstation),
2. Fr Phelim Malumo (Assistant Priest-Ministry),
3. Abusa Mpande-Catechist (Chasera outstation)
4. Br Jonas Mensah (Stagiere-1st Year)
5. Fr Pawel Mazurek (Parish Priest)
6. Fr Frederic Ajaruva Bedijo (Curate & Community Animator).
1. Abusa Gondwe (Catechist Lumimba outstation)
2. Abusa Zimba (Chiweza Outstation).


Atiman House in Dar es Salaam

The annual meeting of the three Spiritual Year Formation Centres of our Society took place recently in Tanzania.Atiman House in Dar es Salaam The confreres had time to share views and experiences and Luigi Morell gave an input on Evangelical Counsels which brought lots of discussion.
The confreres were welcomed by Vincent Tran and Patrick Norah at Atiman House in Dar es Salaam. They were Grégoire Milombo and Prosper Mbusa from Bobo-Dioulasso, Ferdinand Van Campen from Arusha and Francis Bomansaan with Patrick Bataille from Lua Luo Kasama. Also present; Sergio Villasenor from the General Counsel, Jean-Michel Laurent as Secretary to the formation, Luigi Morell as facilitator, Victor Lijaji as translator and Anselme Somda as secretary.
The participants enjoyed an outing at the Spiritan Center in Bagamoyo. They also visited the museum, had a nice meal and some of them enjoyed a swim in the ocean.
Reported by Patrick Bataille, M.Afr
Dar es Salaam 2013 02
White Fathers’ House
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The White Fathers’ House (also known as Atiman House) is a historical building in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It is located in Sokoine Street, north-est of St. Joseph’s Cathedral. It is named after the White Fathers, as the building has been the seat of their mission since 1922. The alternative name of “Atiman” refers to Adrian Atiman, an African physician who was freed from slavery in Nigeria by the White Fathers and later served in Tanzania until his death, in 1924.
The building is believed to have been built in the 1860s (possibly 1866) as a harem for Sultan Majid of Zanzibar. In 1922, it was sold to the White Fathers, and became their main base in East Africa. The building is open to visitors and has a little exhibit with old pictures of Dar’s sea front, dating back to the years of German rule (early 20th century).
Bagamoyo: Spiritan Center
Some 70km north of Dar es Salaam, on the coast opposite the southern tip of Zanzibar, Bagamoyo was once one of the most important trading ports on the East African coast. The former capital of German East Africa, it is now the center of some building in the region. Bagamoyo however has increased in importance today. Missionary Spirit Travel will guide you to rediscover the roots of the Holy Ghost Congregation (Spiritans) in East Africa. This historical background from the first Spiritan Missionaries who came into East Africa over 100 years ago can be vitalised by the presence of a cross, cemeteries, museums and other ethnographica material.
Also a church.
China is investing US $10B to make Bagamoyo the most important port in Africa by 2017. READ MORE

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Interview with John Lynch

John shares with us his understanding of addiction as a form of today’s slavery. He says: “I believe that it is a form of slavery in that it takes away freedom of choice within the individual. When one is driven to act by anything that is taking away freedom of choice, then I think it is appropriate to speak of it as a form of slavery.” Slaves of addiction

He concludes the interview with wise words saying: “In reality there is “no gain without pain”. The only constant in our lives is change. When the addict recognizes the addiction and is willing to accept it and try to live in the present moment seeking in faith and trust in the higher power, he or she can honestly live as “a wounded healer”, seeking each day honesty, openness and willingness, which are the essentials of recovery.”  READ MORE

FENZA CONFERENCE – Child Abuse and Trauma Management


Our next FENZA Conference will take place on Wednesday, 24th April 2013
Venue: Faith and Encounter Centre (FENZA), Leopards Hill Road, Bauleni (near Mathia Mulumba Catholic Church or Yatsani Radio).
Time: 14:00 to 17:00 hours
Theme:    Child Abuse and Trauma Management – Facts, Culture, Lessons to be learned
We have invited speakers from different ways of life to trigger off the discussion.
We hope to see you on Wednesday, 24th April 2013.
The FENZA Team

Follow up of Patrice Sawadogo’s surgery in India

Just to inform you that the surgery went on well. I was operated on Wednesday. Doctor discovered that I have a kidney problem following the amount of pain killers and antibiotics I have been taking in Africa. My case was then handed over to the kidney department. After investigation, the doctors gave a green light for the knee surgery. According to them, the low kidney was not going to affect the surgery. But, there is strong necessity to deal with it after it. Otherwise, it may threaten my life seriously.
I was discharged few minutes ago. The physiotherapy department people will be attending to me right here in my room to carry on what they have started right after the operation.
Thanks for your support, care, and prayers. 

Patrice Sawadogo Rayimwendé, M.Afr

Human trafficking conference in South Africa, April 9 – 12, 2013

CTIP Human Trafficking LogoA Human Trafficking Conference, organized by Sr. Melanie O’Connor HF, Coordinator of the Counter Trafficking in Persons Office (CTIP) of the LCCL/SACBC, took place at The Good Shepherd Retreat Centre Haartbeespoort from the 9th till the 12th April 2013. During the Conference there was the launch of the TRUCKERS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING” campaign for which we congratulate FRUIT SPOT as being the first trucking company to engage in this project. Various speakers exposed the dangers of human trafficking, pointing out that truckers can play a significant role in safeguarding victims and potential victims in transportation by reporting offenders sometimes encountered especially at truck stops.
The role of the Church in the pastoral care of truck drivers who face long and hazardous journeys was emphasized. It was stressed that the Church should move from its traditional way of evangelization of waiting for people in church buildings to the new evangelization emphasized in the recent African Synod. Africa has become a continent where millions of people are either willingly or unwillingly daily on the move thus transforming African roads and streets into privileged places of evangelization and education. Therefore our Church should be seen as the Church on the Move.
The presence of over 15 Police units who man the borders of the Northern Cape was acknowledged and highly appreciated by all present as a source of strength in the fight against Human Trafficking. With many of the participants coming from different African countries and representatives from different agencies – NPA, US Embassy etc., religious and lay people, it became obvious that  networking is central to the success of the fight against this hydra-headed evil of our time.
One of the outcomes of the Conference was the commitment of each member to further the Truckers against Human Trafficking campaign in their various regions and countries.
A  COUNTER TRAFFICKING NETWORK COMMITTEE (CTNC) was established for easy and effective communication.
Sent in by: Sr. Melanie O’Connor (South Africa), Sabina Namfukwe (Zambia), Sr. Patricia Ebegbulem (Nigeria)
Picture below: participants of the Conference
Human trafficking conference SA 2013

Sister Sabina Namfukwe and her fight against human trafficking in Zambia

Human trafficking 20
Sabina NamfukweI am Sister Sabina Namfukwe, I belong to the Congregation of the Sisters of the Child Jesus. I am working at the Zambia Catholic University in the Copperbelt Province as Matron for both boys and girls. I am in charge of their accommodation. I learnt so much on human trafficking and sexual abuse that I am failing to keep quiet about it. I do a lot of awareness as I visit and meet them in their boarding houses.
Due to poverty, some of our young people are hungry and thirsty for sponsorships to study abroad. There are a lot of fake sponsors around. Some boys and girls have gone missing from school, no communication to their parents or anybody. Only God knows where they have disappeared. I just help them to make informed choices in case someone approaches them and talks about sponsorships. They should know how to analyse and know the difference between a genuine sponsor and a fake one.
Recently, I got some pamphlets from the Missionaries of Africa community in Kitwe and I distributed them immediately. Also, I have been invited to participate in an international conference in Pretoria South Africa on Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign and Truck drivers in African countries. After it, I intend to extend my sensitization campaign to primary, secondary and high schools around our University because some of the pupils can also be potential victims of sexual abuse and human trafficking.
Sister Sabina Namfukwe
Below: drawings from a poster illustrating various forms of human trafficking.

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FENZA library

To have access to online journals through FENZA, please use the search box in the library section (
There are two possibilities:
  1. When within the vicinities of FENZA, the person has access to all online subscriptions without restrictions. Just log into or into from within FENZA. (Outside the vicinities of FENZA one has access only to the free services of these provides.)
  2. When outside FENZA, one may still gain access to the services of EBSCO and JSTOR as a registered user of FENZA. The person needs to register with FENZA, and we will provide a password to the person and the conditions of usage. One may apply by writing to the

Mafrwestafrica – Lettre du 5 avril 2013

Aujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site :
les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’OuestDans la rubrique « Témoignages »
« Léonce Zinzere, de Tunisie », un article tiré du dernier Voix d’Afrique, où notre confrère Burkinabè parle de sa vie et de sa mission en Tunisie (lire la suite)
 Dans la rubrique « Justice et Paix» :
« La drogue des enfants dans la rue » : article lui aussi tiré de Voix d’Afrique, et qui décrit la situation difficile vécue par les enfants dans les rues de par le monde. (lire la suite)
«  Le forum social 2013 à Tunis », écrit par le Provincial du Maghreb, et qui décrit l’importance de cette rencontre mondiale, et du fait qu’elle ait lieu en Tunisie. (lire la suite)
Dans la rubrique « Vu au sud, vu du sud » :
« Journée mondiale de l’eau », le dernier article de Maurice Oudet sur le site SEDELAN, article qui de la nécessité de l’eau, pour avoir du bon lait… (lire la suite)
Dans la rubrique « Actualités » :
« Le dernier numéro de Baobab Echos » le bulletin de la Province d’Afrique de l’Ouest (lire la suite)
Une bonne manière pour vous de partager notre mission est de faire connaître notre site à vos proches et vos amis, et à tous vos correspondants en leur transférant cette lettre. Ils apprécieront à leur tour ce qui se passe dans le monde de la Mission en Afrique de l’Ouest. Vous pouvez même les inscrire à partir de la rubrique “Lettre d’infos”, située à droite de l’écran.
Vous pouvez toujours nous écrire pour nous donner votre appréciation. Merci.
N.B. : Un détail technique qui a son importance : les images qui apparaissent sur le site ne s’agrandissent plus de manière automatique lorsqu’on clique dessus. Cependant, on peut les regarder à leur taille originale par un clic droit de la souris et le choix de “afficher” dans le menu qui apparaît.
Au revoir et à bientôt.
Pierre Béné, webmaster