This Newsletter comes to you earlier than usual, because in the next ten days I will be on a long trip with some friends in a part of Canada that I have never visited: we will be touring the Magdalen Islands, in the far eastern part of the country, between the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Look on the map!
As you can see, this Newsletter is also quite short. I am out of the South African context and also I am kept quite busy with my relatives and friends, without mentioning many M.Afr confreres whom I am meeting here after many years; we have so many stories to tell one another and a lot of news to catch up on. The most important piece of news this last month has been the election of our new General Council in Rome. Last month, I already told you about the new Superior General, Fr. Stanley Lubungo. This time, I simply send you an attachment introducing all five members of the new General Team. You surely will notice that they are men of great experience, having lived in different countries and worked in various fields. This is what we expect of Missionaries of Africa. Hopefully, reading about the background of each one will inspire you.
I just want to add one remark about Pope Francis’ approach to people during this JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY. I am so struck by his very down-to-earth way of interacting with people, just like Jesus who went about, meeting people where they were. Pope Francis visits people, especially the poor and unsophisticated. And he invites them to come celebrate the Year of Mercy at the Vatican, whoever they are, whatever work they do, the sick and healthy alike. Recently, he met with people working in circuses and encouraged them to continue bringing joy through their entertainment. He often focuses on joy (see his beautiful exhortation The Joy of the Gospel); a Christian is someone who lives in the joy of the Risen Lord.
In the midst of our unsettled and struggling society, may we give more joy and hope to the people we meet! This is surely a very good way to be a missionary!
God bless you all! Fr. Michel Meunier, M.Afr