Death of the brother of Jules Roy

Jules RoyWith some delay, we are inviting you to pray for Michel Roy, the brother of our confrere Jules, who died suddenly on the 15th December at the age of 72. Jules is very grateful to the four Missionaries of Africa in Canada who went to the funerals of his brother. This was greatly appreciated by the family.

Jules Roy is currently in Ndola, Zambia.

Avis de décès de Marcel Bilodeau, frère de notre confrère André

André_Bilodeau_2Chers confrères,

Le Père André Bilodeau, de Québec, vient d’annoncer le décès de son frère Marcel. Il écrit ceci :

« J’ai reçu, cette avant-midi (29 December), une mauvaise nouvelle. Mon frère Marcel qui demeurait à St-Georges (Beauce) est décédé. Il est né le 20 août 1929. Il avait donc 84 ans. Au mois d’août 2013, ils avaient souligné, sa femme Irène et lui, leur 60ième anniversaire de mariage. Ils ont quatre enfants : Yves, Doric, Serge et Danny.

Pour les funérailles, ma belle-sœur Irène a dit que la famille souhaitait quelque chose de simple et d’intime, i.e. les enfants et les petits-enfants. Pour le jour et l’endroit des funérailles, nous ne le savons pas. Prions pour Marcel et sa famille ! André »

Voir le document en PDF

Formation training of Camille Konkobo in Kinshasa, DRCongo

Camille KonkoboBy Camille Konkobo, M.Afr
On the 25th October, I went to Kinshasa, DRCongo, to follow a training course for formators. This training took place at CTV Mbudi Centre which is run by the Scheuts’ Fathers. Among other sessions, they also offer retreats and recollections together with many other facilities for religious and the clergy. I was impressed to see the numbers of religious Sisters, fourteen of them out of eighteen people from all over Congo except me from Zambia.
The training consisted in providing basic materiel and knowledge about the right spirit by which a formation house is led. We reflected on the life of formator or animator of community; which type of formator the candidates expect to get, what is helping us to manage adequately anger and other feelings and so on. Some practical exercises on spiritual and vocation discernment opened our minds. There was also a session about the charism of religious Congregations. To finish, we ploughed through the canonical law trying to understand few things concerning formation.
It is a good training course for those who cannot afford to attend a full year course. I don’t pretend to be a fully qualified trained formator but, at least, I have discover how to pursue my personal training.
Thank for all you who have helped me, prayed for me and encouraged me before and during my learning experience. 

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Death of Piet van Heijst’s sister

We share with you a message addressed to Felix Kamunenge, Parish Priest in Kitwe.
Piet_van_Heijst_02Dear Felix,
As you know, by the SMS I send you, my sister passed away very quietly this morning (27th December) at 6.00hrs (in Zambia 7.00hrs). On Sunday, when I arrived, was the last day that she was still conscious enough to know who were there. On Monday, we are not sure if she really recognized me. Since that day she has been unconscious but quiet. Her youngest daughter and husband were there this morning when she died.
I have been with her every day for a few hours and the last time was yesterday afternoon. It has been good so but it remains painful to miss my sister who has been so good to me where I spend the most of my home leaves.
About the funeral arrangements I will hear this afternoon. I thank all of you for the support you gave me when to decide to go or not. Remaining united and greetings to all parishioners.
Piet van Heijst, M.Afr
Let us pray for Piets’ sister and her family.

Few days in Edenglen, South Africa

Serge St-Arneault Filya 2 - CopieBy Serge St-Arneault, M.Afr
I was privileged to spent few days in South Africa and be welcomed at our house in Johannesburg, South Africa. Better known as Edenglen house, every confrere is warmly received by Didier Lemaine, Michel Meunier, Didier Michon and Seán O’Leary.
I enjoyed to accompany Michel to Radio Veritas where he is celebrating Mass from time to time at exactly 12:30. This Catholic radio station is quite close to Edenglen house.
Many thanks for helping all of us to feel at home. The following pictures give a glance of the outside building while, in the kitchen, you can recognised Jos Van Boxel cooking and serving wine alongside with Seán. Jos attended the ordination to the diaconate of Antony Alckias and Tomasz Podrazik in Merrivale. Norbert Angibaud was also there coming from Mozambique on his way back home to France for good after forty years of missionary life in Malawi and Mozambique. Norbert was welcomed by Didier Michon at O.R. Tembo International Airport which is at ten minutes’ drive from Edenglen.
In the chapel of Edenglen House, a special corner is dedicated to the confreres who worked in South Africa but died, two of them in brutal circumstances: Georges Bodinier (24th Sept. 1941 – 3rd Feb. 1985), Francis Carey (20th Sept. 1938 – 5th May 2010), Josef Stumpf (29th Nov. 1930 – 19th August 2006), Raymond Bourque (6th Jan. 1931 – 30th June 1978) and Louis Blondel (14th June 1939 – 7th Dec. 2009). May they rest in peace!

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Ordination to the Diaconate of Antony Alckias and Tomasz Podrazik

Tomasz Podrazik 2013Antony Alckias 2013The ordination of Antony and Tomasz took place on the 14th December 2013 at Saint Raphael Parish, Kwa Mzimba, Archdiocese of Durban, South Africa. His Eminence Wilfrid Cardinal Napier OFM, Archbishop of Durban confer the diaconate to our new confreres. The location of the church is also known as Henley where our confreres are ministering, Philippe Docq being the Parish Priest.
The liturgy was well prepared with songs mainly in isiZulu but also in English, Kiswahili and Lingala. Many confreres were present including Fr. Jos Van Boxel from Rome and Bishop Jan De Groef of Bethlelem Diocese in South Africa.
The Christian Communities of KwaMzimba – St. Raphael, Enthembeni – St. Pius, KwaDeda – Our Lady of Fatima, KwaGezubuso – St. Veronica, and KwaNgubeni – St. Joseph congratulate the new Deacons.
The Missionaries of Africa, Merrivale Formation House Community, thank wholeheartedly also all those who responded to the invitation to this ordination and in a special way those who have contributed to prepare this celebration.
Our Lady, Queen of Africa
Pray for us!

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Missionary Oath of Antony Alckias and Tomasz Podrazik in Merrivale, South Africa


Christmas letter from Bishop Jan De Groef

Jan-De-Groef-2013_modifié-1Dear friends,
Another Christmas. What is the difference with last year’s? Is there more peace and happiness in the world and in South Africa? I would say ‘not’, looking at the present situation: civil war in Syria, ongoing turmoil in Libya and Egypt, no real peace yet in Soudan even after the division …. And so on. Also South Africa is still plagued with the same evil of bad governance resulting in many service delivery protests and corruption highlighted by an ecumenical campaign in which also the Catholic Church in South Africa joined. The second African Synod came out with a strong invitation for justice, peace and reconciliation but it seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. In former president Nelson Mandela, who passed away just recently, we had an icon of leadership – together with some of his other companions in the struggle against apartheid – and a beacon of light, but, unfortunately many of the present leaders do not follow suit.
What is then the good news about this Christmas? It is about the Christ-child born in Bethlehem lovingly received by Mary and Joseph, opening his arms to embrace the whole world. FULL LETTER

Cinq ans de mission au Mozambique – Sylvain Yaméogo

sylvain_yameogo 2013Sylvain Yaméogo, 37 ans, est né à Koudougou, au Burkina Faso. Après son ordination en 2007, il a été nommé au Mozambique où il a d’abord travaillé dans la paroisse et sanctuaire “Nossa Senhora de Fátima”, dans l’archidiocèse de Beira. Après la remise de la paroisse au diocèse, il rejoint la propédeutique des Pères Blancs à Beira où il donne un coup de main dans la formation. 
Il poursuit à Friant un master en missiologie à L’ISTR.
 « Je suis venu pour que vous ayez la vie et que vous l’ayez en abondance » Jn 10, 10. C’est cette sentence de Jésus tirée de l’évangile de Jean que j’ai choisie, à mon ordination et cette parole m’a habité depuis mon éveil vocationnel et m’anime encore aujourd’hui: à elle seule, elle résume mon expérience personnelle du Christ ressuscité. Pour moi, il est essentiel que toute mon activité missionnaire atteigne l’homme dans toutes ses dimensions : sociale, culturelle, politique, économique et spirituelle. C’est avec cet idéal au cœur, qu’après mon ordination en 2007, je reçus ma nomination au Mozambique, plus précisément dans la paroisse “Nossa Senhora de Fátima” (Notre Dame de Fatima), à Murraça.
Mes débuts furent difficiles, il me fallait apprendre deux langues en même temps : le portugais et le chisena. 
Dear friends,
I hope you are all doing fine by the grace of God.
Just to wish you a Merry Christmas and happy New year 2014. 
Love, Sylvain

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Mafrwestafrica – Lettre du 24 décembre 2013

Mafrwestafrica 02Aujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous souhaitent tout d’abord une belle fête de Noël ainsi qu’une année 2014 pleine de joies et de découvertes
Dans la rubrique « Maisons de formation » :
« Prise d’habit à Kasama »,
 en Zambie, l’un des lieux où se vit l’année spirituelle. Parmi les nouveaux novices, deux sont originaires de notre province d’Afrique de l’Ouest
 (lire la suite) 
« Acolytat à Abidjan »
, notre maison de 4ème étape en Côte d’Ivoire. Parmi les nouveaux acolytes, un togolais et un malien, de la PAO. (lire la suite) 
« Serment missionnaire et diaconat à Abidjan »
, pour cinq jeunes confrères, dont Armand Dakouo, originaire du Mali, c’est l’engagement définitif dans notre société missionnaire. (lire la suite)
Dans la rubrique « Actualités » :
« Baobab Echos n° 18 
», la dernière édition du bulletin de notre province (décembre 2013). (lire la suite)
Dans la rubrique « Dialogue interreligieux » :
« Mariage Islamo Chrétien au Mali »
, un article du Père Josef Stamer, qui travaille à l’IFIC (Institut de formation islamo chrétienne) à Bamako. (lire la suite)
Dans la rubrique « Vu au Sud, – Vu du Sud » :
« La journée nationale du paysan » 
, la reproduction d’un article paru dans le quotidien « Le Pays » au Burkina Faso, qui pose la question de savoir si cette journée est vraiment pour les paysans ou pour les décideurs politiques.
 (lire la suite) 
Dans la rubrique « Témoignages » :
« L’Afrique du sud, vue par Albert Kondemodre ». Albert, originaire du diocèse de Kaya au Burkina, partage ce qui l’a frappé au cours de sa première année en Afrique du sud. (lire la suite)
« Trois « anciens » de la Province », les Pères Fagnon, Bailleul, et de Clebsattel, racontent ce qu’ils ont vécu jusqu’ici(lire la suite)
Sylvain_Yameogo«  Sylvain Yameogo, du Mozambique ». Après cinq ans d’engagement dans ce pays, le Père Sylvain dit quelle a été son expérience dans ce pays. (lire la suite)

What Child is this?

Did you ever notice what we do when we hold a small child?
We all do it. Our eyes. We look straight into the child’s face, and silently speak the wonder, awe, love that can’t be put into words.
Our lips. We use our lips a lot when holding a baby. We purse them, make sounds that aren’t words, and we kiss the child from a distance.
Our arms. If ever arms expressed holding something precious, they do it when we cradle a tiny baby. Few could describe such grace, but everyone can picture it.
Our whole body. Did you ever notice that we never stand still when holding a tiny baby? We slowly sway from side to side, turn in half circles, lean forward and back.
Did you ever stop to think that you were once held that way? Anyone who ever held you as a tiny child held you that way.
Did you ever stop to think that God holds you that way? Not just when you were a tiny child, but now! Even if things aren’t going well – especially if things aren’t going well.
What child is this? It’s me. In God’s arms.
Merry Christmas.
Mary and the child Jesus by Coninx_modifié-1The author of this text is unknown but the drawing was made by our confrere Anthony Coninx on a piece of cloth given to Antoon Oostveen years ago. Anthony headed the Communication Office at the Catholic Secretariat and set up Radio Yatsani. He had great artistic gifts. Unfortunately, he has Alzheimer and had to be put in an institution in Belgium.
Let us pray for him and for all our sick confreres who have dedicated their lives to the Lord Jesus in our common mission in Africa. They are in God’s arms today in a special way.
Oh behalf of the Southern Africa Province (SAP), I wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy 2014 New Year.
Father Serge St-Arneault, M.Afr
SAP Provincial Secretary

Newsletter South Africa no 34 – December 23, 2013

Newsletter South Africa no 34On this second day before Christmas, I am happy to come again and to wish you a very “lucid” one! This is an idea taken from the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Lucid comes from Latin and means “from the light”, “filled with light”, “clear”. 
We just lost our dear Tata Madiba who was one of those lucid ones, who reflected light and was a bearer of light in our world.
May we try to imitate some of his virtues by being bearers of peace, justice and reconciliation.  Indeed, Christmas awakens in us our deepest longings, and only God can fulfil them, but occasionally, in the course of history He gives us some models to imitate, and Nelson Mandela was surely one of them. FULL TEXT

Present Magazine Christmas 2013

Present Magazine Christmas 2013Christmas greetings from the Southern, I hope and trust that all is well with you and that you are eagerly waiting to welcome the Light of the world, Christ, our King and Saviour.
At Christmas, Christ brings us the blessings of great joy, a message of peace and the immense love of God, his Father. It is no doubt that our Holy Father’s message in his Apostolic Exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium, echoes this fact and invites us to be messengers of Joy and Hope in our changing world today.
I invite you all to find a copy of this captivating, challenging and converting message from our Holy Father. Believe me that, after you have read his message, you will never be the same, change will definitely be felt and seen in you. Indeed, there will surely be some transformation in your life. I have read it and it has made me reflect and let myself be challenged by its richness and depth.
May you experience the Joy of Christmas and be compelled to radiate it to all you meet, especially the little ones and the marginalised of our society.
God bless and may the King who brings us Peace, Joy and Love, be your guide and strength. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Full magazine
Fr. Kangwa Francis, M.Afr – Vocation Director
From Left: Julius Musonda, Fr. Kangwa, Rogers Mwansa and Peter Mutasha
From Left: Julius Musonda, Fr. Kangwa, Rogers Mwansa and Peter Mutasha

New Perspectives in Mission: the Challenge for New Paradigms

FENZA logo 02held its last conference of the year on Saturday 7th December, under the theme: New Perspectives in Mission: the Challenge for New Paradigms.
Three speakers shared their understanding of Mission, in relation to the theme. Fr Lastone Robert Lupupa, SJ, currently Parish Priest at Our Heavenly Father Parish in Chelstone, spoke about how he became interested in the mass media, and how he uses them to spread the Good News in Zambia and beyond. For him, the mass and social media are a great tool to reach out to more people who thirst for the Word of God. Reverend Pastor Ezron Z. Musonda, the Principal of the Baptist Theological Seminary of Zambia, shared his experience of Evangelism prior to his teaching career. He explained that for the Baptists Bible Study Groups and the physical pastoral contact remain a fundamental way of evangelising.
As a way of synthesis, Fr. Marc Nsanzurwimo, a missiologist and member of FENZA gave an expansive academic comprehension of Mission today. He underlined the different approaches to mission that took place. He highlighted the challenges and opportunities that globalisation presents to Evangelisation. He ended his presentation by pointing out some fundamentals in evangelisation such as Justice and Peace, Reconciliation and the Care for Creation. See the PDF document.
As usual, time was given to the participants to ask questions and to react to the presentations. This prompted a good sharing of views and experiences. This conference made it clear once again, that today fast-changing world presents challenging opportunities to evangelise. Will we rise up to the challenge for new paradigms? And how? These will remain ongoing questions.
Next year, FENZA shall organise 3 conferences on pertinent issues, drawing hopefully as many even more participants.

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Migrants around the world

International Labour Organisation LogoThe issue of migrants is closely linked to the issue of modern slavery. A large percentage of migrants are victims of labour and sexual exploitation leading them to live a life of slavery. In addition, some migrants are victims of human trafficking, which is one of the new forms of slavery.

Whereas the context of this ‘dossier’ leads us to look at the ‘migrants-issue’ from its negative aspects, we should not forget its economic, cultural and spiritual aspects. In fact, many nations both those who send and receive migrants ,would not be what they are today – especially in terms of economic development- without the contribution made by millions of immigrants. FULL TEXT

Death of Father Paul Gallen in France

paul_gallenLe Père Provincial de France des “Missionnaires d’Afrique” vous fait part du retour au Seigneur du Père Paul Gallen du diocèse de Vannes, décédé le 12 décembre 2013 à l’âge de 65 ans dont 38 ans de vie missionnaire essentiellement en Zambie et en France. La célébration des obsèques ont eu lieu le 14 décembre en la chapelle Saint Paul, boulevard Brune à Paris.
Jalons de la vie du Père Paul Gallen
Naissance: Cherbourg, 04/01/1948
Année Spirituelle : Broome Hall, 10/09/1970
Serment : Strasbourg, 17/05/1975
Prêtrise: Sauzon (Belle Ile), 27/06/1976
01/09/1976 Stage de langue Ilondola, Zambie
01/03/1977 Vicaire Malole, Kasama, Zambie
01/01/1982 Vicaire Lwena,  Zambie
01/01/1986 Vicaire Chilubi, Kasama, Zambie
16/09/1993 Session-Retraite Jérusalem
15/04/1994 Vicaire Kasaba, Mansa, Zambie
01/12/1994 Membre du conseil régional en Zambie
01/06/1995 Curé à Kasaba/Kasanka, Mansa, Zambie
01/09/1996 Sabbatique
20/02/1997 Vicaire Nondo, Kasama, Zambie
01/09/1997 Membre du conseil régional en Zambie
07/01/2000 Sabbatique
01/01/2001 Formation & Animation à Ste-Foy-les-Lions, France
01/09/2002 Session DMA, Jérusalem
05/11/2003 Nommé en Zambie
29/03/2004 Ministère à Ndola,  Zambie
10/02/2007 Retour en France
01/10/2007 Nommé pour l’accueil à Paris, rue Friant, France
31/03/2009 Année Sabbatique au Canada – 05.04.10
01/07/2010 Accueil à Paris, rue Friant, France
01/10/2010 Accueil à Paris, Verlomme, France
12/12/2013 Retour au Seigneur à Paris, Verlomme, France

Missionary Oath of Antony Alckias and Tomasz Podrazik in Merrivale, South Africa

Oath 13-11-13 10The Oath of Antony and Tomasz took place at Merrivale Formation House on the 13th December 2013 among many friends and confreres on a beautiful shining and warm day. Father Jos Van Boxel presided mass which was sung in English, Mooré, Chichewa, Kiswahili, Latin (Santa Maria), isiZulu, French, Tamil, Polish and Lingala. See some pictures of the event.

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Interview with Jennifer K. Lynne

jenniferheadshotIn this new interview we welcome the invitation to share our Anti-Slavery campaign with people from all cultures and religions. This time we are interviewing Jennifer K. Lynne. She is a buddhist and a peace builder.  
In our attempt to deconstruct today’s energies of enslavement, we shall explore with her how we can become enslaved of internalized mental constructs that keep narrowing our sense of identity; also how we risk to be enslaved of the illusion of being separated from the world. She shares with us her Engaged Identity Theory. Her theory “suggests the cultivation of the capacities for listening, patience and respect as foundations for conflict transformation and peace building. The idea is that through listening, patience and respect we expand our identities to see that ‘other’ is really a form of self in a different expression of experience and perception. (…) It is just a way of looking at our human experience that acknowledges things like change and root causes of suffering and suggests the development of three basic human capacities as foundations for engagement.” FULL INTERVIEW
Beauty Nature3

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, 1st January 2014

copertina-enFraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace

In this, my first Message for the World Day of Peace, I wish to offer to everyone, individuals and peoples, my best wishes for a life filled with joy and hope. In the heart of every man and woman is the desire for a full life, including that irrepressible longing for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced.

Fraternity is an essential human quality, for we are relational beings. A lively awareness of our relatedness helps us to look upon and to treat each person as a true sister or brother; without fraternity it is impossible to build a just society and a solid and lasting peace. (…)

The ever-increasing number of interconnections and communications in today’s world makes us powerfully aware of the unity and common destiny of the nations. In the dynamics of history, and in the diversity of ethnic groups, societies and cultures, we see the seeds of a vocation to form a community composed of brothers and sisters who accept and care for one another. But this vocation is still frequently denied and ignored in a world marked by a “globalization of indifference” which makes us slowly inured to the suffering of others and closed in on ourselves. FULL TEXT