Ordained on Saturday 20/8/2016 by the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, His Excellency Most Rev. Jean-Marie Speich, at Christ the King Parish, Sandema, Fr Mathew W. Banseh, M.Afr led us to the altar of the Lord as he presided for the first time over the Eucharistic celebration at Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Minor Basilica, Navrongo on Sunday 21/8/2016. May you shine in the Lord’s vineyard!
Fr Banseh has been appointed to the parish of Lumimba, Zambia.
Dear Brothers and Sisters Greeting from afar!!! Ghana, Tamale in Nyankpala, where I am appointed for pastoral experience. I arrived in Ghana on 19th July, and so far I am just observing. Let me give you first an idea of what this period of pastoral experience is all about and then update you with what I have been doing so far, and what I will do, before I start swimming fully in these two years of pastoral experience.
The aim of these two years is to train me and prepare me for missionary life. These are years when the apostolic and pastoral components (working with youth, community development, various visits to the local people, catechism classes, to mention but a few) are predominant. The main task is for the apostolate, as well as a time of discernment. It will be a time of test to see if I have the necessary qualities to live a missionary life. This is by being a disciple of Jesus in the society of the Missionaries of Africa. Moreover, it is still a period of confirmation of the choice I made during my spiritual year. Briefly, those few lines give you a picture of what the period of pastoral experience is all about.
So far I have been assigned to a community in Tamale, Nyankpala. It is made of four members, two confrere-priests, John Amona (Ghana) and Gazena Haile (Ethiopia) and one who is in his second year of pastoral experience, Martial Kedem (Burkina-Faso). The four of us, from different parts of Africa, form a community of Missionaries of Africa in Nyankpala.
From September 4th I will be going for my cultural classes (to learn the culture of the local people). This will last for a month. Thereafter, I will be sent to one of the families in the village, to learn the local language and to deepen my knowledge of the local culture. Last Sunday I went to the Ordination of Fr. Mathew Benze in Bolgatanga. This is where initially I was appointed (my appointment was changed to Nyankpala when I arrived in Accra). I was so happy to meet the big family of the M. Afr. I met Serge Boroto and Amani Dieudonné (who both did their theology in South Africa), and Timothée Bationo (who is in charge of Formation in Chipata, Zambia).
I will update you more as time goes by. I ask for your prayers that I may constantly listen to God’s voice and continue trusting Him in my life. I too, will keep you in my prayers. Happy new month of September! May Christ’s peace be with you all. Your Brother in Christ. Patrick Kalonji Kadima.
Here, we just received a M.Afr student, who will be in South Africa for two years as well, for his pastoral experience. He is now with us in Edenglen, but next week he will go to KwaZulu Natal to join his community in Henley. But before starting to work there, he will go spend at least three months in Assisi, near Port Shepstone to learn IsiZulu. He is from Burkina Faso, and his name is Pascal Sambi. He spent one year with Patrick in Kasama, Zambia, for his novitiate. Welcome, Pascal!
On Saturday, 27th, in St. Patrick’s Parish, Larochelle, a Lay Leaders’ Conference gathered more than 200 people from all parishes of Johannesburg Archdiocese.
Our Missionary Group was given a chance to explain that we must be missionaries not only “ad intra” (among ourselves), but also “ad extra” (outside our own country). I gave a talk in that sense, and also Bishop Jan DeGroef, M.Afr spoke abundantly in this same line. The people were very interested and promised to do their best to foster missionary vocations in their parishes.
We continue to pray for missionary vocations. Our Lady of the Assumption, (whom we just celebrated last Sunday) please, pray for us and with us for more young men to answer generously the call your Son. Amen! Fr. Michel Meunier, M.Afr
Woodlands community invited the confreres and MSOLA Sisters to say goodbye to Christopher, Emmanuel and Robert on Wednesday night the 24th August. In a simple way, a gift was offered to Christopher who is on his way to Ghana, appointed to the Formation House in Ejisu. Emmanuel and Robert are travelling tomorrow to Nigeria. We thank them for their ministry in Zambia. We are also happy with them as they are answering their call to the mission. Here are few words sent by confreres who were not physically present at the farewell party but in communion of spirit.
Some Farewell messages:
From Jean-Luc Gouiller:
Christopher, l well remember that we called you back from Ghana to come in your own country for Vocation Animation. It costed you but how could you refuse? It was a good choice for sure. Once finishing it you rushed back to Ghana. But a few years later you were remembered again and got chosen for being Assistant to the Provincial, Fr. Gotthard, for three years, starting in June 2006. But how to flee when something important was to be put in place: the new “SAP”. So you took back the yoke, as Provincial this time, in June 2009, for six years, with no Assistant but with good Provincial Secretaries (first Georges Lauzon and then Serge). Thank you very much Christopher. Our best wishes for your ministry in Ghana. May God bless your work. Greetings to Bishop Richard Baawobr.
Emmanuel, I still see you when you were enjoying your stage in the youth Centre of Kampala. I will not forget either your Ordination in Mansa. Ready to go on. Time has passed since then. Circumstances have brought you back for some years to your own country. Congratulations for taking up the Vocation work in Serenje, helping more young people to join the missionary venture. You are still young. You go to a new country, the biggest of Africa. I passed there once coming back from home leave. Nigeria is like a bee hive, full of people indeed. Our best wishes. United in the Lord.
Robert, you are ready to leave Lusaka and Zambia for a new experience, this time in Nigeria, like Emmanuel. We wish you God’s blessings. We often hear about Nigeria, a bustling country. We wish you to witness that in spite of our differences, including in religion, we can live together.
From Dave Cullen:
It would be a great joy for me to be with you but it would need a miracle of healing to arrange that. I’m due to meet the consultant on September 2nd about what needs to be done to my fractured leg. Give my very best wishes to all those departing. My prayers and best wishes are with them all. May they find a very fulfilling apostolate where they will be and they will surely be good news for those in their care.
From Piet van Heijst:
Dear Christopher, Emmanuel and Robert, may you travel well and may the Lord bless you in starting again a new period in your lives by going back to your respective missions. Thanks for everything you have been to so many of us when here in Zambia. Remaining united.
As I do every year, I went to greet some Muslims during the Ramadan carrying with me a printed letter of good wishes written by the Pontifical Congregation for Interreligious Dialogue. That afternoon, I went with George Okwii, M.Afr, to visit the Nizamiye mosque that is probably the most welcoming mosque of Gauteng. It belongs to Turquoise Harmony Institute of famous Fethula Gulen accused recently of being the mastermind of a coup d’état in Turkey. Some compare him to Trotsky whereas Erdogan is associated to Stalin.
We arrived during a prayer session. A young guide called Ali took care of us once the prayer was finished. Ali is from Soweto whose parents could not afford to pay for his studies. So he did his primary and secondary studies in the boarding school of Nizamiye. It follows the curriculum of South Africa while its pupils also memorise the Koran in two or three years. After learning all the rituals of Islam, Ali will be able to become an imam though he is following some courses at the university and act as a guide at the mosque.
He received us in a beautiful reception hall made in Ottoman style. He showed us the small museum of the mosque where one can see beautiful pictures about Islam. One of them is a chilly letter from Prophet Mohamed asking some people to convert to Islam or else to be killed! Surely it was as self-defence in an age where interreligious dialogue was unknown. We then proceeded to the courtyard where one can see the lay out of the boarding school upstairs. We entered the mosque where an imam was reciting the Koran to a group of teenagers. The size of the building is about two third of the model in Turkey. Most materials were imported from that country even the builders and the craftsmen.
Then we went to greet Ali Katircioglu, the founder of that mosque. The dialogue was a bit slow since Katircioglu communicates only in Turkish. Our guide Ali went to Turkey to learn that language but he is not yet fluent. We offered him the printed letter of good wishes from Rome written in English. His assistants translated it for him.
We were invited to stay for the breaking of the fast. At ground level, there was a meeting for the Directors of the complex (mosque, school, clinic, shopping centre…) where elaborate food was on display. But we went to eat in the underground where about a hundred ordinary people were sharing simple food on a metallic tray. Some of them are South African Muslims who find it convenient to have their supper there. Others are illegal immigrants who are very grateful to have a free meal.
We went home glad to experience once more that the Holy Spirit moves people of all creeds.