Notre-Dame du Congo d’Aru Parish handed over to the Diocese of Mahagi-Nioka.

aru-handing-over-ceremony-01By Humphrey Mukuka, M.Afr

I received my first appointment as a Missionary of Africa to Aru Parish in the Democratic republic of Congo (DRC). Aru was something that made me so proud and zealous to begin my ministry as a Catholic Priest. Despite some issues that were affecting our community, I was so courageous and zealous to live my priestly ministry according to what I had acquired during my formation. It is for this reason that I invested so much in learning the local language and the culture in order to live this missionary vocation fully and be in contact with the local population as a missionary. As I kept on integrating myself into community life and other pastoral activities, three months after my arrival, I had the confirmation that our Parish, Notre-Dame du Congo d’Aru, was to be handed over to the Diocese of Mahagi-Nioka.

aru-handing-over-ceremony-06This decision was already taken some two years ago. I accepted this decision with a lot of pain and regret. It was not yet official but I had to carry on with my pastoral activities as though nothing was happening in my heart. I kept asking myself questions like: “Why was I appointed in a parish that was soon to be handed over to the Diocese?” “Why the Society of the Missionaries of Africa does keep transmitting parishes and other institutions to Dioceses and yet there is a good number of candidates in the initial formation?” “Can we find other means than handing-over M.Afr Parishes to Dioceses as it has been done traditionally?”  I am very concerned as a young confrere.

The Parish of Our Lady of Congo was first handed over to the Diocesan Priests in 1978.  Then, it was handed over again to the Society of Missionaries of Africa in 1993. The parishioners and the local population still remember the mismanagement of the parish that they had observed during the time of Diocesan Priests. For this reason, they are worried about the ‘retransmission’ of Our Lady of Congo Parish. This is why we have been preparing them so that they accept the situation though it seems difficult for them to bear.

I have been serving as a young missionary priest in Aru Parish since October 2015. My missionary experience during this period has been very rich and significant. It is for this reason that I feel sad leaving this dynamic parish. In addition, my new appointment was not yet known since the handling over on September 25. May the Lord grant me courage and strength to face this challenge positively! I started my missionary ministry during the month of Our Lady of Congo, after which the parish is named, I therefore ask our mother Mary to intercede for this parish, to intercede for me so that I can find joy on the unknown “road to Emmaus” so that my heart can aflame again.

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There is a time for everything.

By Dimitri Yampa, stagiaire at Dombe Parish.

As the book of Ecclesiastics says; “there is a time for everything”. Indeed, after waiting about two months, I finally got my visa for Mozambique. I left Zambia on 23rd September and reached Beira on the same day through Zimbabwe. I was warmly welcomed by the Sector Superior Boris Yabre and Hugh Seenan.

jean-de-dieu-bukuruI came just in time to take part in the monthly recollection attended by 32 religious, priests, seminarians, permanent deacons and catechists from three parishes. One of our confreres, Jean de Dieu Bukuru, gave a talk about the compassion of God in the Scriptures; “O pão da Vida é o pão da misericordia”. It was appreciated by everyone. We ended our recollection with Mass presided by Jean de Dieu and a permanent Deacon. This happened just before starting my language course on Monday 3rd October 2016.

Glory and praise to the Lord and thanks to you all, especially Woodlands’ community, for the time I have been in Zambia. May God bless us all and bless the mission he has assigned to each one of us.

Link: My stay at the Provincial house in Lusaka at Woodlands.

The Xaveri movement in South Africa.

george-okwii-2016_jpegRecently, George Okwii, M.Afr, replaced Michel Meunier as Chaplain of the Xaveri movement based in Pretoria Archdiocese though Michel remains a member of the Board. This movement was founded in 1952 by late Father Georges Defour (+2012) in Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There has always been a close link between the Xaveri and the Missionaries of Africa. In South Africa, Martin Mande, age 34, originally from Bukavu, initiated the movement in 2007 which has developed since then to reach Swaziland at Hlatikulu Christ the King Parish, Manzini Diocese. George Okwii, who knew the movement in Uganda, was also instrumental in setting up a branch in Henley-KwaMphumuza, Pietermaritzburg. Ministering now from Johannesburg, his chaplaincy with the Xaveri takes mostly place at the Cathedral of Pretoria. Hopefully, it will also spread over to Johannesburg.

xaveri-kwazulu-natal-team-3At the moment, the Xaveri movement is concentrating its activities around a choir, charitable works such as visiting the sick, social activities, bible studies and prayers. A special attention is also given in bringing together migrants or refugees with South-Africans. See below, the testimony of Mme Dudu, Matron of the movement in KwaZulu Natal. She is a lecturer at Durban University of Technology.

A special celebration took place at Sunday Mass on the 25th September at the Cathedral of Pretoria with the blessing of medals given to some members who made their promise to serve Christ and one another.


Defxaveri-logoinition: The organisation is governed by its Constitution as an independent, non-political, non-Governmental, non-profit and educational organisation for boys, girls and adults open to all without distinction of origin, race or creed, in accordance with the purpose of bringing together young people in a congenial and happy atmosphere which is inspired by the spirit of healthy African Traditions.

Aim: The aim of the organization is to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of society, to build up true human beings whose interior life is stimulated by the spirituality of non-violence and inspire to lead an active apostolate in their own environment.

xaveri-definitionPrinciples: Love of God. Love of each other. Love of self.

Method: The Xaveri Method is a system of progressive self-education through the membership of small groups involving, under adult guidance, progressive discovery and acceptance of responsibility and training towards self-government directed towards the development of character, and the acquisition of competence, self-reliance, dependability and capacities both to co-operate and to lead.

Progressive and stimulating programmes of varied activities based on the interests of the participants, including games, useful skills, and services to the community and outdoors activities in contact with nature.

Objectives: To help young people make positive choices to live their life to the full. To educate young people regarding good citizenship. To encourage and assist youth to develop their talents fully. To help youth to grow in awareness of correct spiritual, moral and cultural values so that they may incorporate these values in their lives.

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georges-defour-you-tubeSee on You Tube a video in French about Father Georges Defour.