The role of women in evangelisation and sustainable development in Kasamba, Zambia.


Benjamin-Itungabose-2014
Benjamin Itungabose

By Benjamin Itungabose, M.Afr

We had a gathering of all the leaders of the Catholic Women’s Organisation in Kasamba Parish two weeks ago. Were present the leaders of this lay group from each outstation. Those who came to animate the gathering were from the Diocese. The women shared about their role in the family and the Church. The main point on the Agenda was the “Seminarian Fund.” The leaders from the Diocese explained to them the aim of this Fund and the prime role that women have to feed it. Women have always been at the forefront in the education of children. Hence forming the future ministers of the Church is a responsibility of every Catholic woman. The leaders of the different outstations of our Parish were encouraged to go back to their respective Centres to sensitise all Catholic women to make their contribution. Each Catholic woman is required to pay 10 kwacha ($1). Those who participated in the gathering paid their contribution on the spot.

Besides the Seminarian Fund, the women were also given lessons on entrepreneurship. The diocesan treasurer together with the diocesan chairperson of the Catholic Women’s Organisation in Mansa Diocese taught them how to start and manage a business. Those who attended the lessons were absolutely delighted. The aim of the lessons was to encourage women to work hard in order to care for their families and the Church. At first they were worried about how to find a capital to start a business. But they were reminded that God has already given us the most valuable capital which is the land. This was a revelation which struck all the attendants. They went back home enlightened and ready to start working hard for a sustainable development of their families and the Church.

South Africa Budget 2017: An economic or spiritual matter?


budget-safr-russell-pollittBy Russell Pollitt SJ

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan made a strong call to conversion in his 2017 Budget Speech. Quoting Pope Francis he said, “Reforming the social structures which perpetuate poverty and the exclusion of the poor first requires a conversion of mind and heart”. He went on to say, “We need to radically transform our economy so that we have a more diversified economy, with more jobs and inclusivity in ownership and participation”.

There is no doubt that South Africa is sitting on a fast-ticking social time bomb. Crunching numbers and good fiscal control alone will no longer keep the wolves at bay.

Gordhan’s Budget Speech alluded many times to key themes in Catholic Social Teaching (CST): option for the poor, trust, solidarity, human dignity, the call to community, responsibility and accountability. The 2017 Budget pointed to a bigger problem which is not simply economic: at the heart of South Africa’s woes is a spiritual crisis. We must build a true community of kinship. This is our strongest antidote to the crisis.

It is tempting to look at the figures presented in the Budget and notice the ways in which I am affected. Petrol will rise by 39c, alcohol and cigarettes by between 6%-10%, those who earn more will pay more tax on a sliding scale. But it would be short-sighted (and maybe even selfish) to stop there. The bigger picture is essential and, it seems, that’s exactly what Gordhan chose to paint this year.

South Africa can no longer afford to allow a few to live extravagant lives while millions live below the poverty line with little or no hope for their future or that of their children. The country can no longer allow leaders to feather their own nests. It can no longer allow corporates and multinationals to avoid tax liabilities.

Difficult global economic and political conditions notwithstanding, it is personal and social transformation which will empower us to live with social and moral integrity. Transformation is a term which is often used in political rhetoric. It is, however, theologically rich and, in that sense, might save us from a pending social and economic crisis. Transformation is not political. It points to a systemic re-ordering and re-prioritising where it counts most: morally.

Towards the end of the Budget Speech Gordhan paraphrased what he said last year. He urged us to make right choices and do the right things so that we build a just and fair society, founded on the principles of human dignity and equality. He asked activists, workers, the business community, clergy, professionals and citizens to actively engage in shaping the transformation agenda so that we do realise a just and equitable society –a society founded on kinship.

The bottom line is that if we want prosperity and peace we must submit ourselves and our lives to transformation, to living a key Gospel truth: we are our brother and sister’s keepers.

We have a collective and social moral responsibility to build the society we want to live in. When we take that responsibility seriously then a community of kinship begins to emerge.

We would do well too if we recall that uncomfortable yet piercing Gospel truth: “To whom much is given, much will be required.” (Luke 12:48)

Follow Russell Pollitt on twitter @rpollittsj

(C)2017 Jesuit Institute South Africa

The Jesuit Institute – South Africa undertakes to ensure the integrity of personal information in its possession or under its control by taking appropriate, reasonable, technical and organisational measures to prevent loss of, damage to or unauthorised destruction of personal information and unlawful access to or processing of personal information.

SAP Young Confreres meeting in FENZA, Zambia.


young-confreres-feb-2017-02-jpegSAP Young Confreres are meeting in FENZA, Zambia, to share their experiences as missionaries. They all have a few years of ministry and full of zeal. The participants are: Remacle Lamec Ciza from Henley-KwaMphumuza, South Africa, Frank Mbala Kalala from Sussundenga, Mozambique, Benjamin Itungabose from Kasamba, Zambia, Mathew Banseh from Lumimba, Zambia, Douglas Moumanyi Ogato from Serenje, Zambia, Lawrence Tukamushaba from Kasama, Zambia, Africano Mucunguzi from Mua, Malawi, Emmanuel Barongo from Kanengo, Malawi, Alain Christian Muhineza from Namushakende, Zambia and Jean-Bosco Nibigira from Dombe, Mozambique.

Animators: Deogratias Ngowi from Merrivale, South Africa and Justin Sebakunzi from Lua-Luo Spiritual Formation Centre, Zambia. Also on the picture: Felix Phiri, SAP Provincial.

We celebrate our 150th Anniversary!


A short history.

The Society of the Missionaries of Africa (M.Afr) was founded in Algeria, in 1868 by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie, Archbishop of Algiers; he would later be-come Cardinal Lavigerie (July 1882). From the beginning, this new missionary society took the Arab dress: the “gandoura”, with, as a religious sign, a rosary worn like a necklace. This earned them the name “White Fathers”. One year later, in 1869, Cardinal Lavigerie also founded the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa (MSOLA). Today, there are 1,232 Missionaries of Africa, from 37 Nationalities, working in 42 Countries, 22 of which are in Africa. They live in 217 communities; with a further 486 candidates at various stages of formation.

150-anniversary-m-afr-logo-saSouth Africa.

At the request of the Malawi Catholic Bishops’ Conference, in 1969 the Missionaries of Africa finally came down to South Africa in order to minister to the 70,000 Malawian migrants working in the lucrative mines around Johannesburg, Rustenburg and Witbank. The Malawian Catholic Mine Chaplaincy soon became the Catholic Mine Chaplaincy as the first missionary communities answered the call of all migrant mine workers, drawn from the neighbouring countries, to have a Catholic presence in their mine. Twenty years later the mine chaplaincy was integrated into each Diocese, through parish structures.

Our commitments over the years.

As the Missionaries of Africa became more known; new requests for communities were sent to the General House in Rome. The response was positive, and in rather quick succession, missionary communities were founded in Bethlehem Diocese: Phuthaditjhaba/Qwaqwa and eventually Bohlokong; in Pretoria Archdiocese in the KwaNdebele region: Tweefontein, Siyabuswa and Diepsloot; in Witbank Diocese: Kamhlushwa, Malelane and eventually KwaGuqa; in Johannesburg Archdiocese: Soweto (Zola, Zondi, Emdeni and Protea North), Orange Farm, and later, Lenasia.

From 1998 to 2004, three of our Missionaries ran the Lumko Institute in Benoni. The most recent insertion is a formation house in Durban Archdiocese: Merri-vale has more than 30 theology students from various African countries who study theology at Cedara St. Joseph Institute. Furthermore, we have two parishes near Pietermaritsburg: Henley and KwaMpumuza. Our students enjoy going there for their weekend apostolate.

A community in Edenglen, Johannesburg, acts as a hub for administration and vocation animation, while welcoming many visitors. At the same time, the priests of this community offer much appreciated services to local parishes, groups, schools and religious communities of that area and beyond.

And the mission goes on…

In their almost 50 years in South Africa (2019), the Missionaries of Africa living in communities, have tried to respond to requests for primary evangelisation, and moving on when the local Church has been established. Due to dwindling numbers and the maturity of the local Church in South Africa, today communities are found in the formation house in Merrivale, Henley,  KwaMpumuza, Bethlehem, Lenasia and Edenglen; 17 confreres in all.

The contribution has been modest but sincere; a missionary effort to building a vibrant local Church. The presence of a Formation House bodes well for the future and will ensure a Missionaries of Africa presence in South Africa for the foreseeable future.

We sincerely hope and pray that this Jubilee celebration will finally arouse in some young men the desire of a true vocation as Missionaries of Africa. What a wonderful gift from the South African Church this would be to us! Please, pray for us!

With God’s blessings.

Missionaries of Africa, P.O. Box 10057, Edenglen 1613, South Africa. Tel: 011 452 5283.

SACBC Justice and Peace Commission in South Africa Calls for a More Effective Regulation of Banks.


sacbc-jnp-logobishop-a-gabuzaBishop Abel Gabuza, the chairperson of SACBC Justice and Peace Commission, has called on the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance to consider further regulation of banks if the banks are found guilty of collusion by the competition tribunal.

“If the tribunal confirms commission’s findings, we urge the treasury and the standing committee on finance to institute more effective regulation of banks, in furtherance of the common good, to prevent further market abuse.” Says Bishop Gabuza.

According to Bishop Gabuza, this should include efforts to speed up the finalisation of the Financial Regulation Bill. “We particularly insist on the establishment of the market conduct regulator.” 

Bishop Gabuza has commended the standing committee on finance for its efforts to appraise the concentration levels in the banking sector. 

“In any sector, when too much power is concentrated in too few hands, the biggest losers are often the poor and low income earners. In so far as it is undertaken in a manner which is consistent with international benchmarks and the interests of the poor, we support government efforts to break the dominance of South Africa’s largest banks and increase access to the economy.”

Bishop has also called for stronger culture of ethics in the banking sector. “The bank collusion is a reminder that we need to strengthen ethical infrastructure in the financial sector. We are often worried that, since the banking sector is important for increased investment and faster economic growth, it is often treated as if it is a sector that should be above ethics and the law. Just like other sectors, the banking sector should be subjected to ethical imperatives and regulatory frameworks that promote the common good. Profit making and greed should not be the only guiding principles.” Added Bishop Gabuza.

SACBC Justice and Peace Commission “shall continue to speak out against corruption in the financial sector, with the same vigour that we use when we condemn corruption in the public sector. Both private sector corruption and public sector corruption arise from the spirit of greed and the worship of money. Both constitute stealing from the poor. Both divert resources necessary to uplift the poor from poverty and destitution. We shall not therefore remain silent in the face of any corruption and fraud.”

Click here to open the PDF file of this document.

For further information, kindly contact:

Bishop Abel Gabuza. Cell number:  0825494324  –  Phone number: 053 831 1861 or 053 831 1862. Email: dagabuza@gmail.com

Archbishop William Slattery: Cell: 0834685473

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 21 février 2017


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

« Relais Pères Blancs Maghreb janvier 2017 » la dernière édition disponible de cette revue qui nous informe sur l’Eglise en Afrique du Nord (lire la suite)

« Les missionnaires d’aujourd’hui » même s’ils ont la même mission, ne se présentent plus de la même manière que par le passé (lire la suite)

Témoignages 

« Les congrégations missionnaires africanisent leurs structures », étant de plus en plus dirigées par des africains (lire la suite)

« Jubilaires 2017 chez les missionnaires d’Afrique », les noms de ceux qui célébreront cette année de 25 à 75 ans de serment missionnaire… (lire la suite)

« Nombre de migrants en évolution » le partage de l’expérience des migrants recueilli de par le monde et très enrichissant (lire la suite)

« Le pape pour la journée mondiale du malade » l’intégralité du message du pape François à ce propos (lire la suite)

Dialogue interreligieux

« Social et religieux chez les musulmans » Lire l’interview de Didier Leschi par Walid Mebarek : l’action de l’état a atteint ses limites (lire la suite)

« Nombre et répartition des musulmans dans le monde », un article de Marc Gaborieau, anthropologue auteur de ‘’ Un autre islam : Inde, Pakistan, Bangladesh’’ (lire la suite)

Justice et Paix

« Le pape contre la traite des enfants » tout particulièrement en cette date du 8 février, qui est aussi la fête de Sainte Bakhita (lire la suite)

« Devenir acteurs de notre vie » une invitation du Père Norbert Angibaud, référent Justice et Paix des Missionnaires d’Afrique de France (lire la suite)

« Migrants aux portes de l’Espagne » plusieurs centaines de migrants ont réussi à pénétrer à Ceuta, cette enclave espagnole au Maroc, malgré les murs et barbelés (lire la suite)

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Rénovation d’une école à Khartoum » un article d’un missionnaire Burkinabè y résidant et témoignant de l’aide apportée à ce projet (lire la suite)

« Autorités intérimaires Nord Mali » : les présidents de ces autorités ont été désignés et entrent en fonction le 18 février 2017 (lire la suite)

« Les casques bleus ont quitté la RCI » après quatorze ans de présence sur le sol ivoirien, dans l’espoir que la stabilité fera un retour durable dans ce pays (lire la suite)

Integrity of Creation in Kasamba, Zambia


integrity-of-creation-01blogBy Benjamin Itungabose, M.Afr

Like elsewhere the phenomenon of deforestation raises a lot of concerns in Zambia. People cut down trees for various reasons. Due to the current electricity problems in cities people use charcoal as their source of energy more than ever before. Hence burning charcoal has become the main source of income for people in rural areas. Thousands of bags of charcoal are taken to Lusaka and Copperbelt day and night. Luapula province which used to be a land of vegetation is gradually losing its identity.

As Missionaries of Africa working in Kasamba, we felt that we had to do something about this phenomenon. In view of raising awareness about the care of our environment, last year we undertook a tree planting project in our Parish. So far we have planted about 3,500 pine trees. We wish to extend this project to at least 10,000 trees in the coming years.

What is more encouraging is that the people of Kasamba are now becoming aware of the importance of planting trees. At the end of last year Caritas Mansa gave to each parish 200 seedlings of pine trees to give to their members.  Personally I was amazed to see how people literally fought over those seedlings. Because of this increasing interest in planting trees we are planning together with the Justice and Peace group of Kasamba to have a seminar about how to make nurseries in order to produce more seedlings. In this way we hope that our mission of caring for our environment will extend to the entire Parish and hopefully to the entire Diocese.

integrity-of-creation-02blogintegrity-of-creation-03blog

This article was translated into French on ‘Église & Écologie’ (E&E) blog. Please, click on the link or on the logo for more information.

eglise-ecologie-logo

FORETS – Donne nous nos pins quotidiens

Publié le 26 février 2017

La Zambie est, elle aussi, touchée par la déforestation. Des religieux missionnaires d’Afrique ont décidé de réagir, du côté de Kasamba. Ils témoignent de leur mobilisation sur leur site (en anglais)

« Les gens coupent les arbres pour différentes raisons. Du fait des coupures d’électricité dans les villes, les gens utilisent le charbon de bois comme source d’énergie plus que jamais. De plus, ce charbon de bois devient ainsi la principale source de revenus dans les zones rurales. Des milliers de chargements de charbon de bois sont emmenés vers Lusaka et Copperbelt, jour et nuit. Du coup, la province de Luapula qui était une terre de végétation, est en train de perdre son identité. Comme missionnaires d’Afrique travaillant à Kasamba, nous avons ressenti que nous devions faire quelque chose. Pour faire grandir la prise de conscience sur les défis de la protection de l’environnement, nous avons entrepris depuis un an un projet de reforestation dans notre paroisse. Nous avons déjà planté 3500 arbres et nous espérons arriver à 10 000 dans les années à venir. Ce qui est le plus encourageant, c’est que les gens de Kasamba commencent à comprendre notre démarche. A la fin de l’année dernière, l’association Caritas Mansa a donné 200 plants de pins à chaque paroisse, pour les distribuer à leurs membres. J’étais étonné de voir comment les gens se sont disputés pour en avoir. Nous envisageons maintenant d’organiser un colloque pour créer une pépinière pour produire davantage de plants. Nous espérons ainsi que notre soin de l’environnement sera repris pour toute la paroisse voire notre diocèse en entier. »

m-afr-logo-web-romeÉgalement disponible sur le site des Missionnaires d’Afrique à Rome :

Intégrité de la Création à Kasamba (Zambie)

Religious Extremism and Violence in Tanzania


translation-into-german-religioser-extremismus-missio-2By Elias O. Opongo, SJ and Felix J Phiri, M.Afr

In an extensive and critical research about the present religious situation in Tanzania our confrere Felix Phiri [1], the Director of the Islamic studies in the Tangaza University of Nairobi together with Elias Opongo, SJ, the Director of the Hekima Institute of Peace Studies in Nairobi have published a case study about the increasing religious extremism and violence in Tanzania which was proposed and financed by MISSIO Germany.

The authors analyse the situations of conflict in the country: their historical background which evolved into the recent increasing tensions between Moslems and Christians. Through their intensive interaction with Christian and Muslim believers the authors show the many causes of growing radicalism and violence on both sides and the various supports they get for their activities.

But they also outline possible solutions to a peaceful coexistence of the two main religions in the country where approximately 45% are Moslems, 35% Christians and 20% followers of Traditional Religion.

The findings of this research are to a large extent also relevant in looking for a peaceful and hoped for resolution in similar situations in other African countries.

The German edition of this Research is published under “Menschenrechte”, “Religióser Extremismus und Gewalt in Tanzania”. Both the German and the English editions are published by MISSIO Aachen 2016. (ISSN 1618-6222).

[1] Currently the new Provincial of the Southern Africa Province (SAP).

Silver Jubilee of Chimoio Diocese and the blessing of its new cathedral – Mozambique


silver-jubilee-of-chimoio-diocese-10bBy Boris Yabre, M.Afr

On Sunday 12th February, the Diocese of Chimoio celebrated its 25 years of existence by blessing the newly built cathedral. The Bishops of Beira, Maputo and Quelimane together with thousands of Christians who came to express their support to Bishop João Francisco Silota, the first Bishop of Chimoio Diocese and thanking God for this achievement.

In his homily, Bishop Silota presented a financial report of local and foreign contributions for the construction of the cathedral. Before the final blessing, he made public his last will to be buried in the cathedral. “If I died in or outside Mozambique or even in another continent, if nothing prevent it, I would like to be buried in this cathedral.” Then, leaving the altar and going down to the main entrance, he showed in a dramatic manner the place of his future resting place. The successor of Bishop Silota will be enthroned on 12th March 2017. We recommend him to your prayers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Death of Father Pierre Lemoyne, M.Afr


lemoyne-pierre2-copieFather Gilles Barrette, Provincial of the Americas, informs you of the death o Father Pierre Lemoyne, M.Afr.

He died on February 17, 2017, in Asbestos (Canada), at the age of 90 years of which 63 of missionary life in Zambia and Canada.

Let us pray for the repose of his soul.

Some communities in Zambia where Father Lemoyne lived: Mbala, Kasama, Chipata, Lubushi, Lwena, Ipusukilo, Kapatu, Kantensha, Ilondola, Ndola, Mufulira.

Farewell of the MSOLA Sisters – Regiment Parish, Lusaka, Zambia.


farewell-zambia-feb-2017-22bA farewell Mass was celebrated at Regiment Parish on Sunday, February 12, 2017, to honour the  (MSOLA). Two Bishops were present, namely the Auxiliary Bishop of Chipata, Tr. Rev Benjamin S. Phiri and Bishop of Mpika, Tr. Rev Justin Mulenga together with the Archbishop of Lusaka, Most Rev Thelesphore-George Mpundu. Many Sisters of four Congregations, namely the Sisters of the Child Jesus, the Theresian sisters, the Daughters of the Redeemer and the Bethany Sisters were also present to thank them for the help and formation the MSOLA provided when they were established, like the Theresian Sisters in 1927.

100-years-in-zambia-msolabWere honoured: Sisters Marie-Ange Ndayishimiye, Vickness Nangogo Muleya, Flora Ridder, Victoire Niyonzima and Revocate Kabahuma.

This was the last chapter not written in a book published in 2002 to commemorate 100 years of the MSOLA in Zambia. Altogether, they have been in this country for 115 years. See below presentation of the MSOLA presented by Sister Vickness Nangogo Muleya at the beginning of the Mass which illustrates the variety of ministerial work they did over those years. We ask the blessing of the Lord upon them all as their mission will move to other African countries such as Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.

Thanksgiving of Service of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa in Zambia 12th February 2017.

Today we gather to celebrate the service and presence of the MSOLA in Zambia as well as bidding farewell to you and the country at large.We were founded by Cardinal Lavigerie in the year 1869 in Algeria, a year after founding the Society of Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers). We first arrived in Zambia in 1902 at Chilubula in the Northern Province of Zambia. We have worked in the dioceses of Kasama, Mansa, Chipata, Ndola, Mpika, Lusaka and Solwezi.

From 1902 to 2017 – 115 Years: The sisters have been involved in education, health and pastoral services such as:

  • St. Theresa Girls Secondary School in Chilubula
  • Santa Maria Health Centre in Chilubi Island
  • Minga Teachers Training College and Minga Hospital Eastern Province
  • Lubwe Mission Hospital in Luapula
  • Catechism and home craft centres to mention but a few.
  • We also concentrated on the formation of leaders in the Local Church such as
  • Formation of Small Christian Communities Leaders
  • Catechists
  • Coordinating of On-Going Formation e.g.  at Kalundu Centre
  • Facilitation of chapters for different congregations.

The development of women and youth through programs such as Youth Alive, literacy classes and carried out many other pastoral activities in parishes. We are glad for the privilege to have been part of the formators at the beginning of the:

  • Sisters of the Child Jesus,
  • The Theresian sisters
  • The Daughters of the Redeemer and
  • The Bethany Sisters

Lusaka Archdiocese:

We worked at national level at the Catholic secretariat and Zambia Association of Sisterhood. Apart from that, we initiated small Christian communities, taught at Kabulonga Girls Secondary School and schools of higher education such as University Teaching Hospital School of Nursing and Evelyn Hone College. We served as chaplains at Universities E.g. University Teaching Hospital, University of Zambia, Copperbelt University, etc.

Ministries at Regiment Parish (1966-2017)

We initiated the Xaverians youth movement, Catholic Family Movement, Catholic Action and Legion of Mary, taught religion and catechism in the parish and in the schools, visited the prisons, training of volunteers such as the Zambian Helpers Society, launching of the small Christian community movement in Chilenje and the home-based care.

farewell-zambia-feb-2017-04Presentation of Symbols:

The Candle: the light of Christ that has been the guide to our sisters who lived and were missionaries in Zambia.

The Bible, the word of God is core to evangelisation; the word of God is our source of inspiration and strength to carry on the mission entrusted to us.

Cardinal Lavigerie, the founder of our congregation, was convinced that women have a very important role in evangelisation.

Mother Marie Salome, our first Superior General – stood firm in faith to the challenges of the time to see the congregation flourish.

Our Lady of Africa: from the beginning of the Congregation has entrusted itself under the guidance and protection of Mary Our Lady of Africa.

Zambia: Our land of missions – we have loved and still love Zambia with all its people, land, richness and its challenges; we have loved everything about Zambia.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Message to the Catholic Parishioners of Namushakende, Mongu, Zambia.


Final Farewell for Fr. Robert Lavertu in St. Gabriel’s Parish, Namushakende

Alfred_AwogyaBy Alfred Awogya, M.Afr, Namushakende.

Sunday, February 5, 2017, was an emotional day in St. Gabriel’s Parish, Namushakende, as parishioners gathered to bid farewell to their veteran priest, Fr. Robert Lavertu. After 54 gallant years of zealous service in different parts of Zambia Fr. Robert has been called back home to Canada to continue to serve as a missionary. He made his last missionary journey to the Lozi land on Saturday 04/02/2017 to goodbye the people he loves so much. This was his final farewell because a big farewell was organised for him in 2014 both at the diocese and parish levels when he was transferred to work in FENZA, Lusaka.

Robert presided the Sunday Mass in Namushakende, accompanied by Fr. Alfred Awogya and later went to celebrate Mass in the nearest outstation, St. Theresa’s, Namboata. After a few years out of the Lozi milieu, it’s amazing how he managed to celebrate Mass in Silozi and gave inspiring words to the Christians in his homily on his own missionary vocation and experience in Zambia. People had time to express their sentiments of gratitude to him in dramas, poems and songs. They blessed him in the Lozi traditional way by spitting water on him and offering him profound words of thanks and good wishes for the future.

robert-lavertu-mariage-encounter-cupRobert was part of the pioneer Missionaries of Africa group (together with Frs. Charles Obanya and Henry Byamukama) to arrive in Mongu in 2001 to start Namushakende Parish. He worked as pastoral coordinator of the Diocese for 10 years and later served as Parish Priest in Namushakende for two years. In all these years he has been very close to the people of Namushakende. The people remember him for his zeal and passion for the mission, for his closeness to the people and his simplicity, for his push for self-sustainability and for his passion for the Marriage Encounter Program.

Later on Sunday evening, we organised a small “last supper” for him. The Bishop of the Diocese, Evans Chinyemba and a few priests, sisters and church members joined in the celebration. Again, it was marked by deep sense of gratitude for the selfless work of Robert and his dedication to duty. We will miss him dearly. We pray for him and wish him well in his ministry in Canada. He goes but his words and actions lives on in the hearts and lives of the people of Namushakende and Mongu Diocese at large. Mu zamaye hande mutanga’ Mulena. Mulena a mi etelele shangwe.

With a very limited time left, Robert travelled back to Lusaka on Monday after the celebrations. Upon arrival, he sent the following inspiring words in an email addressed to the parishioners of Namushakende.

robert-lavertu-2014By Fr. Robert Lavertu, M.Afr

Being 80 years old with some health problems, the Superiors of the White Fathers in Canada have asked me to go back home. They will offer me some easier kind of work though I would have liked to continue to remain for a few more years in Zambia. That is why I came this weekend from Lusaka to pray with you here in Namushakende for a last time and offer you my farewell.

I am grateful to you and the Catholics of Namboata with whom we celebrated Mass together yesterday February 1st and could offer my goodbye. I would have liked to visit all the Christian communities of this beautiful parish, but it is not possible for lack of time. Indeed, I must prepare my journey home which will be on 14th February. To you all, dear Catholic parishioners, I offer my farewell and assure you of my prayers. I will always remember you and the happy times I was blessed to spend twelve years with you. May our loving God continue to bless you and help you to grow and give Him witness as His beloved children.

old-resident-permit-bNote: Father Lavertu came to Zambia in 1963 and spent most of his missionary life in the Bemba land speaking Chibemba. But he went to Namushakende in 2002 up to 2014 and learn the Silozi language. To say to least, Father Lavertu accomplished a remarkable life as a missionary and learnt in death local cultures making then an important contribution to denounce the vices of witchcraft. He will also be remembered for his great generosity. We wish him a fruitful mission back home to Canada.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2017 Annual Retreat and Sector Assembly, Lusaka, Zambia.


sector-assembly-2017-01c_pngBy Fr. Frederick Tusingire, Director of Lay Apostolate at Uganda Catholic Secretariat, Kampala, Uganda.

The Missionaries of Africa (M.Afr) are very special to me. They have always been. I was baptised by one of them, raised up spiritually and pastorally by them, did my minor and major seminary studies under their guidance and finally my postgraduate studies in their company and with their assistance. I think the M.Afr have been the most privileged missionaries in impacting my country Uganda and indeed the whole continent of Africa.

Their mission gave the Catholic Church the first African priests in modern times (in 1913), the first African bishop south of the Sahara (1939) and when the pope visited Africa for the first time (in 1969) all the four Ugandan bishops whom he ordained were from the M.Afr mission. I believe more of the 12 bishops were from territories evangelised by M.Afr. No doubt the M.Afr have had a very great impact on the Church in Africa.

sector-assembly-2017-14bSo when I was asked by their Zambia Sector to facilitate their Annual Retreat and preside over their Annual Sector Assembly, I came with mixed sentiments of respect and love. I shared as I could and went back to Uganda even more enriched. My two weeks’ stay in the midst of the members of the Zambia Sector gave me an unforgettable experience. The time I spent with them in the retreat at Kasisi Retreat Centre was a great moment of spiritual renewal. The second part with them was the Annual Assembly at FENZA Centre where their various apostolates and the implementation of their 2016 chapter were discussed. For me it was like participating in an assembly where serious evaluation is made and great strategies are laid. I pray these will be implemented with success.

During my stay in Zambia, I also had time to visit various places of their ministry. I am convinced they still have a great contribution to make for the Church in Zambia and for the continent of Africa. May they continue to tread faithfully in the footsteps of the great apostle Cardinal Lavigerie, of their great ancestors and indeed of our Master, Jesus Christ.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My language course experience and my cultural integration in Saint Gabriel Parish, Namushakende, Zambia.


“Nitabile hahulu kuli nakona kubulela silozi.”

“I am very happy to speak Silozi.”

« Je suis très content de parler le lozi. »

jean-marie-vianney-konda-2016-02_jpegBy Jean-Marie Vianney K. Cishugi, stagiaire.

I came to Zambia in July 2016 to follow the “Welcome to Zambia” introductory course in Lusaka. It was not easy for me to communicate efficiently in English. I made an effort to learn and to practise with people who were willing to help me to improve my English. In fact, I got some help from my brothers who were patient enough to correct my mistakes while speaking.

Then, I came in Barotse Land in Western Zambia on the third week of August 2016 in order to start my apostolic training in Saint Gabriel Parish. I was sent to learn the local language Silozi which is a beautiful one with all its grammatical formulations and verbal richness. While learning it, I was also getting acquainted with the Lozi culture. Amazingly, one must clap his hands (ku bulela niitumezi ni kukambelela) to say ‘thank you’. We were four learners to follow the language course at Limulunda for three months.

I came to realise that I have to humble myself if I want to learn a new language.  It took me few weeks to be able to speak a bit. I struggled a lot with my intonation and it took me a lot of courage. Once in a while, l would join my community at Namushakende on Sunday and visit an outstation of our Parish. Initially, l was afraid and shy to speak but I managed to communicate.

I went to Nanjuca, one of our outstations, for my immersion into the language and the culture. I was nicely welcomed in this village. Some people thought that I was there to interact only with Catholics. Slowly, they discovered that I was there for everyone. Children were happy to be with me. I was eating everything they offered me except tortoise (kubu).

I led the service prayer on Sundays. Everybody, children and parents alike, were praying with me though the majority belong to the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) and the New Apostolic Church. I had the trust of Parents who helped me to practise the Silozi language.

I seized this opportunity to deliver a message from Father Venerato Babaine encouraging parents to send their children to school and live together in peace and harmony with other religions.

I had a very fruitful experience and l owe the people a huge debt of gratitude. During my last days in the village, l was really touched by the generosity of the people who came to bid me farewell. Regardless who they are or where they come from, they offered me few presents. People were sad and some burst into tears when Father Christian Muhineza came to pick me up. I felt sad as I had to go.

I am happy to be with the Lozi people and they are pleased when I speak their language.

Niitumezi kaufela a mina (Thank you all) mi mulimu amitohonolofaze (and God bless you)!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 02 février 2017


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

« Intentions générales et missionnaires 2017 » telles que confiées à tous les croyants pour l’année nouvelle (lire la suite).

« Statistiques Missionnaires d’Afrique au 1er janvier 2017 » le nombre de nos communautés, des missionnaires, les nationalités, et autres chiffres intéressants (lire la suite).

« Niger, Burkina, Mali contre le terrorisme » une rencontre des responsables de ces trois pas pour contrer la violence (lire la suite).

Témoignages 

« Otages d’Arlit et assassinat de 2 français ? » y a-t-il un lien entre ces deux réalités ? Un article à ce propos (lire la suite).

« Au revoir inquiet de la présidente de l’Union Africaine » Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. Mentionnant violences extrémistes de toute sorte, les actes de terrorisme, le crime international, les mouvements des populations à travers le monde (lire la suite).

« Que le NEPAD élargisse ses compétences », ce qu’en pense Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, qui en est responsable depuis 2009 (lire la suite).

Dialogue interreligieux

« Quel dialogue réellement ? » Caritas Europe mentionne l’islam à deux reprises dans son rapport, et le fait que le dialogue n’est pas suffisamment pris en compte (lire la suite).

« Les religions dans les medias en Algérie » L’Autorité de régulation de l’audiovisuel (ARAV) en Algérie a lancé un rappel des règles de traitement du fait religieux (lire la suite).

« Deux états : Palestine et Israël », telle est l’orientation souhaitée par les évêques d’Europe, dans leur rencontre du 14 au 19 janvier 2017 (lire la suite).

Justice et Paix

« Côte d’Ivoire : les évêques expriment leur inquiétude » au sujet de la situation politique actuelle dans leur pays (lire la suite).

« Le festival d’Angoulème dénonce l’injustice en Afrique » tout particulièrement par un auteur malgache et un autre congolais (lire la suite).

« Procès en Côte d’Ivoire » c’est seulement six ans après les faits que s’ouvre le procès des disparus du Novotel d’Abidjan (lire la suite).

« Gambie : Ousman Sonko sera-t-il poursuivi pour crimes contre l’humanité ? » une procédure dont Trial International serait à l’origine (lire la suite).

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Côte d’Ivoire, sortie de crise ? » c’est la question qui se pose même si une évolution positive semble prendre place dans ce pays (lire la suite).

« Gambie, retour de Adama Barrow » Le chef de l’état est enfin rentré au pays après de nombreuses questions se posant au sujet de son retour, et l’exil de son prédécesseur (lire la suite).

« Manger « Burkinabè » ! » le gouvernement burkinabè ordonne aux services publics de prioriser les produits alimentaires locaux (lire la suite).

« Le Maroc de retour à l’UA » discours historique du Roi du Maroc suite à l’acceptation de l’adhésion de son pays au sein de l’UA après une longue absence (lire la suite).

« Qui succédera à Alassane Ouattara en 2020 ? » une question qui n’est pas évidente, mais il semble que l’actuel président est plutôt favorable à  Amadou Gon Coulibaly et Daniel Kablan Duncan (lire la suite).

Vigil of Prayer: International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, February 8, 2017


vigil-of-prayer-human-traffickingHow can we ignore this severe warning when we see the exploitation carried out by unscrupulous people? Such exploitation harms young girls and boys who are led into prostitution or into the mire of pornography; who are enslaved as child labourers or soldiers; who are caught up in drug trafficking and other forms of criminality; who are forced to flee from conflict and persecution, risking isola­tion and abandonment.

Moreover, the dividing line between migration and traf­ficking can at times be very subtle. There are many factors which contribute to making migrants vulnerable, especially if they are children: poverty and the lack of me­ans to survive – to which are added unrealistic expecta­tions generated by the media; the low level of literacy; ignorance of the law, of the culture and frequently of the language of host countries. All of this renders children physically and psychologically dependent. But the most powerful force driving the exploitation and abuse of chil­dren is demand. If more rigorous and effective action is not taken against those who profit from such abuse, we will not be able to stop the multiple forms of slavery where children are the victims.

Facts:

  • Worldwide there are 168 million children in child labour. More than half of them, 85 million, are in hazardous work. (ILO)
  • 20 million child workers are employed in fac­tories that make garments, carpets, toys, ma­tches and hand-rolled cigarettes. Agriculture remains by far the most important sector where child labourers’ can be found (98 million, or 59%), but the problems are not negligible in services (54 million) and industry (12 million) – mostly in the informal economy. Most children work in farms that produce consumer products such as cocoa, coffee, cotton, rubber and other crops. (ILO)
  • Asia and the Pacific still have the largest numbers (almost 78 million or 9.3% of child po­pulation), but Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the region with the highest incidence of child labour (59 million, over 21% of child population). (ILO)
  • There are 13 million children in child labour in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the Middle East and North Africa there are 9.2 million. (ILO)
  • Every year, 22,000 children die in work-re­lated accidents. 9% are in industry, including mining and quarrying, manufacturing and con­struction. (ILO)
  • The number of children involved in armed conflicts has increased to about 300,000 over the past decade. 14 is the average age of a child soldier. 40 % of child soldiers are girls. (ILO)
  • 2 million children are subjected to prostitu­tion in the global commercial sex trade (UNICEF)
  • Millions more children are likely exploited in prostitution or pornography each year around the world, most of the time lured or forced into these situations through false promises and li­mited knowledge about the risks.(UNICEF)
  • About 1 in 10 girls under the age of 20 have been subjected to forced sexual intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point of their lives. (UNICEF)

kids-are-not-slaves-02Message from Pope Francis:

“Dear brothers and sisters, today, 8 February, the liturgical memorial of St. Jo­sephine Bakhita, a Sudanese Sister, who as a child had the traumatic expe­rience of being a victim of trafficking, the International Union of Superiors Ge­neral of Religious Institutes have promoted the Day of Prayer and Reflection against trafficking in persons. I encourage all those who are committed to hel­ping men, women and children enslaved, exploited, abused as tools of pleasu­re and often tortured and mutilated. I hope that those who have responsibili­ties in government will seriously strive to eliminate the causes of this shameful scourge, a scourge unworthy of a civilized society. Let each of us be committed to being a voice for our brothers and sisters, humiliated and deprived of their dignity. Let us all pray together.

Prayer:

O God, when we hear of children and adults being deceived and taken to unknown places for purpo­ses of sexual exploitation, forced labour, and organ ‘harvesting’, our hearts are saddened and our spi­rits angry that their dignity and rights are ignored through threats, lies, and force. We cry out against the evil practice of this modern slavery, and pray with St. Bakhita for it to end. Give us wisdom and courage to reach out and stand with those whose bodies, hearts and spirits have been so wounded, so that together we may make real your promises to fill these sisters and brothers with a love that is tender and good. Send the exploiters away empty-handed to be converted from this wickedness, and help us all to claim the freedom that is your gift to your children. Amen

they-are-just-children-not-slaves

February 8, 2017 – Liturgical Memory of St. Bakhita: http://preghieracontrotratta.org/

josephine-bakhita

Life of Josephine Bakhita: See PDF file HERE.

Statistics Sources:

http://www.theworldcounts.com/stories/Child-Labor-Facts-and-Statistics

Marking progress against child labour – Global estimates and trends 2000-2012 (ILO-IPEC, 2013).

http://www.humanrights.gov/the-facts-on-child-soldiers-and-the-cspa.html  ( USA)

http://borgenproject.org/10-child-labor-facts/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_labour

http://www.answers.com/Q/What_are_facts_about_child_labor#slide=1

Source: National Crime Agency (2014) UK

Present Magazine, December 2016 – A Newsletter for the Candidates and Students of the Missionaries of Africa, Zambia.


12-present-magazine-dec-2016-logoGreetings from Kolibo and may the Lord be with you always! Merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2017!

pre-mag-dec-2016-01-copieChristmas is a time for us Catholics to rejuvenate and gain more strength to follow Christ the Saviour and the Redeemer of the world. Jesus, the Son of God, has come to free the world from its bondage of sin and corruption. The Light has come into our darkened and broken heart. May this Light shine evermore in us throughout 2017!

2016 has been a very busy in the Office of vocation promotion in Zambia coinciding with the 125 anniversary of the Catholic Faith in Zambia under the theme: “Planted in our families!” It began with the coming of the Missionaries of Africa in Mambwe-Mwela in July 1891 currently situated in the Archdiocese of Kasama. The official opening of the 125 years commemoration took place on the 6th August on the very same spot when the first Missionaries planted their tents.

This year has been a blessing for our Sector of Zambia with the perpetual Oath and Ordinations of Brother Sense Moses Simukonde and Brother Elvis Ngandwe respectively on April 30 in Nairobi, Kenya, and July 2 in Chingola, Zambia. From St Paul Nchelenge parish, Mansa diocese, Fredrick Mulenga together with Martin Kasongo from St Stephen parish Chingola, Ndola diocese were ordained Deacons on 10th December 2016 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Rev. Fr. Sylvester Chimenge cardPRIESTLY ORDINATIONS:

On the 06th August in the Cathedral of Ndola, Fr. Sylvester Chimenge was ordained Priest. He celebrated his thanksgiving mass on the 07th August in Chibuluma Parish. The parish priest and his council made it a joyful lively celebration. A good number of Missionaries of Africa and a White Sister were present to grace the event. Fr. Chimenge is now in Tanzania for his missionary ministry.

robbin_simbeye

On the 19th November at St Monica in Kabwe, Fr. Robbin Simbeye was ordained Priest. The Bishop had combined the closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy and the ordination. Many people came to attend the celebration. The following day, in the same parish, He celebrated his thanksgiving mass full of joy and jubilation. Fr. Robbin is going to Tunisia (North Africa), for his missionary work.

ON APOSTOLIC TRAINING (Pastoral): We have 4 zambian students who are on pastoral; Rodgers Mwansa (from Mazabuka) in Tanzania; Biness Chungu (from Chingola) in Niger; Emmanuel Banda (from Katete) in Niger and Grant Chansa (from Luanshya) in Mali.

SPIRITUAL YEAR (Noviciate): In July 2016, we escorted Leonard Katulushi from Sacred Heart parish, Kabwe to Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso. He has received the habit on the 22 October 2016. Blessed spiritual journey!

pre-mag-dec-2016-04OUR STUDENTS IN PHILOSOPHY: They are 10 who are studying philosophy in Balaka (Malawi). They are happy and are progressing well in their studies. 3rd Years: Evans Mwila (Ndola), Horris Banda (Katete), Ivor Mutamba (Lusaka). 2nd Years: Darious Mwape (Mansa), Kelvin Mutalala (Chingola), Louis Kangwa (Kasama), Sandram Mwanza (Mukushi), Vincent Mutale (Chongwe). 1st Years: Enest Katema (Mansa), Peter Nkhoma (Chipata).

KOLIBO VOCATION CENTRE

The vocation and missionary animation is a busy office where correspondance with aspirants all over Zambia is done from. The address is still the same over 26 years now. We thank God for his grace of vocation in Zambia

pre-mag-dec-2016-05THIS YEAR WE HAD 3 PROGRAMS OF COME AND SEE.

The group of April (1st to 13th) in Serenje, I was helped by Fr. Frederic, parish priest of St Lawrence (Lusaka): Embarking for a pic-nic, last day before the departure. They are from Lusaka, Mongu, Kasama, Kapiri-Mposhi, Chingola, Kitwe, Mpika. Extreme left, Fr Frederic, and Extreme right Fr Camillo.

pre-mag-dec-2016-07The group of August (15th to 27th) in Lavigerie formation centre Chipata: From Kitwe, Chingola, Lusaka, Serenje, Kasama, Nchelenje; With Frs Jean Luc Gouiller and Henk van Kessel.

The group of December (16th to 22nd) in Serenje was a program for those who have completed Grade 11 and are now going to Grade 12. This is to encourage and journey with our
pre-mag-dec-2016-09aspirants for a good period of time as they discern their vocation. I was helped by Innocent Majune Stagiaire in Serenje.

CHIPATA PRE-FIRST PHASE IS KNOWN AS LAVIGERIE FORMATION HOUSE CHIPATA don’t miss it when passing along the Chipata Malawi border, 6,5 Km from town. We have 07 students from Zambia. 

Wishing you God’s blessing!

OPEN HERE THE PDF FILE OF THIS NESWLETTER

Co-Responsibility in Education, case of gross sexual scandals in Kasama Girls Secondary school, Zambia.


Social Commentary by Venerato Babaine, M.Afr

captureA few weeks ago, a girls’ Secondary School in Kasama District of the Northern Province of Zambia got into the media, in public buses, local market areas, beer-halls, official fora and places of worship. This is a story about the forgotten and vulnerable youth. When the news burst-out that there is gross sexual scandals in Kasama Girls Secondary school, the media got into action and a number of people namely; school authorities, education department, security bodies, parents, politicians, civil leaders and people of goodwill got vigorously concerned. It’s a moral issue and a criminal offence that has drawn-in various people according to their responsibilities. This is evidence of poor discipline in institutions of learning, poor parental guidance and insufficient supervision by the Education Department.

wolf-sheep-s-clothing-cartoon-pngThe Ministry of General Education has intervened through its procedures, the police is making investigations and parents are waking up to the scandalous news about their children. The blame of physical sexual activity with the learner-girls at Kasama Girls Secondary School apparently rests on the shoulders of some male teachers and security guards. Security, disciplinary and legal measures are in process as investigations continue. This scandal has awakened a number of stakeholders to their responsibilities well done or neglected. People now feel more concerned about their children in learning institutions than before. The fingers are being pointed at the school authorities, the ‘ravenous’ teachers and security guards; those men, “wolves-in-sheep-skins. Trust betrayed, guidance, security and safety denied of the female learners.

However, there is a group of people who might walk-away freely in this situation without taking their share of blame. These are: parents, police, Education Department, churches, business community and cultural leaders. These people are partly the causes of this scandal because they failed to play their part and fulfil their responsibilities. The burden of responsibility rests on these stakeholders. Beyond media sensationalism, there is a responsibility to bear as a matter of justice and integrity. Little or nothing is questioned on the leadership & management of the school; the parental guidance, Parents’ & Teachers ‘Association, Management Committee and the Board of Governors.

It is parents’ responsibility to be concerned about the affairs of their children when they are at home and away at school. How many parents sit down with their children during holidays to ask them the state of affairs at school? How many parents come to school to visit their children or have a conversation with the class-teacher, matron or the Head Teacher regarding their daughters? Some parents wait for the holiday period to end, do the children’s shopping, throw them on the bus and wave them goodbye. Then parents sigh in relief as the children depart. At the end of term, the return the children is bad news. A child lives an independent and unchecked life at home, at school and in Kasama town. The school authorities do what they can but the girl is her self-mentor and her own superintendent.

In such moments of scandal, the police becomes vigilant. Some police officers are parents. They may even have some children in Kasama Girls Secondary School. It would be appreciated that safety and security checks are undertaken regularly in such an institution. Police Service is not an Emergency and Crisis Management Institution. It has to prevent crime, enforce law and order, educate people, advocate for social sanity. Our men and women in uniform fail the public so often; their duty seems to rush where there is danger, crime and break down of law.

Sex abuse has been cited in some institutions of learning and professional training. A visit to any learning institution during normal time by a District Police Commander or his/her personnel would assure security and show interest in the school. It would create a stable security relationship between the school, the public and the parents. That is co-responsibility at its best.

Such a sexual scandal is in the realm of morality. This attracts religious leaders; the men and women of God. Soon pastors will start vigils of prayer for the school. Some may subject the girls to healing and cleansing sessions. It is a shame that this taken too long before pastors, priests and prophets have acted. How many pastors or priests visit the school for spiritual guidance or counselling? The Sacred Scripture says: “If I go into the field, behold, those pierced by the sword, and if I enter the city, behold, diseases of famine! For both prophet and priest ply their trade through the land and have no knowledge” (Jeremiah 18:14).  Good shepherds or mentors have to be where things happen, in real life to mitigate damage and loss. They say that “A stitch in time: saves nine”.

Responsibility and education of the youth as the future of a nation applies to district education authorities, cultural leaders of the land and some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) concerned about the welfare of people. Authorities and bureaucrats ought to leave their offices and palaces and go where the people are, where the messy life is. This is stewardship. In such cases we seek integrity to do our duty faithfully, humility to be servants of the vulnerable and peace that creates an environment of learning, for development and prosperity. People in Kasama and every one of goodwill must go out to attend to the neglected children. Educators of our learners must be vigilant and creative in their delicate role of nurturing youth by being role models and mentors.

Message of the Bishop Director to all the Consecrated 2nd February 2017 – World Day of Prayer for the Consecrated


worldday-consecrated-life-pngThrough you, let the light of the nations, Jesus Christ, shine to all the peoples

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Consecrated Life, May the Lord give you Peace.

In 1997, Pope St. John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for men and women in consecrated life. This World Day for Consecrated Life, whose annual celebration is attached to the February 2 Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, has accorded the whole Church and all peoples an opportunity to contemplate, with greater appreciation, the gift of the Religious Vocation and its contribution to the holiness of the Church, its mission of evangelization and the general advancement of human society.

ZCCB LOGO PNGOn this special occasion of celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the World Day for Consecrated Life, I, on behalf of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), wish to congratulate all members of the various Institutes of Consecrated Life who are witnessing and ministering here in Zambia. It is an undeniable fact that the history of the Catholic Church in our country is intimately linked to the missionary endeavours of the men and women from various Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

125 years ago, the first Catholic missionaries, the White Fathers, set foot into the northern region of our land and began the systematic proclamation of the Gospel. The decades that followed were characterized by such a prolific wave of missionary endeavours that by the mid of the twentieth century, the Catholic Church was practically established in all regions of the country. We pay resounding tribute to these gallant missionaries from various Institutes – the Jesuits, the Franciscan Conventuals and Capuchins, the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa, the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate, the Franciscan Missionaries of Assisi, the Dominicans, the Holy Cross, to mention but a few.

The Spirit of the risen Lord has at all times provided to the Church in Zambia Institutes of Consecrated Life with a wide diversity of charisms through which the spiritual richness of the Catholic Church is manifested. This feast day of the Consecrated during this Jubilee Year of the Catholic Faith in Zambia presents itself as another fitting occasion to reiterate our profound gratitude to the manifold expressions of Consecrated Life in our country today. Thank you for your relentless commitment to the mission of announcing the Good News and the concomitant social ministries through which you give hope and restore the dignity of God’s people, especially those in the far-flung and often forgotten parts of our country. We embrace you as a Divine gift to the local Church and a guarantee of its holiness.

It is our hope that your life in community, inspired by the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience that you profess, will continue to be a prophetic sign to our society as it grapples with the present day challenges of secularism, individualism, corruption, and mediocrity. Do not allow the great spiritual wealth of your consecration and respective charisms to degenerate into obsolesce and irrelevancy through unnecessary compromises and shift from things that really matter – prayer, charity, life, commitment. We guarantee to support you so that you may always remain faithful to the inspiration of your respective founders while at the same time being open to an ever more fruitful spiritual and pastoral cooperation with us in line with the needs of respective dioceses where you are established.

May the celebration of your feast day be an occasion of renewal and recommitment. Through you let the light of the nations, Jesus Christ, shine forth to all the peoples.

Happy Feast day. + Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv (Bishop of Mansa Diocese and Director of the Consecrated)