Practicing Stone Age politics in Zambia – Stop political violence – interview with Archbishop Mpundu of Lusaka.


The Post LogoIt’s primitive … you don’t convince people using sticks, fists or whatever to vote for you. By Abel Mboozi, The Post Newspaper in Zambia, 29th Feb, 2016

You don’t convince people using sticks, fists or whatever for them to vote for you, we want ideas, says Lusaka Diocese Archbishop Telesphore-George Mpundu-2015-PNG. And Mpundu says those in political leadership are practicing Stone Age politics by failing to condemn violence being perpetrated by their followers. Meanwhile, the Archbishop says Zambians are being short-changed by politicians in top leadership who maintain that the country is peaceful when they are failing to stop political violence.

In an interview, Archbishop Mpundu said although political violence has been in existence since the colonial era, there has been no political will especially from the top administrative leadership to stop the ugly acts. “If your top political leadership is committed to nonviolence, they will take all the steps necessary to prevent that violence. In 2010, we had the Mufumbwe by-election and I was on record to say that ‘if this is a dress rehearsal of what is going to happen next year’, meaning in 2011, ‘then we are in for a rough time’. This shouldn’t happen; these are Stone Age politics when you are using brutal violence. You don’t convince people using sticks, fists and whatever, whatever…we want ideas. The electorate must hear ideas of how to take the country forward and not physical force because that is Stone Age politics,” Archbishop Mpundu said.

“When we are saying political violence didn’t begin yesterday, we go back to independence time. Very few people were there and they think violence began yesterday. No, it began before independence when at the time our nationalists differed, one led by Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula. The African National Congress and UNIP were always at loggerheads and violence was there. Now this violence is generated by certain people and this violence is conceived and carried out with the knowledge of the top leadership.”

He explained that after independence, violence continued between the ANC and UNIP and in 1968, there was a new political party that was formed on the Copperbelt called United Party, led by Nalumino Mundia. “This party was spreading like wild fire. Now the political leadership in the administration of UNIP, what did they do? They sent vigilantes to bring about trouble, beat up people and so on and said ‘it must be the new party causing this violence’, so it was proscribed.  In 1971, the UPP under Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe was formed again and the same method from UNIP was used to label it violent and so it was proscribed. Kapwepwe at one time was vice-president of Zambia and was beaten up in Kabwata and we didn’t hear any public condemnation of that, let alone an apology. That is how it has been all the time,” Archbishop Mpundu recalled. “Now we have come out of one party state, we had cadres sending people by air. This is primitive. If there is political will from the top political leadership, this [violence] can be stopped!”

And Archbishop Mpundu said the police should operate professionally and that anyone engaged in violence should be arrested and jailed for their dastardly acts. “…let the police do their job professionally without giving a preference to anybody. If you break the law, you should be made to face the law and that is that. Violence has been endemic in Zambian politics much to our shame and when this shame comes in, follows our politicians wherever they go, they say Zambia is a peaceful country. We are being short-changed. How can there be a peaceful country if they allow political violence? No!” said Archbishop Mpundu.

“This is the message that all church leaders, and particularly us as Zambia Episcopal Conference, try to proclaim time and again, in season and out of season: no political violence. It’s primitive, it’s criminal and anybody involved in this vice must be followed and prosecuted and put behind bars.”

Mafrwestafrica – Lettre du 28 février 2016


Mafrwestafrica 02Aujourd’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 » :
« Notre Supérieur Général nommé évêque de Wa ». Le Père Richard Baawobr, vient d’être nommé évêque de son diocèse d’origine, le diocèse de Wa au Ghana(lire la suite)
« Réunion des provinciaux à Tunis » cette réunion a permis aux provinciaux de se retrouver pendant 9 jours, du 19 au 28 février (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Témoignages » :
« Le père Joseph Scherrer » le récit de la vie de ce père qui a vécu de 1897 à 1993, et a été très engagé dans la mission au Mali. (lire la suite)
« A propos de la formation initiale » un texte du père Jean Michel Laurent, qui est secrétaire à la formation initiale dans la société des M.Afr. (lire la suite)
« Anselme Tarpaga, depuis Alger ». Notre confrère Anselme, originaire de Bobo-Dioulasso, et qui est le nouveau recteur de la basilique N.D. D’Afrique à Alger, parle à la fois de son chemin personnel et du travail qu’il a à accomplir. (lire la suite)
« Prières de délivrance et de guérison ». Le père Bernhard Udelhoven partage son expérience de ministère auprès des malades et personnes en difficulté (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Dialogue interreligieux » :
« Jérusalem, conseil œcuménique mondial » : le conseil œcuménique mondial des Églises s’est tenu dans la ville sainte du 9 au 11 février 2016
 (lire la suite)
« François et Kirill à la Havane » pour se rencontrer et signer un texte demandant que cesse la persécution des chrétiens et autres personnes victimes de persécution (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Justice et Paix » : 
« La question des migrants, encore et toujours » : cette question est loin d’être résolue, en particulier à Calais où tant de personnes souhaitent aller en grande Bretagne
(lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Vu au sud, vu du sud » :
« Débuts de l’Église en Ouganda » un article du Père Richard Nnyombi, lui-même originaire de ce pays, dans « Voix d’Afrique » n° 109 (lire la suite)

Newsletter South Africa No 60 – 26th February, 2016


Newsletter South Africa no 60 titlelentGreetings in this season of Lent! By the way, do you know what the meaning of the word “Lent” is? Here is a definition from a Catholic website: “The word Lent itself is derived from the Anglo-Saxon lencten, meaning “Spring”, and lenctentid which literally means not only “Springtide”, but also was the word for “March”, the month in which the majority of Lent falls” (Catholic Education Resource Centre). Of course, here in the southern hemisphere, the time of Lent does not fall in spring, but at the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. So, the meaning of new life brought in nature through the spring flowers, plants and leaves, is not so obvious. Therefore, let us ourselves be signs of this new life brought to us by Jesus through his passion, death and resurrection. May this Lenten season be an opportunity for each of us to give life through our prayer, acts of mercy and self-sacrifice.

I think the big news for this month is that our Superior General Fr, Richard Baawobr (Ghanaian) has been chosen by Pope Francis to become the Bishop of his home diocese of Wa in northern Ghana! This appointment comes just at the end of his term at the helm of our Society. Indeed, he will be ordained bishop on 7th May, and on 13th he will preside our 28th General Chapter (held every six years) when a new Superior General will be elected. Congratulations!

In the same line of thoughts, another good piece of good news: the appointment of Fr. Duncan Tsoke, Vicar General of Johannesburg Archdiocese, as Auxiliary Bishop. We are very pleased with the choice. Fr. Tsoke, as a young priest, spent more than one year with us, M.Afr, for his training in pastoral work. We are happy as well to consider Bishop Abel Gabuza (Kimberley Diocese) and Bishop Peter Holiday (Kroonstad Diocese) as our good friends because they too spent some time with us in their training as young priests. Fr. Duncan will be ordained Bishop on 30th April in Regina Mundi, Soweto. Congratulations!

Jones Kawisha 2016B_JPEGAnother important piece of news: a young M.Afr has just arrived in South Africa to be a staff member in our Formation House of Merrivale and to teach at Cedara. A few years ago, in our Provincial Blog, he introduced himself: “I am Jones Kawisha from Kabwe, Zambia. I was ordained priest in 2008 and appointed to the Maghreb province. I am in the community of Tizi Ouzou in Algeria since 2009. Encounter has been my priority and my main apostolate. My experience has been positive and rich. In September this year, I will be going to Paris to study Theology of Religions in order to have a broader understanding of different religions to enrich my encounter apostolate….” In 2011, on his way to Zambia, for a well-deserved holiday before going to Paris, Fr. Jones spent a few days with us in Edenglen community. On 9th July 2011, some of you aspirants had a chance to meet him during a Come & See in Koinonia. There, he gave us a very interesting talk on his vocation and his work as a missionary among Muslims in Algeria (See Newsletter No 6, 25th July 2011). Fr. Jones did his noviciate in Burkina Faso. Fr. Jan De Groef, M.Afr, was then one of his formators, and is now bishop of Bethlehem Diocese in the Free State.

Only One RaceThis month, we engaged on an anti-racism campaign called “Only One Race, The Human Race”. We printed fifty thousand leaflets which we distribute in parishes, schools and any other public areas. The need for racial harmony has never been so urgent in South Africa since the end of apartheid. Let us pray for a better understanding and love among all people. Please, pray also for those who paid for the printing of these leaflets.

Wishing you all a good Lenten journey and a happy ascent to Easter!

Newsletter South Africa No 60

Return to the Lord of Brother Eugene Leonard, M.Afr


eugene_leonard copieFr. Terry Madden, Provincial of Great Britain informed us of the return to the Lord of Brother Eugene Leonard, M.Afr, who died on the 17th January 2016, in St Francis Nursing Home, Glasgow, Great Britain at the age of 89 years old of which 60 of missionary life
in Luxembourg, Malawi and in Great Britain. Brother Leonard was in Malawi from 1958 till 1985 in various missions such as Mzambazi, Katete, Mzimba, Nkhamenya, Rumphi, Nkhata Bay, Karonga, Kaseye, Katete, all those places in Mzuzu Diocese. He was also in Lilongwe between 1990 and 1995.

Lungu attends mass at St. Joseph Parish in France


By Patrick Bataille, M.Afr

President Lungu with St Joseph Parish priest Fr Aidan TroyJacques Amyot d’InvillePresident Edgard Lungu of Zambia went to pray at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, the English Parish in Paris, on Sunday the 7th February. The Mass was a normal Sunday service with the usual congregation. Father Authur Mc Cann, Parish Priest, presided and was assisted by our two confreres, Jacques Amyot d’Inville, who worked in Zambia a long time ago, and Bernard Baudon who worked in Tanzania. I arrived in the middle of the Mass because I did not get the right time. The President was accompanied by his delegation. He also had several agents of the French security around him. The delegation was not very important. According to me, the guests were very few because they are not many Zambians in France. At the end of the Mass, I joined the priests who were greeting the people and the President and his wife came to shake hands. We just said few words, even in Bemba. I hoped to see Harry Kalaba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and a former novice at Kahangala in Zambia. I was told he was there but I have not met him. After Mass the delegation went to have a meal in the suburb of Paris.

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The first semester of the Academic Year 2016 in Merrivale, South Africa.


Amorain and RobbinBy the new editorial team in Merrivale.

As we start our first semester of the academic year 2016, we wish to welcome each and every community member from his holidays. Our first year students had an opportunity of spending more time in silence and prayer for a period of one month in their retreat. Five of them went to Marianhill, and were directed by Fr. Fisher Urs CMM and three others went to the Capuchin sisters in Port Shepstone and were guided by Fr. Michel Côté, M.Afr on mission in Malawi. While chatting with some of them, they affirmed that they had a good experience which they will live and carry on through the rest of their missionary life.

Damian_and RobbinImmediately after their deaconate ordination, our five deacons were sent outside South Africa in different parishes. Damian Ahimbisibwe was at St. Francis parish Kanengo and Albert Kondemodre at St. Thomas the Apostle parish Mzuzu, both in Malawi. Robbin Simbeye was at St. Peter’s parish, Serenje and Alphonse-Marie Byishimo at St. John the Baptist Kasamba parish both in Zambia. Konrad Simon Millanzi went to Mozambique at Our Lady Queen of the World, Dombe. They all had a wonderful pastoral experience in their respective places. On this note, they are grateful to the staff members for sending them not only for pastoral, but also for giving them a chance of meeting and working with people from different cultural backgrounds. Likewise, they appreciate the hospitality received from different confreres during their mission. We pray that the Almighty God may guide you in your missionary zeal to serve the Church.

A Few days after the arrival of our deacons from their pastoral experience, they joined the rest of the community members for their annual retreat at St. John Paul II Centre in Bethlehem diocese. Our retreat, animated by Fr. Michel Meunier, M.Afr, was very enriching spiritually.

We wish to welcome our new editorial team members to the office but also send a word of thanks to our previous one that did a tremendous job of keeping us updated on different issues. We hope that different articles and homilies that they have been posting benefited many of us in different ways.

Jones Kawisha 2016B_JPEGOur community is growing not only in numbers but also in faith and love. We thank our present three staff members that are doing their best to keep us focused on our missionary vocation. Soon Fr. Jones Kawisha will be coming to join the formation team, and he is most welcome. Seven students have been appointed to this formation House and they will be starting their academic year in July 2016, during the second semester for some. We finally express our gratitude to all of you who contribute in making our community lively. Happy Lenten season to you all and may God bless you.

Death of Sister Cecilia Mulenga, Sacred Heart Sister.


Sister Cecilia Mulenga - died 19-02-2016A terrible car accident happened on the New Year’s Eve, 31st December 2015, between Mukushi and Serenje.  On their way from the funeral of their nephew, who himself was hit by a car few days before, Sister Francis Wapakwenda, SCJ., Ls, 78 years old, and a cousin called Abigail died in a car accident. The later, pregnant, died on her way to the hospital. In the same accident, Sister Cecilia Mulenga, aged 43, was critically injured. She was operated on her neck in Lusaka and recovered for this surgery. But other complications occurred while she was treated. She died on Friday afternoon the 19th February 2016 around 17:30 at St. Jean-Paul II Hospital in Lusaka. She has been with ups and downs since the accident largely paralysed from the neck. But she was showing good spirit on Friday morning; “I will be dancing tonight,” she said. Indeed, she is dancing now in heaven.

Sister Cecilia was the Vocation Promoter of the Sacred Heart Sisters. She was the first Zambian to join the Congregation and made part of her formation in the Philippines. She worked on the isle of Cebu for two years.

The Missionaries of Africa invited the Sacred Heart Sisters to come to Zambia in 1956 and remain close to each other ever since. The funerals will take place at Mary Immaculate church in Woodlands, Lusaka, on Tuesday 23rd February at 9:00. The burial will take place in Kasisi, few kilometres from the International Airport of Lusaka.

We pray for them all, their families and the Sacred Heart Sisters. Note that Sister Francis Wapakwenda was the aunt of Sister Cecilia who was present at the farewell party for Father Jean-Pierre Sauge which took place on April 25, 2015.

Sauge-24

Appointment of our Superior General Father Richard Kuuia Baawobr as Bishop of Wa Diocese (Ghana)


Richard Baawobr Bishop of Wa 03On the 17th February 2016, Jos Van Boxel, First Assistant of the General Council of the Missionaries of Africa and Major Superior of the Community of the General House read a letter from the Holy See informing us of the appointment of our Superior General Father Richard Kuuia Baawobr as Bishop of his home diocese, Wa Diocese (Ghana). Here is his reaction and a word to his confreres. (4 minutes).

Richard Baawobr Bishop of Wa 04

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 GHANA – Resignation of the Bishop of Wa and appointment of successor

Vatican City | Agenzia Fides (SL) | 18/02/2016

On 17 February 2016 the Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Wa (Ghana), presented by His Exc. Mgr. Paul Bemile, in accordance with can. 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law. The Holy Father appointed Rev. Fr. Richard Kuuia Baawobr, M. Afr., Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) as Bishop of the Diocese of Wa (Ghana).

Fr. Richard Kuuia Baawobr, M. Afr., was born on June 21, 1959 in Tom-Zendagangn, Diocese of Wa. He attended the elementary school in the village, he continued his studies at St. Francis Xavier Minor Seminary and Nandom Secondary School. He entered the St. Victor diocesan Major Seminary in Tamale in 1979, after his philosophical studies. In 1981 he went to the Society of Missionaries of Africa, where he continued his studies for priesthood. From 1981 to 1982 he was in Fribourg, Switzerland, for his Novitiate. Subsequently, from 1982 to 1987, he completed his theological studies at the Missionary Institute London (MIL). On 5 December 1986 he professed his religious vows at St. Edward’s College, London and was ordained a priest on July 18, 1987.

Since his ordination, he has served the following pastoral and academic roles: 1987-1991: Assistant priest in Livulu, Archdiocese of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo; 1991-1996: Student of exegesis at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and at the Ignatian Spirituality at Le Chatelard in Lyon, in France, where he obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture and a Doctorate in Biblical Theology; 1996-1999: Formator of the Missionaries of Africa in Kahangala, Tanzania; 1999-2004: Director of the formation house of Toulouse in France; 2004-2010: First Assistant General of the Missionaries of Africa. Since 2010: Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa (the first African to hold this position), Vice Chancellor of PISAI (Pontifical Institute of Arabic-Islamic Studies).

He was elected by the Union of Superiors General to attend the Ordinary Assembly of the last Synod of Bishops on the Family, from 4 to 25 October 2015.

Mafrwestafrica – Lettre du 12 février 2016


Mafrwestafrica 02Dans la rubrique « Actualités » :
« Les statistiques de notre société missionnaire au 1er janvier 2016 ».
 (lire la suite)
« Confrères décédés en 2016 » s’agissant de ceux qui ont travaillé dans la P.A.O. Il n’y a pour l’instant que deux personnes, l’une d’elles étant d’ailleurs décédée le 31/12/2015 (lire la suite)
« 50 ans de Tema Bokin, la suite » quelques nouvelles des célébrations de cet événement datant du mois de janvier 2016 (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Témoignages »,
« Jubilaires Missionnaires d’Afrique 2016 » la liste des M.Afr qui célébreront le jubilé de leur serment missionnaire cette année. (lire la suite)
« Récollection pour le Carême 2016 » un texte du père Herman Bastijns, pour aider à vivre ce temps important de la vie chrétienne. (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Dialogue interreligieux » :
« Islam tolérant ou intolérant » : encore une fois notre merci aux Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’ARCRE qui nous invitent à nous informer et réfléchir (lire la suite)
Dans la rubrique « Justice et Paix » 
« Laudato Si, un cadeau pour l’Afrique » : un texte du Père Bernard Ugeux, présentement en République Démocratique du Congo (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Vu au sud, vu du sud » :
« Procès de Laurent Gbagbo » des informations prises sur le site de Radio France Internationale à ce propos. (lire la suite)
« Attentats au Burkina » là aussi, merci à RFI pour les information détaillées prises sur leur site (lire la suite)
« La COP 21 vue du Burkina (3) » : merci au SEDELAN et au Père Maurice Oudet pour cet article et les vœux 2016. (lire la suite)
« Burkina et coton transgénique » : un autre article du SEDELAN qui nous parle du fait que le Burkina Faso abandonne le coton Bt transgénique (lire la suite)

Farewell to Emmanuel Mambwe, M.Afr, in Saint Peter’s Parish, Serenje.


Farewell Mabwe Feb 2016 02bBy Innocent Majune, Stagiaire

On the 5th February 2016, the community of the Missionaries of Africa in Serenje organised a farewell party for Father Emmanuel Mambwe. It was a happy moment shared with confreres from Kasama, Kasamba, Lusaka, Chipata and Ndola.

On Sunday 7th, a farewell Eucharistic celebration was organised by the Parish Council. Among the invited guests were the leaders of the parish, Christians from the United Church of Zambia (U.C.Z) and Reformed Church of Zambia, local government authorities and M.Afr confreres. In his farewell homily, Emmanuel Mambwe expressed his gratitude to the parishioners and people he worked with in Serenje. He underlined the virtue of humility and the attitude of reconciliation with one another as elements that build a good society.

The Christians were sad to see their pastor leaving. Many shed tears of sadness. The Delegate Superior of Zambia, Father Venerato Babaine, asked the people to understand his departure as a response to his missionary commitment; we come and go to where God wants us to attend to his flock. He further emphasised the need to work in harmony with the new staff. The Delegate Superior introduced new members of the community; Innocent Majune (stagiaire), Deacon Douglas Ogato and Frather Saju Akkara as the priest-in-charge. He promised that when the Bishop of Kabwe has appointed the Parish Priest, the parishioners will be informed.

Many thanks to Father Emmanuel Mambwe for his dedication. We wish him a blessed renewal in Jerusalem where he will follow a session in the coming few months. We wish him also a happy apostolate wherever he will be appointed. May the Almighty God bless him!

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Sudden death of another brother of our confrere Paul Namono; Mr Fernand Namono


Paul NamonoIt’s with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of another brother of our confrere Paul Namono. Mr Fernand Namono who is the elder brother to Paul passed on early this morning in Ouagadougou after a fall which led him into a coma on Wednesday. May he rest in peace. In the event that he gets a ticket Paul will be leaving for Burkina today. Paul, we hold you tight in our prayers in these most painful moments of your life. 

Michel Sanou, M.Afr, Delegate Superior in Malawi

Note: In January 2016, the younger brother of Fr Paul Namono named Janvier Namono died in Ouagadougou.

Link: Death of relatives of Paul Namono, M.Afr

Justo Mwale Universiy (JMU) & University of Zambia (UNZA) – Department of Religious Studies Joint Conference 2016


Justo Mwale University LusakaCall for Papers: Religion and Society in the Contemporary Context of Zambia and Southern Africa

Justo Mwale University and UNZA Department of Religious Studies will host a conference on Religion and Society from Wednesday 6th to Saturday 9th April 2016 at the premises of Justo Mwale University located in Chamba Valley, Lusaka. Conference participants will arrive on Wednesday and depart on Saturday morning. The conference will explore the relationship between religion and society, and in particular the place of religion within society in the contemporary context of Zambia and Southern Africa. The conference will look at this question from both a religious studies and a theological vantage point. It will investigate our concepts of religion and their developments, and how to theologically evaluate the changes over time in that respect, focusing in particular on the current context of Christianity in Zambia and Southern Africa.

VENUE: Justo Mwale University, Plot 19-Sub-E-609, Chamba Valley-Munali Rd, P.O. Box 310199, Lusaka

The conference theme Religion and Society in the Contemporary Context of Zambia and Southern Africa will cover the following questions: – How does religion’s place within society determine what we take religion to be? – What is the impact of the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation on religious education? – How is the place of religion within current Southern African society different from the position of early Christianity within the Greco-Roman society; and what are the implications of this difference? – To what extent is the place of religion in current Southern African society informed by African Traditional Religion’s perspective? – How does religion in the current Southern African society relate to politics? – How does religion in the current Southern African society relate to business? – If a ministry is viewed as a business or investment opportunity, should we still call it religion?

More details about the conference will follow later. Click here to read the PDF file.

Please send your abstracts (max. 250 words) before 21st February 2016 to: hermen.kroesbergen@gmail.com

Note: Reverend Justo Mwale was the first Zambian to be pastor in the Reformed Church in Zambia (from 1929). Since the church’s theological training moved to Lusaka at the end of the 1960s, the institution has opened its doors to other churches, brought the academic standards and accreditation to an internationally accepted level, contextualised the curriculum, expanded its infrastructure and built relationships with a multitude of similar institutions, churches and individuals. In 2008 the Zambian Ministry of Education awarded Justo Mwale Theological College university status. By expanding the student numbers through additional academic programs the institution was renamed Justo Mwale University in 2015. 

My first missionary appointment in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


By Humphrey Mukuka, M.Afr

Humphrey Mukuka DRC 2015 01My journey to Aru.

 My decision of passing by Lubumbashi, situated in the southern part of the country near Zambia, to go to Aru, next to Uganda in the North-East, was a bit adventurous. Everyone was advising me to pass through Kampala in Uganda and then enter to DRCongo by road. Being in Zambia, I wanted to go to Lubumbashi to see the families that had welcomed me and my friends Robbin Simbeye, Sylvestre Chimenge, Mathew Kalumba and Joseph Mulenga for a French course in 2008. One in particular, Papa Kabangu and Mama  Annie, came to witness my priestly Ordination in Kabwe last year on the 27th June, 2015. It was so nice to see them again.

I heard that flights from Lubumbashi to Bunia was risking due to negative experiences of local airlines. Anyhow, I thought to myself, “Let me accept it the way it will be. Besides, it will be a learning experience.” Guess what! I was very surprised to find a very well-organised airline called CAA. We travelled safely only that we had to stop over in many places.

République Démocratique du Congo - Carte GoogleUpon my arrival in Aru, I soon discovered deep tensions between some youth and the missionary community. I was wondering how I will integrate myself in such an environment. What will be my participation in the rebuilding mutual trust? Then, I remember what I learned during the Spiritual Year: “An ideal community does not exist but we try by all means to build our community according to the model of an ideal community where we are sent as missionaries.”

Fortunately, things have largely improved since my arrival. We have worked out our “community project”, meaning the way we wish to live as a missionary community. We have regular fraternal meetings and a monthly recollection.

Pastoral Activities

The Parish Notre Dame du Congo is a very dynamic one based on primary evangelisation focussing in visiting outstations in various villages. The warm hospitality the Christians help us to forget the bad roads. Those visits are more intensively made in November and December. I have already visited some outstations but still need much more time to know them all. This is really a wonderful experience.

I have been designated to look more closely to various parish groups such as the Mass servants, the Kizito-Anuarite association, the Bilenge ya mwinda or Youth of the light group, the “Mouvement Sacerdotal Marial”, “Les mamans catholiques” and the sick. For the later, I came to understand how deeply most of them are in need of the sacrament of reconciliation and receive the Holy Communion as quite a few have been waiting for a long time to welcome a Priest in their homes.

My difficulties and challenges.

The misunderstanding between some youth and our community is still being badly felt. But we are seriously working to rebuild confidence with a high sense of creativity so as to encourage everyone to remain joyfully active.

The state of poverty in Aru and its surroundings is unfortunately very high. Consequently, solicitation for financial assistance is constant and can become a form of harassment.

With so many spiritual needs to cover and leadership responsibilities, my time as much as my energy is running out quite often. However, I remain confident with the help of my fellow confreres and God.

Remember me in your prayer!         Click here to read the PDF file of this report.

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Death of the mother of Marc Nsanzurwimo, M.Afr in Burundi


Marc Nsanzurwimo_2012_BFrom Marc Nsanzurwimo, M.Afr

With sadness and gratitude, I announce to you the passing over of our dear mother Monique Babonangenda last Friday morning (5th February 2016). She was 75 years of age. Since 2012, she was suffering from a light stroke which made difficult the movements of both the right leg and hand. She had given birth to ten of us (all of us are still alive), of whom I am the eldest, i.e., 6 ladies and 4 men, 21 grand daughters and grandsons and 1 great grandson. I thank the Lord for her exemplary life, her strong faith, her dedication to the family and her welcoming attitude to all who have shared the earthly pilgrimage. I am happy I was able to be near her the last months of her life especially to celebrate the Eucharist which accompanied her as she was crossing the threshold to heaven. May she enjoy peace and love with the Lord of life.

Climaxing the Year Dedicated to Consecrated Life in Ghana.


John Mubanga in KumasiBy Fr. John C. Mubanga (M.Afr) – St. Benedict’s Parish – Wa.

From the 20th till 23rd January, 2016, John Mubanga, Dieudonné Amani, Dominic Apee, Gaspard Cirimwani, Gazena Haile, and Erus Tirkey celebrated the climax of the Year Dedicated to Consecrated Life on behalf of the Missionaries of Africa in Ghana/Nigeria Province in Kumasi, the second largest towns in Ghana. The theme was the one given by Pope Francis: “Wake up the World.” Views and sharing helped the participants to find ways to bring peace, joy and love to our contemporary world as religious men and women.

Gabriel Justice Yaw AnokyeThe celebration was organised by the conference of Major Superiors of Religious in Ghana whose president is Dominic Apee (Provincial of M.Afr Ghana/Nigeria). In his opening remarks, he welcomed everybody and most especially Most Rev. Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, SVD, Bishop of Ho Diocese, and Archbishop Gabriel Justice Yaw Anokye of the Archdiocese of Kumasi. Dominic reminded each one of us that “consecrated life is a gift given by Christ who chooses a person to respond to his great love in a special relationship. Consecrated life is a vocation in which men and women give witness to Christ by following his teaching. Consecrated life is most often shared in a community which is united in living out a common mission.” Indeed, as Dominic pointed out, we are called to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ without remaining at that level of imitation by allowing him to penetrate our lives in order to “Wake up the World!”

As consecrated men and women, we are called upon to wake up ourselves first by having faith, holiness and hope. Looking at us, people expect holiness. However, we know too well that we are sinners. Hence, we need to keep on striving to be holy. Archbishop Gabriel called each one of us to find time to “bisect and digest the challenges of discerning our vocation as Christians with the help of good and educated formators in cognitive true love through sincere joy”.

Bishop Emmanuel Kofi Fianu pdfIn his presentation, Most Rev. Bishop Emmanuel Kofi Fianu recognised the fact that our diversity in the Church is very rich. “Hope is deeply rooted in our lives. (Thus), if only we live in despair, we will not be able to wake up the world. Three points are vital: encounter, communities of communion and religious creativity. God encounters us using our wounds, our brokenness, […] and our weaknesses. Still, God loves us. Consequently, loving our neighbour shows that we love God who loves us. If only we keep this spirit of loving one another as consecrated men and women, at the end of the day we will come to realize that something is really deeply rooted in our lives.” The Bishop could not understand why consecrated leaving together could start “a third world war” among them. “The mission is not theirs but belongs to Christ.”

He added to say that there are “many forms of apostolate though we are all involved in similar apostolate; education, caring for the sick and pastoral work. We are called to be in the front line of imagination and creativity in order to carry out the inspiration of our founders.” Furthermore, Bishop Fianu called each one of us “to name what we see: ignorance, if so, instead of poverty. All over the world, people are crying in silence. We have to listen attentively if we want to bring some consolation. Let us share their cry and anguish. Waking up the world is possible through our given charism.” Otherwise, if we fail, as one Sister pointed out, we may end up “defeating the purpose of our community or congregation.”

Ghana map_modifié-1We had a good time in Kumasi. I kept one question: How can we then make ourselves visible in our places of apostolate? Our interaction and sharing with other Religious Congregations gave us eagerness to continue our ministry. We are not alone carrying out the mission of Jesus Christ.

We ended our celebration with the Holy Mass at the Immaculate Conception Parish located in South Suntreso, Kumasi. Mass started with a candle light procession by all consecrated people presided by Most Rev. Gabriel Justice Yaw Anokye, Archbishop of Kumasi. The day ended with a common meal.

Click on the right to read the PDF file: Climaxing the Year of Consecrated Life

ICOF Program – Joy-Filled Gospel Service


ICOF logoInter-Congregational Ongoing Formation Program

Founding Congregations: · Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) · Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) · Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa (MSOLA) · Society of African Missions (SMA)

GENERAL INFORMATION (see attached brochure) + Founding Congregation

​For Catholic priests and religious in Africa. Two months of professionally facilitated sharing of experience, skills and practical knowledge, leading to enrichment of the participants’ professional, human, pastoral, spiritual and academic lives.

Place: Marian University College (MARUCO), Bagamoyo, Tanzania. Dates: June 1st – July 31st, 2016

COURSE CONTENTS: The program covers the four areas of formation: personal renewal (human), spiritual deepening, pastoral empowering, and academic update.

The program will cover the following: · Bearing joyful witness to the gospel through my particular vocation · Challenges of faith in contemporary Africa · Dangers of various addictions · Emotional intelligence and resilience · Ethical issues in ministry (boundary issues, financial administration) · Evangelii Gaudium: the Joy of the Gospel · Exploring different ways of meditating · Gender issues · Graceful Transitions in Life · Interreligious dialogue · Introduction to pastoral counseling skills · ‘Laudato si’ · Justice, peace and Christian responsibility towards the Integrity of creation · Appreciative Discernment · Leadership and Management · Ministering in a globalised world · Retreat (8 days) on the Joy of the Gospel · Scripture and mission · Signature Strengths for mission · Trauma awareness, bereavement, stress management & inner child work.

Vision: Integrated priests and religious in Africa giving joyful gospel witness in their personal, spiritual and pastoral lives.

Mission: To provide Catholic priests and religious in Africa with opportunity, space and time for personal renewal with a view of better service of the Gospel in the concrete reality of Africa today.

Objectives: 1. Provide skills and opportunity for addressing personal challenges. 2. Provide space and time for reflecting on and integrating their lived experiences. 3. Training in pastoral skills. 4. Academic updating on Scripture, current trends in mission in the context of Africa and on the latest magisterial documents.  

Methodology: The methodology includes input sessions, one-on-one accompaniment and working with growth groups. There will be multicultural community living and team working.

Fees and scholarships: The full cost of the program is 2136 US Dollars. Candidates who will qualify for scholarships will pay only 900 US Dollars. This covers: Full board, tuition, accompaniment fees, library and Wi-Fi for internet connection.

Qualifications for applicants: · Being Catholic priest or religious · Being approximately 10 · 20 years in ministry · Those in transition from one ministry to another will find it beneficial · Being recommended by one’s superior / bishop · Having a reasonable mastery of English · Willing to be open to share oneself with others for mutual enrichment and growth. 

Application deadline: April 30, 2016

CONTACTING US: Inter-Congregational Ongoing Formation (ICOF) Program, C/o Marian University College, P.O. Box 47 Bagamoyo, Tanzania. – Tel.  Tanzania: +255 787 795 033 / 766 075 219 – Kenya: +254 727 729 146 / 731 673 305 – Uganda: +256 752 508 284 /+256 786 842 292 – Email: icofprogram@gmail.com. Founding Congregation1                Blog:  http://icofprogram.blogspot.com

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