Chinsapo becomes a fully fledged Parish, Malawi


Vitus Abobo 2018 (2) copie copieBy Vitus Abobo, M.Afr

Until the 90s, Chinsapo was an outstation of Likuni Parish under the care of the Missionaries of Africa, namely Fr. Roger Bélanger and Fr. Angelo Belloti who developed interest in the area. When the Missionaries of Africa handed over Chilinde and Kawale parishes in 1998, Chinsapo became a possible place to establish a new parish.

Already, Bishop Felix Eugenio Mkhori foresaw that Chinsapo would become a parish. Fr. Martin Onyango initiated the whole process while being curate of Likuni Parish. Together with the Christians, he bought the plot with financial support from the Missionaries of Africa, the people themselves and Bakili Muluzi, President of Malawi between 1994 and 2004.

Fr. Martin Onyango, Fr. Jacques Pallas, Fr. Piet Van Hulten, and Fr. Julio Feliu worked in Likuni until it was handed over to the diocese in 2003. Fr. Jacques Pallas, chaplain of Likuni hospital, though staying at the sector house in town, went to Chinsapo regularly.

The idea of Chinsapo becoming a Parish came back in 2008. Fr. Piet Van Hulten together with Fr. Louis Blondel sent Fr. Julio Feliu, who was then the Parish Priest at Mua, to Chinsapo. Earlier on, during a confirmation ceremony of 200 Christians, the people of Chinsapo asked Bishop Rémi Sainte-Marie to make Chinsapo a parish.

Fr. Julio arrived in Chinsapo in February 2009. He put his heart into the pastoral work. Though the official status of Chinsapo was not clear, Fr. William Thurnbull, then the Sector Delegate for Malawi, and his team kept supporting Julio. Finally, Chinsapo became a quasi-parish on 3rd June 2009, the Feast of the Martyrs of Uganda and named after St. Denis.

The infrastructural developments currently in Chinsapo started with the construction of the sports ground which in the beginning was the crossroad of many roads. Afterwards the Christians built a fence at a cost of about four million kwacha. Then the catechist’s house, Home Base Care (HBC) also known as the Rainbow Centre was constructed with support from a Spain-based NGO, followed by the Justice and Peace office.

In 2010, Chinsapo received some financial help through Bishop Rémi from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in Rome to build the Parish residence. It has taken six years for the building project to be completed.

Unfortunately, Fr. Julio fell ill due to back problems and had to go home for treatment. During that time the future of Chinsapo became very dim as there were even plans of having it over to the Silesians or the Jesuits.

Then Fr. Felix Phiri, the new SAP Provincial, realising the situation of Chinsapo, requested Fr. Julio to ask the confreres at the Sector house for support. From that time, Fr. Paul Namono, Fr. Michel Sanou, Fr. Africano Mucunguzi kept giving Julio a helping hand in the Pastorals at Chinsapo.

Around the middle of this year 2018, the Province/Sector decided to establish a Missionary of Africa community at Chinsapo and make Chinsapo a project of the Missionaries of Africa. After discussions between the Missionaries of Africa and the current bishop of Lilongwe Archdiocese, Chinsapo was raised from to status of quasi-parish to a full parish.

Chinsapo blessed with a Parish and Missionaries of Africa community.

Chinsapo 04On the 26th of August, 2018 Chinsapo was blessed with the erection of not only a new Missionary of Africa Community, but also the raising of its status from quasi-parish to a full-fleshed one. The Bishop of Lilongwe Archdiocese, Most Rev. Tarsizio G. Ziyaye, made the declaration at the end of a Eucharistic Ceremony.

The Provincial Superior, Fr. Felix Phiri announced the coming of three confreres and a stagiaire. All new community members were present; Fr. Piet van Hulten, Fr. Julio Feliu and the stagiaire Crepin Kombate Moiyikitie. Yet to come Fr. Pawel Patyk from Poland.

At the end of the Mass, the Bishop, announced the good news to all present declaring that: “I myself, in conjunction with the Superiors of the Missionaries of Africa, we have given this Parish to the Missionaries. These our parents in faith will be in charge of this parish and Fr. Julio Feliu is to lead it.”

The declaration was greeted with a lot of ululations and clapping of hands. The Bishop then handed the official letter which he had signed, raising Chinsapo from a quasi-parish to a fully-fledged parish, to Fr. Felix Phiri, the Provincial Superior of Southern African Province.

The Bishop thanked Fr. Roger Tessier who came from Kenya to visit Malawi, before returning to Canada for good. He knew Fr. Roger when he was the manager of Likuni Press, back in the 70s.

At the end of the Mass, the Bishop blessed the house where the new community will be housed, amid melodious songs from the children’s choir.

Both Fr. Piet and Fr. Julio see very great opportunities in the areas of Justice and Peace, Inculturation and Interreligious dialogue. There are about 32 different Christian denominations already at Chinsapo. Also, there is a good relationship with the Khadra group of Muslims, the Anglicans and the Lutherans. They foresee a great challenge in the area of Integrity of Creation, and population density as many people continue to settle in the area. The population is estimated to be about 800,000 people.

Chinsapo 01The focus of Chinsapo as a Parish will be in the area of youth apostolate as almost 70% of the population are below 25 years old. Luckily, some Sisters are expected to arrive in Chinsapo, and they will be of great help in caring for the youth.

Conclusion

This day was a very colourful day, not just because of the sacrament of confirmation that took place, but also because on this day the dream of many confreres and Christians of seeing Chinsapo as a parish was realised. On this same day, God also blessed this new parish with the presence of the Missionaries of Africa community. The questions, doubts and worries of many people about the future of Chinsapo have been laid to rest.

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Celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Missionaries of Africa in Chipata, Zambia.


Father Dave Cullen wrote an article recently about the celebration at Mphangwe which took place on September 8, 2018. Here below is the testimony of Jacob Maasang, stagiaire in Zambia.

By Jacob Maasang, originally from Ghana

Ahead of the official beginning of the 150th anniversary of the Missionaries of Africa which will take place on December 8, I had the opportunity to attend this celebration at Mphangwe Prayer Centre in the Diocese of Chipata on the feast day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 8th September 2018 under the theme: “serving God’s people in Africa”.

Apart from members of our Missionary Society, there was a number of men and women religious congregations present as well as a number of lay faithful from the Katete Deanry. Rt. Rev. Bishop Benjamin Phiri, the auxiliary bishop of Chipata Diocese, was the main celebrant.

For Fr. Felix Phiri, our Provincial, the gathering was a blessing moment to commemorate 150 years of service to the people of God in Africa and the African world. He used the opportunity to explain the mission of the Missionaries of Africa through a brief history of our founder and our Society. He recorded the early struggles our first missionaries met in Africa and the activities done by our confreres in Zambia up to now.

According to Bishop Benjamin, it was not a thanksgiving Mass for the missionaries alone but also for the people of Zambia, especially the Diocese of Chipata. He gave acknowledgement to some elderly confreres, still present, who worked utterly in that diocese. For him, it was an opportunity for the people to appreciate the work of evangelisation done by the missionaries of Africa in that part of Zambia.

After the Eucharistic celebration, all the Missionaries of Africa introduced themselves. To my surprise, I was the only one to do so in icibemba while others did it in cinyaja. Messages of congratulation and gifts followed. To my amazement, there was even a cow offered by the Katete deanery.

Done in a very simple manner, everybody had something to eat and drink. This, I felt, was part of our charism as our founder insisted on simple lifestyle and moderation in everything. I was very happy and privilege to be at this 150th anniversary celebration of our foundation as Missionaries of Africa, serving the people of Africa and the African world. Mission continues.

Celebration at Mphangwe of 150 Years of the Foundation of the Missionaries of Africa, September 8th, 2018


By Fr Dave Cullen Dave Cullen - Chipata Hospital 2014 06 copie, M.Afr

Bishop George Lungu, the Ordinary of Chipata Diocese, graciously offered to commemorate the foundation of the Missionaries of Africa 150 years ago with two Masses in the diocese, one at Chasera where the missionaries first arrived, but for a very brief period, and the second at the first parish established by the Society in 1913 at Mphangwe. It was at there that we celebrated Mass on the Feast of the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8th.

It was Katete Deanery that both prepared the celebration and, together with some help from other deaneries, funded the expenses involved. The Montfort Fathers, who are in charge of Mphangwe Prayer Centre, had put a great deal of effort to ensuring that the event was fittingly celebrated. Tarpaulins had been put up to enable almost everyone present to be shielded from the sun. Radio Maria was present to record the Mass and ensure that the loudspeaker system was in good order. A considerable number of the diocesan clergy concelebrated the Mass, together with a Comboni Missionary and several other priests, one coming from as far away as the United States on visit in Katete. Likewise, there were representatives from the various Religious Congregations, Sisters and Brothers. Parishioners from Mphangwe itself had also come in large numbers.

ZAMBIE 2The Mass was presided by the auxiliary bishop of Chipata Diocese, Benjamin Phiri. Before the Mass began, the bishop invited our Provincial, Fr Felix Phiri, to give a brief history of the work of the Missionaries of Africa in Chipata Diocese. It was, in fact, the Missionaries of Africa who founded the Church in the Eastern Province. In 1937 the Prefecture of Fort Jameson was established with Fr Fernand Martin as the priest in charge. At that time there were 3 missions in the care of ten Missionaries of Africa, strangely enough, precisely the number still doing apostolic work in the diocese today. However, those original ten eventually increased to fifty-five.

It was Fr Firmin Courtemanche who succeeded Fr Martin in 1947. He was ordained bishop and named Prefect Apostolic of Fort Jameson in 1953. The first diocesan priest in the Prefecture was Fr Zakaria Kapingira, ordained in 1939. The number of White Fathers, as they were then known, having been given that name in North Africa where they were distinguished by the white habit they wore, increased in the diocese during the Second World War that began in 1939, and many new mission stations were opened up by them. After the war, the number of diocesan priests gradually began to increase, foremost among them being Fr Medardo Mazombwe, ordained bishop in 1971 of what had now come to be named Chipata Diocese. He would later be transferred to Lusaka Archdiocese and be made a Cardinal.

As the number of parishes increased Bishop Mazombwe sought the help of other Missionary Societies, the Comboni Missionaries, Missionaries of St Patrick, known as the Kiltegan Fathers, Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, the Montfort Fathers and the Carmelites. Not only did the number of diocesan clergy begin to increase, but also Religious Congregations of Sisters, some from other countries, others from locally founded Congregations, caring for the sick in hospitals, teaching in schools and sharing in the apostolic tasks in a number of parishes.

Felix Phiri 03Fr Felix Phiri finished his presentation by giving thanks for those who had gone to the Lord as also by asking blessings on the Priests, Brothers and Sisters still offering themselves for the spread of the Kingdom of God in Chipata Diocese today.

After this introduction, before beginning Mass, Bishop Benjamin introduced to the congregation the Missionaries of Africa present, four of whom he described as our ‘Senior Citizens’, first of all Fr Henk van Kessel who, the previous day, had celebrated his 92nd birthday and is still very active as the diocesan archivist, Fr Joe McMenamin, Fr Toon van Kessel and Fr Dave Cullen, all of whom had given many years of service in the diocese. He then began the Mass which was offered prayerfully with the well-rehearsed contribution of the choir and Stellas.

After communion gifts were offered to the Missionaries of Africa, first by Bishop Benjamin, then by many of the clergy and Religious present, as also by many of the laity. As something of a finale, a group of Missionary of Africa students who were present at the Mass, together with a Missionary of Africa priest from Zambia itself, swaying rhythmically to the singing of the choir, brought a gift to the bishop. Coming from various countries in Africa they, together with the ‘Senior Citizens’ and the several other Missionaries of Africa present, witnessed to the international and multiracial character of the Missionaries of Africa.

After Mass all present were invited to a meal that had been prepared for us by our hosts and shared in the dining halls that the Montfort Fathers have had constructed for such events as that of today. From there we all departed in thankfulness and peace to our communities and homes.

ZAMBIE 1

2018 Kungoni Cultural Festival


Kungoni_Open_Day_2018By Robert Kalindiza

As Malawi prepares to conduct a tripartite election, Father Claude Boucher Chisale decided to pass the message of elections in this year’s cultural performances.

Before different dances, there was a traditional Mass. The preacher was Bishop Montfort Sitima of Mangochi diocese. Over six priests accompanied Father Boucher including Father Michel Sanou as the official representative of the Missionaries of Africa in Malawi. Many people from different parts of the world were also in attendance.

Over thirty dances were showcased.

Recent death John Michael (Ben) Henze and Melvin Doucette, former missionaries in Malawi and Zambia.


Michael HenzeJohn Michael (Ben) Henze on Monday the 7th May 2018 at Ealing Hospital (London – UK) at the age of 84 years, of which 57 years of missionary life in Zambia and in the United Kingdom.

Milestones of Father John Michael Henze’s life

John Michael was born on the 6th May 1934 in North London, in the neighbourhood of Edmonton. He was living in the Diocese of Nottingham when he entered the Noviciate (Spiritual Year) on the 7th September 1956 in‘s-Heerenberg. He then continued his studies of theology in Totteridge, in North London, where he took his Missionary Oath on the 13th July 1960 and was ordained to the priesthood on the 3rd February 1961. John Michael was better known as Ben.

In Malawi: 01/11/1967; Lilongwe. In Zambia: 04/06/1968; Chikungu, Chipata. 18/01/1969; Chipata, St. Anne’s. 01/04/1977; Solwezi, Solwezi. 01/04/1979; Mufulira, Ndola. 01/05/1983; Religious Education Adviser at Mufulira, Ndola. 01/01/1992; Kitwe. 01/09/1992; Ndola. 01/06/2003; Sabbatical. 01/05/2004; Ndola. 01/06/2007; C.U.Z.-Lecturer at Ndola. 01/07/2011; appointment in Great Britain.

Melvin DoucetteMelvin Doucette on Wednesday 27th June, 2018 at Tignish (Canada) at the age of 79 years, of which 51 years of missionary life in Zambia and in Canada.

Milestones of Father Melvin Doucette’s life

Melvin was born on March 2, 1939 in Tignish, a small fishing village on the northern tip of Prince Edward Island, Canada. He entered the Novitiate (Spiritual Year) of the Missionaries of Africa on August 31, 1963 in Franklin, USA. He then continued his theological studies at Totteridge (London, UK) where he took his missionary oath on 25th June 1967. He returned to his native village to receive priestly ordination on June 22, 1968.

In Zambia: 01/09/1968; Ilondola. 01/01/1969; Lwena, Kasama. 01/01/1973; Lwena. 01/10/1974; Chilubula. 01/09/1979; Chilubi, Kasama. 01/09/1982; Monastic experience at Nanyuki in Kenya. 01/10/1983; Lubushi and Mulobola. 01/11/1986; Malole. 01/04/1987; Chilubula, Kasama. 28/02/1990; Jerusalem Israel. 01/09/1991; Malole, Kasama. 19/04/1999; appointed to Canada.

Father Dominic Kapatamoyo’s Priestly Ordination in Chezi, Malawi – July 7, 2018


19 Dominic ordiBy Vitus Danaa Abobo, M.Afr

On the 7th of July, the parish of Chezi in Malawi witnessed an unforgettable event as our confrere Dominic Kapatamoyo was ordained priest. There was a big crowd of people present to this memorable event, the first of its kind in the parish. Sisters, Brothers, Fathers and students in formation from Balaka, all members of the Lavigerie’s family, were present in their numbers together with other religious congregations, diocesan priests, various religious denominations, family members and friends as well as parishioners. Also present were Archbishop Tarsizio G. Ziyaye and our confrere Bishop Emeritus Remi Sainte-Marie.

A priest is another Christ chosen and sent out to serve and console the people of God in order to show them what the Kingdom of God entails. Archbishop Ziyaye agreed with the invite of Cardinal Lavigerie to his missionaries “to be apostles, nothing but apostles”. Being apostles should become our being. Ending his homily, the Archbishop invited everyone to pray for the priest to be ordained, that the Lord may give him all the graces that he needs.

The Archbishop was touched by the fact that Dominic is the son of a long-serving catechist, Mr Kapatamoyo. He was also happy that Dominic was ordained priest as a Missionary of Africa adding that “they are like our parents”, being the first missionaries to bring the gospel in that part of the world. He was happy about the good organisation of the event and active participation of the people, seeing it as a golden opportunity for vocation promotion.

The Provincial Delegate in Malawi, Father Michel Sanou, expressed his gratitude and happiness to the parishioners of Chezi for the good organisation. This remarkable event is a golden opportunity to call other youths to follow the example of Dominic to answer the call to missionary life.

At the end of the Mass, Father Felix Phiri, the Provincial of the Southern Africa Province (SAP), emphasised the missionary nature of the work as Missionaries of Africa. Like the missionaries working in Chezi Parish, originating from other African countries, Dominic will be working away from his home parish. On that note, he announced that the newly ordained priest is sent to Mingana in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where he already spent two years for pastoral training during his initial formation.

14 Dominic ordiThe Provincial added that the presence of representatives from Protestant churches shows a sense of solidarity among the Christians of different denominations. The event of the day is also a visible fruit of the Missionaries of Africa celebrating its 150th anniversary of foundation. He remarked how the work and faith of Dominic’s father as a catechist has been a pillar for Dominic’s vocation journey.

Filled with joy, Father Dominic expressed his gratitude to God for the gift of his priestly ordination, seeing it as a humbling honour. He was impressed by the sacrifices the parishioners, confreres, family and friends made since December 2017 to ensure the success of the event. He was also overjoyed by the presence of so many people, two bishops and friends from Zimbabwe, France, Ireland and Kenya to witness his ordination. For Dominic, the presence of all these people from far and near is a sign of the Church’s unity. In a sense of gratitude, he asked God to be with him in his priestly calling.

The ordination of Father Dominic was for the Missionaries of Africa a time of coming together to support, pray with and thank the Lord. It also became for the parish of Chezi a moment of working together to support and pray for and with their own son. For the parents of the newly ordained, the celebration was the answer to their prayers since their son started his formation with the Missionaries of Africa.

May God richly reward you all for the support rendered to us to make Dominic’s ordination a success.

 

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Death of Fathers Harrie Vernooy and Jean-Pierre Pickard, former missionaries in Moçambique and Malawi.


Father Piet Buijsrogge, Provincial Delegate of the sector of the Netherlands, informs you of the return to the Lord of Father Harrie Vernooy on Tuesday the 3rd October 2017 at Geesteren (Netherlands) at the age of 91 years, of which 64 years of missionary life in Malawi and in the Netherlands. Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Milestones of Father’s life:

Harrie was born on the 30th December 1925 at Cothen, in the Diocese of Utrecht, in the Netherlands. He began his spiritual year with the Missionaries of Africa on the 1st September 1949 at‘s-Heerenberg in the Netherlands, where he continued his theological studies and pronounced his Missionary Oath on the 22nd July 1953. He was ordained to the priesthood on the 10th June 1954 at Monteviot, in Scotland.

In Malawi:

01/10/1954: Bembeke, 06/07/1955: Mtendere, 01/01/1959: Dedza, 01/01/1960: Mua, 01/01/1963: Dedza, 06/09/1963: Mua, 01/01/1970: Ntcheu, 01/01/1976: Ganya, Dedza.

Father Jean-Pierre PickardFather Luc Putzeys, Provincial Delegate of the sector of Belgium, informs you of the return to the Lord of Father Jean-Pierre Pickard on Friday the 29th September 2017 at Evere (Belgium) at the age of 91 years, of which 67 years of missionary life in Portugal, Mozambique, Malawi and Belgium. Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Milestones of Father Jean-Pierre Pickard’s life:

Jean-Pierre was born on the 18th September 1926 in Schaerbeek (Brussels), in the Diocese of Mechelen-Brussels. He joined the Spiritual Year on the 21st September 1946 at Varsenare (Belgium) and then went on studying theology in Heverlee (Belgium) where he took his Missionary Oath on the 22nd July 1950 and was ordained to the priesthood on the 24th March 1951.

In Moçambique

01/05/1953: Manga, 26/01/1954: Zobue, 18/07/1954: Manga, 01/01/1956: Murraça, 01/01/1957: Charré, 09/09/1958: Zobue, 01/04/1964: Lundo, 27/07/1964: Manga, 31/12/1964: Munhava, 01/01/1968: Munhava, 25/05/1971: Expelled from Mozambique.

In Malawi

01/03/1972: Katete, Mzuzu, 01/05/1972: Rumphi, Mzuzu, 15/05/1973: Lilongwe, 01/01/1977: Chilinde, 10/11/1992: Kawale, Lilongwe.

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 5 octobre 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

« Leaders africains » Depuis 2014, l’Institut Choiseul établit un classement des 100 premiers décideurs économiques africains de moins de 41 ans (lire la suite)

« Colloque des intellectuels musulmans » Cette rencontre est le fruit d’un travail de plusieurs mois qui a permis de réunir des intellectuels musulmans d’horizons divers (lire la suite)

« Manifestations au Burkina » pour dénoncer les nombreux appels à la libération des prisonniers incarcérés dans le cadre de l’enquête sur le coup d’Etat de septembre 2015 (lire la suite)

« Octobre interreligieux » les dates importantes dans le mois d’octobre 2017 pour les différentes religions de par le monde (lire la suite)

Témoignages 

« Migrations en Afrique du Nord »  ce qu’en dit le père Johan Miltenburg, qui a vécu la mission dans de nombreux pays. (lire la suite)

« Témoignage Michel Delaunoy au sujet du Père Sarti » ce que celui qui est actuellement délégué à la Coopération Missionnaire du Diocèse de Châlons tient à dire sur ce Père qu’il a connu au Burkina. (lire la suite)

« Michel Ouedraogo à Marseille » un texte tiré de Voix d’Afrique de ce Missionnaire d’Afrique Burkinabè en mission à  Marseille (lire la suite)

Dialogue interreligieux

« Le mois le plus long » Dans ce livre plutôt volumineux, François Georgeon nous invite à le suivre dans sa découverte de la coutume musulmane du ramadan (lire la suite)

« Qu’y a-t-il dans le Coran ? » un petit livre mais un grand ouvrage écrit dans un langage courant par un islamologue, Rachid BENZINE  et un réalisateur scénariste Ismaël  SAIDI. (lire la suite)

« Laïcité en France ? » Si la charte de la laïcité de 2013 précise les contours de l’étude des textes religieux dans les écoles, la question reste encore sensible (lire la suite)

Justice et Paix

« Atelier Justice et Paix au Bénin » les objectifs de cet atelier qui s’est tenu à Cotonou-Calavi au Bénin, du 16 au 29 juillet 2017 (lire la suite)

« Le pape et le Congo (RDC) » le pape François ne prévoit pas de se rendre dans ce pays avant la tenue d’élections (lire la suite)

« La migration vue de la Mauritanie » un texte de l’évêque de Nouakchott, Mgr Martin Happe, paru dans le « Petit Echo » (lire la suite)

 « Mgr Gallagher à l’ONU » “Mettre l’accent sur les personnes : lutter pour la paix et pour une vie décente sur une planète durable” (lire la suite)

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Problèmes d’écoles au Mali »  ou comment l’opposition turque et le pouvoir en place à Ankara s’affrontent pour posséder les écoles Horizon (lire la suite)

« Politique au Tchad » L’ébauche de ce que sera la prochaine Constitution du Tchad indique qu’à partir de 2021, le chef de l’Etat sera élu pour un mandat de sept ans, renouvelable une seule fois (lire la suite)

« Cacao en Côte d’Ivoire » Comment rendre le cacao durable ? C’est l’interrogation de la filière cette année pour la journée mondiale du cacao (lire la suite)

« Le Togo sous tension » qu’il s’agisse de la rentrée scolaire ou des manifestations contre le régime en place (lire la suite)

« Métro prévu à Abidjan » C’est l’un des projets emblématiques du moment dans la capitale économique ivoirienne, qui permettra le transport d’environ 300 000 personnes par jour (lire la suite)

 

Mua Parish Celebration in Dedza diocese, Malawi.


Mua 08
Vice-President of the Republic of Malawi Dr Saulos Chilima making a speech.

By Robert Kalindiza

On Saturday the 23rd September 2017, Vice-President of the Republic of Malawi, Right Honourable Saulos Klaus Chilima, attended an important celebration at Mua parish which was celebrating 115 years since its establishment. At the same occasion, Father Claude Boucher Chisale celebrated his golden jubilee of priesthood while the catechist Simon Panyani celebrated his silver jubilee.

Highly attended, the Kungoni troupe dance formed some twenty years ago by Father Boucher, gave a great performance. Mgr Emmanuele Kanyama, Bishop of Dedza diocese, enhanced the occasion with over twenty diocesan and missionary priests in attendance. Even Juliana Lunguzi, Member of Parliament for Dedza East who happens to be a Christian of Mua parish, was present.

During his speech, Father Felix Phiri, Provincial of the Missionaries of Afrika commended Father Claude Boucher for planting good seeds in the hearts of Mua people and elsewhere through the preservation of African culture. Nowadays, few missionaries can expect to remain for very long at the same place. Father Boucher is one of the few. But, as he says; “an old tree cannot be replanted, otherwise it will die.”

The Vice-President also commended the work of Father Boucher Chisale thereby urging other people to do the same. He also advised the gathering to take care of the environment in order to avoid contributing to faster climate change. The celebration ended with a great feast at the Fathers’ house.

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SAP Blog has reached 140 000 hits.


140 000 hitsSAP Blog has reached 140 000 hits since its beginning in January 2013. Over 60 visitors a day with an average of 100 hits, SAP Blog is consulted widely in the Southern Afrika region, especially in Zambia, but also all over the world, mainly in the United States of America.

Thanks for your support. Let the people know that a mine of information is available on SAP Blog. You are following this blog, along with 534 other amazing people. Your comments are always welcomed.

Thanks for your support.

140 000 hits2

Death of Father Henri Langlade, formally missionary in Malawi from 1952 till 2000.


henri_langlade copieHenri Langlade died on the 2nd September, 2017, in Billère, France, at the age of 92 years of which 67 of missionary life in Malawi and in France.

Birth: Aimargues, 03/09/1925

Spiritual Year: Carthage, 25/09/1946

Oath: Thibar, 27/06/1950

Priestly ordination: Carthage, 24/03/1951

29/03/1952 Arrival at Mzuzu, Nyasaland (Malawi). 22/08/1952 Curate at Mzambazi. 18/09/1953 Curate at Nkhata Bay. 12/02/1955 Curate at Karonga. 07/10/1956 Catechist School Rumphi. 22/05/1961 Retreat at Villa Cavalletti Italia. 22/08/1962 Chaplain at the Training Teacher College, Katete, Diocese of Mzuzu, Malawi. 01/12/1966 Chaplain at the Rosarian Sisters at Rumphi. 26/09/1979 Session- Retreat at Jerusalem. 01/01/1984 Curate at Nkhata Bay. 01/01/1986 Chaplain at the Rosarian Sisters at Rumphi and Seminary, Malawi. 04/11/1988 Back to France. 31/07/1989 Chaplain and teacher at Nkhata Bay, Diocese of Mzuzu, Malawi. 01/07/1991 Chaplain and teacher at Mzuzu, Secondary School, Malawi. 01/07/2000 Back to France. 02/07/2000 Residence in Billère, France. 13/09/2000 Session in Roma, Italia. 02/09/2017 Death at Billère.

Priestly ordination of Fr. Paul Donnibe, M.Afr, july 2017 in Ghana.


BISHOP MATTHEW ORDAINS THE FIRST SMA PRIEST FROM THE DIOCESEBy Patrick Kadima, stagiaire from South Africa.

Three ordinations are to take place in different Dioceses in Ghana in 2017; in Sunyani, Bolgatanga and at the Diocese of Wa. One of them has actually taken place: the priestly ordination of Paul Donnibe.

His ordination took place at St. Mary Help of Christians Parish, Sunyani on Saturday 22nd July 2017, by His Lord, Most Rev Matthew Gyamfi, Bishop of Sunyani Diocese. I personally travelled on Friday. On our arrival, one could observe that people were arriving from different parts of the country and across the borders with Burkina Faso to witness the event.

At the venue, it looked like nothing was taking place when we first arrived. But it did not take long when parishioners, family members, friends, priests, sisters, and religious men and women started to show that something great was about to unfold.

The District Commissioner of Sunyani, one of the chiefs and most especially the Bishop, were introduced. The Bishop likewise welcomed the whole assembly. He emphasised the importance of the day and the reason of the gathering. He mentioned that our brother Paul was set apart and reminded the people to pray for him and his family.

While congratulating our Brother Paul, the Bishop mentioned that the whole parish and the diocese of Sunyani were proud of him. Paul is the first fruit of the Missionaries of Africa in the diocese. In a manner of advising Paul, the Bishop pinpointed in his homily the good examples Jesus sets for us. He reminded Paul that Jesus was a servant for others illustrated by the washing of his disciples’ feet. The priesthood is a journey of service for others just like our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The bishop emphasised that a good priest finds joy in his duties. Since God loves a cheerful giver, if our brother Paul, as a priest, gives himself to God’s service by doing what a priest is supposed to do, indeed he will be a joyful servant of God in his priesthood. The bishop ended his homily by reminding our brother that he was also sent as a missionary to be an ambassador of the diocese of Sunyani wherever he will be.

Before Mass ends, our brother Paul gave his first and fresh blessing as a newly ordained priest, first to the Bishop, then the Provincial followed by all the religious men and women and then his parents and his relatives, lastly to all the faithful who were present. Finally, he expressed his gratefulness to all of us and to special people who made his ordination possible including some of his former teachers who were present and the District Commissioner of Sunyani.

After Mass we were invited for some refreshment at the parish house. We had supper together with Paul’s family and some parishioners. On Sunday, Paul said his first thanksgiving Mass at 7h00. After it, we took the road to go back home. It was good to be part of Paul’s ordination and very interesting to see how people celebrate life.

25 years Chezi Parish (Lilongwe, Malawi) & Catechist Chagwa, 50 years Jean Arnaud who also bye to Africa – 12 August 2017


Chezi 01By Brother Landry Busagara

On the twelfth of August, Chezi Parish had a great joy of celebrating 25 years of its existence. We were so happy on that day. We have been preparing for it for more than a year. Then when the day arrived we were really excited to celebrate it and to welcome all our guests who came to help us to live in that big event. We started with Mass which was presided by his lordship Archbishop Tharsicius G. Ziyaye.

During the celebration, just at the beginning of Mass, our Parish Priest Father Simeon Kalore welcomed everyone and wished them a good time at Chezi Parish. Then, we listened to the history of the jubilant parish which started in July 1992. Before its establishment, there were only centres which were really far from each other in other parishes. This made the work for the priests and Christians considerable. The distance was very long and the Christians could not receive sacraments frequently. That is why the Bishop of that time allowed the parish to start. Chezi Parish is called so because of its location, it is at the mountain of Chezi. Now The parish has more than 13,000 Christians.

Something that I did not mention yet here but so important is that we were also saying ‘’good bye’’ to Father Jean Arnaud who has been working in that parish for 18 years. He is leaving for good very soon for another apostolate in Lyon-France. We were also celebrating 25 years of service of one of our catechists who has been working in the Parish since 1992. At the beginning of Mass, we also had an opportunity of hearing their history of service in the parish. Moreover, in this mass more than 100 young boys and girls received the sacrament of confirmation as new witnesses of God.

When the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe started Mass, he could not hide his joy. He said that this is a time of praise, a time of celebrating all the wonders of the Lord, all that the Lord has been doing in Chezi Parish. He thanked God for the gifts of Father Yohane and the catechist in the Parish. Even in his homily, he came back on that joy as he told us that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are really visible in the Parish. God gives to each one of us his own gifts, then on our turn, it is up to us to use them fruitfully. There is no gift or talent to be neglected, even the smallest one is so important if it is used well and with love. What we believe in has to be shown by our works, by our way of serving our brothers and sisters because all that is for the greater glory of our Lord.

Before we finished Mass, Father Jean Arnauld talked to us to express his great joy and how he was so grateful for the warm welcoming of Malawians for all the years he has been working here in this country. He still believes that though he is going far away from Malawi, one day we will meet again, here on earth or in heaven. He said: ‘’A moyo salekana’’. Father Simeon Kalore, the Parish Priest also thanked again everyone for the support, especially the Archbishop to have chosen to come to Chezi in spite of all the duties that he has. He said ‘’ Zikomo kwa mbiri’’. He thanked all the people of Chezi Parish, each one in his place for the responsibility taken so that the celebration goes well.

Our Provincial Father Felix Phiri was present and when time was given to him so that he says a word, he said that, he, too, was so grateful to the Bishop, to Father Jean Arnaud for his devotion to the mission in Malawi, for the years he worked in Malawi as Missionary of Africa. The Society will always be grateful. The Provincial also welcomed Father Christian Munyaneza, M.Afr who has just arrived in the country and will be working in Mua Parish. He ended his speech by calling all the Missionaries of Africa who were present and the MSOLA as well to come to the altar and sing our hymn ‘Sancta Maria’.

The Archbishop, his Lordship, Tharcisius G. Ziyaye, before he closed the Mass also said that he is so happy and was so impressed by the improvement of Chezi Parish. He did not forget to mention that it is Father Jean Arnaud who taught him how to ride a motorbike when he was a young priest. He said that all his words are to say thanks.

As we concluded our Mass, we were all invited for a meal which was shared to everyone with great joy.

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Mafrwestafrica lettre du 15 août 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

« 77000 euros remis à la police » une histoire forte, celle d’un homme qui n’a pas voulu s’approprier une telle somme. (lire la suite)

« Blanchiment d’argent en Afrique » Deux des affaires marquantes évoquées dans le dernier rapport de la cellule chargée de lutter contre la criminalité financière, publié fin juillet, ont directement trait à l’Afrique. (lire la suite)

« Pesticides au Burkina » Les producteurs maraichers de la capitale, ou les agriculteurs en milieu rural, utilisent des pesticides et herbicides dont ils ignorent la qualité ou la composition. (lire la suite)

« Attaque terroriste à Ouagadougou » une attaque terroriste a fait 18 morts à Ouagadougou, lors de l’attaque d’un café restaurant dans la nuit du 13 au 14 août 2017. (lire la suite)

« Résultats élections au Kenya » les résultats proclamant la réélection de Kenyatta ont été publiés mais l’opposition de l’accepte pas. (lire la suite)

Témoignages 

« Réaction au décès du Père Charles Sarti » un message reçu d’une personne qui a beaucoup échangé avec lui. (lire la suite)

« Journée missionnaire mondiale 2017 » le texte du pape François pour la journée missionnaire mondiale à venir, le 22 octobre 2017. (lire la suite)

« Biographies des pères Forgues et Boinot » ces deux Pères Blanc qui ont vécu la mission en Afrique de l’Ouest et sont décédés l’un en 2015, l’autre en 2016 – textes tirés du Petit Echo. (lire la suite)

Dialouge interreligieux

« Psychologie et Islam » Al Razi, grand médecin perse des IXème et Xème siècles, est le fondateur du premier établissement psychiatrique au monde. (lire la suite)

« Mosquées en Algérie » il y a plus de 20 ans que l’état essaie de contrôler l’espace religieux, sans beaucoup de succès. (lire la suite)

« Formation pour prêtres et imams » une suggestion du secrétaire du Conseil pontifical pour le dialogue interreligieux. (lire la suite)

« Message du pape pour la paix » Le pape François invite les religions à « prier et travailler ensemble pour la paix », à l’occasion d’une rencontre interreligieuse organisée au Japon. (lire la suite)

Justice et Paix

« Nouvelles de l’AET Ségou » le dernier bulletin de cette association qui œuvre pour les enfants en situation difficile. (lire la suite)

« L’Afrique change-t-elle ? » un texte du Père Maurice Oudet qui pousse à réfléchir sur cette question fondamentale. (lire la suite)

« Lutter ensemble contre l’esclavage moderne » Il existe un lien entre l’exploitation de la nature et l’exploitation de la vie humaine. Il existe également une corrélation directe entre la migration et le trafic humain. (lire la suite)

« Migrants encore jetés en mer » 180 migrants africains qui avaient pris place en bateau ont été jetés par-dessus bord par des passeurs au large du Yémen. (lire la suite)

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Alassane Ouattara en Côte d’Ivoire » l’actuel président de ce pays affirme qu’il ne se représentera pas pour les présidentielles de 2020. (lire la suite)

« Burkina : Bassolé inculpé pour trahison » l’ancien ministre des Affaires étrangères est finalement inculpé de “trahison”. Ses avocats disent qu’il n’a rien à craindre dans ce dossier”. (lire la suite)

« Fonctionnaires fantômes ? »  Au Burkina, la bancarisation des salaires a pour but de lutter contre les fonctionnaires « fictifs », un problème qui existe aussi en Côte d’Ivoire, au Nigéria et dans d’autres pays africains. (lire la suite)

« Résultats référendum Mauritanien » certains sénateurs refusent de tenir compte des résultats du référendum constitutionnel : le oui l’emporte très fortement. (lire la suite)

« Fosses communes à Kidal au Mali » au moins deux fosses communes ont été découvertes par la Mission des Nations unies au Mali (Minusma) dans la région de Kidal, dans le nord du Mali. (lire la suite)

Words of thanks from Fr. Martin Kasongo, M.Afr


Martin Kasongo 09By Martin Kasongo, M.Afr

Dear Confrères!

Join me first of all in thanking God for the love and for all the mercies he lavished upon me by allowing me to be ordained priest to serve in his vineyard. Dear confreres, I write to you more especially to thank you for your support before, during and after ordination. Each and every one of you, near or far, in one way or another, contributed to the preparation and the success of my ordination. I really appreciate your spiritual, material and moral support. Your support was very strengthening to me. I was very privileged and blessed by your presence during ordination and thanksgiving mass. This gesture was very encouraging and assuring to both my family and the parish. Unity and support are the echoes I receive from my family, from the parishioners of Kabundi Parish (St. Stephen) and from all the people who participated in my ordination and thanksgiving Mass. The parish and my family testified and affirmed that I have people around me.

Allow me also, dear confreres, to thank the community of Ndola (Shinde Street), Didasio and Francis in particular for the energy they put in to welcome confreres and prepare for the reception in Ndola. Dear Didasio and Francis, I am very grateful for your help and support. 

To all of you dear confreres, I say thank you very much and may God bless you. I also invite you to come in number and give the same support to our friend and confrere Frederick Mulenga Chungu on his priestly ordination this coming Saturday. May God bless us all and our families; may he make fruitful our life and our mission. United in prayer!

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Twenty- Five Years of Missionary Priesthood of Malachy Oleru, M.Afr


Malachy Oleru 25 years 2By Malachy Oleru, M.Afr

My final journey to Beira was safe, except for my luggage that arrived 48 hours late and a somewhat clumsy and inconsiderate air ticket booking from Raptim. Cheap things are not always cheap! The services of Kenya Airways leave much to be desired too, but that is a topic for another day. The presence at the airport, of the Missionaries of Africa led by Boris, was gratifying. For me, a new mission has started in Mozambique after a 25 year spell elsewhere.

I started my language learning about a week ago and still wonder why at my age, I have to be saddled, beside English and French, with the learning in Africa, of another colonial language – Portuguese! But Missionary life is “For better, for worse”, right? So nothing will becloud the hopes of this nascent divine mission to the “African world”.

Homily under a car park.

My ordination anniversary date, August 8, came up within two weeks of my arrival. The Delegation insists on a celebration, at least to water the seeds of my new mission. 25 years is not a joke, they said. It is akin to what a diocesan priest at home called “Priesthood with hard labour”. Hear! Hear!! And before I could say ‘Obrigado’, Boris Yabre, with M.Afr students at home was up and doing. Rafael Gasimba ‘sailed’ from Dombe land with the stagiaire. Frank Mbala Kalala and Florent Sibiri Sawadogo with another C.A.T. ‘flew’ in from Sussundenga. Fidel Salazar del Muro and ‘senior apostle’ stagiaire Olivier, ‘astral-travelled’ from Centro de Nazaré, just less than five minutes’ drive away! Friends, brothers and sisters from the other mothers, made the day at the Delegation House as Julian Kasiya and Pierre Kabwe Lukusa from Tete Mission, could only participate – electronically.

Anointed, (literally and metaphorically) to preside over the Eucharistic celebration, the car park of the house was the best temporary house of God. The students did a good job of cleaning. Being the memorial feast of the great preacher of the Word, St Dominic, the readings were taken from the references for the day. My reflection was on Luke 9:57-62.

Three calls, three men, one mission: “follow me”,

The rule of three does not always elicit a Trinitarian response. “I will follow you wherever you go”, appears generous, spontaneous, and immediate but also simplistic, if not frivolous. It sounds like playing to the gallery, not counting the cost, bordering on presumption. Jesus, the ‘Novice Master’ ‘remembers’ St Ignatius of Loyola’s discernment of the Spirit (Go on, argue for anachronism!): “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head”. Jesus brings the dreamer to the reality of the mission. It is not for the feeble-minded, not for dreamers (even if sometimes we dream at the General Chapters!). You must count the cost. You must become aware of the challenges. You must evaluate what you are leaving behind. You must be ready for sacrifices. There is no guarantee for easy life and assurance for security: “Certified for martyrdom, do you agree?”

Even when the initiative comes from the Master (it always does), “Follow Me”, the response is hesitant, like coming from one who is not ready, who is more worried about family duties than concerned for the mission. A natural realist, his response is to first go and do his natural duty: “Lord, let me first go and bury my father”. Yes, there is a duty to perform and the best way to avoid responsibility is to say “I have responsibilities”! And Jesus’ response is simple: “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God”. You are not the saviour, not even of your family, for it is not your duty that saves. You have your path to follow. Be detached from the accidentals of life to re-focus on the essentials. Remain resolute and vigilant.

The third encounter and dialogue in vocation discernment is like the first. The attachment is not as serious as the first. He only needs to “…first say farewell to those at home”.  “No one who puts his hands to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God”, was again Jesus’ response. Mission is about being resolute and ‘staying fit’ for the kingdom of God.

Conclusion: indefectible, not infallible.

Grace is mine to say that in more than 25 years, I have journeyed with Jesus through these three stages of call-response paradigms. I delayed for five years, my missionary vocation to attend to family and personal needs. Then, when I thought I was ready, I also thought that I could shift those family responsibilities to my brother in USA. Well, he got murdered a year before my Missionary oath, and I said ‘zut alors!’ – whatever that meant. Then I understood that I must follow Jesus ‘naked’; re-engineer my assurances and security packages to fit into his plan so that “no one takes this honour on himself…”  Ever since I did, passing through thick and thin of the mission, I have been sustained by this word of the Master in response to Peter’s prevarications: “Anyone who left father, mother, sister, brother… on account of my word, shall receive a hundred fold…and in addition, eternal life”. I have, believe me; for God lives in an eternal now, and I am satisfied. And I know that if I have not stayed infallible, I have remained graciously indefectible.

One Down: ‘One’ To Go; ordination of Martin Kasongo, M.Afr


Martin Kasongo 2017 copie
Fr. Martin Kasongo, M.Afr

By Everisto Mwelwa, M.Afr

One Zambian M.Afr was ordained on 4th August 2017: there is yet another one to be ordained this month. So ‘One down: One to go’; Habemus Fr. Martin Kasongo, M.Afr. This brings the number of Zambian Missionaries of Africa to thirty-two.

All the roads from M.Afr communities in Zambia and abroad were leading to Ndola Diocese’s Cathedral of Christ the King. Confreres and M.Afr students filled up our house in Ndola to full capacity. A moment of fraternal sharing, updating and thanksgiving to God.

In his homily, the ordaining Bishop Dr. Alick Banda urged the twelve deacons to take a leaf from St. Jean-Marie Vianney, whose feast fell on that day. St. Vianney, though not so intellectually gifted, was ascetical, zealous, prayerful and humble. The deacons were urged to start and end the day on their knees; meaning in prayer. The Bishop also highlighted that the Catholic faith, after 125 years in Zambia, has given three General Superiors to three Missionary Congregations, namely the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), Dominican Sisters and Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi. A commendable gesture of maturity in faith.

Martin Kasongo 2017 03After the ordination ceremony, a reception was held at our house in Ndola. It was a colourful and prayerful occasion to thank God for the gift of Fr. Martin to the Church.

For Fr. Martin’s Thanksgiving Mass, confreres went to St. Stephen Parish in Kabundi, Chingola on Sunday the 6th August. The parishioners and local clergy organised the celebration well and it was attended by many confreres. Thereafter, another reception was organised at the Salesians of Don Bosco’s school and residence in Chingola. Indeed, a moment of thanking God for the self-giving of Fr. Martin. The Zambian Sector of the Southern Africa Province (SAP) is thanking all the people of God who organised and attended these celebrations. May God bless you all.

Fr. Martin Kasongo, M.Afr is appointed to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Diocese of Kasongo (yes, same name!). Wishing him a fruitful and grace-filled ministry to the people of God in DR Congo.

On 19th August 2017, all the roads will be leading to St. Peter’s Parish, Nchelenge in Mansa Diocese for the ordination of Deacon Frederick Mulenga Chungu, M.Afr. You are all invited and welcome to witness to this event. See you there.

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Mafrwestafrica lettre du 30 juillet 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

« SMNDA nouveau conseil général » quelques informations récentes à ce propos. Des changements mais aussi de la continuité  (lire la suite)

« Responsables M.Afr de par le monde » des informations actuelles au sujet de ceux qui ont un rôle important dans la société des Missionnaires d’Afrique  (lire la suite)

« Pose 1ère pierre EHPAD Billère » cet EHPAD existe depuis longtemps, mais est appelé à accueillir plus de confrères Pères Blancs (lire la suite)

Témoignages 

« Décès du Père Charles Sarti » ce confrère qui a passé pratiquement toute sa vie au Burkina Faso (lire la suite)

« Légion d’honneur pour une carmélite libanaise » Sœur Mariam An-nour, déjà promue officier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques en 2010, vient d’être élue chevalier de la légion d’honneur  ce 14 juillet 2017 (lire la suite)

« Marche d’imams contre le terrorisme » une soixantaine d’imams étaient présents à cette marche organisée par l’imam Chalgoumi et l’écrivain juif Marek Halter (lire la suite)

Histoire

« Départ des M.Afr du Mozambique » un texte très long du père Frank Nolan au sujet de cet événement qui est loin d’être indifférent (lire la suite)

Dialogue interreligieux

« Requiem pour le père Jacques Hamel » un livre d’un musulman au sujet de l’attentat qui a coûté la vie au père Jacques Hamel (lire la suite)

« Burkini, saison 2, épisodes 2 et 3 » un article du Monde et un paru dans l’Express qui nous parlent de la situation « légale » de l’apparence des femmes dans leurs quotidien (lire la suite)

« Lutter contre la violence » quel est le rôle des leaders religieux pour lutter contre la violence de par le monde ? (lire la suite)

Justice et Paix

« Comment donner des nouvelles » sur le site de Zenit, à Rome, des orientations suggérées pour que les nouvelles soient véritablement conformes à la réalité (lire la suite)

« Où en est le social en Côte d’Ivoire ? » sur le site de Jeune Afrique. Le gouvernement a privilégié l’économie et le long terme – ce qui est excellent en soi –, mais en minimisant les facteurs sociaux et le court terme (lire la suite)

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Evolution préoccupante au Mali » à l’issue de combats meurtriers, le Gatia – groupe touareg – perd du terrain face à la CMA – coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad (lire la suite)

« Législatives au Sénégal ? »  Dernier jour de campagne au Sénégal avant les législatives de ce dimanche 30 juillet. L’opposition craint des fraudes (lire la suite)

« Procès au Burkina », à savoir celui de l’ex-directeur de publication du journal Le Soir qui était face à la justice, ce jeudi 27 juillet. Il est poursuivi pour diffamation par six magistrats (lire la suite)

« Togo, élections à venir » Avant que ne se tiennent les élections législatives, le pays devra trancher sur la composition de la Commission électorale nationale indépendante -Ceni- (lire la suite)

Meeting of Young Confreres in the Second Term of Mission in Kasisi, Lusaka, Zambia.


Young Confreres 2nd term Kasisi Zambia 01bPhilip Meraba, M.Afr

The young confreres in the second term of mission had a three-week meeting at the Retreat Centre of the Sisters of Little Servants of Mary in Kasisi, Lusaka, Zambia, from the 2nd till the 23rd July, 2017.

We were 13 participants from different countries across Africa and Asia with two facilitators; Rev Frs. Timothée Bationo and Bernard Ugeux, M.Afr working in Zambia & DR. Congo respectively.

The participants were almost of the same generation. It was a great occasion offered by the Society of the Missionaries of Africa to encounter one another once more after years of separation due to various involvement in different countries. Through sharing of various missionary experiences, the participants could recharge their batteries in order to take off once more with a new missionary spirit and zeal.

Joys, excitement as much as discouragement and difficulties over the years were the focus of our sharing done spontaneously in openness and mutual trust. We sympathised, encouraged or even amiably confronted one another. Despite some few painful experiences, none ever regretted to have been a member of the Society but felt rather more fortified and convinced of our missionary calling amidst the challenges.

Different moderators, including two Sisters from Lusaka, let various sessions on sexuality, addictions, spirituality, pastoral ministry, leadership, Justice & Peace, religious encounter, media and finances. The session on community life was given by Felix Phiri, the Provincial of the Southern Africa Province (SAP).

It was not business all through. We also had wonderful moments of relaxation together, outings to interesting places around Lusaka, celebration of birthdays and missionary oath anniversaries. We also visited M.Afr communities around Lusaka and joined parishes for Sunday liturgies. A barbecue was prepared in our honour by FENZA community where we had the chance of interacting with most confreres around Lusaka, together with former novices who were on their way to join their various countries for their apostolic stage.

The participants had the great joy of witnessing the historical celebration of the 125th anniversary of the evangelisation of the Church in Zambia by the White Fathers and other missionaries. This was a national feast and the White Fathers were highly recognised by the Zambian Church authorities for the greater role played in planting the seed of faith in this country. Our Superior General, Rev.Fr. Stanley Lubungo was present at this occasion and he paid us a courtesy visit at Kasisi Centre. We had the privilege of fraternal sharing with him on some key issues concerning the future and vision of our humble Lavigerie family.

Prayer was never left out. The whole group was divided into teams and we celebrated the Liturgy of the Hours as well as the Eucharist.

Young Confreres 2nd term Kasisi Zambia 03bWe are highly indebted to the leadership of the General Council for such memorable opportunity offered to us to meet, learn, encourage one another and re-energise ourselves. We appreciate the good organisation, simplicity and wisdom with which our two elder brother facilitators, Timothée and Bernard, accompanied us throughout the session. Our sincere gratitude goes to the leadership of SAP; Felix Phiri, the Provincial, Venerato Babaine, his Delegate in Zambia and John Itaru, the Provincial Treasurer. We thank the little Sisters of Mary and the whole personnel for the pleasant accommodation and feeding.

We are indeed well refreshed, equipped and ready to go back to our missionary stations with more enthusiasm to serve. May Our Lady of Africa precedes us, Amen!

A ‘Finale’ on 125 Years of Catholic Faith in Zambia – July 15, 2017.


By Everisto Mwelwa, M.Afr

125 years Catholic Church in Zambia 03
Catholics gather in the show ground during the celebration of the 125 years of the Catholic Church.

Logo 125 Catho ZambiaIt has taken a whole year of various celebrations to mark a hundred and twenty-five years since the Catholic faith was brought to Zambia by the missionaries in 1891. Part of the opening of these celebrations was the Eucharistic celebration held at Mambwe-Mwela on 6th August, 2016. It is at Mambwe-Mwela where the first missionaries settled down in the present day Republic of Zambia.

Catholic dioceses and parishes in Zambia held various celebrations to mark all these years of Catholic faith in Zambia. Kasama Archdiocese, as an example, closed the year with a Eucharistic celebration held at Chilubula (Mary Help of Christians Parish) on 24th June, 2017 on which day two deacons were ordained to priesthood.

For the national celebrations to mark the end of 125 years of Catholic faith in Zambia, two days were set aside in the Archdiocese of Lusaka. On Friday, the 14th July, 2017, all the roads were leading to Lusaka from all the Catholic dioceses in Zambia. This day was dedicated to the Catholic Youth. They had various activities and talks in the Cathedral of the Child Jesus (Lusaka) and then proceeded to the Agricultural Show grounds for the Eucharistic celebration. The youth and their patrons/matrons had a coloured procession of about three quarters of an hour accompanied by two musical bands. At the end of Mass, the Catholic bishops came to convey their wishes to the youth.

125 years Catholic Church in Zambia 07
VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina receives a present from Lusaka Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu during the 125 years commemoration of Catholicism in Zambia in Lusaka yesterday. PICTURE: CHANDA MWENYA

The final ‘finale’ was the Eucharistic celebration held in the Agricultural Show grounds of Lusaka. The Apostolic Nuncio, Most Rev Julio Murat, all the Zambian Catholic bishops and the two archbishops were present. Two bishops from Malawi and Zimbabwe also came. AMECEA sent a representative. The Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa, Fr. Stanley Lubungo, who happened to be in Zambia at that time also attended. Indeed, not fewer than twenty-five Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) were present!  The government of the Republic of Zambia was represented by the Vice-President, Inonge Wina, and several ministers.

The main celebrant of the Eucharist was the Apostolic Nuncio but the homily was delivered by the Archbishop of Lusaka, Telesphore-George Mpundu. In his homily, the Archbishop highlighted the dedication and self-giving of the early missionaries despite the difficulties, many of whom died in their early years of missionary life due to diseases. He urged the present day Catholics to take a leaf from them; quoting the theme of Mansa Diocese “We are the Missionaries of today”. Archbishop Mpundu urged Catholic faithful of today to be more self-reliant. He also underscored the holistic human developmental work carried out by the Catholic Church in Zambia.

One can easily estimate about five thousand Catholic faithful attended the celebration, not counting the priests and the religious.

Medal honour 125 years Catho Zambia JPEGAt the end of the celebration, medals were presented to the Catholic faithful who have dedicated to evangelisation. These were dedicated men and women, laity and religious. For the Missionaries of Africa, three confreres were decorated with medals, namely Henk van Kessel, Jean-Luc Gouiller and Robert Lavertu.

A colourful celebration to mark the ‘finale’ of 125 years of Catholic faith in Zambia.

Links:

Catholics, State pledge unity to fight for people

Catholics celebrate 125 years of existence in Zambia

AMECEA: Chairman applauds ZCCB for the 125 Anniversary of Catholic Faith in the Country

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