Visit to the Queen of the Lozi kingdom, Zambia

Mongu-Nov-2014-03St. Gabriel’s Parish, Namushakende, Mongu, Zambia

Wednesday the 19th of November was a memorable day for our Namushakende Parish. That was the day when we had organized a visit to the Queen of the Lozi kingdom, the female Litunga or as she is refereed to, the Litunga of the Southern Lozi land, at her palace in Nalolo, across the great Zambezi River. Litunga means the owner of the land. We the staff of St. Gabriel’s Parish, Namushakende, accompanied by Fr. Venerato Babaine who was visiting at that time, two religious Sisters working in the parish, a few leaders of the Parish, and a group of the Catholic Women’s League from some Parishes in Mongu and some from the Centres in our parish. We were all together 36 people.

We started off from Namushakende around 07:00 hours, drove to Machapa Centre just at the edge of the Zambezi plains, and from there drove 15 km through the Barotse flood plains to the bank of the Zambezi. The boat “driver” took us in 3 loads across the river, and from there we walked to Nalolo village and the palace of the Queen amidst great jubilations and excitement.

The Manduna (the traditional elders and council of the palace) and the staff of the palace received us well and organised the place where we could celebrate Mass with the Queen, in front of her royal palace. It is interesting to note that almost all elders (Manduna) and the court of the Queen are not Catholics. In the presence of the Queen, our choir was mainly made up of the Catholic Women’s League who offered us a good and prayerful liturgy. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Robert Lavertu who was to offer his farewell greetings during the same visit, and he was accompanied by Fr. Alfred Awogya. We seized the opportunity of our visit to introduce to the Queen Fr Christian Muhineza and Joseph Kakule who have arrived to work in Namushakende,

After the Mass, we were allowed inside the palace to meet the Queen in two groups, first the Priests and the Sisters, then the CWL and the other lay people. It was a warm welcome that was offered to us, and the Queen offered us delicious snacks of her own. In our conversation, the Queen, who is a committed Catholic, emphasized how much she appreciates to be visited and to pray with groups like ours; she invited us to visit her again. After a long time at the Palace, we made our way back to the river to be taken across in 3 trips as previously.

The whole ceremony and visit was coloured by deep cultural reverence and display. For us as missionaries working here, it was a great lesson on culture and insertion in the rich and profound deposit of the Lozi cultural heritage. We had a great day, and all the participants expressed their joy and satisfaction, and their desire to repeat the visit some time later.

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Celebration of the 8th December 2014 in Dombe, Mozambique

Although Dombe Parish is in a remote rural area, the Missionaries of Africa working in Mozambique have decided this year to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception together with Pequenas Missionárias de Maria Imaculada (Little Missionaries of Mary Immaculate). We started the day with a meeting chaired by Richard Ujwigowa on behalf of the Delegate Superior Timothée who is on home leave. We had a brain storming about our mission in Mozambique, in particular within the diocese of Chimoio. Many questions were raised: should we stay in the diocese of Chimoio? Should we leave? What is our aim as Missionaries of Africa working in Mozambique?

This reflection was made in a climate of free discussion, without being judgmental and pointing out the matter objectively. No decision was taken. Richard presented also some information about the Provincial Council which took place in Lusaka in November.  

We celebrated Mass with others Missionaries, namely the Pequenas Missionárias de Maria imaculada, Obra de Maria (Work of Mary) and the Fazenda da Esperança (Family of hope). We ended the day with music and sharing a good meal together at the residence of the Fathers.

Viva, 8 de dezembro!  Florent Sawadogo


Invitation from FENZA – public conference

Marc Nsanzurwimo_2012_Bfenza-logo 02Faith and Encounter Centre Zambia invites you to a public conference on “moving from one Church to the other” this coming Saturday 20th December 2014 at 15:00hrs at Bauleni Parish.

The talk is entitled: “Changing Churches: Are your neighbors’ pastures greener?”

Speaker: Fr. Marc Nsanzurwimo, M.Afr

Venue: Bauleni, Catholic Church (Off Leopards Hill Road, near to Radio Yatsani)

Time: 15:00hrs – 17:30hrs

We hope to see you. Thanks!

 Fr. Romaric Bationo, M.Afr

Greetings from Victor Sambari Sanou, stagiaire at Saint Anne Parish in Kasama, Zambia

Victor Sanou_modifié-2I renewed my Declaration of Intent on the 14th December after three days of silence and meditation. This is an important step for me. It gave me an opportunity to have a look at my vocations’ journey. I was inspired by the passage of John 1, 35-51: “We have found the Messiah”. After five years of discernment with the Missionaries of Africa, I still feel the need to look into my motivations, my desires and my personality. I still continue my journey to follow Jesus Christ and to answer his call.

This third Sunday of Advent, I was happy to renew my Declaration of Intent during the English Mass. I felt the support of the parishioners and the novices from Lua-Luo formation house. I am not alone in my search. In his homely, Father Pierre Lafollie emphasised on the humility of John the Baptist, the messenger of Jesus Christ.

I am ready to continue following Jesus. I am listening to Him by welcoming his message. I pray for myself and for my fellow stagiares. May The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of vocations intercedes for us.

I thank my community members for their help and fraternal correction. I thank my Delegate Superior and Provincial for the care they show to all of us. I thank our Brother Venerato Babaine, the Coordinator of the stagiares, for his dedication and zeal in travelling long distances and to listen to us. May God continue to call young people to join the Missionaries of Africa.