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.
So 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.