Priestly Ordination of Douglas Ogato, M.Afr, July 29, 2016

ogato-ordi-2016-bbBy Douglas Ogato, M.Afr

My ordination to the priesthood took place on 29th July 2016 at Holy Family church, Gekano Parish in Kisii Diocese in the western part of Kenya. I was ordained by my Bishop, Joseph Mairura. Many Christians travelled from near and far to witness my ordination and to celebrate with me and my family this joyful occasion. Among those who attended were: religious sisters and brothers from within and outside the diocese, diocesan clergy, East African Provincial and other Missionaries of Africa from the Sector of Kenya accompanied by members of Lavigerie Family (a lay associate group), a delegation from Zambia led by Mama Grace Shawa of Regiment Parish, and Nyamira County Government officials led by His Excellency the Governor, John Nyagarama.

In his homily, Bishop Mairura talked passionately about the tremendous missionary work the Missionaries of Africa have done and continue to do in the continent of Africa. He expressed his joy that one of his own sons from the diocese of Kisii has responded to the call of missionary life.

The entire ordination celebration was a very touching experience in my life, one that will remain indelible in my heart and mind. I am very much grateful to God who has called me to his vineyard, and to my family, friends and parishioners of Gekano Parish for having supported my answer to the missionary call, and above all, to the entire fraternity of the Missionaries of Africa and all those who contributed in one way or the other towards the success of my ordination. To Him be glory for ever and ever!


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September 2016 Kungoni Newsletter

kungoni-art-work-2016-03-blogFather Claude Boucher Chisale celebrated his 75th birthday on August 2, 2016. A week later, the Chamare festival commemorated the 40th anniversary of Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art. Various media houses such as TVM, Times newspaper, Zodiak radio, Luntha TV, Luso TV, were present. The theme of this year festival was the one proclaimed by Pope Francis for this year of mercy. A play was performed to emphasise that wealth is not the only value which one has to cherish. Malawi is very rich in spirituality that stress the importance of our common humanity. An incluturated Mass was celebrated where the homily was delivered by Father Kanyike, a Ugandan Comboni missionary. Other celebrants were Jos Kuppens, Claude Boucher, Kadzilawa and four diocesan priests from Dedza diocese.

See the September 2016 Kungoni Newsletter (Vol. 6, no 1) (12.3 Mo) for more news including Kungoni Artworks such as carvings for the South African embassy in Lilongwe, new fresco at Makakola retreat bar, Masanje paintings on canvas, Hippo view lodge commission carvings of Tchopa dancers. A special tribute is given too to Thomas Mpira, one of the most prominent artist of Kungoni.

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Tribute to Didier Michon, M.Afr

didier-michon-copieBy Seán O’Leary, M.Afr

Didier arrived in South Africa in September 1990 in answer to a call made to the Society, to minister to the displaced Mozambicans who had sought refuge on the South African side of the border; away from a devastating and crippling civil war. The place chosen for this new missionary initiative was Lebombo; a sprawling area of tin shacks and hunger, where the Church had not been established. This was pioneering missionary work and Didier took to it with an enthusiasm that never waned in his 25 years or so in South Africa.

He was a man of deep prayer, who loved community life and above all, a pastoral agent whose love for the people and his concern to help them was deeply appreciated. Lebombo carved out a special place in his heart and, although he would work in other places, Lebombo was his true home in South Africa.

He moved onto Siyabuswa in KwaNdebele in the Pretoria Archdiocese in 2001 to a situation very similar to what he had experienced in Lebombo. He brought to the people of Siyabuswa what he had brought to the people of Lebombo and was as much admired and appreciated. Open heart surgery in 2002 slowed him up somewhat but never dampened his enthusiasm and after a further eight years in Siyabuswa he returned for another four years to Lebombo.

It was in the Edenglen community in Johannesburg that he would see out his remaining years in South Africa; where he took on a shared responsibility of Guest-Master. The warmth of his welcome and the willingness to go the extra mile for guests became a hallmark of his caring nature. The choice to return to France in 2014 was his, aware as he was, that the weight of missionary life was slowly taking its toll. The man is gone but his memory will live on and be cherished by many in South Africa. We say ‘Hamba Kahle’ Didier, a Zulu phrase that simply means ‘Go Well’.

Link: Death of father Didier Michon, M.Afr