Mafrwestafrica – Lettre du 28 juin 2015


cropped-mafrwestafrica-02.jpgAujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site www.mafrwestafrica.net :

Dans la rubrique « Actualités » :
« Nouvelles de la Province d’Afrique Occidentale » ; quelques informations fournies au sujet des ordinations à venir, du nouvel économe provincial, et du dernier conseil provincial. 
(lire la suite) 
« Le point de vue d’un non croyant sur ‘Laudato si’ » le sociologue Edgar Morin est très intéressé par la dernière encyclique du pape.
(lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Témoignages » :
« Construire des ponts d’amitié» :
 le témoignage d’une Soeur Missionnaire de ND d’Afrique, qui travaille dans un bidonville au Kenya (lire la suite)
« Cinquantenaire, pourquoi faire ? », ce qu’en dit Mgr Jean Gabriel Diarra, l’évêque du diocèse de San au Mali, à l’occasion de la célébration du cinquantenaire de ce diocèse 
(lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Dialogue interreligieux » :
« Ramadan 2015 »
 c’est le 18 juin dernier qu’a commencé la période de jeûne du Ramadan pour nos frères musulmans de par le monde (lire la suite) 
« Voeux de l’Eglise pour le Ramadan»
. La présentation du texte du Cardinal Tauran, président du conseil pontifical pour la dialogue interreligieux, et la lettre de Mgr Claude Rault, évêque de Laghouat-Ghardaia. (lire la suite) 
« Quelques publications intéressantes »
. La présentation de quelques livres qui aident à mieux comprendre le dialogue interreligieux. (lire la suite)
« Nouvelles du Moyen Orient », quelques articles pris sur le site de l’ARCRE et qui traitent de la situation toujours préoccupante dans cette partie du monde. 
(lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Justice et Paix » :
« L’encyclique Laudato si »
 cette encyclique du Pape François qui appelle à prendre soin du monde qui a été confié aux hommes… (lire la suite)
« Islam et économie au Burkina Faso » texte du Professeur Issa Cissé, universitaire et islamologue Burkinabè 
(lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Vu au sud, vu du sud » :
« Sécheresse inquiétante au Burkina »
 un article paru dans « Le Monde » du 31 mai-1er juin : « Les vents fous du réchauffement »…(lire la suite) 
« Gardiens de la terre»
 : un texte écrit par le Père Maurice Oudet, et publié dans le « Petit Echo » du mois de juin 2015. (lire la suite) 
« Situation au Mali et au Burkina »,
 des questions sur l’avenir politique du Mali, et des recommandations de prudence pour la Burkina. (lire la suite) 

25th anniversary of Kolibo Vocation Centre and end of 2015 candidacy course.


Kolobo 25 years 04Dear Missionaries of Africa, Missionaries Sisters of Our Lady of Africa, M.Afr students and ex-students, MIMSAF members, parents and friends. 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the existence of Kolibo Vocation Centre in Serenje. A special Mass was celebrated on the 14th June coinciding with the closing of the 2015 candidacy course which ended in a good mood. For now, the students are on leave waiting for the opening of their academic year in Balaka, Malawi, for Philosophy.

25 years is truly a blessing. May the Lord blesses our work of promoting vocations for the Church of Christ.

Camille Konkobo, M.Afr, Vocation and Missionary Animator in Zambia.

Names of the candidates who participated to the 2015 candidacy course: From Mozambique: Gineto Xavier Penicera, Rafael Gabriel Benjamin Campira, José Manuel Castiao Quissimisse. From Zambia: Darious Mwape (Mansa), Cuthbert Chilalika (Ndola), Kelvin Mutalala, George Kunda and Reagan Chola (Chingola), Louis Kangwa (Kasama), Vincent Mutale (Chongwe) and Sandram Mwanza (Mukushi).

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MIMSAF recollection on Consecrated Life


MIMSAF-Recollection-June-2015-01A dozen members of the Lay Association of the Missionaries of Africa (MIMSAF) had a recollection on Saturday June 20 under the theme of Consecrated Life. The theme appealed to them as the first consecration of our Christian life comes from our baptism. Invited to be vigilant, Saint Paul is commanding us to God and his WORD that can build us up, that has the power to make us grow. We are all consecrated and remain so as long as we work hard to support the weak. (Acts of the Apostles 20: 28-38)

Jesus himself in John 17: 11-19 is passing on to us the WORD of his Father. It is the same WORD which has the power to build us up. But Jesus is warning us that fierce wolves are perverting the truth in search of imposing their earthly power or domination. It can be financial, political, ideological or even religious. All of them lead to exclusion, extremism, fanaticism and death.

We are in that world but not IN the world because of our consecration. We are consecrated in the truth as long as we work hard and help or support the weak.

OUR VOCATION IS TO BE CONSECRATED TO THE TRUTH.

Through meaningful community and family life.

Through respectful sharing of ideas, inspirations and visions.

Through faithfulness to our vows, promises and commitments.

Through prayers and joyful spirit.

Through faith and love as the Servant Jesus has taught us to be, in self-giving for the kingdom of God.

MIMSAF-Recollection-June-2015-02

The Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) in South Africa 1970-2015


Coffe Table logo

However, soon the need for chaplains to serve other miners extends the work of the Chaplaincy and becomes known as the Catholic Mine Chaplaincy. The bulk of the work takes place in four Dioceses (Archdiocese of Johannesburg and the Dioceses of Rustenburg, Witbank and Dundee). Over the following twenty years, the responsibility to serve the mines becomes more and more entrusted to the local Church; gradually, the handover to local parishes is done between 1992 and 1994. 

At the same time, as the M.Afr become more known in South Africa, we see new requests for more Missionaries to come. In rather quick succession, communities are established in Phuthaditjhaba, and later on in Bohlokong, both in Bethlehem Diocese; Tweefontein and Siyabuswa in Kwandebele, and Diepsloot, all in Pretoria Archdiocese; Kamhlushwa and Malelane in Lebombo, and later on, in Kwaguqa, all in Witbank Diocese. 

In 2008, the M.Afr start a Formation Centre in Merrivale, near Cedara St. Joseph’s Theological Institute, in Durban Archdiocese. Our most recent insertion in this archdiocese is Henley parish, close to Merrivale. This gives a chance to our candidates in formation to get some practical pastoral experience.

Presence in Johannesburg Archdiocese

In 1987, the M.Afr take three parishes in Soweto: Zola, Zondi and Emdeni. In 1992, they start a new Parish in Protea North. These four parishes are handed over to the local clergy in 1996.

On 1st January 1994, the M.Afr open the Orange Farm Pastoral Region, which is to become a real hive of active development projects. Eight churches are served systematically in this area, until its handover in April 2012. From 1998 to 2004, three M.Afr served in Lumko Institute.

In 2003, the M.Afr, who specialize in dialogue with non-Christian religions, take over the parish of Lenasia where we find a dense population of Muslims and Hindus. 

A Community House in Edenglen, Johannesburg, opened in 1998, assumes the administration of the South African Sector. Many confreres from different countries pass through this guest house. The resident priests of this community offer much appreciated service to local parishes and religious communities in that area. They also have helped celebrating Mass at Radio Veritas every week since 2008. 

The Mission Continues

The Missionary of Africa presence in South Africa over the years has tried to respond to the requests of the local Church, and in particular, to requests of building a vibrant local Church, especially where the Church was not established. This has happened in the areas mentioned above, territories now served by local priests. Dwindling vocations, old age and a loss of two confreres at the hands of assassins, coupled with a policy of eventually handing over to the local Church, has resulted in a reduction of parish commitments to Malelane, Lenasia and Henley.

As needs are deemed to be greater in other parts of Africa, for the time being there is no plan to extend our presence in South Africa – unless we get more vocations, thus increasing our personnel -, but rather to consolidate our actual commitments. The M.Afr have tried to be true to their vocation: establishing a vibrant missionary Church, handing over and moving on!

Note: this short article was written in view of a ‘Coffee-Table Book’ published by the Archdiocese of Johannesburg. Each community/parish/Institute was invited to write one page size in that book.

25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Sandton Convention Centre Johannesburg South Africa, June 11th to 15th 2015


25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union 01Introduction:  In my capacity as Former Director of the Denis Hurley Peace Institute, I was asked by the Apostolic Nunciature to be one of two delegates to represent the Holy Sea at the 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) in Johannesburg. The other person was the Counsellor of the Nunciature. We were accredited Observer Status; which meant we could only attend ‘open sessions’ and not those held behind ‘closed doors’. The organisation of such a huge event could not be faulted; and once again South Africa must be credited with delivering the goods. A major drawback was the fact that timetables were rarely heeded and sessions often went on into the late night. It was a tragedy that the proceedings were eclipsed by the presence of President Omar Al Bashir from Sudan. He had been promised that an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant of arrest would not be carried out; despite South Africa have ratified the ICC protocol.  This was a costly mistake as the saga became the focus of the Assembly. A local NGO won a court order to have the President remain in South Africa until the same court ruled on whether he should be arrested or not. With over 1.000 South African soldiers on a peace mission in Darfur; South Africa were taken no chances of possible revenge and had President Bashir ushered out of the country in a top secret mission. However, the harm had been done and a lot of the good work of the Assembly went unnoticed. As an Observer one could roam freely during intervals and greet whoever one wanted. I availed of this possibility to greet the Presidents of the countries DHPI worked in and where possible to discuss our work. I met President Bashir who was most pleasant and President Salva Kirr from South Sudan.  As Presidents were seated in alphabetical order, normally the two Sudanese should have been seated side by side but the organisers decided to split them by putting the head of the Seychelles between them. Interestingly, the South Africans had invited Riek Machar to be present in Johannesburg for yet another attempt at peace brokering in South Sudan and again behind closed doors.

The Opening ceremony a lavish affair, had curtailed speakers to 7 minutes opening remarks. The speakers included President Zuma from South Africa, Dr. Kosazana Zuma, Chairperson of the AU, a delegate representing Ban Ki Moon from the UN, President Mahoud Abbas from Palestine who spoke in Arabic and President Mugabe, the present Chairperson of Heads of State. President Mugabe spoke for close on one hour, was highly amusing, as he hurled insults at leaders across the globe. Few were speared his wrath and no one dared try and stop him talking.

The Content:  There is no doubt that the rhetoric was impressive and music to the ears for all those who wanted to see fundamental change in Africa. What was missing across the five days was a plan of action and a commitment to see it implemented. The theme of the 24th Assembly in January this year was ‘gender’ but this was eclipsed by ‘The Ebola Epidemic and Boko Haram and this time round one could see that there was a concerted effort to place the ‘gender issue’ at the heart of the Assembly. The American actress and UN Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie gave a passionate plea for an end to gender based violence, particularly in war torn countries in Africa. Gender dominated many interventions and time and again the dignity of women was affirmed. There was also a call to put in place a plan ‘to silence all guns on the African continent’ by 2020. This goes hand in hand with attempts to get more control over scarce national resources, often seen as the cause of much of the conflicts in Africa. There is also an impressive socio-economic plan to improve the lives of all Africans known as Agenda 2063. 2063 will mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which preceded the AU. This Assembly would articulate the first ten year plan of Agenda 2063.  The signing of a trade free zone in East and Southern Africa had taken place prior to the Assembly in Cairo and many spoke of the need for an all Africa free trade zone. There was also passionate pleas for the AU to become self-reliant and not to be dependent on foreign donors who often wanted to set their own agenda for Africa. Among meetings held behind closed doors were the following: 

  • Gender Pre-Summit-High Level Panel on Gender Equality and Woman Empowerment.
  • Meeting of the Panel of Eminent Persons
  • Meeting of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)
  • Meeting of the International Contact Group for Libya
  • Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change
  • Special Session of the High Level Committee on the Post 2015 Development Agenda
  • Meeting of the Committee of 10 on the United Nations Reforms
  • Meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC)

25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union 02Conclusion: The Agenda was impressive, the issues pertinent for Africa today, the commitment for fundamental change for the good of all Africans impressive. One presumes that the Secretariat of the AU in Addis Ababa will now have to put in place the decisions agreed on and come up with relative plans of action. What was lacking at the Assembly was a Secretariat that would disseminate what was agreed upon on the spot. Though much was spoken in the open; decisions and plans were to be hammered out behind closed doors and to date these have not been made public. I was reminded of the closing line of the 2009 African Synod Working document: ‘Africa take up your pallet and walk’.  One had the impression at the Assembly that Africa was indeed walking together to new exciting horizons. Only time will tell if this 25th Assembly of the AU actually achieved anything.

Seán_O'LearyReport compiled by Seán O’Leary

Former Director of the Denis Hurley Peace Institute, Pretoria June 18th 2015

JCTR Press Release June 2015 – Wages and Cost of Living


JCTR Press Release June 2015The issue of wages has been debated upon numerous times. This is mainly because the cost of living and monthly wages do not correspond with each other. This calls for salary reviews by both public and private sector employers. In doing this, social and economic variables should be considered that affect the employer as well as the employee.

The cost of living for the month of May 2015 as calculated by JCTR’s Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for an average family of five in Ndola, Luanshya, Kitwe and Mansa and Solwezi, indicates that the cost of living has fluctuated. Some towns have experienced an increase and others have experienced a decrease in the cost of living. These variations could have an adverse effect on the living conditions of people leaving in these areas especially in cases where salaries are unable to meet these increased costs.

The BNB for Kitwe for May stood at K2, 773.53 showing an increase of K282.29. This increase in the cost of living is attributed to the availability of certain commodities (Kapenta and Dry fish) that were unavailable in the previous month in markets visited. The BNB for Mansa in May stood at K2, 485.16, indicating an increase of K12.75 while that of Solwezi was calculated at K3, 232.96 in May, showing a minimal increase of K1.20.

In terms of BNBs showing reductions, the BNB for Ndola this May stood at K3, 494.79 showing a reduction of K110.23. The reduction is attributed to the cost of Dry Fish by K104.28, Kapenta by K14.28 and Beans by K3.34. While the Luanshya BNB in May was calculated at K2, 607.74 showing a reduction of K23.50.

Despite recording a reduction in the cost of living, residents of Ndola and Luanshya still have difficulties in affording basic needs, as in most instances, monthly incomes do not correspond to the cost of living. It should be noted that wages that allow employees meet their basic needs not only acts as a motivator for improved performance at work but gives the employee the chance to provide for their family. Thus improving the welfare (access to education, health and other social amenities) of more than just one community member and giving dignity to their lives.

Keeping in mind the cost of living and the need for basic commodities, JCTR appeals to the government to strengthen its laws on wages, especially the minimum wage. We also urge private sector employers and employees to reach a fair consensus on wages. Further as a way of mitigating costs at household level, household should look for ways to diversify their incomes and minimize expenditures e.g. through setting up vegetable gardens. Employers and employees also need to work together to set up ways in which they could be more productive as this will raise revenues and allow for higher wages to employees.

Kitwe 2015 May BNB Press Release

Mafrwestafrica – Lettre du 15 juin 2015


cropped-mafrwestafrica-02.jpgAujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site www.mafrwestafrica.net :

Dans la rubrique « Actualités » :

« Lettre de Ghardaia juin 2015 » le dernier bulletin du diocèse de Laghouat Ghardaia, dont notre confrère Claude Rault est l’évêque (lire la suite)

« Le Pape François à Sarajevo » une visite dont le but était d’encourager le dialogue entre toutes les personnes vivant en Bosnie Herzégovine, quelle que soit leur ethnie, leur religion, ou leur origine géographique (lire la suite)

« Confrères décédés en 2015 », la liste de ces confrères ayant travaillé dans la P.A.O., le dernier étant le Père Emile Devieux, décédé à Tassy le 10 juin 2015 à l’âge de 103 ans (lire la suite)

« Clôture de l’année académique à Abidjan » dans cette maison de formation de quatrième étape. Cette clôture a eu lieu le 12 juin 2015. Les cours reprendront au mois de septembre. (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Témoignages » :

« L’Eglise aux côtés des blessés du Bardo » : ou comment le Père Marc Léonard, infirmier de profession, a répondu aux appels qu’il a reçus. (lire la suite) 

« Une mission qui ne m’appartient pas», -les réflexions du Père André Simonart, présentement responsable de la Province d’Europe. (lire la suite) 

« Le Fils prodigue » La reprise d’un texte du Père Baudiquey, texte inspiré par le tableau de Rembrandt représentant le retour du Fils prodigue. (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Dialogue interreligieux » :

« Mettre son espoir dans le dialogue, même si pas toujours facile » quelques extraits pris sur le site de l’ARCRE, et qui nous plongent dans la réalité bien diverse de notre monde. (lire la suite)
« Dialogue interreligieux en Asie orientale ». L’omniprésence du proche-orient dans les médias fait que les informations concernant cet immense continent qu’est l’Asie ne sont pas toujours disponibles (lire la suite)

« Journée Missionnaire mondiale 2015 ». La journée des Missions de cette année 2015 est fixée au 18 octobre. Le Pape François insiste sur le fait que la mission doit respecter les cultures de tous les peuples (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Justice et Paix » :

« Exploitation minière au Ghana» les questions que pose l’exploitation de mines d’or au Ghana, dans des conditions particulièrement difficiles pour les travailleurs. (lire la suite)

« Bonnes nouvelles pour les Rohingya »  : l’Eglise des Philippines et l’Etat ayant un accord de principe à leur sujet pour les accueillir. Par ailleurs l’Eglise d’Australie encourage cet accueil. (lire la suite) 

Dans la rubrique « Vu au sud, vu du sud » :

« Risques de la Mission ? » Telle est la question que pose le Père Bernard Ugeux, question basée sur les expériences qu’il a pu partager avec de nombreux missionnaires dans le cadre de la formation continue (a slire luite)

« Nouvelles d’Afrique subsaharienne » : Bénin, Centrafrique, Nigeria… des pays toujours dans l’actualité, même si d’autres lieux ont souvent la priorité dans les nouvelles (lire la suite)

Workshop for Consecrated People in Solwezi Diocese, Zambia


Solwezi-06-2015-38The Catholic Diocese of Solwezi invited the Zambian National Joint Committee (NJC) for the Year of Consecrated Life to animate a day recollection and a workshop of two days. Father Serge St-Arneault, member of the NJC, and Sister Nsofwa Chanda accepted the invitation. Situated in the North-West part of Zambia, Solwezi is at 10 hours drive from Lusaka. Neglected over the years, the Government has signed recently a contract to rebuild the road between Chingola and Solwezi.

The workshop gathered about 60 priests and religious, women and men, who took time to read and comprehend the apostolic letter of Pope Francis dedicated to all Consecrated people. The article entitle “Consecrated Life in Africa: Chances and Challenges” written by the Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa, Father Richard Kuuia Baawobr, was also presented to the participants who got an opportunity to familiarise with the concept of unification as a way to bring together African and Gospel values whereby unity of Christian identity and African identity are manifested by the internal value of love made evident externally in acts of sharing.

Solwezi 06-2015 46As priests and religious, our joy is expressed in authentic fraternal communities of self-giving where service brings lifelong personal fulfilment.  

Many thanks to Bishop Charles Kasonde who heartened this initiative.

On his last day, Father Serge took advantage of being in Solwezi to give an interview on Radio Kabangabanga (meaning the star) opened on June 28, 2014 belonging to Solwezi Diocese.

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Solwezi Bulletin Logo

Invitation to Priestly Ordinations of Humphrey Mukuka and John Chomba Mubanga


The Missionaries of Africa, St. Mary’s Parish, Mr and Mrs Mukuka’s family and relatives are inviting us to the Priestly Ordination of their son Deacon Humphrey Mukuka on 27th June 2015 at 9 hours at St. Veronica’s Parish (Kamushanga) Kabwe by his Lordship Clement Mulenga (S.D.B), the Bishop of Kabwe Diocese, Zambia.

The Missionaries of Africa, Mr and Mrs Mubanga and the intire community of St. Mary’s Catholic Church at Twatasha, Kitwe, are inviting us to the Priestly Ordination of Deacon John Chomba Mubanga by his Lordship Alick Banda, Bishop of Ndola Diocese on the 8th August at Christ the King Cathedral in Ndola at 9:00 hours.

Humphrey Invitation card 2015John-Mubanga-Invitation-Card-2015

Mafrwestafrica – Lettre du 30 mai 2015


cropped-mafrwestafrica-02.jpgAujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site www.mafrwestafrica.net :

Dans la rubrique « Actualités » :

« Serment et diaconat, Nairobi 2015 », les 15 et 16 mai 2015, à Nairobi, 9 personnes se sont engagées définitivement dans la société des M.Afr. Quatre confrères ont aussi célébré leur jubilé. (lire la suite) 

« Province d’Europe, avril-mai 2015 » les deux derniers bulletins « Eur-Echo » parus, donnant des nouvelles récentes de cette vaste province. (lire la suite) 

« Ordinations 2015 », les dates et lieux des ordinations des jeunes confrères en cette année 2015. Ils sont 18, dont deux originaires de la PAO (lire la suite)

«  Elections Province des Amériques » : les résultats de ces élections qui ont eu lieu en avril 2015 (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Témoignages » :

« Maladies éventuelles des Missionnaires d’Afrique » : le Père Julien Cormier, qui était il y a peu de temps encore Provincial des Amériques, essaie de voir si les maladies de la curie dénoncées par le Pape François s’appliquent aussi aux M.Afr. (lire la suite) 

« Au service de la communion fraternelle » Dans le numéro de mai 2015 du Petit Echo, le thème du “leadership” avait été proposé à quelques confrères. Voici les réflexions du Père Ignatius Anipu, présentement Provincial de l’Afrique de l’Ouest. (lire la suite) 

« Fête de la Sainte Trinité » Cette fête est toute proche, le 31 mai 2015, et voici le texte de la récollection dont le Père Herman Bastijns est l’auteur.(lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Dialogue interreligieux » :

« La montée islamiste, où donner de la tête ? » les réflexions très personnelles du Père Marcel Boivin, canadien présentement à Québec, qui se dit lui même « observateur » et non pas « spécialiste » (lire la suite) 

« Le dialogue est toujours d’actualité », comme le prouvent les quelques articles pris sur le site de l’ARCRE, Action pour la Rencontre des Cultures et des Religions en Europe (lire la suite)

« Proche Orient sous tension », ce n’est pas une réalité nouvelle… mais les événements récents nous parvenant de cette région sont loin d’être rassurants. (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Justice et Paix » :

« Guérir ceux qui sont sans voix » un texte paru en février 2015 dans le Petit Echo, texte écrit par le responsable Justice et Paix du Ghana.(lire la suite) 

« Justice et Paix dans la formation » : accès au programme de formation des jeunes au sein de la Société des M.Afr. dans le domaine de Justice et Paix (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Vu au sud, vu du sud »

« Elections à venir, quel défi ? » un article paru dans le Petit Echo du mois de mars 2015, et qui invite à réfléchir à cette question fondamentale pour la démocratie  (lire la suite)

« Une Afrique qui souffre et se lève », un article du Père Bernard Ugeux, paru dans le numéro 106 de la revue « Voix d’Afrique ». (lire la suite)