SAP Pre-Capitular Assembly – November 2015


SAP_Pre-Cap_Nov_2015_02SAP Pre-Capitular Assembly took place in Mid-November 2015 at Kasisi Retreat Centre in Lusaka. Those who attended the meeting were Fons Vanden Boer, Remacle-Lamec Ciza, Deogratius Ngowi and Raymond McQuarry from South Africa. Then Robert Tebri, Michel Sanou, Paul Namono, Filiyanus Ekka and Simeon Kalore form Malawi, Julian Kasiya, Fidel Salazar del Muro, Jean-Bosco Nibigira and Boris Yabre from Mozambique, Norbert Nkingwa, Bernard Udelhoven, Benjamin Itungabose,  John Itaru, Adelarde Munishi, Patrice Sawadogo, Romaric Bationo, Francis Bomansaan, Venerato Babaine and the Provincial Stanley Lubungo from Zambia. The Animator was Luigi Morell and the Secretaries were Serge St-Arneault and Didasio Mwanza.

Most discussions took place in the main hall though five groups studied the content of SAP recommendations for the 2016 General Chapter.

The last day saw the confreres enjoying an outing at Chaminuka private Park situated is about 45 minutes from the venue of Kasisi. They enjoyed a time of relaxation exploring the environment were a variety of animals can we seen on the ground and by boats. Enjoy the pictures. Chaminuka is also well known for its artifacts, sculpture collections for all Africa (quite a few from West Africa), paintings and modern sculpture made out of cars’ spare parts.

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Lavigerie’s Day in Lusaka


MIMSAF LOGO_modifié-1Cardinal_Lavigerie

MIMSAF, the Friends of the Missionaries of Africa in Zambia, invited all the M.Afr and M.S.O.L.A. for a special Mass at the Good Shepherd’s church, Kabwata, Lusaka, to commemorate the death of our founder Cardinal Lavigerie. A snack was offered after Mass for everyone including the altar boys. Antoon Oostveen was the main celebrant. He enlightened some aspects of the personality of our founder thanking God for his inspirational strength which is helping us to accomplish our mission in Africa up to now.

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Newsletter South Africa No 57 – 26th November, 2015


Newsletter South Africa no 57 title (2)My dear Friends, Greetings! I hope you are well. Today, as you receive this NEWSLETTER, most of us M.Afr are travelling to Merrivale, our house of formation, for two great celebrations. Indeed, six of our candidates will take their Missionary Oath tomorrow, Friday, and thus become fully fledged Missionaries of Africa. The following day, they will be ordained deacons! After their last year of theology, sometime toward the end of next year, they shall be ordained priests in their respective parishes of origin. But this being such an important occasion, some of their relatives have travelled to attend these two great events. Already yesterday, the parents and a nephew of our Tanzanian deacon-to-be, Konrad, arrived from Dar-es-Salaam. This afternoon, I will be driving with them to Merrivale. The others are Albert from Burkina Faso, Alphonse from Rwanda, Robin from Zambia, Damian from Uganda and Douglas from Kenya. I hope that we will have one or two good photos of them in the next Newsletter. You may be asking yourself “What is a missionary oath?” Well, here is a short explanation. We, Missionaries of Africa, are not a “religious congregation” as such. We are a “society of apostolic life” and we also live the three evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience; but we do not take vows. We promise to live a simple life style (poverty, or freedom from things), obedience to our superiors (freedom to serve), and chastity (freedom to love) in our missionary oath – which is a solemn promise on the Bible. Here is an extract of the text of our missionary oath: “… I promise and swear to the Superior General of the Society fidelity and obedience… to observe celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom.” I therefore ask you to keep in your prayers these six new Missionaries of Africa.

Newsletter South Africa no 57 titleI hope this month has been a blessed one for each of you. In spite of all the upheavals happening in the world, the students’ strikes and violent demonstrations, we can see some positive signs of life here and there in our society and throughout the world. Pope Francis is now in Kenya since yesterday. His coming to Africa – his first one – is under the sign of hope and peace to our broken world. Everywhere he goes, he brings a refreshing touch of joy, the joy of the Gospel. Let us pray that his visit in Kenya, then in Uganda and finally in the Central African Republic will sow seeds of peace among these nations of Africa and at the same time, be an inspiration to the rest of the world.

Today is “Lavigerie Day”: yes, for us Missionaries of Africa and Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa (MSOLA), we celebrate this as our FOUNDER’S DAY. Please, pray for us and for vocations. Thank you!

In a few days, we shall start a new liturgical year, the year of the Church. The time of Advent is really an occasion for opening up to Jesus and our neighbours. Many people nowadays like to wish us “happy holiday” and they have forgotten the reason for the season: Jesus! When they greet you like this, be proud to answer firmly and proudly: HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Wishing you all a prayerful Advent and a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Fr. Michael Meunier, M.Afr

No. 57 November 2015

Towards the 150th anniversary of our foundation


M.Afr and M.S.O.L.A. Logo 2Rome, 26th November, 2015

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We wish you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ. Today we commemorate the death of our common Founder, Cardinal Lavigerie. We thank God for the gift of his life and of his vision, of his courage and his hope, of his ability to address some of the most important questions of his time. We are proud to be his sons and daughters today and we ask him to intercede for us so that we may know how to read the signs of our times and how to do our best to give appropriate answers as followers of Christ. (…)

We want together to thank the Lord for the vision of Cardinal Lavigerie, who realized that he needed both men and women apostles in order to bring the Good News to Africa. We want to thank the Lord for the heroism of so many of our brothers and sisters, who have worked so as to announce the Good News and to bring about the birth of the Catholic Church in a number of African countries. They were not put back by difficulties and hardships. The formation of the local clergy as well as of twenty-two female Congregations is a tangible fruit for which to praise the Lord. Our continuing presence in Muslim countries is another. (…)

Celebrating our history together, both in what has united us as in what has separated us, will help us know each other better so as to be ever more faithful to our common vocation. As brothers and sisters, we are called to collaborate in order to bring the Good News through our daily lives. Let us together speak to Cardinal Lavigerie about our past and receive from him appreciation and advice.

May the activities we undertake during this coming year help us look at our past with gratitude as well as with realism, so as to gain more energy for living our present challenges!

May Cardinal Lavigerie bless us in all our endeavors!

Your sister and brother in the Lord and in Lavigerie,

Sr. Carmen Sammut,  MSOLA and Fr Richard Baawobr, M. Afr

Click on the following link to read the full PDF document: Towards the 150th Anniversary of our Foundation Letter

 

Africa: Religious Sisters Posing As Prostitutes to Save Sex Slaves Eye Expansion


Thomson Reuters Foundation

Africa: Religious Sisters Posing As Prostitutes to Save Sex Slaves Eye Expansion

By Ellen Wulfhorst | Thomson Reuters Foundation (London) | London, 18 November 2015

An army of religious sisters who rescue victims of human trafficking by posing as prostitutes to infiltrate brothels and buying children being sold into slavery, is expanding to 140 countries, its chairman said on Wednesday.

John Studzinski, an investment banker and philanthropist who chairs Talitha Kum, said the network of 1,100 sisters currently operates in about 80 countries but the demand for efforts to combat trafficking and slavery was rising globally.

The group, set up in 2004, estimates one percent of the world’s population is trafficked in some form, which translates into some 73 million people. Of those, 70 percent are women and half are aged 16 or younger.

Thomson Reuters Foundation (London) chair“I’m not trying to be sensational but I’m trying to underscore the fact this is a world that has lost innocence … where dark forces are active,” said Studzinski, a vice chairman of U.S. investment bank The Blackstone Group.

“These are problems caused by poverty and equality but it goes well beyond that,” he told the Trust Women Conference on women’s rights and trafficking hosted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Detailing some cases involving trafficking and slavery, Studzinski said the treatment of some victims was horrific.

He told of one woman enslaved as a prostitute who was locked up for a week without food, forced to eat own her faeces, when she failed to have sex with a target of 12 clients a day.

In another extreme case, one woman was forced to have sex with a group of 10 men at the same time.

Studzinski said the religious sisters working to combat trafficking would go to all lengths to rescue women, often dressing up as prostitutes and going out on the street to integrate themselves into brothels.

“These sisters do not trust anyone. They do not trust governments, they do not trust corporations, and they don’t trust the local police. In some cases they cannot trust male clergy,” he said, adding that the low-key group preferred to focus on their rescue work rather than promotion.

“They work in brothels. No one knows they are there.”

The sisters were also proactive on trying to save children being sold into slavery by their parents, setting up a network of homes in Africa as well as in the Philippines, Brazil and India to shelter such children.

He said the religious sisters of Talitha Kum raised money to purchase these children.

“This is a new network of houses for children around the world who would otherwise be sold into slavery. It is shocking but it is real,” he said.

Studzinski said the network of religious sisters, that was in the process of expanding, also targeted slavery in the supply chain with sisters shedding their habits and working alongside locals for as little as 2 U.S. cents an hour to uncover abuses.

He said Talitha Kum, which translated from Aramaic means arise child, was now being hired by companies to see what is going on with respect to the supply chain and expanding globally would help address this issue.

“You can’t generalize about trafficking and slavery as no two countries are the same,” Studzinski said.