Farewell to Pierre Lafollie, M.Afr – Lusaka, November 25, 2016.


11-pierre-lafollie-sap-blog-nov-2016-bThe M.Afr gathered on Friday evening November 25 to pay tribute to a great missionary who spent 50 years in Zambia, primarily in Bemba land in the North-East part of Zambia. He lived in Mbala, Ilondola, Kayambi, Lwitikila, Serenje, Mulanga, Chalabesa, Isoka, Mulilonsolo, Mpika/Lwitikila, Lua-Luo, Kasama and Lusaka.

We are very grateful for the dedication, self-giving and holy priest he has been for us all throughout so many years. Pierre Lafollie was and still is very knowledgeable in the Chibemba language and rituals. See below few pictures starting from his time of studies in Carthage in early 60s. Some will remember Paul Gallen (+2013), Pierre Lafollie, Denis Bernardin (+2011) and Antoon Coninx (+2016) on a picture taken in 1982.

Dear Pierre, we are already missing you. With love from Zambia.

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Newsletter South Africa No 69 – 29th November 2016


newsletter-south-africa-no-69-titleGreetings! I hope you are well and that you have fully entered into the beautiful time of Advent! Yes, this is an occasion for each Christian to prepare to receive the Lord in a missionary way. Which means to involve others in this great hope and expectation of Jesus who is coming at Christmas. On the first Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis reminded us that “The Gospel is not trying to frighten us, but to open our horizons to further dimensions, giving meaning even to everyday events.” This is an invitation to open our hearts and minds to others, thus to live as missionaries wherever we are. The Pope adds: “we are called to enlarge the horizons of our hearts, to be surprised by the life that is presented each day with its newness. In order to do this we need to learn to not depend on our own securities, our own established plans, because the Lord comes at the hour which we don’t expect.” He concludes by saying that this time is “an invitation to vigilance, because, not knowing when He will come, we must always be ready…” On 14th November, I went to Malawi. The first night, I stayed at Mua Parish where I started as a young missionary in 1970; a long time ago! As part of the Parish life, Fr. Claude Boucher, M.Afr, from my home diocese in Canada has established an art school and a museum to help keep the Malawian culture. I suggest you visit their website at kungoni.org. You can see the museum and different aspects of his work with his team of artists. Then, from 15th to 21st, I was in Salima, on the shore of Lake Malawi. There, I did my yearly retreat in the house of retired bishop Rémi Sainte-Marie, bishop emeritus of Dedza Diocese and archbishop emeritus of Lilongwe arch-diocese. He welcomed me warmly and respected my times of prayer and silence. It was a good spiritual experience.

From the 22nd to the 26th in Chipata Pre-Formation Centre (Zambia), we held our meeting of Vocation Directors of the Southern African Province. We were from the four Sectors of Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa.

vocation-directors-in-chipata-nov-2016This new Centre in Chipata currently has its second intake of 18 aspirants from Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia (nobody from South Africa!). From October to May, they are spending time discerning their vocation, exploring their self-knowledge with psychological assessments, in order to understand better their deepest aspirations and desires in the light of God’s call. They also study the Bible, Church history, liturgy, the missionary dimension of our lives as Christians, and how to reach out to people, especially the poor, and how to share with them the Good News. They also have activities such as manual work, sports, etc. After this intense period, if they are still decided and if they are accepted, they will be called to go to the First Phase of their formal training: three years of philosophy in Balaka, Malawi.

This month, our aspirant Patrick Kadima wrote an article for our Provincial blog. To read it, go to our blog at mafrsaprovince.com.

 Wishing you all the best for a blessed Christmas! Fr. Michel Meunier, M.Afr

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Lavigerie memorial day celebration in Malawi on the 26th November.


lavigerie-memorial-day-celebration-in-malawi-bBy Landry Busagara, Stagiaire.

Under the theme of “flourishing communities”, the M.Afr and MSOLA gathered at Chezi, about 50 km from Lilongwe, to celebrate the memorial of Cardinal Lavigerie, our Founder.

First, a recollection centred on the philosophy of Ubuntu, “I am because we are”, helped each one to recognise that our interdependence and interconnectedness as women and men missionaries is essential to our mutual survival.

Then, with the leadership of Jos Kuppens, we had a time of sharing on flourishing communities. We recalled the high-point life involvements we had in the past as missionaries; our best moments in partnership. We found that those exciting situations were so nice that we would like to live them forever. We saw that flourishing MSOLA and M.Afr communities are “positive, alive and life giving. They are inclusive, integrative and collaborative. They create space for everyone to connect with self, with others and the whole creation, with God. They respect and affirm the freedom of everybody to live in dignity, security, peace, harmony and solidarity.”

As M.Afr and MSOLA, we value a sense of common belonging when caring for each other. We mutually gain by being non-judgemental, positive and open minded. A welcoming spirit bring more unity, mutual acceptance and create occasions for sharing.

Flourishing communities of consecrated women and men as we are is best demonstrate around the table of the Lord through the Eucharistic celebration which actually ended the recollection. It was a moment of gladness for all the wonders of the Lord.

We ended our day by sharing some drinks and food, happy to sit side by side and being all children of Lavigerie.

Priestly Ordination of Father Robbin Simbeye, M.Afr, at St Monica parish in Kabwe, Zambia.


robbin_simbeyeBy Camille Konkobo, M.Afr

On the 19th November, the Diocese of Kabwe celebrated the closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy and the priestly ordination of Father Robbin Simbeye, M.Afr. The celebration was colourful and joyful in a crowded church. Sixty priests, among them seventeen Missionaries of Africa, were present.

This ordination was quite appropriate for the closing of the Year of Mercy as Bishop Clement Mulenga, SDB, emphasised on the attitude of all priests to be merciful. He encouraged them to collaborate and seek advice unceasingly.

The Provincial, Felix Phiri, M.Afr, thanked the Bishop and his clergy for this timely feast within the diocesan calendar. He also thanked the parishioners of St. Monica and sent Robbin officially to his mission in Tunisia. He then invited all the M.Afr present to come around him for a solemn blessing by singing the Sancta Maria.

The first Mass took place at the same parish the following day. The church was vibrating from the beginning till the end. The family members of our newly ordained priest were full of joy and we could see it on their faces. It was a bright and appropriate time for missionary awareness. At the end of Mass, the Vocation Director, Camille Konkobo, made an appeal for more vocations.

Robbin Simbeye studied philosophy in Arusha, Tanzania, made his spiritual year at Bobo Dioulasso in Burkina Faso, his apostolic training of two years in Rwanda and his theology at our Formation House in Merrivale, South Africa.

Let us unite our voices and prayers for his mission and for the parents of Father Simbeye.

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Blessings of a new library at Lechaptois Formation House, Balaka, Malawi.


new-library-balaka-nov-2016-01By Robert Tebri, Rector.

A new library has been built in Balaka Formation Centre to cater for an annual average of 35 candidates. The former library became too small after receiving the entire philosophy section of the then Arusha First Phase Centre in Tanzania which has been transformed into a spiritual year.

The project took a bit more than eight months to be completed. Both staff and candidates are expressing their gratitude for the beautiful house of knowledge that will serve for many generations to come.

The people of Kapalamula and Kanyama villages that welcomed the Missionaries of Africa Formation House of philosophy have been experiencing water problems for some time now. A couple of years ago, the problem was so acute that the formation house started sharing their water with them. But this was not going to continue forever with the risk of running out of water for the house. Through the confreres in Canada, some funds were found to make two boreholes for the two villages of about 50 families.

By Kelvin Mutalala, student.

The 12th November, 2016, was the blessing and official opening of the new library at Lechaptois Formation House. The day was coloured by a joyful celebration from the people of Kapalamula Village who got two boreholes. Furthermore, it was the birthday of Father Sylvain Yameogo.

The entire ceremony was spearheaded by Father Kamanga, Bishop Secretary of Mangochi Diocese. He blessed the boreholes and handed them over to the Kapalamula community. In their prayers, the people thanked the Lord for the gift of water and also prayed for those who are still in dying need of clean and safe water. Chief Kapalamula gave a vote of thanks to the Missionaries of Africa for helping them.

SONY DSCEveryone proceeded to Lechaptois Formation House for the blessing of the new library. After few songs and the opening prayer, Father Robert Tebri thanked the Lord for such a beautiful building. He welcomed all the priests, different Religious Congregations and all other guests. Among them were Father Felix Phiri, Provincial, Father Michel Sanou, renewed Provincial Delegate of Malawi, Father John Itaru, Provincial Treasurer and Father Paul Namono, Delegate Treasurer for Malawi. Then, Father Kamanga cut the ribbon, opened the door, entered into the library and blessed the books and the rooms.

A Thanksgiving Mass ended the day which saw the Kapalamula community acquiring two boreholes, the students having a new library and Father Sylvain Yameogo celebrating his birthday. In his homily, Father Kamanga stressed on the importance of perseverance and sacrifice for the fulfilment of the common good. Finally, Father Piet van Hulten closed this memorable day with a word of thanks.

Cross-cultural course experience in Tamale, Nyankpala, Ghana.


patrick-kalonji-cross-cultural-nov-2016By Patrick Kalonji Kadima (M.Afr, Stagiaire)

I spent one month, from September 4 till 30, at the Tamale Institute of Cross Cultural Studies (TICCS) for a cultural introduction course which was based on introducing its participants to the diversity of ethnic groups and languages in Ghana. It included the “do’s and don’ts”, Chiefs and politics, ethno-linguistic groups, cross-cultural spirituality and cross-cultural differences, conflict resolution and Islam in Ghana today. Adding to it were: dynamics of African Traditional Religion (ATR), kinship systems and gender roles and social change in Ghana, Christianity in Northern Ghana, as well as witchcraft mentality, friendship, cross-cultural communication and language learning.

The above mentioned topics aimed at providing the basic capacity and understanding to the participants for ministering or do pastoral work in various cultures in Ghana. This one-month course was not only pleasant and attractive but also it uplifting my awareness, activated my presence and full participation when I was feed more and more on the dynamic aspect of cross-cultural values.

Moreover, through one’s presence in such an adventure, one benefits already. All these topics are interrelated in such a way that they become instruments or tools to develop our various goals in our future mission in view of facilitating our relationship with the local people and enhance their lives.

Through the lenses of cross-culture, one observes that there is an enrichment relationship. This is to say, even the one ministering or doing pastoral work finds and discovers that he or she is improving her or his own life, hence he or she finds fulfilment.

The course at TICCS also provided us with the skills, drills and techniques to learn a new language. As one of my fellow compatriots, Benezet Bujo once said; “Language is one of the capital elements that cannot be neglected.” Consequently, I will not neglect learning Dagbani without which my pastoral experience will be limited. I am open and ready to experiment a vision of life which is different from my own culture.

In few days to come, I will be going for my language course in one of the villages. As I am preparing myself and feel equipped enough with my experience at TICCS, Dagbani will be my first African language that I will sit down and concentrate on learning. I wish to speak it like a native speaker. I know that it is not a Bantu language, but I am willing to put much effort into it. May the almighty God, who blew on the Apostles the Holy Spirit to speak in various languages, blow in me as He did with them.

I thank God for all the wonders He keeps on performing in my life. Countless thanks to the Province of Ghana-Nigeria and to the Sector of Ghana for making it possible that I undergo such a course. Many thanks are due to Fr. Clement, the stagiaires’ Coordinator. I cannot forget the Director of TICCS, Fr. Joshua SVD, the staff members of TICCs, and my course mates. Lastly, my thanks would be incomplete if I fail to thank the members of my community at St Monica Parish. Yes, we can!!! 

Lavigerie’s Day in Mozambique


lavigeries-day-2016-02The Sector of Mozambique decided to celebrate the Lavigerie’s Day on the 25th November 2016 even though the yearly commemoration is on the 26th. We all met, confreres and stagiaires, at the Sector House in Beira. 

We had a talk about the Post-Capitular Acts in the morning. It was an interesting sharing about our vision as a Society for the coming years. In the afternoon, Padre Hugh Seenan gave a short history of our presence in Mozambique from May 1946 up to now, meaning 70 years this year. Pierre Lukusa presided Mass for the Cardinal in the evening. We were joined by two SVDs, one of whom, Fr Philly, was celebrating his birthday, and two FMMs.

The day finished with a lovely meal organised by Bosco Nigibira. It was a perfect finish to a lovely day.

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Missionary Oath and Ordination of Michael Mpindo, Peter Nyirenda, Fredrick Mulenga Chungu and Martin Kasongo in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.


oath-diaconate-abidjan-nov-2016-bBy Mpindo Michael, M.Afr

On behalf of all the SAP students, with praise and gratitude to Almighty God, I am writing cordially to thank you all for your generous support and would like to inform you that the fraternity Lavigérie of Abidjan invites you on Saturday December 10 to the Missionary Oath and Ordination of the following SAP students:

Michael Mpindo (Brother)            Peter Nyirenda (Deacon)

Fredrick Mulenga Chungu (Deacon)          Martin Kasongo (Deacon)

We are happy and consoled by the fact the Lord knows how to work and how to act even with insufficient tools and by his grace and especially through your prayers. In the joy of the resurrected Lord, trustful of his permanent help, we go ahead, sure that God will help and Mary his most beloved mother stands on our side (Pope Benedict XVI).

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The beginning of the academic year 2014-2015 at Fraternité Lavigerie of Abidjan

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 22 novembre 2016


Mafrwestafrica logoAujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site http://www.mafrwestafrica.net.

Actualités

« Statistiques de l’Église 2016 » des chiffres pris sur le site du Vatican (lire la suite)

« Visite de Francis Barnes à Bobo-Dioulasso » au sujet de cette visite du premier assistant général, un texte et des photos envoyés par Manolo Gallego (lire la suite)

« Trump et l’immigration » des informations prises sur le site de Radio France Internationale (lire la suite)

« Ordination Albert Kondemodre à Kaya » notre jeune confrère qui a terminé ses études en Afrique du Sud sera ordonné prêtre le 17 décembre (lire la suite)

Témoignages 

« Récollection pour l’Avent 2016 » une proposition faite par le père Herman Bastijns (lire la suite)
« Les membres du Conseil Général » une brève présentation de chacun des cinq membres du conseil élu lors du dernier chapitre (lire la suite)

Dialogue interreligieux

« Rencontre interreligieuse à Paris » entre juifs, chrétiens, musulmans et bouddhistes (lire la suite)
« Un même Dieu, oui mais… » sur le site de l’ARCRE, un article reçu (lire la suite)

« Marie dans la Coran » : accès à un article de Aicha Landhiri du Groupe de recherche islamo-chrétienne (lire la suite)

Justice et Paix

« Festival ciné droit libre » à Ouagadougou, du 10 au 17 décembre 2016. Ce sera la douzième édition de cet événement. (lire la suite)

« Le pape s’adresse aux responsables de Caritas » à sa manière, c’est à dire très librement, mais la retransmission de son discours a été brutalement coupée (lire la suite)

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Résultats du referendum en Côte d’Ivoire ». Le vote avait lieu le 30 octobre, les résultats ont été connus le 4 novembre (lire la suite)

« Elections municipales au Mali » certains bureaux de vote n’ont pas pu ouvrir, article pris sur le site de RFI. (lire la suite)

Official Opening of the Formation House 18th November 2016


chipata-formation-centre-logoThe official opening of our Pre-First Phase Provincial formation Centre of the Missionaries of Africa, called Lavigerie Formation Centre, will take place on November 18.

Under the jurisdiction of the Southern Africa Province (SAP), namely Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique and Malawi, the Centre welcomes young aspirants from those countries for their first experience in an international setup in view of sending them to Balaka, Malawi, for their studies in Philosophy. The formation Centre has a capacity of welcoming twenty aspirants.

The guest of honor, Lord Bishop George Lungu of Chipata, will preside over Mass.

Timetable of the day: 10:00 Mass – 13:00 Snacks and refreshments – 15:00 Entertainment

Venue: Lavigerie formation Centre, Malawi road, after Luthembwe Bridge, Chipata, Zambia.

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Death of Father Antoon Coninx and Father Arthur Bosmans in Belgium.


antoon-coninxFather Luc Putzeys, Provincial Delegate of the sector of Belgium, informs you of the return to the Lord of Father ANTOON CONINX on Tuesday the 11th October 2016 in Achel (Belgium) at the age of 81, of which 57 years of missionary life in Zambia, in the United States and in Belgium.

Father ANTOON CONINX is from Belgium, Hasselt Diocese. He was born in Achel on 25/06/1935. He made his spiritual year in Varsenare on the 08/09/1955 and his Oath in Eastview, Canada, on the 20/06/1959. He was ordained priest in Eastview on the 30/01/1960.

arthur-bosmansAlso Father ARTHUR BOSMANS on Sunday the 16th October 2016 in Varsenare (Belgium) at the age of 89, of which 64 years of missionary life in Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and in Belgium.

Father ARTHUR BOSMANS is from Belgium, Hasselt Diocese. He was born in Beringen on 11/03/1927. He made his spiritual year in Varsenare on the 22/09/1947 and his Oath in Heverlee on the 21/07/1951. He was ordained priest in Heverlee on the 12/04/1952.

Sharing in the Joy of Children.


sharing-in-the-joy-of-children-03b2“…. let the little children come to me….,” Jesus said.

By Sister Vickness Nangogo Muleya (MSOLA).   

It is now coming to the end of the year. So many things have been and have come to pass. It was a busy year with so many deadlines to meet. It was always rush hours, everybody was busy to meet their own demands and requests. However, this did not leave the children out them too inclusive.

It is in this view that I wish to share with you a bit about what I am involved in at the Parish where I am working. Since I arrived, I have been involved in many different programmes and activities such as Caritas, Pastoral and Education activities. It is from the later that I want to share with you this particular aspect of the Kindergarten.

On each particular day, I could see the little ones at our Kindergarten in the grounds of the Parish coming very early in the morning to school being brought by their parents and guardians and going back home late in the afternoon. Imagine how busy their childhood is? They have not much time left for themselves because upon reaching home they are bathed, fed and it is time for home work! So this is the children’s daily routine for those in kindergartens.

Nonetheless, on the 13th of October, I was lucky to be among those who accompanied the children for “a day out to children’s play pack”. This was to facilitate at least a day out for the children after so much hard work by them! After so many exams and tests, they needed to relax, to play and be away from everything for a day!

I was so happy to be among the children, so joyous and glorious, full of laughter and innocence they were! We started our trip around 9 in the morning and by 10:30 we were at the place but before that the children were led into prayer to entrust our day into the Lord. On the way the children sang and made all kinds of joyful noise, they were very excited and looking forward. This was amazing. Before I could realise it, I was also jumping and singing with them and doing all kinds of crazy things children do, you can imagine!

So whilst there we ensured that our children had a special mark to be identified with because there were many other children from other kindergartens around the city of Dar-es- Salaam. We gathered them under a big tree and arranged ourselves in readiness to start the relaxing, playing, etc. The team ensured that all the children participated in all the activities. Oh what a wonder to see all the children enjoying themselves! Some were afraid with certain activities at the beginning but when they got used to the mood of the day they did not want to stop. The most of all was when we went into the pools. Practically, the pools were especially well prepared for children, the very small kids just went under heavy showers which eventually made a very low pool down. My goodness come and see the little ones diving and jumping up and down under these showers and in this little pool! I told myself maybe that is why Jesus said, if you want to enter the Kingdom of God you have to become like little children!

It is very easy to make a child content and happy with very little things!  After the swimming, we had our lunch and after we gathered our children and headed home, this time there was not much excitement and noise because now they were tired and content. Therefore, upon entering and sitting in the bus the kids were all sleeping! When we reached the Parish we found their parents waiting for them. After ensuring that all were safe in the hands of their parents we all dispersed to our respective homes tired but happy!      

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