News from our M.Afr Brazilian Sector.


missionarios-da-africa-brezil3The Missionaries of Africa of Brazil wish you a Happy New Year 2017. We are pleased to send you the news of the Brazilian Sector so that our mission may be known to all Society. Enjoy the reading in French. An English version is in preparation. Holy Year 2017. Moussa Serge Traore, M.Afr, Superior.

notre-dame-daparecida-pngOlá ! La situation politique et sociale reste tendue et instable. L’impeachment de la présidente a eu lieu. Le vice-président a pris le pouvoir. La chasse aux corrompus continue avec l’arrestation de politiciens. Les mesures et propositions du nouveau président de la république provoquent des manifestations publiques. La Conférence Nationale des Évêques du Brésil s’est prononcée contre certaines propositions du Président. Au niveau ecclésial, les évêques du Brésil ont déclaré l’année 2017, l’année Nationale Mariale car le pays célèbre le Jubilée de 300 ans de la découverte de l’image de Notre Dame dans le fleuve Paraíba en 1717. A cette occasion, l’image de Notre Dame d’Aparecida parcourt les paroisses, et diocèses du pays. C’est l’occasion de grands rassemblements et grandes célébrations.

Les confrères vont très bien. Ils se réjouissent de l’arrivée cette année 2016 du Père Francisco Javier, mexicain, un ancien missionnaire au Congo. Nous avons 2 communautés au Brésil. La communauté du centre-ville est composée de Moussa Serge Traore, prêtre, Burkinabe, 45 ans, 14 ans de serment ; Luciano Fuchs, Frère, Brésilien, 49 ans, 13 ans de serment ; Francisco Javier Ambrosio Vargas, prêtre, Mexicain, 42 ans, 4 ans de serment, Ethelbert Onyeaghala, stagiaire, Nigérian, 32 ans. Le Père Nazzareno Benacchio, italien, 94 ans vit dans sa maison de retraite á São Paulo. En 2017 il fera 60 ans de serment. Il est rattaché á la communauté de Federation. La communauté de la périphérie est composée d’Angelo Lee, prêtre, français, 67 ans, 39 ans de serment et Raphael Muteba Ndjibu, prêtre, Congolais, 38 ans, 5 ans de serment.

confrere-au-brezilAu pays du carnaval et du football, nous, Missionnaires d’Afrique, réalisons notre vocation et notre projet apostolique : être témoins du Règne de Dieu et partager avec ceux qui l’accueillent la grâce de la Bonne Nouvelle. Tous nos engagements, dans leur diversité, sont orientés vers ce but. Nous sommes de plus en plus connus, appréciés et sollicités. Nous sommes très heureux de notre présence missionnaire au Brésil. Nous avons le sentiment profond d’une mission bien remplie. Vive la Mission ! Vive le Brésil ! Sainte Année 2017.

PDF FILE: news-from-brazil-january-2017

missionarios-da-africa-brazil-2

Newsletter South Africa No 70 – 28th December 2016


newsletter-south-africa-no-70-titleGreetings! We are still in the Christmas Season and, hopefully, in the Christmas spirit! But this Newsletter will be short because, as you read in my special message “A FREAK ACCIDENT”, I am now reduced to the use of only one hand; it is an awkward way of typing!

newsletter-south-africa-no-70-michel-meunier-with-justinOne good positive point, following that unfortunate accident, is that I have a very good “private driver and helper”. Indeed, Justin Ramde, a Burkinabe, going into his third year of theology in Cedara and living at our House of Formation in Merrivale, has been here since last Friday. He takes some weeks from his holiday to come here to help me. He has been very good, not only driving me safely here and there for different pastoral commitments, but also helping me during Mass (like holding the ciborium so I may distribute Holy Communion with my healthy hand), and showing himself very much of service for doing various things requiring both hands!

He was very happy to take part in the Christmas Eve Mass at Mother Teresa’s Home; the small chapel was packed with surely more than 100 poor and sick residents, adults and children, together with the Sisters. They sang wholeheartedly for the birth of Jesus and everybody was in a festive mood. After Mass, each one received a present from the Sisters. On Christmas day, we were at City Deep for the francophone community. The church was full and the choir was really good.

After Mass, four doctors from the congregation gave me a free medical consultation! They told me that the healing seems to be taking its course well. Thank you also for all your prayers!

I want to wish you all a very good Christmas Season and a Happy New Year!

Fr. Michel, M.Afr. Vocation Director.

Priestly ordination of Konrad Simon Millanzi, M.Afr in Tanzania.


ordination-konrad-millanzi-01konrad-simon-millanzi-2016_jpegBy Konrad Simon Millanzi, M.Afr

My ordination was on 15th December 2016 at St. Walburg church, Nyangao Parish, by Bishop Bruno Pius Ngonyani of Lindi diocese, Tanzania. About 19 confreres and students came to support me with two MSOLA Sisters. Thanks for your presence. They were led by Bartholomew Mrosso, Provincial Delegate for Tanzania together with Hugh Seenan from Mozambique, Faustin Kerumbe and Deogratias Ngowi from South Africa and my brother Lawrence Tukamushaba from Zambia. His family in Uganda took care of me during my studies there.

I also got support from 25 diocesan priests. Among them were my five senior priests from Nyangao parish namely Fr. Achiula, Fr. Chijinga, Fr. Hokororo, Fr. Mpiri and Fr. Nkane, O.S.B. We are now six priests from Nyangao Parish. Other priests came from Ndanda Abbey and many more from various local congregation of Sisters.

A Thanksgiving Mass was celebrated at the church of St. Walburg on 18th December followed by a large gathering.

I would like to give thanks to God and all the people who have helped me in one way or the other to respond YES to God’s call.

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2017 MIMSAF Calendar


Celebration of the 125 years of the Catholic Church in Zambia 1891—2016.

Moving Together in Christ’s Love and Mercy.

2017-mimsaf-calendar-01On the 19th July 1891, the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), who were on their way to Lake Tanganyika coming from Mponda in Malawi, stopped at a nearby place on the land of chief Mambwe.

When one of them fell ill, they settled on this land in an abandoned house belonging to the African Lakes Company. This was the beginning of Mambwe-Mwela Mission; the first Catholic foundation in Zambia. In July 1895, the Missionaries of Africa moved to Kayambi.

The Catholic Church has begun in 2016 a yearlong celebration of thanksgiving for these 125 years of God’s Love and Mercy. Mass for the National launch took place at Mambwe-Mwela on the 6th August. All Dioceses and Lay Groups have been encouraged to line up Thanksgiving Spiritual Exercises, especially pilgrimages, to the nearest early mission parishes in their respective Dioceses. The closing Mass for this yearlong celebration is taking place in Lusaka on the 15th July 2017.

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MIMSAF LOGO_modifié-1Objectives of MIMSAF:  – To be fully involved in the work of the Church through the works of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa. – To know and participate in the spirituality of Missionaries of Africa. – To facilitate the smooth cultural transition of incoming missionaries into our Zambian culture. – To mobilise resources to support missionary work within and outside Zambia. – To network and collaborate with other organisations and religious groups with similar objectives locally and internationally. – To promote ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. – To collaborate in spiritual and social events. – To promote and support Missionary vocations for the Society of the Missionaries of Africa.

 The 2017 MIMSAF is on sale at the cost of 20 kwacha. Please contact Mr Joseph Kamanga through e-mail: mimsafzambia@gmail.com

stan-lubungo_jpegThe Catholic Church in Zambia started a yearlong celebration on the 6th August 2016 to mark the 125 years of its existence. The first missionaries were few. They encounter great difficulties and challenges. Their courage and faith have brought blessings in this part of the world. Today, 28 Missionaries of Africa of Zambian nationality are themselves spreading the Word of God in other parts of Africa with the same spirit as their predecessors.

In 2016, one of them, Father Stanley Lubungo, was elected as Superior General of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa. He is the first Zambian missionary to become Superior General. We thank the Lord for such a gift, 125 years after the arrival of the first missionaries in Mambwe-Mwela in 1891.

 

 

Declaration of intention of Patient Mushagalusa Cimanuka, Kabwata Parish, Lusaka, Zambia.


declaration-of-intent-pascal-cimanuka-dec-2016-06b2On Christmas Day, Patient Mushagalusa Chmanuka made his Declaration of Intention to proceed with his formation with the Missionaries of Africa. He signed his declaration in the presence of the Provincial Delegate of Zambia, Fr Venerato Babaine. This declaration added to the joyful spirit shared by the Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus. Though Mass lasted three hours, nobody felt it long. We are all invited to come back next year to welcome the declaration of Chandan Nayak.

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Xaveri movement in St. Gabriel’s parish, Namushakende, Zambia.


xaverian-movement-01By Pearson Salu, Coordinator.

Members of the Xaveri movement from different parishes in the Diocese of Mongu gathered in Namushakende for a three-day camping between the 15th and 18th December 2016. This camping brought together 66 Xaverains from 7 parishes of the Diocese namely: St. Michael’s, Kalabo; St. Lawrence, Limulunga; St. John’s, Katongo; Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, Mongu; St. Agatha, Kapulanga; St. Francis, Malengwa and the host St. Gabriel, Namushakende.

These days of camping were very exciting and entertaining, full of learning, discovery and adventure. We had a variety of activities which included sports such as soccer and volley ball, road runs every morning, drills, bible quiz, drama and sketches as well as debates. We also had inputs on the rosary and the role of Mary in our lives, and an input on the liturgy of the Church. During these days, the members also animated the daily liturgical celebrations with vigour and enthusiasm and creativity.  

xaverian-movement-02All the activities culminated in the big celebration on Sunday where 16 new Xaverians were commissioned while 10 made their Xaveri promise. The Mass which was well animated by the Xaverians was presided over by Fr Alfred Awogya, Parish Priest, assisted by Fr Marcin Perfikowski, M.Afr. In his homily, Fr. Alfred stressed the need for all Christians to emulate the courage and faith of Joseph the husband of Mary who listened and welcomed the will of God in his life. He urged particularly those to be commissioned to remain committed and, like Joseph, seek to do the will of God in their particular vocation in the Church as Xaverians. During the same Mass, the parishioners of St. Gabriel welcomed their new priest, Fr Marcin, who has just arrived to start his priestly ministry in the parish.

xaverian-movement-03The young men and women dressed in their neat Xaveri uniforms of red and white (with green sashes for others) put up a splendid and colourful parade after Mass to the cheer of the Christians who had gathered outside the church to watch. Even the slight down pour could not deter the vibrant young soldiers of God to exercise their duty. Fr Alfred was called upon to inspect the august parade. It was a beautiful experience. We give thanks to God for the growth and the spread of the Xaveri movement in our Diocese. We thank Fr Alfred and his team for the warm hospitality. May God bless the new commissioned Xaverians and all Xaverians throughout the world.

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xaveri-logo Link: Short Presentation of the Xaveri Movement

“Where are my Hearts”? 125 years of Evangelisation in Zambia


patrick_mumbiThe title is not meant for everybody but for a few like me. It is just there to guide my thoughts but in the grand scheme of things it is also challenging to me. 

Patrick Mumbi, M.Afr

Recently, I gave a talk to the Missionary Oblate students and they chose the title; “Formation as Missionary oriented.” My talk centred on the mission of St Paul; “Being all things to all people” (1Cor 9: 19-23). For me this is the heart beat of missionary life and this is what I saw and moved me with the White Fathers 25 years ago even before I joined them. I observed and felt that they were sent to all people not only to the Catholics. St Paul’s mission of “becoming all things to all people” was modelled on Christ; the “Man of all seasons”. Just as Jesus Christ modified his life though he was God, St Paul too simplified his lifestyle, his preferences in order to win all for Christ. Adapting of one’s life and going an extra mile is not only a stepping stone for a great mission but also a fertilisation of Evangelisation for people to come to Christ. We sometimes laugh about Father Joseph Dupont nicknamed as Motomoto becoming the husband to the wives of Paramount Chief Mwamba but how many people did he win for Christ? Actually, the story is that when Chief Mwamba was probably dying around 1899 he gathered his counsellors and handed over his wives and the kingdom to Motomoto. Is this not the origin of the famous book, “Roi de Brigands”? Around 1898 in Chilubula area, Motomoto had already established friendship with Chief Mwamba unlike his father Paramount Chief Chitimukulu who did not consent to the White Fathers settling in his Kingdom.

Having the spirit of being all things to all people, missionaries were washing the wounds of people and bandaging them, giving injections and pills. At times their cars acted as ambulances because they would be awakened at night to take the sick and pregnant women to the main hospitals. I am pretty sure all these helped people to listen and become more open to receive the Good News. In my conception, there is no cut and dried priesthood or sisterhood. Priesthood is a tool through which one can propagate and accomplish the mission of Christ. Evangelisation is an archetype concept such that at every stage of human life it has to be reinvented. Archetypes like the Evangelisation of Africa which our Cardinal Lavigerie conceived, emerged from the human psyche. The word “evangelist” comes from the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον (transliterated as euangelion) via latinised evangelium. The Greek word εὐαγγέλιον originally meant a reward given to the messenger for good news (εὔ = “good”, ἀγγέλλω = “I bring a message”; the word “angel” comes from the same root and later “good news” itself (Class notes of scripture 1991). Archetypes are the formative templates that give breath (inspire) and depth (materiality) to events in the outer world (Carl Jung’s archetypes 1959). In certain individuals like our Cardinal, events or history prepare themselves; and when the archetypes are activated in a number of individuals and come to the surface, we are in the midst of history, as we are at present. Missionaries were seized by this archetype of evangelising of Africa and therefore packed their bags 150 years ago.   

african-altar-boysCommitment to Christ’s mission: This commitment was very important for missionaries. Probably this is the reason why they worked tirelessly. This commitment and courage continued even when others perished, and the energy to work hard every day, is what impressed some of us and got the vocation to join them 25 years ago. This year in 2016, I celebrated my 25 years of priesthood in Luena parish and Jack compound in Lusaka. But concerning mission, do we as young missionaries have the zeal and commitment to work extra miles today as they did? As altar boys, we were visiting outstations with missionaries for months during holidays. With them we conducted catechumen classes, helped to carry out marriages and house to house visitations etc. For some of us young missionaries, going to an outstation is like a punishment. The only thing we would wish is to go back to the parish as quickly as possible. But in those days, touring and knowing people, registering them in books were taken as evangelisation. Bringing happiness and fulfilment were some of the other attributes of missionaries to the people they evangelised.

exit-dragon-enter-the-tigerAvailability to the people of God: The Parish Office was open from Sunday to Sunday. Unlike today, we open when people come to knock at our doors then quickly close them saying; “we do not have time or we do not want to be bothered”. When I was young, I saw that when one priest went out of the Parish Office, another one entered in to attend to the people. It reminded me of the film of Bruce Lee: “Exit Dragon Enter the Tiger.” They were serious and firm as any other priest found in the parish office when it comes to matters of faith. When someone enters the office they would enquire if he or she received all the sacraments. I must also acknowledge that they were of different temperaments; some moderate while others were hard. Some of them preached with passion such that children would get afraid and begin to cry out.

The spirit of service: White Fathers were servants of God and peoples. They served them with humility. They not wait for people to come but they would go to the people so as to know them better. I knew some White Fathers who used to come to our village to drink beer such as Fr Cletus Gerrie van Erp and Fr Anton Buys. They did so as to familiarise themselves with the people and get to the grips of their culture. The whole village became Catholics. Even individuals who claimed to be from some other churches joined Catholicism.

The new mushrooming churches I have seen was a later phenomenon when White Fathers had left. I would like to acknowledge that the evangelised people became evangelisers of the Copperbelt and some parts of Zambia because these were properly catechised. In the 1930s, when the Italian Franciscans came to the Copperbelt at the beginning of mining, they found groups of young men and women from the Northern Zambia and Luapula already praying on Sunday morning. It was easier for them to form Parishes.

The casualisation of mission: Nowadays we are witnessing the casualisation of evangelisation even that of the priesthood.  There is nowadays lack of seriousness in studying the language. The feature of not knowing the language and needing an interpreter is a recent thing. Besides, if one spends the whole night on the Internet watching one movie after another, would one have the energy next morning to go and work in the outstation? Nowadays there are vices such as overdrinking, priests befriending nuns and lack of prayer life, etc. I was once asked by parishioners the following; “when Father so and so was here, he used to read a little prayer book and saying the rosary while walking up and down, and you, do you also have that little book and do you say the rosary”? Ah, hum.

Zeal for the mission: Early missionaries were pastoral people and were filled with zeal for the mission. Do we have that pastoral zeal today? Where are our hearts? Ubulimi bwakale tababutalalikishako mwana; “My child stop crying of hunger, I used to be a good farmer with plenty of food,” meaning “you cannot at all times glory in the past successes”. We need to reinvent ourselves in this age. We need to be thinkers and reflectors about today’s mission which is a challenge, otherwise we shall be redundant. This is the reason why I said that evangelisation is an archetype concept and if we do not meditate on it we shall find ourselves outdated when actually the sky is the limit when it comes to evangelisation. Nowadays there are challenges in social life, worrying African politics, poverty of Africa, refugees. What would be our contribution to all these?

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PDF file: where-are-our-hearts

Traduction en français:

« Où est mon cœur ? » 125 ans d’Évangélisation en Zambie.

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 24 décembre 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.

Nous vous souhaitons tout d’abord de belles fêtes de Noël, et une bonne année 2017, pleine de paix et de joie.

Actualités

« Baobab Echos n°26 » la dernière édition du bulletin de la Province d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Merci au secrétaire pour ce beau travail trimestriel (lire la suite)

« Réformer la Curie » dans son discours du 22 décembre à la Curie, le pape François a énoncé les critères de cette réforme à laquelle il tient beaucoup (lire la suite)

Témoignages 

« Les religions considérées comme positives »  le secrétaire du Saint-Siège pour les relations avec les États, souligne le « rôle constructif » des religions dans la promotion de la paix (lire la suite)

« Aider les enfants au Burkina Faso » une association apporte une aide à plus de 1 500 enfants et 500 familles à Bobo Dioulasso (lire la suite)

« Poésie mystique » Iza Batres est lauréate au prix Fernando Rielo. Elle a déjjà à son actif plusieurs prix littéraires (lire la suite)

Dialogue interreligieux

« Pourquoi dialoguer avec les musulmans ? » les réponses du Cardinal Tauran à cette question, sur le site romain de Zenit (lire la suite)

« Laïcité France-Belgique » dans « Saphirnews » qui est le média leader sur le fait musulman. Il est le premier quotidien Web sur l’actualité musulmane tant par son ancienneté, sa notoriété que par sa fréquentation. (lire la suite)

« Les valeurs religieuses enrichissent notre société » Le Saint-Siège souligne « le rôle clé » du « dialogue constructif » et de l’éducation dans la promotion de la tolérance et de la non-discrimination (lire la suite)

Justice et Paix

« L’Evangile à la source de l’action » Que l’Europe retrouve la lumière de l’Évangile comme critère d’inspiration de ses actions (lire la suite)

« Crise des migrants et solidarité » ou comment la crise des migrants a réveillé la solidarité dans nos pays d’Europe (lire la suite)

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Législatives ivoiriennes » le parti soutenant le président Alassane Ouattara obtient la majorité absolue à ces élections (lire la suite)

« Bilan diplomatique de la CEDEAO ? » sur le site de « Jeune Afrique » différents liens qui permettent de mieux comprendre ce qu’est la CEDEAO et son bilan (lire la suite)

Our Mission Newsletter Edition No 10 – South Africa


our-missionFr. Gordon Rees mccj,  National Director, Missio SACBC / PMS -South Africa, Botswana & Swaziland

Dear Friends,

As we come to the end of 2016 we look back with gratitude to the Lord for all the graces and blessings that we have received. The National Directors of Missio / Pontifical Mission Societies are extremely thankful to know that millions of people have been helped spiritually, physically and intellectually through the solidarity and generosity of our donors throughout the world. We ask God to bless and protect the Missionaries who dedicate their lives to bringing Jesus’ new life, forgiveness, mercy, hope and healing touch to all Nations.

joseph-and-mary-jpegIn this our 10th edition of OUR MISSION we also give the official statistics relating to the Catholic Church in the whole world. The number of bishops, priests and deacons have increased slightly, the number of Religious have decreased. Unfortunately the average age in all categories has increased. We all should work in promoting vocations to Priesthood and Religious life along with our regular prayer for new vocations and for all our serving pastors and leaders in our Church.

Sadly with the numerous scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church in recent years, one can become blinded to the so many dedicated and good persons who serve and labour in the same Catholic Church throughout the world helping millions of students, orphans, sick, elderly and abandoned persons. The Catholic Church certainly does more than any government, NGO, other religious group or charitable organization, in reaching out to and serving in situations of suffering, exclusion, discrimination and injustice throughout the world irrespective of whether those concerned are Catholic or not.

As we look forward to the celebration of Christmas and the beginning of a New Year, let us commit ourselves as Christians living in South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland to be more open to the Universal Mission of the Catholic Church. To move from a self-absorbed and self-interested view—only the needs and challenges of my parish and diocese— to a truly catholic vision where we become concerned also about the needs and extreme challenges that our brothers and sisters face in other parts of the world, in particular in areas of first evangelization and where the Church is persecuted and struggling to survive and grow.

I wish you and yours abundant blessings, joy and peace from the Christ Child in this Christmas season! Let Jesus dwell in your life in order that you may be transformed ever more to make Him present to our world!

PDF file: our-mission10

Declaration of Intention in Jerusalem, December 21, 2016.


jerusalem-ministry-of-acolyte-2016-03On December 21, 2016, the community of St. Anne in Jerusalem celebrated the renewal of the Declaration of Intention and the reception of the ministry of acolyte of Bosco Désiré Ufoyuru from the province of PAC and Richard Mwenya Mulenga from the province of SAP.

It was a simple but well-organised celebration by the members of the community and those of the small formation group. Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald was the main celebrant and Father Martin Grenier, assistant to the Superior General, received the renewal of the Declaration of Intention.

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Workshop on training and advocacy for persons with disabilities, Lusaka, Zambia


By Ogato Douglas Momanyi ,M.Afr

A very interesting three-day workshop on training and advocacy for persons with disabilities is going at Garden House Hotel in Lusaka West. This workshop has been organized by Cheshire Homes Zambia in collaboration with Lillian Foundation. It’s an ecumenical workshop as it has drawn participants from different Christian faiths. It’s being facilitated by persons with disabilities who have been advocating for an integration and inclusion of persons with disabilities into the Zambian society. It begun today and will end on Wednesday evening (21/12/2016). 

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Oath and Diaconate Ordination in Abidjan, December 2016, Ivory Coast.


oath-and-diaconate-dec-10-02b
Fredrick Mulenga, Brother Michael Mpindo, Martin Kasongo and Peter Nyirenda.

By Domingos Mirembwe, Levison Goodwell and Brian Banda

On the 10th December, the community of Fraternité Lavigerie witnessed the oath taking of nine confreres. Four of them are from SAP, namely Fredrick Mulenga (Zambia), Brother Michael Mpindo (Malawi), Martin Kasongo (Zambia) and Peter Nyirenda (Malawi). The oaths were pronounced at the parish of Sainte Marie d’Agouèto of Abobo in Abidjan during Mass and received by Father Stanley Lubungo, Superior General. Confreres and many other priests, religious and lay people witnessed the event.

At the same event, with the exception of Michael Mpindo who made his oath as a Brother, our new confreres were ordained deacons by Bishop Willy Ngumbi, our confrere who is also Bishop of Kindu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In his homily, Bishop Ngumbi urged the newly engaged confreres to place their total trust in the Lord especially while facing challenges and difficulties.

Through the singing and utumpundu (acclamations), we felt and noticed the vibrant presence of the Zambian community working in Ivory Coast. They contributed to the joy of the event.  

The ceremony of Oath and Diaconate was concluded with a meal which took place in the community of Fraternité Lavigerie. The compound was full of joy which was expressed in songs and dances.

We thank the SAP Province and the Society of the Missionaries of Africa for calling these young men. We commend them to your prayerful support as we place them under the protection of Mary Immaculate, Queen of Africa. To you our beloved new confreres, may God bless you and make successful and fruitful your missionary ministry. Congratulations and all the best!

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New publication on Inter-Religious Dialogue in Africa.


inter-religious-dialogue-in-africa-dec-2016-01Felix Phiri, M.Afr., Patrick Ryan, MHM (Eds), Inter-Religious Dialogue in Africa, In Search of Religious Respects, Ecumenical Centre for Justice and Peace, Paulines Publications Africa, 99 pages, 2016.

The topic of religious conflict is a concern of politicians, theologians, religious leaders and representatives, civil society and a wide range of stakeholders in the public and private domains.

This book is a sequel to the Manual for Inter-Religious Dialogue (Nairobi, 2012). That book was aimed at assisting religious leaders, facilitators and other actors in the broad field of inter-religious dialogue.

This book is a series of notes on selected aspects of dialogue between religions. It is not itself a manual of dialogue, but it is a companion to the Manual for Inter-Religious Dialogue. It is intended for professionals, for students of religion, and for all people of good will who believe in promoting dialogue among religions.

the-golden-ruleThis book reinforces the urgency of dialogue between religions. There is no alternative to dialogue when it comes to building durable and peaceful co-existence.

The Golden Rule – treat others as you would like them to treat you – also known as the Ethic of Reciprocity, has been valued by human societies for thousands of years and is found worldwide throughout cultures, religions, secular philosophies and indigenous traditions. It reveals a profound unity underlying the rich diversity of human experience. With its emphasis on mutuality, interdependence and reciprocity, it is a simple but effective guide for respectful and harmonious co-existence.

http://www.columban.org.au/our-works/christian-muslim-relations/the-golden-rule

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pdf-the-golden-rule-front-pagegolden-rule-brochure-2014

Testimony of Antoon Oostveen about Father Antoon Coninx (+2016).


00-pierre-lafollie-sap-blog-nov-2016Father Coninx loved his missionary life. He was a man of great talents: artist painting and sculptor as much as a good writer. He animated groups of artists in Lusaka. He also set up the communication department in CATHSEC (Catholic Secretariat) including a magazine, T.V. documentaries for the national broadcast ZNBC and YATSANI Radio.

Father Coninx was a good preacher, an excellent pianist and a computer expert. He laid out numerous magazines and booklets. Unfortunately, like his mother, he spent his last years with the Alzheimer disease.

Here some pictures of Father Coninx and some of his achievements. Note that a mistake was published in one of previous pictures at the farewell party of Father Pierre Lafollie.

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Official Opening of the SAP Pre-Formation Centre in Chipata, Zambia.


chipata-formation-centre-01bBy Timothée Bationo, M.Afr

The story started in Beira, Mozambique, in 2012 with a meeting of the Vocation Directors. They were looking for ways of improving their relationship between the four Sectors of the SAP Province and the Formation Centre in Balaka, Malawi, where our candidates make their studies in philosophy.

The creation of a Pre-First Phase was then proposed to the Provincial Council and forwarded to the General Council in Rome. A green light was given to build a centre in Chipata situated in the Eastern Province of Zambia. The town is surrounded by hills and is about 20 kilometres from Malawi and less than 140 kilometres to the Mozambican border. Therefore, the three countries could easily get involved in following the progress of their respective students.

Father Jean-Luc Gouiller started looking for a piece of land and the ground work started in 2014. The buildings were completed in December 2015. We entered into the centre in the second week of January 2016 with an initial number of 18 students from Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. They remained up to June 2016. The second academic year started on October 12, 2016. The Formation Centre currently has once more 18 students together with three staff members, namely Brother René Garand, Father Camille Konkobo and Father Timothée Bationo.

The SAP Pre-Formation Centre was officially blessed by Bishop George Lungu on November 18, 2016. Mass was presided by the Bishop outside the premises as the church building would have been too small to contain the crowd. The Bishop was pleased to see that the official opening was just two days away from the closure of the Year of Mercy. Consequently, the official opening of the Formation Centre coincided with the closure of the Year of Mercy at the diocesan level.

Various committees from Saint Athanasio Parish were established to take care of the catering, liturgy, security and reception. By 05:00, they were already setting up everything before the arrival of the Christians and the Bishop at 7:00. Some members of the Provincial Council were delayed a bit at the border with Malawi.

Leading the procession, Bishop George Lungu and Father Felix Phiri, the Provincial, cut the ribbon at the main gate of the centre to symbolise the official opening of the Formation Centre while the diocesan choir sang a Thanksgiving song. In a colourful procession, the Bishop blessed the chapel and other buildings. At Mass, the Bishop praised the work done by the missionaries in the past, what they are doing today and what is to come. He was grateful to the Society for building a Formation Centre in his diocese. He encouraged the Formation House to open its doors to people who would like to have retreats. The Formators are welcomed exercising their apostolate all around Chipata.

The Provincial blessed each student with a symbolic cross representing the beginning of their formation.

All the missionaries, Fathers and Sisters, came together to sing the Santa Maria song. Few speeches were conducted at the end of Mass including Father Gouiller, Father Felix Phiri, Father Timothée Bationo, the Bishop, the DCL President and a Government Official. Finally, the Master of Ceremony, Father Kamanga, invited everybody to share a meal. A final blessing came at the end of the day with the first rain of the farming season.

Members of staff at the formation house will ever remain grateful to the people who took part in the organisation and preparations of the official opening of the centre. We will always remember you in our prayers as we preach the Word of God.

Merry Christmas to you all and a Prosperous New Year in 2017.

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Links: Lavigerie Formation Centre, Mchini Parish, Chipata.

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 10 décembre 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

« Procès du général Sanogo au Mali » l’ex-chef de la junte, Amadou Haya Sanogo, s’enferme dans sa stratégie de défense : le déni et les menaces. (lire la suite).

« Simone Gbagbo en procès » malgré l’absence de l’accusée le procès se poursuivra pour les crimes commis en 2010-2011 qui auraient fait plus de 3000 morts en 5 mois (lire la suite).

Témoignages

« Mon père était un imam très apprécié » le témoignage d’une musulmane lors de la rencontre islamo-chrétienne du 19-11-2016 à Louvain-la-Neuve (lire la suite).

« En Terre Sainte, héritiers de Charles de Foucauld » 25 petits frères et sœurs de Jésus vivent en Israël et Palestine (lire la suite).

Histoire
« Anniversaire de la mort du Cardinal Lavigerie » nous avons célébré le 124ème anniversaire de la mort de notre fondateur, le 26 novembre (lire la suite).

« Centenaire de la mort de Charles de Foucauld » il y a cent ans, le 1er décembre, Charles de Foucauld était assassiné à Tamanrasset (lire la suite).

 Dialogue interreligieux

« Le pape s’adresse au patriarche Bartholomée » : dépasser la division par la prière, le service du bien commun et le dialogue (lire la suite).

« Promouvoir la paix par le respect des lieux saints » le résultat de la 14ème réunion des dialogues entre le Saint Siège et les délégations du grand rabbinat d’Israël (lire la suite).

 Justice et Paix

« Bannir les carburants toxiques » quatre pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest s’engagent à bannir les carburants toxiques contenant trop de soufre (lire la suite).

« Quelle âme pour l’Europe ? » : valeurs de la personne humaine, liberté, créativité et invention, séparation des pouvoirs, telle est la démocratie vécue en Europe (lire la suite).

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Evasions au Mali » plusieurs dizaines de détenus ont pu s’évader de la prison de Niono (centre du pays) après qu’elle a été attaquée dans la nuit de lundi à mardi par des hommes armés (lire la suite).

« Fin d’une dictature en Gambie » : Adama Barrow a su renverser démocratiquement Yahya Jammeh, l’autocrate fantasque et inquiétant qui dirigeait la Gambie depuis vingt-deux ans (lire la suite).

« L’Algérie expulse les migrants subsahariens » Pour la première fois depuis 2012, l’Algérie rapatrie des migrants subsahariens, originaires de différents pays d’Afrique de l’ouest (lire la suite).

Archbishop Bakyenga praises White Fathers


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By Mathias Mazinga, added 9th December 2016 01:37 PM

He explained that further to pioneering Catholic evangelism in Uganda, the White Fathers had also given holistic empowerment to many people, who subsequently influenced the steady growth and development of the Church and the country

The Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mbarara, the Most Rev. Paul Bakyenga has praised the Missionaries of Africa, popularly known as the White Fathers, for their enormous contribution to the spread of Catholicism in Uganda and Africa.

He explained that further to pioneering Catholic evangelism in Uganda, the White Fathers had also given holistic empowerment to many people, who subsequently influenced the steady growth and development of the Church and the country.

“I am one of the people that were educated and groomed by the White Fathers. Even after I became a priest, they gave me enormous help in my ministry. I am humbled to be associated with the congregation,” Bakyenga said.

Bakyenga made the remarks during the celebrations for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, at Lourdel House (the headquarters of the White Fathers) in Nsambya, on Thursday (December 8).

Bakyenga encouraged the White Fathers to continue spreading the gospel of Christ with dynamism, in spite of the enormous challenges of contemporary society.

During the function, the White Fathers honoured their confrere, Fr. Gerard Reynaert (91), who made 65 years of Missionary oath. They also congratulated Fr. Ferdinand Tillmann, who clocked 50 years in priesthood. Tillmann, who hails from Germany, is currently a lecturer of Holy Scripture and Systematic Theology at St. Mary’s National Major Seminary, Ggaba. Fr. Reynaert resides at Lourdel House, Nsambya.

The day of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is the annual fellowship day of the White Fathers. They celebrate it together with their relatives and friends.

This function on Thursday was also graced by the Uganda Sector Superior of the congregation, The Very Rev. Fr. Gerard Chabannon. The Superior of the East African Province of the White Fathers, the Very Rev. Fr. Charles Obanya (resident in Kenya), also attended the function.

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Lavigerie Formation Centre, Mchini Parish, Chipata.


Jean-Luc Gouiller 2014 JPGOn Malawi Road, after the Luthembwe Bridge, near Chipata Town, Chief Mpezeni area, Eastern Province of Zambia.

By Jean-Luc Gouiller, M.Afr

The Lavigerie Formation Centre of the Missionaries of Africa is a “Pre-First Phase” for our candidates to missionary life. They are from our Sectors, namely Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia. The Formation Centre has a capacity of welcoming twenty aspirants. The first group came on 15th January 2016 and left it on 17th June 2016. A second group arrived on 12th October 2016 and will leave on 15th May 2017.

However the official opening of the Centre took place only on Friday 18th November 2016 when people around have become more familiar with us. That day was a real feast, gathering around us some Christians of Mchini Parish and Chipata in particular. The Right Reverend Bishop George Z. Lungu thought it meaningful that the celebration be also one of the ceremonies closing the year of Mercy. The celebration took place outside, a very well-animated liturgy by various groups, and choirs.

The morning was announced as to be sunny, and it was indeed, but an abundant rain (a blessing in this time of the year) came as we were finishing our celebration.

chipata-lavigerie-formation-centreThe Catholic Church has already taken deep roots in the Eastern Province of Zambia. Like many Catholics in Zambia, the Church in Chipata and in the neighbouring Malawi have celebrated the centenary of evangelisation already at the beginning of the 1990ies. Our Protestant Brothers are also many.

In 1937, Monsignor Ferdinand Martin was appointed to the newly founded “Apostolic Prefecture” of Fort Jameson (now Chipata). He came to settle on a farm on the side of the main road coming from Malawi, some ten kilometres before Fort Jameson. That place came to be known as “SANCTA MARIA MISSION”. The sandy road leading to it is still there, as it can be seen. Santa Maria became a very vibrant Parish.

After ten years, in 1947, Mgr. Martin left the place, but he left behind him a well-established Mission, with priests and probably brothers, catechists, and many “outstations” for Christians in various places. Moreover, at that time, the Prefecture already had several Zambian Priests.

Bishop Courtemanche was appointed to take the place of Mgr. Martin and moved to Fort-Jameson. Mgr. Courtemanche would remain in Fort Jameson until the appointment of the then Fr. M. Mazombwe in 1970 (ordained Bishop in February 1971) as Bishop of Fort Jameson. The Zambian Church was “coming of age”.

In 1965/66, Santa Maria was not central anymore for the many Catholics in Chief Mpezeni area, as well as other Chiefdoms. So another place was chosen as “Mission”: Msipazi. But because money was scarce at that time, it was decided that the bricks, and some other building material needed for the construction of Msipazi, would be taken from the existed buildings of Santa Maria. At the same time the bricks of Naviruli were transported to the other newly planned parish of Chadiza.

In 2013, came the decision to build the M.Afr “Lavigerie Formation House”. Chipata being indeed a real centre of the new Southern Africa Province, thoughts revived the souvenir of the old “Santa Maria”. What a dream!

And what a reality too! Indeed after some search for a place, we found it at some 1,500 metres from Santa Maria, going towards Chipata. Providence has indeed helped us to find what has become the “Lavigerie Formation Centre” … somehow a resurrection of Santa Maria! We are grateful to all who have helped us to reach our goal. Thanks be to God.

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P.S.: Jean-Luc Gouiller arrived in Zambia in April 1966. One of the first places he visited, with Fr. Hannecart, is Santa Maria. He cannot forget it. It was the time of the demolition. Fr. Mazombwe was there as a teacher in the pre-seminary.