Youth Ministry in St. Lawrence Parish – Lusaka “Walking and Working Together”


By Patrick Sebyera, M.Afr

Patrick SebyeraIntroduction

St Lawrence is a relatively young parish that used to be an outstation of the Good Shepherd parish (Kabwata). It became an independent parish in 2011. It has twenty Small Christian Communities which are divided into five areas. The largest part of our parish is Misisi compound, I would say 80%. Misisi compound “is a shanty town, which is located in Lusaka, Zambia. Misisi has been identified as one of the five worst slums in Sub Saharan Africa. Due to a lack of resources there has been poor record keeping, but according to best estimates, there are between 80 and 90,000 people living in the area”. Of the twenty Small Christian Communities, 16 of them are in Misisi compound and four others are in Kamwala South. Therefore, the majority of our parishioners, our young people, come from poor families and this also has an impact on the youth ministry in our parish. Nevertheless, St. Lawrence youth ministry is seemingly strong, though more needs to be done. In this article I will present some of the activities and challenges that confront us and I will sum up with a short conclusion.

Activities

In St. Lawrence’s Parish, the youth ministry is composed of four branches, namely the Holy Childhood (5 to 12 years), the teenagers (13 to 18 years), the senior youths (19 to 25 years) and the young adults (26 to 35 years). Here in Zambia, youth is defined as all those who are under the age of 35 years. These four different branches are spread in different groups: such as the Stella, Holy Childhood, the Altar Boys, the TOM (Teens On the Move), the Xaveri, the Vocation group, the Junior Franciscans, the Junior Actio, the Junior Pioneers and, the Junior Legion of Mary. Apart from these different groups, there are different choirs mainly composed of young people.

PatrickThe young people make their own programmes following the guidelines of our diocese. They are very active in social programmes but less active when it comes to spiritual programmes. On Wednesdays we have started a Mass in the evening at 17:00 in order in try and help our young people embrace and grow in their spiritual life. Social activities such as outings, tours, youth camps, fundraising ventures, workshops, pilgrimages, retreats and recollections are organised at different periods of the year in order to bring our young people together. The retreats and recollections are mainly organised by the different groups themselves.

Every year, there are sports activities organised at deanery level and our young people participate, but they don’t score high because of lack of commitment and regular raining in those sports.

In union and communion with their fellow young people around the world, they celebrate the Youth Day. On this day different activities take place. This year, they had Mass and after Mass different singing and sports activities took place. It was also an occasion to fundraise by selling tickets and food in order to get some funds for their future plans. On this day, 12th March 2019, I celebrated my first Youth Day Mass.

I am still new here but I am slowly getting to know the parish and getting involved in its different activities, of which the youth apostolate is one, so that I can also bring my contribution and help them to improve in some areas. I expected a big number of young people to turn up for Mass but the number was rather small. To my surprise in the afternoon the numbers grew considerably.

Patrick 2In my homily, I focused on the readings taken from Gen 1: 26-31; 2 Thes 3: 2-16 and Mt 25: 14-30. I emphasised the fact that we are all created in God’s image and likeness. This has an impact on our life and on our behaviour regarding God, and on our brothers and sisters as well as all of creation. God created man and woman. He blessed them with responsibilities, five of them: be fertile, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it and have dominion over all living things on earth. Further on in Gen 2: 8. 15 God planted a beautiful garden. He placed man and woman in it in order to cultivate it and to care for it. This is linked with St. Paul’s exhortation in 2 Thes 3: 2-16 where he invites us not to stay sluggish and busy with other people’s problems, forgetting our own. We, the young people of St Lawrence, do we know our problems? And how can we overcome them? The first step is to identify them, and then we have to walk together and work together. St. Paul is inviting us to go on working and earning our own bread to avoid being a burden to others, to our parents or to the church, thinking that they have to do everything for us.

I therefore encouraged them to walk and work together, to avoid laziness and the attitude of being spoon-fed; always having their hands outstretched to receive what is provided for them. Living with such a mindset and approach is to behave like the third servant in the parable, who instead of making the one talent, which he had received from his master, bear fruit, hid it in the soil (cf. Mt 25: 15. 18. 24-25). At this juncture

I invited our young people not to put their talents to sleep nor bury them in the earth or in selfishness and laziness lest the master come back and rebuke them saying ‘you wicked and lazy servant (youth) … throw this useless servant into darkness outside’ (cf. Mt 25: 26. 30). It is therefore our responsibility as young people here at St. Lawrence to walk and work together and to put our energy and talents together in order to overcome the different challenges we encounter. I then finished by encouraging them like the Apostle “do not be remiss in doing good” (2 Thes 3: 13).

Challenges

Most of these challenges were provided to me by the youth chairperson at the parish, Mr Nestor Bwalya, who knows the parish and the youth better than I do.

Our challenge has been to organise the youths in our parish. In some sections many young people are neither active nor committed to the programmes and the meetings. This means that some programmes have failed because of poor attendance. It is difficult to find young adults willing to participate because they think they are already elders. Those that we have are still around because they hold some positions in youth ministry.

Another challenge is finance. This generation is used to an easy life and things for free and they don’t pay or contribute when needs arise. They like things free of charge and every time they are asked to pay or contribute, they answer ‘ndilibe ndalama’ or ‘shikwete mpiya’, in Chinyanja and in Chibemba, both meaning ‘I don’t have money’. To get anything from them, you have to push them hard; but if you invite them for an outing where everything is pre-arranged, many turn up. This attitude shows a certain lack of enthusiasm and generosity.

Technology has contributed to the lethargy of our young people. They are not active in church programmes because they are so busy with worldly things like: drinking, T.V., Sex, Media (WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.). Sex is killing our young people. They are so much involved in things concerning sex and relationships. It hurts to see girls being impregnated by young boys at a very tender adolescent age. Recently, a young girl of 12 years was impregnated by an altar boy. The church has become an alien for them because in church we tell them that sex before marriage is a sin, which is true, though even after marriage, sex outside marriage is still and remains a sin. So they run away from the church and find themselves in difficulties. How can we help this generation?

The church should take steps to reach out to these young people at their level, listen to them in their daily struggles and then move with them slowly to bring them back to the way Jesus Christ wants to lead them, with a message of hope, because many of our young people are losing hope. This crisis of losing hope and not being able to cope with some problems means some young people go so far as to take their own lives.

A case like this happened just few days ago; a young man, 22 years old, could not cope with some problem that he had, so he decided to take poison and he died straightaway. How can we help the young avoid going to such extremes? Pope Francis in Christus Vivit states: “Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world, and everything he touches becomes young, new, and full of life … Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!” (Pope Francis, Christus Vivit, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation To Young People And To The Entire People Of God). We should be close to our young people and encourage them to follow the way of the living Christ, who at all times wants to renew their lives.

Drugs and beer are another harmful issue. It is rare to find youths who are not involved in some way in such things, especially in the Misisi compound. Another challenge is that many young people are alone and have to fight to earn their daily bread. This means that some of them even have to work on Sunday and cannot go to church.

Patrick 3

Not all the parents manage to send their children to school because of poverty. This has been the root of the many problems our young people meet. In such cases some parents will even push their children to marry early or young people themselves will enter an early marriage without the consent of parents. Otherwise girls beget children outside mariage and are then forced to stay at home with their parents. This means that they stop seeing their friends and begin to feel very isolated.

Conclusion

With these challenges and others that are not listed here, I am challenged and you my fellow confreres are also challenged to make contact with young people and see how best we can help them in their daily struggles. The way will be long and certainly there is a lot to be done.

Young people need to be approached at the level where they are. We bring them the message of hope and not so much the teachings, laws and decrees, though they are important in themselves, but sometimes they seem detached from the reality on the ground. As the Pope once again reminds us, we should approach them with tenderness and love showing them that Christ is in them, with them and he never abandons them. However far they may wander, he is always there. He calls them and he waits for them to return to him and start over again. He is always there to restore their strength and their hope (cf. CV 2). Therefore we should encourage young people to know that they are not meant to become discouraged; but rather they are meant to dream great things, to seek vast horizons, to aim higher, to take on the world, to accept challenges and to offer the best of themselves to the building of something better (cf. CV 15). Let this be a challenge to me and you as we strive to work and help our young people grow into becoming more human and to turn into better persons in tomorrow’s society and above all to become good Christians.

Source: Petit Echo 2019 / 05, No 1101

Henley Parish Youth ministry


By Faustin Kerumbe, M.Afr

Introduction

Faustin KerumbeToday, we believe that through Youth Ministry – in other words the Pastoral Care of the Youth – the Church can offer to young people something for their spiritual growth and human development. The Youth Apostolate is an investment in its own right for the future of the Church and society. As we once asked ourselves the question about what are we going to do or to be in life, in the same way, there are also many young people who are asking these same questions but without finding answers. Consequently they fall into despair. Can our Youth Ministry help them to find answers and offer hope? The mission is imperative: “Duc in altum!” (Launch into the deep)

Where are we?

Henley Parish is our field of pastoral work. It is in the Catholic Archdiocese of Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. I arrived at Henley Parish in December 2014. The Parish had been reopened in 2012 by Fr. Philippe Docq after more than twenty years without the presence of priests due to social and political conflicts. In 2015, Fr. George Okwii took over from Fr. Philippe but there was not, as yet, a proper parish structure. The five outstations that currently form Henley Parish were functioning independently. In December 2015, the 1st Parish Pastoral

Council was formed. I personally took over from Fr. George Okwii in 2016.

What is being done regarding Youth Ministry?

When I took over, Fr. Philippe Docq had already trained the altar servers in all the outstations. Martin Somda, a stagiaire, was also organizing the youth in two of the five outstations. In 2015, Fr. George Okwii introduced the Xaverian Movement. However everything had to be reorganized at all levels. Looking at the young people and taking into account the lengthy absence of priests, I was totally gripped by compassion at finding myself as a shepherd in the middle of lost sheep “…because they were like sheep without a shepherd...” (Mk 6:34b). I strongly felt the need to introduce Youth Ministry as part of our pastoral commitment as a matter of urgency. I was handed the job of youth chaplain by the community. In collaboration with the Parish Pastoral Council, the Youth Ministry was launched in April 2016 with the election of Youth leaders in each outstation. The chairpersons of these five outstations form the Parish Youth Executive. There are Patrons and Matrons representing the parents of the young people and the Parish Pastoral Executive is involved in all youth activities. From that time we started working together as a team. The first task of the Parish leaders was to build unity in the parish and to work together in collaboration with Parish Pastoral Council Executive members. Among the youth groups, we have different organizations such as the Xaverian Movement and Children of Mary Sodality.

The Altar Servers are also part of the Youth ministry. All the youth movements including the Xaverian movement, the Children of Mary and the Altar Servers fall under the responsibility of the Parish Youth Executive leadership. Together they form the youth of Henley parish. Different outstations have different problems but each outstation is encouraged, to adopt the activities of the parish and implement them at local level.

What is being done now is to keep the young people interested through various activities such as leadership training and skills development.

Some youth leaders are already members of the local Church Executive and are fully participating in Church activities. In that way we see our Youth Ministry as an investment project for the future of the Church and society at large.

Henley ParishYouth activities

All the youth activities are carried out in line with the yearly plan drawn up by the Parish Youth Executive. The primary aim is to bring the young people of Henley parish together and make the Church a welcoming environment for their spiritual growth and human development.

New Year events:

At the beginning of the year we have a special Mass for young people. All the intentions ask God to bless the young people and their families, to guide and to protect them throughout the year. On the last Sunday of January we have a motivational program for education under the theme: “Go back to school and shine.” This event is run by some qualified teachers who talk to the young people about the challenges of life and the importance of education.

Lenten Season activities

We can summarize our youth activities during the Lenten season under St Benedict’s principle, “Ora et labora.” Every second weekend of Lent we have a parish youth recollection day that starts with the Way of the Cross on a hilltop called KwaSabelo. The fourth weekend of Lent is the day of charity work at a school for blind people called “Bawinile Centre.” This event is organized in order to help young people enrich their spiritual life through prayers, contemplation and works of charity, to develop their sense of empathy, to sacrifice their basic needs for the benefit of the unprivileged or needy, to encourage young people to reach out and to put their faith into practice. During this period of Lent, the members of the Xaverian Movement and the altar servers select a poor family and then go and help them by cleaning and cooking.

July and August activities

On the first weekend of July, we have the Parish Youth Council. This is a moment where the young people come together to evaluate their activities for the past six months. It is also an opportunity for them to develop a spirit of communication and of listening to one another. In the second week of July we have the “Youth Winter camp”. This is the most successful event in the Parish. It is full of activities that young people like. It was introduced in 2016 at the parish level but for the last two years it has attracted numbers of young people from other parishes. So far the youth camp is the most important activity for young people as it brings them together and even non-Catholics come along. On their arrival they are given a team number and all the youth camp activities are conducted by teams. Each team with its leader coordinates the activities.

It gives them a chance to know each other and to overcome their differences as well as helping them to accept one another and to learn from one another. Furthermore, it helps them develop a spirit of teamwork and service, etc. On Saturday morning all the teams go to different families with a Gospel inspired theme and to witness to what the theme is inviting them to be by doing something practical. In the evening, they give a feedback on their mission. On Sunday afternoon they are given a talk on the Church and its mission; the place and the commitments of young people and vocations in Church. It is also a time to answer some of the questions the young people are asking about the Church especially about vocations and faith. In the evening before the departure day, the young people are put in two groups: boys and girls separately. They are given a talk on education to life under the topic: “men to men; women to women”.

In August we have the skills training for liturgy like keyboard training, singing and public reading. A fun walk and sports are also organized in August for young people to help them keep fit and for fundraising purposes in order to try to be self-sustainable financially knowing that many of our young people are still studying and unemployed.

December and summer activities

YoungOn the second weekend of December we have the second Parish Youth Council to evaluate the activities of the past year and to prepare plans for the coming year. The third weekend is the weekend for our summer outing to allow our young people to socialize, to relax and to meet their curiosity by discovering some interesting places. So far, our young people have toured to the Drakensberg Mountains, the Roseland Reserve and Richards Bay. The last weekend of December we have a closing Mass of Thanksgiving to God for everything He has done for the young people during the past year.

Synod on the Youth

Henley Parish 2The Synod on the Youth was successfully launched at the Archdiocesan level. However, there is a lack of communication between the Diocesan Youth Office, the Deanery and parishes in terms of follow up and implementation of the guidelines proposed for youth activities in parishes. Our deanery is suffering from the absence of a youth chaplain, as a result we continue with our own parish plan for the year.

In general the young people make their presence felt in our parish. We are thankful for their response and their participation in Church activities despite some challenges we encountered in the course of the year due to the school calendar. But there is hope and the future is bright. We started as a small group but today it reaches out beyond our parish. The unity among the young people, their active presence in Church and their participation in the Church’s outreach activities is a visible sign of the impact of our Youth Ministry. By throwing out our nets, we are gradually catching more young people. We hope that this growing tree that we are watering today will bear much fruit tomorrow for the benefit of the Church and its mission.

Source: Petit Echo, 2019 /05 – No 1101.

Catholic Youth for Christ


By Lawrence Tukamushaba, M.Afr

Lawrence Tukamushaba

In line with the call of Pope Francis to devote the 2018 Synod of Bishops to young people, the Archdiocese of Kasama decided to dedicate the whole year to them. Catholic Youth for Christ was the theme that was chosen to guide the year. The Year of Youth was launched with Solemn Mass in a packed Cathedral by young people from all parts of the Archdiocese.

The adolescence young adult stage is a critical time in the life of young people. It is a stage where they are searching for their place in the Church and society. It’s a time when they need to be grounded in their faith. Role models, mentors, spiritual guidance, counsellors are much needed at this critical stage. When not much attention is paid to young people then there is the risk of losing some of them to new religious denominations and new ideological movements.

Youth organizations in St. Anne’s Parish

In St. Anne’s parish, pastoral care of young people is one of the most important ministries. Our parish has a large vibrant youth group scattered over our 15 outstations but the majority of the organisations are to be found in the central parish area as this is in town. Most of the young people belong to lay groups such as Xavarians movement, Young Christian workers, Junior legionaries, Stellas (Liturgical dancers), Alter boys club, Senior youth (those transiting from youth to Adults). Besides this, the young people have their own Small Christian Communities where they meet every Sunday afternoon to share the word of God. They also hold a youth council once a month. We also have Youth Alive and Young Christian Students. With so many groups, one cannot just leave them in the hands of Parish Priest. There has always been a tradition in the Parish that the curate and stagiaire give special attention to young people. Each lay group and Small Christian Community for the youth has a youth leader who accompanies them and works together with the youth chaplain and promoters. Without praising ourselves, this system has always worked well and as a result it has become the practice in the diocese that a priest, stagiaire, and a sister are assigned to youth ministry in the Parish.

Parish Activities

Lenten retreatAt the beginning of the year, all youth groups meet in the Parish to plan the activities for the coming year. The activities range from the spiritual (retreats, pilgrimage to the old mission of Chilubula, biblical and doctrinal quizzes, spiritual talks), to charitable works such as visiting the sick and homes of the physically challenged, plus social activities, sports, cultural and talent shows, youth day celebrations, career guidance, sensitization on social issues like drug and substance abuse, issues of Justice and Peace, youth camps, among others. Some activities are organized at the centre level, parish, deanery or diocesan level. At the parish level the program is done by the parish executive together with the chaplain. Every time there is a Church council or Parish council the youth organisations also give their report.

One annual event that attracts many young people is the pilgrimage to Chilubula, the Cathedral in Zambia where our confrere, Joseph Dupont, the first Bishop of the region is buried. The pilgrimage to Chilubula was started by our predecessors in the Parish. Now it has become an annual event in the deanery. Last year in October 2018, I accompanied 400 young people of whom half was from our parish, on a 35km journey on foot. It was an enriching experience for me walking with them, singing and praying, giving talks at various stations and especially celebrating the Eucharist for them at Besnar Centre, 5 km from Chilubula.

Some challenges for youth ministry today

Religious pluralism.

A number of our young people come from families with different denominations among its members. Unlike in the past where you would find that the whole family was Catholic; today, with the coming of Pentecostalism, the situation is different. Some have defected to these churches. You find that in a family of five some are Catholics, others are evangelicals or Pentecostals. This affects the faith as Catholics tend to shy away from expressing their faith, in fact at times, they belittle their faith. For example one youth shared that his siblings, who are no longer Catholics, laugh at him when he makes the sign of the cross.

It’s easy to notice that most of our young people’s way of praying is influenced by these religious movements whose leaders have a big following on social media. This confuses them and leads them to question their faith in Catholic doctrines.

Family breakdown in modern times.

NurseA good number of our young people are raised by single parents; others have been orphaned at a young age and were brought up by their grandparents. Some have never met their fathers. Dealing with such young people needs care and attention which cannot be solved by Mass or the administration of sacraments. It needs spending time to listen to them and counselling them. Peer counselling is a skill that is needed.

The widening gap between Urban and Rural Youth

There is a growing gap between young people coming from urban and rural setups. St. Anne’s Parish has a small section of the parish in town while the other, bigger part, is in a rural setting. Young people living in the countryside are more disadvantaged as they have limited access to social facilities. We have some outstations where getting to school is a challenge. In some areas, children have to walk 10 km on foot to reach the nearest primary school. In the rainy season, roads get really bad and some bridges are washed away. Added to that, the grass grows tall so that it becomes risky to walk in the bush and on top of all that some villages are widely scattered. In such areas it is difficult to find someone who has finished secondary school. This poses a challenge of leadership in the Church. It also increases a vicious circle of poverty.

YouthAs a result, there is high incidence of school drop-outs, early marriages, and teenage pregnancies. In the year 2017, I baptized 17 adults among whom were 8 school girls aged between 14 and 18 years of age who had dropped out of school. Later I discussed with their parents and church council how to ensure that they go back to school. As pastoral agents it is our task to take a keen interest in the formal education of our Christians if our ministry is to be transformative.

Conclusion

Youth ministry has always been part and parcel of our priority as witnessed by some of the lay movements which our confreres started in various countries, by the youth centres we still run and by the big number of young people that have been educated by the Missionaries of Africa. Today we need to invest more in this noble ministry because it is by starting with young people that we can be assured of continuity in the Church and mission. Pope Francis rightly says “youth are the now of God”. I believe so. They are not only the future leaders but the present hope of the Church today.

Source: Petit Echo, 2019 / 05 – No 1101

Commemoration of 150 years of the M.Afr in Chipata diocese


Modéra Bazié2By Modéra Bazié, stagiaire

In order to commemorate the 150 years of the foundation of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, the diocese of Chipata expressed its gratitude to the White Fathers by organising a pilgrimage of faith in Lumimba Parish run by our confreres.

On Saturday 20th October, a number of activities were held in Chasera; poetry, a play, a traditional dance presented by the students of the formation house in Chipata and football matches. Were present Bishop George Lungu, brethren from other Christian denominations and representatives from the Muslim community.

At the Sunday Eucharistic celebration, honourable chief Mwanya attested her happiness and the gratefulness of the people of Chasera for the work of our ancestors in the mission. She also expressed her thankfulness for the education and health facilities the missionaries have been given to the people of Chasera. She concluded: zikomo kwambiri, which means ‘‘thank you very much’’.

Bishop George Lungu expressed his joy of having missionaries in his diocese. He also prayed for the first confreres who planted the Catholic faith in Chipata. He encouraged all the religious over the diocese and the students of the Missionaries of Africa to take up the challenges of their time in order to bring the Gospel to all the whole world in the same spirit as the first missionaries did. All gratitude to the Missionaries of Africa, he said.

Chasera-01He also invited the Christians to be grateful for what the confreres have done and are still doing for them by supporting them. He concluded his speech with a special word of gratitude to Father Toon van Kessel for his wonderful work in Chipata diocese.

Finally, Father Adelarde Munishi thanked the Bishop, the whole diocese, the traditional believers and other denominations for their collaboration. We are all from one Family, the family of God – Banja Nyumba Ali modzi, he said. He expressed his gratitude to the Christians of Chasera for having hosted the celebration.

In this atmosphere of great joy, the celebration ended with the final blessing of Bishop George Lungu after the missionaries had sung the Sancta Maria.

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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.

Death of Father Guy Bourgeois, M.Afr in Canada, formally in Malawi and in South Afrika.


Guy Bourgeois copieFather Gilles Barrette, Provincial of the Americas, informs you of the death of Father Guy Bourgeois, M.Afr. He died on October 23, 2017, in Joliette (Canada), at the age of 82 years of which 58 of missionary life in Malawi, France, South Africa and Canada.

Let us pray for the repose of his soul.

01/01/1966 Learning the language at Mzimba, Mzuzu Diocese, Malawi.

28/09/1966 Curate at Lunyangwa, Mzuzu Diocese, Malawi.

01/02/1968 Parish Priest at Lunyangwa, Mzuzu Diocese, Malawi.

01/07/1969 Parish Priest at St Peter’s, Mzuzu Diocese, Malawi.

16/10/1970 Formation House at Strasbourg France.

01/06/1974 Nomination to Malawi.

01/09/1975 Regional in Malawi.

01/01/1976 Parish Priest at Rumphi, Mzuzu Diocese, Malawi.

01/01/1981 In charge; Senekal South, Africa.

01/01/1982 In charge; Phuthaditjhaba, South Africa.

01/01/1986 In charge; Bohlokong, South Africa.

01/01/1987 Parish Priest at KwaNdebele, South Africa.

17/11/1993 Parish Priest at Tweefontein, KwaNdebele, South Africa.

01/12/1998 Curate at Orange Farm, Johannesburg Diocese, South Africa.

21/02/2008 Nomination to Diepsloot, South Africa.

01/06/2010 Nomination to Canada.

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 19 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

« Au Burkina, Bassolé sorti de prison » le général Djibrill Bassolé, assigné à résidence, reçoit les premières visites depuis sa sortie de prison. La nouvelle résidence de l’ex-patron de la diplomatie burkinabè est sous haute sécurité (lire la suite).

« Mali, lutter contre le terrorisme » Trois jours de discussion au Mali pour essayer de mutualiser la lutte contre le terrorisme et la criminalité transfrontalière (lire la suite).

« CEDEAO lutter contre le terrorisme » le centre sous-régional d’alerte précoce a été inauguré samedi 14 octobre à Bamako par les chefs d’Etat du Mali et du Togo (lire la suite).

« Attentat en Somalie » les dernières nouvelles au sujet de cet attentat innommable qui a fait au moins 300 morts et 300 blessés (lire la suite).

Témoignages 

« Un immigré écrit à un missionnaire » un texte traduit de l’italien qui exprime de qu’attendent des missionnaires les personnes vivant difficilement leur état d’immigrés. (lire la suite).

« De Mgr Claude Rault à Mgr John Mac William »  dans Voix d’Afrique cet article qui nous parle de L’ancien évêque de Ghardaïa et de son successeur (lire la suite).

« Une cinéaste burkinabè » Eléonore Yameogo tient à rencontrer les confrères dans les maisons de retraite pour les écouter exprimer leur vécu en Afrique (lire la suite).

« Un prêtre de Kaya (Burkina) nommé en France » L’abbé Eloi Bamogo est maintenant en France depuis la fin du mois d’août et a envoyé quelques nouvelles (lire la suite).

Histoire

« Qui a tué Sankara il y a 30 ans ? » sur le site de Jeune Afrique beaucoup d’éléments en lien avec cet assassinat. Naviguer sur le site… (lire la suite).

«  Sankara sur le site RFI » une présentation à la fois semblable et différente de ce qui est proposé sur le site de Jeune Afrique. Intéressant. D’autres éléments à venir sous peu (lire la suite).

Dialogue interreligieux

« Une femme insoumise » un roman qui présente deux mondes et surtout deux cultures, qui séparent les Belgo-marocains et les Belges de souche (lire la suite).

« Le pardon dans l’islam et la foi chrétienne » des citations et des liens internet pour mieux découvrir ce qu’est le pardon pour un musulman ou un chrétien (lire la suite).

« Synode chaldéen et pape François » l’accueil que le pape a réservé au synode de l’Eglise chaldéenne en encourageant ces chrétiens à ne pas se décourager malgré les difficultés dues à la guerre (lire la suite).

Justice et Paix

« Relations Europe-Afrique » Les relations entre l’U.E. et l’Afrique subsaharienne sont actuellement régies par l’accord de Cotonou, qui jette les bases des relations entre l’Union et les 78 pays appartenant au groupe ACP  (lire la suite).

« Macron et la migration ? » La France s’est engagée lundi 9 octobre à offrir 3 000 places aux réfugiés du Niger et du Tchad. Quelles seront les conditions et les conséquences ? (lire la suite).

« Migrants en Espagne » le témoignage d’un confrère missionnaire d’Afrique espagnol engagé dans l’accueil des migrants au sud du pays (lire la suite).

« ATD Quart Monde en Afrique » il y a 60 ans que cette association a été fondée, et le 17 octobre 2017, est aussi le 30e anniversaire de la Journée mondiale du refus de la misère que l’association a instaurée (lire la suite).

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Coup d’état 2015 au Burkina »  le site Mediapart revient sur cet événement, le putsh manqué de septembre 2015, et sur le rôle qu’aurait joué la Côte d’Ivoire (lire la suite).

« Toujours contestation au Togo » Après une semaine d’accalmie, l’opposition annonce de nouvelles manifestations les mercredi 18 et jeudi 19 octobre (lire la suite).

« Titre de séjour en Côte d’Ivoire » La feuille de papier vert plastifiée d’une durée de 12 mois va laisser place à un document biométrique format carte de paiement effectif pendant cinq ans. (lire la suite).

« Accident d’avion en Côte d’Ivoire » cet avion affrété par Barkhane, s’est écrasé sur la plage de Port-Bouët, à Abidjan, le 14 octobre 2017 (lire la suite).

« Ouattara et Soro en Côte d’Ivoire » ces deux personnages sont-ils sur la route de la réconciliation et du travail en commun ? (lire la suite).

« Procès Boko Haram au Nigéria » les premières condamnations sont tombées vendredi 13 octobre dans le procès de masse concernant près de 1 670 membres présumés de Boko Haram (lire la suite).

Big celebration in Mua, Malawi.


15 BBy Landry Busagara, stagiaire in Mua.

Saturday on the 23rd September, Mua Parish was celebrating its 115 years of existence. Mua mission was established by three Missionaries of Africa in September 1902 and has since grown to have 25 churches and about 25 000 Christians. Moreover, it was the golden jubilee of priesthood of Father Claude Boucher who has been living in Mua for more than 40 years. The parish was also celebrating 25 years of service of one of its catechists: Abambo Simoni Panyani.

Many people came from different places to congratulate and share our joy. We were honoured by the presence of the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, the Ambassador of Germany in Malawi, the Provincial of Southern Africa, the MPs, Chiefs, Priests, Sisters, brothers and parishioners who came in large numbers for the event.

The Eucharist was presided by the Bishop of Dedza Diocese, Bishop Emmanuele Kanyama. Time was given to present the amazing journey of Father Boucher Chisale, the founder of the Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art. It was a celebration to remember all the missionaries who contributed to the life of the Christian community over so many years. “Following that example of the bounty of God, said the Bishop, we are called to do the same, we need to love one another, to forget our ego and live together as brothers and sisters without conflicts and quarrels, and to be thankful to God and to the missionaries.

21 ABeing in Malawi for so long, Father Boucher, as he said, became a Malawian and happy to be so. His regret is to see how people are becoming careless about the environment and the culture. As a matter of fact, Father Claude, now 75 years old, has been working and doing research in anthropology and the local culture all his life. He wrote many books and received many awards for his tremendous achievement. He asked the Lord to grant him some more days to continue working in his vineyard.

Father Felix Phiri, our Provincial, expressed his joy and congratulated everyone. In his view, it is rare to see Missionaries of Africa celebrating 115 years of presence in the same parish. Usually, they start a parish and, after some time, move elsewhere. Father Claude Boucher should be a good example for all missionaries for his closeness to the people and his care for the nature and preserving the local culture.

The Vice President Saulos Chilima was also very happy to be present and thankful for the invitation. “We should not forget our beautiful culture in exchange with foreign ones. We were not supposed to wait for missionaries to teach us how to preserve our culture and traditions. We need to keep our identity. Nowadays, he continued, people are more aggressive towards the environment. We are more zealous in destroying than in building. The way we cut trees, the way we use water… and we do not realise that what we are doing will cause us problems in the future.” He also talked about demography in Malawi. If we do not pay attention on how we make children, it will be very hard in the years to come. We should give birth to children that we are capable of raising up.

Before the final blessing, the Bishop congratulated Father Claude Boucher who has sacrificed his whole life for others, caring for the nature, the culture, being one of the people. He asked us to take into consideration that good example.

Link: Mua Parish Celebration in Dedza diocese, Malawi.

Diary of a journey to Egypt from September 28 to October 10, 2017.


By Archbishop George Daniel and Fr Christophe Boyer, M.Afr

Christophe Boyer2In 1992, Bishop Anthonios Markos started the Coptic Orthodox Church in Johannesburg. Archbishop George Daniel met him in 1993 and since became his friend. A reason is that there are many struggling independent churches in South Africa but the Coptic Church is truly African since the beginning. They could learn from it. The Egyptian government organised a Forum of Heavenly Religions in Sharm El Sheikh, Sinai on September 28-30, 2017. They asked Bishop Markos to send somebody from South Africa and he selected Archbishop Daniel. He accepted to visit Egypt but it was said that he needs a companion to deal with the challenges of such a journey. I accepted with joy to accompany him.

At Novotel, we met an Austrian professor, a German journalist for Germany and an Algerian journalist for Russia, a priest and an imam from South Sudan, an imam from Mali, another imam Pakistani residing in Ireland. We went directly to the Conference Palace. Soldiers surrounded it. They were meant especially for the government officials: most of them left with them. It is a big conference centre. Participants might have been around 2,000 people. Personalities started speaking only in Arabic. There was a simultaneous translation on earphones. The one of the Archbishop did not work… The theme was tourism and religion.

In a context of terrorism there are fewer tourists in Egypt. So tourism needs promotion.  Sinai is beautiful for its mountains and the Red Sea. It offers climbing, diving and therapeutic facilities. Especially it’s the place of the burning bush and of the 10 commandments revelation to Moses. Statistics show that religious tourism is more regular than others especially in front of terrorism. There is need to improve the roads and communications… South Sinai Governor came with Antiquities Minister and other officials. An evangelical bishop praised the government for authorising the building of a church… Muslim scholars of Al Azhar University were there beside churches’ leaders but no Jews, all in religious clothes. During tea time we could speak with a few bishops especially the Coptic Catholic Bishop and the local Catholic Coptic parish priest (ex Comboni student in Zambia), an evangelical bishop, the nuncio and his secretary… A Christian tour operator proposed her services for pilgrimages… We finished by a magnificent lunch around 15:00 which is normal time in the Middle East. We inaugurated a beautiful mosque in the evening. We had dinner with conference people on the flank of a mountain above the town centre, there was an orchestra…

On Friday morning we took a plane to St Catherine Monastery. We got a bedroom at Morgen Land hotel, the only one of the small town. Again military presence was heavy. The monastery was small for the big crowd of the conference. It needs restoration: paintings are dark and many things are worn out. We were told they are working on it. The oldest manuscripts of the bible are there but in the crowd we lost track of the Texan monk who was ready to show us the library. It is the oldest continuously occupied monastery and library… The name St Catherine of Alexandria was given by some Crusaders. A living thorn bush represents the burning bush… We stopped at the foot of the mountain thought to be of the Ten Commandments revelation but had no time to climb it…

In the evening, in front of the illuminated mountains, there was a beautiful UNESCO rather religious singing concert with singers from 15 countries… some Christians other Muslims… It was about peace and love…The introductory speech sounded a bit too nationalistic and pompous. It is understandable in the context of terrorism: Egypt is stronger than Islamism. An English-speaking Bedouin spoke with us critically of the government.

We believe that the aim should be a reconciliation between different religions. Tourism in the Middle East can be a tool.

I thank Bishop Markos and the Coptic Church in Egypt for allowing this wonderful trip to Egypt with the visit of key positions in vibrant mid-east Churches, parishes, famous shrines and monasteries and even of Alexandria, Giza and National Museum with good guides. The warmth of the people, their conversation and the good food compensated largely the honking and chaotic traffic, heavy schedule and airport lack of communication and utilities.

Coptic priest killedLet us pray for the late Coptic priest Fr Samaan Shehte murdered on October 12, 2017, that his death may contribute for peace and justice in this divided world.

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.

Our confrère Jean-Luc André Gouiller, M.Afr, leaving Zambia for France, his home country, on 4th October 2017


« Ce n’est qu’un au revoir, mon frère,

Ce n’est qu’un au revoir!

Oui, nous nous reverrons, mon frère, ce n’est qu’un au revoir!’ »

Jean-Luc_Gouiller

By Venerato Deus Babaine, M.Afr, Provincial Delegate – Zambia, October 03, 2017

Farewell to you!

The Biblical Ecclesiastes, was right when he said that there is time for everything, time for coming and time for going.

We appreciate the good service you rendered to our missionary family in Zambia, the Catholic Church in AMECEA Region and France. You arrived in Zambia in 1966, as a vibrant young man born at Colligny-Ain. You have spent most of your life in Zambia as a vibrant, committed missionary passionate about the Zambian people, un missionnaire sans frontières, vraiment!

You put all your talents, experience and gifts at the service of your confreres and the people of God. Your simplicity and down-to-earth approach will be remembered. The people you have served, will always remember you, Abambo Gouiller. As you return to your homeland your heart must be pregnant with so many memoirs of the people you met in Zambia, in Kenya and other countries you went to during your active missionary life. These are the stories that will gladden your heart as you look back to the mission in Africa especially in Zambia.

We appreciate that you will have some time to be in your country France, to have a time with retired missionaries from other parts of Africa and a time with some members of your family; the children, grandchildren and great-grand-children of Lucien and Marie. Your father died when you were just six years in the mission and your mother died when you were twenty years in the mission. Their care and prayers for you have been a source of strength and faith for you to live a missionary life to the full.

Your missionary life in Zambia started in Kanyanga in 1966. You worked as a pastor, as a teacher, chaplain, leadership of our then region and supported special apostolates like the laity and CARYM. Your passion for justice and integrity of creation is special. Your last apostolate to put in order the land ownership of Chipata diocese has been tough, frustrating but the efforts you made will have lasting results and will be a great help to the diocese.

Your missionary life has been marked by a spirit of availability and new insights for the mission in Africa. You have been a community life man. You promoted and lived a simple-life style that has been a witness to many. You loved to see new Zambian vocations; you have seen them make oath and take positions of leadership in our missionary family. Some of us have been inspired by your devotion to prayer life.

We thank God who has guided you in your mission. We thank your family that has been supporting you in many ways. We thank you for you service and fraternity to us!

Keep us in prayer, pray for the missions and church in Zambia. Mwende makora abambo Gouiller!

Messages from Confreres:

From Michel Meunier, M.Afr.

Dear Jean-Luc, Thank you for all what you have done and all that you have been for Zambia in particular and for Africa in general, especially during your years spent in Gaba Pastoral Institute. You have been a model and an inspiration for many. United in the same Mission.

From Christophe Boyer, M.Afr, du Caire:

Jean-Luc, Je te souhaite un bon retour en France. Merci pour ton service conciliant foi et engagements socio-politique. Que ton expérience Zambienne soit une source de gratitude et de joie offerte à tes relations.

From Filiyanus Ekka, M.Afr

Dear Fr. Jean-Luc Gouiller, Many greetings from Filiyanus Ekka in India. I thank you very much for your dedicated service to the people of God in Africa -ZAMBIA. Your Missionary zeal was lesson for me and it is still motivating me in my priestly life. You took care of Vinod very well and in heaven he is remembering you. May God Bless you.

From Réal Doucet M.Afr

Mon cher Jean-Luc, Nous ne nous connaissons pas beaucoup pour avoir travaillé dans différents lieux de mission, mais cela ne m’empêche pas de rendre grâce à Dieu pour ta qualité de présence en Zambie durant tant d’années. Si aujourd’hui il y a des jeunes Zambiens dans la maison de formation où je suis présentement, c’est grâce à des hommes comme toi qui ont su montré par leur engagement et dévouement auprès des gens que la vocation missionnaire était une bénédiction non seulement pour les gens mais aussi pour eux-mêmes. Continue dans ton ministère missionnaire à prier pour ceux qui prennent notre place lorsque le temps est venu de tourner une belle page de notre histoire de vie. Que Dieu fasse fructifier toutes tes années vécues en Afrique et pour l’Afrique. Beni soit-il !

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

Golden Jubilee of priesthood of Fr Piet van Heijst, M.Afr.


Fr Piet van Heijst 03Fr Piet van Heijst celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a priest at St John the Baptist Catholic Church New-Kaloko in Ndola on August 27. The celebration took place in a joyful atmosphere led by the Parish-Priest Fr Francis Scszurek assisted by Fr Didasio Mwanza and the entire church council. A number of delegations came from various parishes and institutions as well as Dominicans and Child Jesus Sisters. The Vicar General, Fr Paul Simukanzi represented Bishop Justin Mulenga of Mpika. Fr van Heijst has been working in his diocese for the past 40 years.

Friends came from Chilonga, Mpika, Serenje and from Twatasha and Kawama in Kitwe. In his preaching, Fr Camille Konkobo highlighted the joy felt by the Jubilerian, a priest dedicated to the people and the sick who loves the Zambian. Christian families and small Christian Communities were encouraged to promote vocations in the Church.

Recently, Fr van Heijst has been the chaplain of Ndola General Hospital while helping the Parish-Priest.

He is a dedicated and hardworking Missionary of Africa. In the thanksgiving Mass, 50 candles were lit as a symbol of faith in all the places where Fr van Heijst worked. It was very touchy and emotional, a great moment of prayer. After Mass, a group of women made a sketch depicting the call to priesthood.

We wish you many more years in your ministry and may you continue being a model, a pastor, an image of Christ to the people you are sent to. Happy ministry and keep your beautiful smiling face always!

Camille Konkobo, M.Afr, Vocation Director for Zambia based at Kolibo Vocation Centre, Serenje, Zambia.

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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.