Launching of St. Bakhita Day 2015, A day of prayer for an end to human trafficking around the world.

St. Josephine BakhitaBy Fr. Raymond McQuarrie, M.Afr., Episcopal Vicar for Justice & Peace

Following the first planning meeting for the launching of St. Bakhita Day 2015, and the Renew Africa 2015 Planning meeting this morning, I will like to inform you of the following event being planned by the Anti-Trafficking Department of the SACBC, under the care of Sr. Melanie O’Connor: Event:Launching of the Feast of St. Bakhita (Actual Feast Day on 8th Feb). As Human Trafficking Awareness Day for South Africa

Date: Sunday 15th February 2015. Venue: Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Soweto. Time of Procession: 08:00am – To Moroka Police Station. Time of Mass: 09:00am – At Regina Mundi. Please put this date in your diaries and inform your colleagues, parishioner and friends.

As the Department of Justice and Peace, in collaboration with the SACBC Trafficking Department, we appeal to other Archdiocesan Departments, and all parishes and parishioners, to join our Bishops in making our voices heard, and taking a public stand against trafficking of human beings.

Join us in our procession from Regina Mundi Church to the Moroka Police station to deliver a memorandum on Trafficking.  Join us as we celebrate the Holy Mass, honouring St. Bakhita, imploring her intercession, guidance, protection and inspiration, especially for the many millions of men, women & children trafficked around the world, in Africa, and especially in South Africa.

In the spirit of Renew Africa, which we have just celebrated in our Archdiocese, let us work together and collaborate as diocesan departments, in serving our people – whether we serve with Health/HIV-AIDS, Youth, SPRED, Evangelisation, Liturgy, Communications, Vocations, Catechesis, etc, for His greater glory and the coming of His Kingdom. More information will be made available in early January, or please contact Sr. Melanie (SACBC) directly or the Dept. of Justice & Peace at the Chancery.

With every good wish and God bless.

Perpetual Oath and Diaconate Ordination of Serge Zihalirwa Boroto, M.Afr

Diaconate Henley 2014 13 copieMerrivale, on the 4th December 2014

By Amorain Wayikpo

On the 28th November 2014, in the Formation House of Missionaries of Africa – Merrivale South Africa, Serge Zihalirwa Boroto made his perpetual oath. He was born in 1981 in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. He started this initial formation with the Missionaries of Africa in 2005. Since January 2012, Serge Boroto has been doing his theological studies in St. Joseph Theological Institute of Cedara.

The Eucharistic celebration which was animated by the candidates of the House began at 11:00 and ended at 13:00. The presider was Fr. Christopher Chileshe, the Provincial, superior of Southern Africa Province (SAP).

Before the oath, Serge Boroto professed his faith and belief according to the Roman Catholic Church and its official teachings and Tradition. This was in view of his diaconate ordination, evidently in the presence of ocular witnesses such as Fr. Christopher Chileshe, Fr. Raphael Gasimba the former superior and rector of Merrivale community and some members of Boroto’s family.

Indeed, it was in the name of Rev. Fr. Richar Kuuia Baawobr, Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa, that Fr. Christopher received the perpetual oath of Serge Boroto which made the latter become a full member of the Society. Commenting on the readings (1 Sam 3:1-10; Psalm 103; Col 3: 12-17; John 15:9-17) chosen by the deacon to be, Fr. Christopher congratulated him for having reached that moment of responding to the Lord as Samuel: “Speak Lord your servant is listening”. He also took this opportunity to thank Serge’s family and friends because there is no doubt that a good missionary comes from a good family, in the sense of being supportive. Moreover, he especially appreciated the formators in their role, as Eli in Samuel’s call to have guided Serge toward answering the call from God. However he reminded him of the importance of being connected to Christ. Otherwise, if he misses this connection he then misses the point and everything will fall apart. On one hand to remain in Christ means that a missionary must have a restless search for God and restless love for God. On the other hand, love to others comes with its Cross. For Christ, it was manifested at Calvary, but for the disciple of Jesus, it is in sacrificial charity and in the daily activities of life.  “Serge, through today’s oath you will be taking up the ‘visa for martyrdom’ which Lavigerie had pointed to. There is always a cost to love other people dearly and sincerely. It is that Cross you must be willing to take up each day for your missionary life.”

Some family members of Serge after the Mass. Brothers and sisters; daughters and brothers in law and friends of Serge came from Bukavu, France, Belgium, Canada and South Africa (Pretoria and Cape Town) to witness to this event.

The party of perpetual oath took place in the community hall called “Maison Carrée”, where the guests enjoyed themselves with a copious meal and lovely music. In the following image some people expressed their joy, one carrying the cake of the day on his head and dancing in procession.

It was really a joyful and beautiful day.  The following day, on the 29th November 2014, Serge Zihalirwa Boroto was ordained deacon at St. Raphael’s Parish, Kwamzimba, by Right Reverend Father Jan De Greef, M.Afr, Bishop of the diocese, Bethlehem in South Africa.

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Read this article in French at : « Serment missionnaire à Merrivale». Amorain Wayikpo, originaire du Togo et étudiant dans ce centre de formation en Afrique du Sud partage la joie de l’engagement définitif d’un congolais dans la Société des M.Afr. (lire la suite) 

JPIC-ED Bulletin December 2014 – January 2015

Bulletin JPIC-ED logo-No. 11-January-2014All things to all. By Richard Nnyombi, M.Afr

Christmas is already looming on the horizon! A joyful feast indeed not only for Christians but also for others who are not adherents to the Christian faith. According to one of the websites, Christmas is the second most popular annual feasts worldwide after New Year, followed by Eid al-Fitr, Eid-al-Adha, Valentine, Diwali, etc. Surprisingly, different people have different reasons for celebrating this day and not all Christians celebrate it because of its Christian understanding of ‘God’s incarnation in Jesus-Christ’. The key message that seems to be appealing to many in this feast is that of peace and good-will echoed in the message of the angels to the shepherds: “…….and peace on earth to all people of good will.” (Lk. 2: 14). Wouldn’t this feast, therefore, in a way be an expression of humanity’s longing for the incarnation of peace and good-will on the earth?

The Christian understanding of Christmas was the foundation of Cardinal Lavigerie’s preference for and recommendation of the tout-à-tous (making ourselves all things to all) to his missionaries as the apostolic method par excellence of witnessing to the Gospel and Kingdom values. Inspired by St. Paul (cf. 1 Cor. 9: 22; also Phil. 2: 1-11), he sees in the tout-à-tous “God’s way of doing things, the divine way.” How relevant but also how demanding is this instruction of our Founder in the multi-cultural and multi-faith globalised world of today? And to what extent does it urge us to purify our intentions so that we do not use it as a tactic to convert others to our faith community! How are we transmitting this divine way of doing things to our spiritual sons and daughters who are members of the Christian communities of which we are so proud to be the spiritual parents and founders through our predecessors?

When our spiritual sons and daughters in the local churches show hatred and aversion to the ‘different-others’ especially those of different faith communities, e.g. Islam and ATR, is it not a sign of failure on our side for not having passed on to them this spiritual and apostolic divine way  essentially enshrined in the Christmas message? A Luganda proverb says that: “Ennyonyi enkulu y’eyigiriza ento okwonoona mu kisulo.” (The old bird teaches the young ones to foul the nest). Would this mean that we ourselves have fallen short of living out the depth and breadth of this divine method?

May this Christmas season be yet another privileged moment of prayer and reflection and may it help us to rediscover the divine wisdom hidden in this instruction of our Founder, a tradition which we are so proud to name as a constitutive element of our missionary identity and our way of doing mission.

I wish each and everybody a very Happy Christmas and a blessed and fruitful new year.