My dear Friends, Greetings! I just arrived from my leave in Canada on Thursday noon. Two night flights with only 2 or 3 hours’ sleep, and the jet lag (6 hours’ difference) make me feel very sleepy and I often doze off at any time of the day. Then I wake up in the middle of the night without being able to sleep again until the morning hours! Those two long flights (6 hours and 11 hours respectively) and 12 hours in Paris, took me back here without major incident or accident. Thank God! In this day and age of terrorism, one never knows what might happen! In Paris, I had the chance of meeting Fr. Didier Michon, who was here in South Africa for a good number of years. He just turned 81 and seems to be quite well. My 2 months’ holiday went by very fast! I met very many people, first my family then many friends. At the Provincial House, I met a young man from my home town who shows some interest in joining the M.Afr. He has worked in various well-paying jobs, but he wants to do something deeper with his life. He is soon going to one of our missions in Africa to build up an experience of being a missionary.
One day I went to a Trappist (1) Monastery for a short visit and a quiet time of prayer. There, I met a former neighbour of mine (Brother Bruno). He is 8 years younger than me, therefore I did not know him very well when I was young. But when he was 21 years old, after some years playing the drums in different rock bands, he joined the Trappists, wanting to give his life to God in a deeper way. He is now 64 and, with a permanent smile, he looks so happy and serene! We had a good chat together. I was hoping to rest after my arrival, but there were so many requests for Masses and Confessions! All three of us (Fr. Christophe Boyer, Fr. George Okwii and myself) have been fully busy replacing Priests who are gone either on holidays or to the World Youth Days in Poland.
Patrick Kadima wrote some short messages saying that he had arrived in Ghana, diocese of Tamale in the north, for his 2 years of pastoral experience. I presume he is now starting to learn the local language. Hopefully, he will send more news for the August Newsletter.
I wish you a very good month. Do not forget the important feast of Our Lady of the Assumption (15th August, but celebrated here the following Sunday, 21st August). She is the Patron Saint of South Africa. Pray Mother Mary to help our country, especially to foster more peace and understanding; let us ask her to intervene to God on our behalf for a quiet and peaceful election day. Also, ask her to enlighten you on your vocation.
God bless you all! Fr. Michel Meunier, M.Afr
(1) The Trappists are one of the most strict order of monks; they spend most of their time in silence, praying and working.