The Positivity of Humility.


Brother Patrick Nora, M.Afr, from Ghana but based in Tanzania gave us a spiritual and illuminating retreat in Kasama from May 8 till 16, 2017.

On the third day, there was something that retouched me on the theme of the Mercy of God.

patrick_mumbiBy Patrick Mumbi, M.Afr

Initially I wanted to have as title; ‘forgiveness and humility’. I had the sense that you cannot forgive without humility because the two go together and especially when forgiving someone who is not contrite for what he or she did to you. Those who killed Jesus or St. Stephen were not remorseful as they thought that they were doing a just act. Even terrorists might think so. But Christians must make a difference by not retaliating. They should instead pray even for those who persecute them (Mt 5:44). Our Master Lord Jesus Christ said; ‘if only you reserve your greeting to those you know what difference are you making, even pagans do the same, do they not (Mt 5: 47)’?

alan-kurdiOn the theme of forgiveness, others think otherwise, namely, one can forgive even without humility because forgiveness is a human thing and especially when one sees the other suffering. The human conscious cannot allow one to see the other in a situation of suffering no matter how coarse his or her heart is. The case in point is that of the closure of the borders to immigrants due to terrorism. When a baby boy called Alan Kurdi slipped from its mother’s hands in 2015 and was washed away by the current and landed on a Turkish beach, it sent shock waves and borders were opened for the immigrants. I agree to the fact that forgiveness is part of human nature. God has implanted it into every human heart. When we talk of sisterhood, brotherhood, freedom and indeed all the fruits of our nature and enterprise, they are all present to human nature in a mystery. For us, they are revealed in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and will be brought into full flower when the Lord returns (class notes on Grace). But there is more to why forgiveness hinges on humility. For me it is not only biblical/spiritual but also productive and positive.

The Christian aspect of forgiveness.

My spiritual director once asked me that when someone has insulted you or told you that you are a fool or stupid, who has to apologise? Off the cuff, my answer was: “the one who had insulted me”. To my surprise, he said no! You are the one who has to go and ask for forgiveness or reconciliation. You need to go in humility and ask him or her where you went wrong. This is being Christian. You need to go and ask to your brother or sister and say: my brother/sister, forgive me, I saw you angry with me. This will change your brother or sister’s heart who wronged you or insulted you. This is biblical as scripture says;

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Mt 5:24).

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil (Rm 12:17). Carefully, consider what is right in the eyes of everybody.”

“If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone.” (Rm 12:18).

This is the crux of the matter and why forgiveness calls for humility. It is Christian in the sense that it is not him who wronged you who should ask for forgiveness but it is you who was wronged, who needs reconciliation or to make peace.  We instead wait for the other person who has wronged us to come and apologise. If he or she does not come to me, I will never talk to that person. This can happen to priests, Church elders, leaders of lay groups such that they have never talked to each for ages because something happened between them. Such kinds of hatred have even brought divisions in the Church but people pretend not to bother.

But by taking the first step in humility (and as a Christian) you emulate God who took the first initiative to come and save humanity at the time when we had sinned. St. Paul writes: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. It is rare indeed for anyone to die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die” (Rm 5: 7). We did not go to him but he came to us.

However there are stumbling blocks to this, taking into account our human insecurities, pride and fear. There are fears that others will manipulate me or think that I am too cheap. Additionally, fear in the sense that other people look for the mistakes or weaknesses in other people so as to blow them up. The attitude of blowing up mistakes of others is a sign of insecurity. Likewise the fear of revealing one’s weaknesses is a sign of insecurity. There are insecurities on both sides. Insecurity also in the sense that others may take it as my weakness when I have already built up my self-esteem and I cannot bring myself so low.  But I have also a sense that humility is a feeling of courage when others are pigeonholing you without shaking. Humility is daring to listen to feelings, comments, shameful and awful aspects of oneself which probably I have denied and repressed from my life. This attitude I believe can move me to the level of self-acceptance and wholeness. I would like now talk about the positivity or productivity of humility.

Positivity of humility.

In communities, we live with people whom we do not like and those who do not like us. But how do you feel especially when you are not talking to each other and you have to face each other every so often? The world becomes small having to avoid them all the time. But when you forgive and reconcile you feel free and healed. Someone told me that forgiveness is like swallowing a bitter pill but it heals you. A grudge, on the other hand, sickens and kills you psychologically in the sense that you need a lot of negative energy or emotions to keep it going. You cannot go for a long time before it suffocates you. But if you let go with a lot of pain- if you go to that pain of letting go rather than avoid it, the Kingdom of God comes.

Humility helps to reach out to others strongly. The letter to the Philippians is a prime example of the positivity and productivity of humility of our Lord Jesus Christ (Phil 2:5-11). It says; “though he was God he did not cling to his divine nature but assumed the nature of a slave and through that he reached out to many people.” You know your rights and your importance but as a Christian, you forgive because you want reconciliation and reach out to other(s). It is much easier to talk and write about humility but quite hard to practise it in one’s life. Other people have responded to me by asking and challenging me saying; “what about the humility and forgiveness of you, Patrick”? In other words, I should not only write or talk about humility and forgiveness but I should put it into my life. Let me also talk about what humility is not.

Humility as different from low self-concept.

Humility actually builds up and elevates the self-image. Spiritual masters always tell us that the one who says I am sorry for my wrong doing, builds up self-esteem instead of being proud or putting up a wrong/false façade. Humility does not involve thinking less about yourself or having a negative view of yourself. When you forgive, it does not mean that others are much better than you. When you forgive you also respect the person you have forgiven. Humility involves letting go wholeheartedly and that is freeing. It is also composed of sacrifice, self-denial, fasting and going an extra mile or giving more than what was asked of.

Let me also quote another Bemba proverb about humility. It says that; “tobela tobela akafye inganda.”  The literal translation is that; “endless arguments leave people nowhere.” There needs to be at least one who gives up his or her position or each one of you moves half way so as to bring up peace.  Sticking to one’s position without any movement will not solve any problem. It requires one to relinquish his or her position. For example, one can say; “I am the president” and another says, “I do not recognise your presidency”. If the two sides perpetually stick to their positions, nothing will materialise in terms of peace or reconciliation. Whereas humility is attractive, arrogance is repulsive. You cannot feign humility just as a drunkard cannot feign sobriety.

Therefore, humility does not mean that you look down on yourself. But humility is different from low self-concept, esteem or low locus of evaluation. Forgiveness is not completely due to the realisation of human contingencies or that I am a sinner therefore I need to forgive; this is self-pity. Realisation of one’s contingency or sinfulness could be a step towards forgiveness. Jesus was not a sinner but he forgave those who killed him.

Do not intimidate the offender.

Is it not right to say that preventing humiliating the offender breaks the circle of violence? In being offended we carry with us a lot of anger in our chest believing that the offender must be punished, crushed and feel the pinch of his or her offence. But what actually are we doing to them? Haven’t we created a psychological warfare or created a spirit of vindictiveness in them which will never end? It is part of human nature that even if people have sinned or offended they should not be intimidated but need respect and experience softness in order to foster the attitude of change. Besides there are some people who may not be ready even to relinquish their pride. They would prefer to die with their pride other than swallowing it while others may be shy or find it humiliating by being forgiven.

Les misérablesYou remember in that film “Les misérables” how the pursuant asked his enemy why he did not kill him but forgave him. In other words, he was telling him: “who told you to forgive me”. Sometimes, I am led to think that it is the poor and the humble who appreciate forgiveness. In this world where people have acquired a variety of statuses in forms of richness, education, political mileage, etc. humility to accept forgiveness will be hard to come by. It is up to the victim or the offended to be humble to forgive.

Humility in valuing others or seeing goodness in others.

There was a woman who came to me and said she lent a lot of money to her friend and for many years she asked for that money but to no avail. Her friend always told her that she would give it back to her but she did not. In the end, she just gave up her pursuit of that money for the sake of friendship. There are similar examples of that nature such as giving up the debts, the land, and property helplessly. But is this forgiveness? Wouldn’t it be much better to tell the other one that I have forgiven you, so that the other does not look down when you meet face to face?

Scripture says that humility consists in valuing others above yourself. I quote: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition, or vain conceit but rather think of others as better than you.(Phil 2:3). St. John of the Cross said that rejoice in the goodness of others as if it were your own, desiring that they be given precedence over you in all things. In other words, try to see goodness in other people. This is very difficult especially when you are at loggerheads with them. It is even harder to see goodness in people who pride themselves.

I would like to quote a Bemba proverb or a tale which says something about humility. It says that friendship started by ‘help me look for my arrow’ = Icibusa catampile muli mfwailako umufwi. In the process of helping the other to look for his arrow, the two boys became friends. If it was not for loving humility, the other boy would have gone home and not have spent hours looking for the lost arrow.

Barak Obama PNGLet me also talk about another side of humility. Probably other people may find some truth or meaning in it. There is one thing I liked about Obama’s character. When people talked ill about him such as calling him a nigger and what, he just smiled and laughed. I found that healing instead of having to defend oneself and arguing. If you know who you are, why should you worry about negative remarks people make about you? (ukukuntikilwa = to worry about negative remarks.) We are very quick at defending ourselves whenever people say something negative about us. When I was doing the course of psychotherapy there was a day in a week which was strictly dedicated to each person. Fellow students would point at each and every defect they have known about the person and the person is supposed to keep quiet. Knowing one’s weakness in humility is also empowering. But some students would end up crying all day thinking that others do not like them.

There are some people in this world, when you meet them, you feel like a human being, empowered and magnanimous. This is not pretence or that they are putting up a façade but it is just the way they are. I also believe that we can heal people simply by the way we are. It is the phenomenon which the psychologists call ‘participation mystique’ = when what we are experiencing from inside is in resonance with what is happening from outside. You are truthful to other people in your relationship and forgiveness.

CarlRogersI like what Carl Rogers said which I think is related to healing and it comes from conscious forgiveness. Rogers said: “If only I can be real, if only I can be transparent, if only I can get in touch with my inner self so that the other can see through me that I am not holding anything back, then process of therapy can begin to take place” (Rogers, 1959). In this case forgiveness is coupled with honest and respect of someone, and honouring of that person (hyperecho to elevate/hold above in Greek). It is not pretence or demeaning of someone like; “I have forgiven you, little mosquito”. People are not fools, they can see through whether you have forgiven them or not. If you haven’t, they will always walk with a guilty conscious and will never look into your eyes.

In conclusion. 

We are born in different settings with different upbringing and humility may not be part of our life. Some people are lucky by being born with humility. But if we can train for transformation we can as well train or learn to be humble. We can start by appreciating others; delight in the success of others. All in all, in my view, forgiveness is positive and hinges on true humility.

THE POSITIVITY OF HUMILITY1

Our Mission Newsletter Edition No 12 – South Africa


Pontfical So 02-2017 logoDear Friends,

I sincerely hope that you are experiencing the peace and joy of the Risen Christ during this Liturgical Season of Easter.

Jesus’ Resurrection is the event central to our Faith and we need to spend time in reflection and prayer for the extent of its reality to take effect in our daily lives. This season should challenge us to see to what extent the Risen Lord has impacted our lives, are we people of hope, of joy, of peace? The realities of life no matter how burdening and complex should not be what dominates our existence. Jesus’ victory over sin and death should set us free from the “slaveries” that imprison us and stop us from reaching our full potential and true happiness.

Eastertide is a time for rejoicing and celebrating our redemption in Christ Jesus, however it would often appear that we find it easier to live the periods of Lent and Advent than that of Easter and Christmas – do we find reflecting on our sinfulness and need for conversion easier than that of celebrating our new life in Christ?

Xt copieAs we now move to the celebration of the Ascension of our Lord it is important for us to recall the last words of Jesus to his disciples: “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19) – this so called “Great Commission” must not be overlooked or taken lightly by us, the disciples of Jesus. This is the last wish, the final instruction of the Master to us and this should indicate how important it was for Him and should also be for us. This needs to become our priority focus with regard to our Christian faith. If we are not evangelizing, bringing the Good News and liberation of Christ to others, then we have missed the very reason for our existence as Christians, the very essence of our Faith.

The Resurrection message needs to be made manifest to all people of all times and this is only possible when you and I do our part in living the Gospel values and are witnesses of the living Christ.

The stark reality is that the so many people live without a notion or experience of Jesus Christ in their lives. Many because they have never heard the Good News of Christ proclaimed to them, others because the witness they have received from so-called Christians has not been convincing and others still, due to indifference or hardened hearts. We as Missionary Disciples need to tirelessly proclaim the love and mercy of Jesus Christ to our world of today. We need also to support the universal missionary efforts of the Church by praying for and supporting the Missions and the Missionaries.

May the Holy Spirit whom we await in the celebration of Pentecost awaken in us that same missionary spirit of the early Church that we read about in the Acts of the Apostles.

Gordon Rees

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

Our Mission12

History of the beginning of the Catholic Church in Zambia in Chipata, Eastern Province.


Meeting of all Priests of Chipata Diocese April 2-5, 2017 at the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Catholic Church in Zambia.

History Catho Church ZambiaBy Fr. Jean-Luc Gouiller, M.Afr 04/04/ 2017

On the page one of the “History of the Catholic Church in Zambia” by Fr. Hugo Hinfelaar, in 2004, we read: “1891 is often considered the year when the Catholic Church was established in our part of Africa now called Zambia when the Missionaries of Africa settled near Mambwe Mwela. But the people of Zambia had been in contact with Catholic Christendom from the beginning of the eighteen century onwards. (…)

The Portuguese-speaking Dominical Missionaries had arrived around 1730 in a market place known as Feira by the Portuguese, situated at the confluence of the Luangwa River and the Zambezi River, near the District Centre of present day Luangwa. (…)

By then, the Chiti mukulu dynasty had been established in Bembaland which had had some contact with Christianity. Their Paramount Chiefs claimed to have come from Kasai in the Congo with some of the sacred relics of Catholic Portuguese origin. (…)

Some Catholic Christians came from India. We know that after Jesus’s departure some of his apostles went to India to bring the Good News of Jesus, the most well-known of them being St Thomas. A place in India became well-known for its Catholics: Goa. This is how, in the 18th century, some Dominican Friars from Goa came to Mozambique as missionaries. Some Catholic priests would come to administer the sacraments and teach catechism. (…)

In 1754, still from India, some resident parish priests came to Mozambique to be in charge of the station of Zumbo. A certain Fr. Pedro, from Goa, became very well known. People would say of him that he had planted the tree of the Holy Gospel. All this very near what is now Zambia, and certainly at times in Zambia. One day, Fr Pedro even met somebody in authority called Mazombwe, whom he wanted to stay with. Fr Pedro was also a medicine man. He died in 1751. His funeral attracted many people, apparently thousands of Cewa, Nsenga, Bisa, and Kunda people. (…)

When the well-known Protestant missionary explorer Livingstone passed where Fr. Pedro had been he still found the remnants of his church and a broken bell. (…)

At the beginning of the 1880s, the Jesuit missionaries opened a small mission among the valley Tonga at Mwembe and visited the Litunga, Lewanika, King of the Lozi at Lealui. However, because of a lot of setbacks, sicknesses and deaths, they abandoned their project a few years after. (…)

Another example around 1798: On the “Danger Hill” road, north of Mpika, a monument has been erected in remembrance of the journey of the Portuguese explorer Jose Maria Delacerda el Almaida. On a board we read this: Was Dr in mathematics, some time he was the royal astronomer in Lisbon, Portugal, Governor of a region in Mozambique and leader of an expedition to cross Africa. Later he also established a chain of fortified trading posts between Mozambique and Angola. He had set out from Tete with a large party including nine Europeans to reach the town of Chief Kazembe, a very well-known Chief at the south of lake Mweru. But he fell sick and died of exhaustion. His diary gives us the first accurate account of the country and its people of the Eastern part of “Northern Rhodesia in Zambia. The expedition returned to Tete under a Father Pinto. (…)

In the Bangweolo there is the mention of a very gentle person, Luchere Nganga, from Brazil, who went to many places helping people to forget about their differences and jalousies. One day he disappeared after having said, it seems, that another one, apparently a missionary (or several of them) would come in the future dressed in white.”

Cardinal_LavigerieNow let us see the position of Cardinal Lavigerie, Bishop of Algiers and founder of the Missionaries of Africa in 1868, and of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Africa in 1869, first called “The Agricultural and Hospital Sisters”. Little by little, Lavigerie was getting ready to send his Missionaries in Central Africa.

In 1878, a group of three set out for Central Africa by a long way which they thought safe, accompanied by guides apparently very cooperative. But, in a desert, they killed the three Missionaries. Three more Missionaries followed another new way and were also killed. It was clear that another way to go to Central Africa would need to be found. This is what was planned for 1889.

Cardinal Lavigerie sent four Missionaries to the South of Malawi. These were: Fr. Adolphe Lechaptois, Fr. Valentin Heutebize, a Brother builder Antoine Verkuelen and Fr. Joseph Mercui. They were sent to a place where they could probably meet some Portuguese Christians. They arrived at Mponda on 28th December 1889, but at a time when they were some troubles between two groups of colonisers: the English and the Portuguese. The area had just been declared a “British Protectorate”. The newly arrived Missionaries were in a dilemma.

Great Britain’s plan (ambition) was to be “at home” from Cape Town in the South to Kairo in the North. Hence the name of “Cairo Road” given to a street of Lusaka town in present Zambia. The Portuguese had another ambition: they had been in that part of Africa since the 16th century. They too felt at home over there. They wanted to link together for themselves the East of Central Africa, Mozambique, with the West: Congo and especially Angola.

However, in the meantime, the four Missionaries had started some activities, especially caring for the sick and organising a school for young people, which they very much enjoined. But on the other hand the Missionaries were not at ease with the local Chief “Mponda” and some of his people.

A decision had to be taken: to go elsewhere. Lavigerie himself, from afar, had realised that the members of another denomination had been campaigning against the Catholic Missionaries, and Chief Mponda was disappointed because he had not received guns or whatever else from the Missionaries of Africa.

ob_8b5b72_siege-de-la-african-lakes-companyThe new plan of Lavigerie was to ask the four Missionaries to go to Karema in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). So the four Missionaries left Mponda in June 1891 by boat towards Karonga on the shore of Lake Malawi. Then they were to travel by following the “Stevenson” Road up to Lake Tanganyika. With the help of an Englishman agent of the African Lakes Company, they gathered a large group of men to protect them and help them carry their luggage. On their journey, men, women and children whose villages had been destroyed by the slave traders, joined them.

They were well received when passing through the village of Chief Mambwe. However, by then, the young Fr. Heurtebise had contacted a bad malaria. He was very sick and his companions were afraid that he would not survive. Providentially, they found a place called in Chimambwe “mwela”, meaning “wind”, because it is in a high place and with a cold weather. They settled in a shed built but then abandoned by the African Lake Company. In July 1891, because of the sickness of Fr. Heurtebise, they began to organise a place as if it was to become a Mission Post. Brother Anton began to build a house for the Missionaries and started a garden while Fr. Heurtebise, feeling better, started to instruct a number of people using the little they knew of Kiswahili, Chichewa and Chimambwe. That was a beginning of evangelisation in Zambia.

cropped-mambwe-mwila-06-08-2016-18-jpeg.jpgMambwe-Mwela becomes a Mission.

 During that time Fr. Lechaptois managed to travel as far as Karema (in Tanganyika) to inform the other missionaries of their intention of establishing a permanent Mission post at Mambwe-Mwela. He dedicated the new Mission to Mary, Our Lady of the Angels. Fr. Heurtebise, sick with malaria, was persuaded to go back home in France. Fr. Lechaptois was appointed Superior of the Missions in Tanganyika, where he would become a Bishop later. He was replaced in Mambwe- Mwela by Fr. Depaillat.

At the end of the rainy season, in May 1892, their new house was hit by lightning. The grass roof burned down. However, more and more visitors (traders, hunters, explorers) were coming to see them seeking accommodation for a night or two. Unfortunately, problems were developing in the area around Mambwe-Mwela, as the Mission was squeezed between the territory controlled by the British South Africa Company and the Tanganyika Territory.

During that period, a new Father, Achille van Oost, arrived and saw the difficult situation of this new Mission Post. He then began to look further South, in the Bemba country, for a new foundation. In January 1894 he succeeded in establishing a first contact, and then a second, with Chief Makasa, explaining to him that he was a God’s messenger. It impressed the Chief, who, in March 1895 offered him to settle to Kayambi. Unhappily, Fr. Achille van Host died on 20th April 1895. His grave is at Mambwe- Mwela. But the idea of building a Mission in Kayambi remained in spite of a fear that Chief Chiti Mukulu would not approve it. He accepted it.

In May 1895, Fr. Lechaptois, Bishop in Tanganyika, came to bring a successor to Fr. Van Host: Fr. Joseph Dupont who would be nicknamed “Motomoto”. Together they visited Chief Makasa. Fr. Dupont immediately took up the challenge of setting up the new foundation of Kayambi. But it was not a simple project, they would have to move with more than two hundred people (some of them orphans of parents killed in war) who lived with them at Mambwe- Mwela. Some others were young men and women who had been prisoners of war and were bought as slaves from various chiefs by the Arab slave traders, but who had been redeemed by the missionaries.

Two months later, in July 1895, the Missionaries, together with their people, started on their journey to Chief Makasa village first. The Chief was not very happy with so many people but Fr. Dupont showed his bravery and strength of character until Chief Makasa allowed them all to move to Kayambi. So, July 1895 became the date of birth of the first permanent Mission post of the Diocese of Chipata and even Zambia as a whole.

Development of the Diocese of Chipata.

Bishop Dupont (Motomoto) was ever ready to advance the development where he was at ease, mostly at first in the Bemba area, just as the Abemba were also very at ease with Motomoto. In 1895 he was sent to Nyasa. (Nyasa was the name given by the Yao people to lake Malawi). Motomoto was consecrated Bishop on 15th August 1895 in Kayambi.

Regularly, at first, new Missionaries would arrive in the country, learn the language spoken where they were posted and get involved in the evangelisation of the people they were sent to, and work in the various activities needed.

In 1899, after some teaching in France, the French Father Mathurin Guilleme was sent first to Zanzibar to take charge of the ‘procure’ and receive the newcomers or those going on leave. There, with his own eyes, Fr. Guilleme saw the horrors of the slave trade. He used some funds of the Holy Childhood and of St Peter Claver to buy back some 1500 boys and girls, including from Congo. In 1899, Fr. Guilleme founded Chilonga. Later he was asked to replace Bishop Dupont who had gone to France for rest. While acting as Bishop, Fr. Guilleme founded Chiwamba, Mua, Kachebere, Nguludi and Kambwiri. These new foundations nicely gave life to the southern part of Nyasa.

On 24th February 1911, Fr. Guilleme was chosen to succeed Bishop Dupont. Something new and very appreciated by all, happened sometime later in January 1913: Bembaland called “Bangweolo” was entrusted to Fr. Étienne Larue, while the Southern part kept the name of “Apostolic Vicariate of Nyasa”, under Mathurin Guilleme. All would be less under pressure. Fr. Guilleme was ordained Bishop in Baudouinville (Congo) on 18th June 1911. Nyasa had had five Mission stations and the new episcopal residence was Bembeke. Bishop Guilleme decided to found a station to the West of Kachebere: Mphangwe. Until that time the “Shire” in what is now Malawi was still served by the Apostolic Vicariate of Nyasa. Little by little it would be only in the hands of the Montfort Fathers, whom Bishop Dupont had called for, without really referring the matter to Rome. But it was finally recognised by Rome.

The First World War diminished the number of Missionaries since some were called as army chaplains. When the war was over, Bishop Guilleme was able to realise one of his dreams: to open a Mission in Sengaland: Minga Mission. He also founded more Missions in Nyasaland.

By the time Bishop Guilleme was 76 years old, he had the consolation of ordaining his successor, Father Oscar Julien. Bishop Guilleme died on 7th April 1942, at 82 years saying; “Into your hands I commend my spirit, ô Lord”.

When Bishop Julien (“Juliere”) started his work, his diocese was a new arrangement of various Vicariates. Bishop Julien had to get used as to which places or peoples of his Vicariate were in; Malawi or Zambia. Moreover, in the North of his Vicariate, the new “Mission sui Juris” of Luangwa was also a little in the same situation; they even had an “Itinerant Catechist school” to make it easier to serve all people. But being given the shape of his Vicariate, as soon as Bishop Julien took charge of it, he transferred his headquarters to Kachebere in order to be within easy reach of all his Missionaries scattered in the various parishes. Between Minga and Naviruli, after having bought a farm he opened Chassa Mission in May 1936. In 1935, he organised and held a synod to discuss Catholic Action, the foundation of a postulate for indigenous Brothers and a common policy to be followed in the different Missions. In fact, they realised that they somehow were in advance concerning Catholic action. Concerning a novitiate for indigenous Brothers, it was thought difficult, at such a point that after some time the effort did not have a happy ending. In 1944 he went home for a long rest. Rome accepted to release him.

On the 1st of July 1937, the Roman Congregation for the Propagation of Faith made a decree, establishing a new ecclesiastical unit made up of Lundazi District which until then had been part of the Luangwa sui juris and the new Apostolic Prefecture of Fort Jameson as well as Petauke District which it received from the Vicariate of Nyasa. This territory was exactly what the Eastern Province of Zambia would be after independence.

Obviously, the rearrangement done for the new Apostolic Prefecture of Fort Jameson of which Monsignor Martin was made the Prefect in 1937, was a very significant arrangement. It was making it possible to have an easier and better unity between people having the same political boundaries, the same administrations or syllabuses in school, a greater unity between the different parishes. Though reluctant to accept his appointment at first, Monsignor Martin worked hard until 1947 to bring unity in his Prefecture and prepare for the future.

At the arrival of Bishop Firmin Courtemanche and later Bishop Medardo Mazombwe and nowadays Bishop George Lungu, and his Auxiliary Bishop Benjamin Phiri, the Diocese did not need big readjustments. But it was and still is the time for new Congregations or Societies to come and enrich the Diocese with their own charisma, the time also for new parishes, to give the chance to many faithful to gather nearer their homes.

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History of the Catholic Church in Zambia, considering the whole country.

The Jesuits Missionaries

After their first attempt to go as Missionaries especially in the West and South West of Zambia, they let a few years pass and they tried again. Fathers involved:  Frs Prestige, Moreau and Torrend in particular.

The first place they chose to become a Mission was Chikuni, not far from Chisekesi in the north of it.  They found plenty of land around near the Magoye River. The BSA (British South African Company) gave them a freehold contract.

Once the routine of evangelisation had started around Chikuni itself, they took the decision to continue northwards to possibly find another Mission place starting from the Ngwerere River. One day, the unbelievable happened. The team of walking Missionaries had with them a young man called Francis Borja, whom they had saved from raiders. As they walked their way forward on the road, some people walking in the other direction met them. Then they recognised in the first group their own son walking with the Missionaries. It was him indeed, what a joy for the parents (He was lost but now found!). What a surprise for all, a great sign of the Providence.

Then after the joyful encounter, the Missionaries went on walking and walking until they found a site fitting, according to their desires for a second foundation. The people called the place Kasisi. It was about 230 km from Chikuni.

The group started building provisional shelters, preparing a place for a garden and making a small dam. It was Christmas time. Some people living there build a small chapel. Later they would build schools. Some other local people gave the Missionaries a dozen heifers and some oxen to start with. Not far away a certain place called “Rusangu” had already been taken by the 7th Day Adventist Church. The Providence was with them all.

On Kasisi and Chikuni, Frs Moreau and Torrend have always insisted on improving agriculture, especially by using cattle for ploughing. From long ago the Tongas are proud of their cattle, still more then because of the help it can give for development.

Other foundations within Zambia by the Missionaries of Africa in the Luapula: Lubwe: 1895-1905.

Some Missionaries of Africa were appointed to Chilubi Island. People had heard about the good work they had done elsewhere. They were happy to receive them. One well-known Father was Fr. Foulon.

Straight away they started meeting the people around in the small or big islands in Lake Bangweolo. With the Montfort Fathers helping in Nyasa, some Missionaries of Africa had become free for the Bangweolo. So the Luapula Province was going forward. The building of Kapatu and Chibote was done at that time.

During the first decade of the 20th century, the Missionaries of Africa founded no fewer than seven mission stations. The Jesuit Missionaries did the following foundations: Katondwe, Kapoche and Ching’ombe near the Eastern Province. Eight White Sisters arrived in Zambia to start a convent in Kayambi. Other Sisters, of Notre-Dame of Namur, arrived at Chikuni.

But the First World War which started in 1914 made life difficult and some Fathers had to return to France as soldiers in the trenches. Some years after the end of the war, the ideology of the “Indirect Rule” was pushed through.

During the 1930s, a wave of Catholic Missionaries arrived in Northern Rhodesia. It has been an important decade of the history of the Missions: arrival of Franciscan Friars and some missionaries from Poland. Chikuni school became an educational Centre. Still during the 1930s, the Missionaries of Africa established themselves more than before in the North of Zambia, in town. The Conventual Franciscans came to Ndola. Seeing the “Barotseland” in need, the Capuchins arrived. Groups of Brothers and Sisters came for schools and other types of formation helpful for the development of the country.

Then, a bit too fast, came the Second World War which had some serious repercussions for the Missions because it meant cutting off both personnel and money. It was a time of great financial difficulties. However, it must be recognised that the two World wars have made things and people also change for the better. But the Lenshina independent Church was a dramatic experience.

With the coming back of peace, Christian life had started growing in towns. The formation of the local clergy, Priests and Sisters, was getting organised, putting into practice what Pope Pius XI had asked for in the past, the “plantare Ecclesia”. Catechists and laity joined in, and the local hierarchy was taking its place. Little by little a Catholic Secretariat was being organised to guide both the clergy and the lay people.  The coming of Independence, 1950-1964 and after, was a challenge to all. The growing Church could not let that time pass without getting involved in the development happening in the country and in planning for the future. The national Office of Social Education, started by Fr. Calmettes, helped people to understand the numerous declarations.

Indeed, like the country as a whole, the Church also was “coming of age”.  Many were the topics which had to be talked about, one of them being for instance the “Philosophy of Humanism” launched by President Kenneth Kaunda or the “Scientific Communism”.

Hugo HinfelaarLittle by little, up to our modern times, themes for discussion have become “plenty”. But many more also are the people who are able to discuss them, explain them and see what they mean for us in our modern life.  In his book History of the Catholic Church in ZambiaFr Hugo Hinfelaar has recalled and presented many of the topics which make the life of modern Zambia and our Church more understandable and challenging!  If you have the book, let us enjoy it and learn from it!

May God bless Zambia and its people!

History of the beginning of the Catholic Church in Zambia in Chipata, Eastern Province.

Prayer sold to the highest bidder.


Zambia Daily Mail LogoMay 21, 2017

TORN APART with BOYD PHIRI

IT seems nowadays if you want to attract a large following to make bucks you add ‘prophet’ to your name.

Forget about prophet Bushili, this is why someone would prefer to call himself prophet Mavuto, even if his traditional name means problems.

Someone would want to call himself prophet Malilo even if his traditional name means funeral, yet someone would want to call himself prophet Masauso even if the traditional name means suffering.

Yes, to some people who bask in the title of men of God, being a prophet means everything, including putting their hands in their congregants’ pockets.

By the time they start distributing fliers headlined “STOP SUFFERING”, they would have made sure that they have stopped suffering themselves using your hard-earned money.

Perhaps this is the reason why you don’t see them distributing fliers headlined “STOP STEALING”.
Not that it is bad to stop suffering, but one thing is sure, some clergymen are obsessed with being in control over people and giving them orders to bring their valuable items, including underwear for anointing.

This is why most people flock to wherever they hear there is a prophet, leaving their own pastors in the hood wondering whether they should abandon preaching and start farming, although it is better for them to sow a seed than force congregants to plant in their pockets every time.

It would not be surprising to hear that most of our local pastors have become fishermen instead of fishers of men after losing their flock to foreign prophets. Of course, a prophet is never welcomed in his own town, not even in his own hood.

Maybe this is why nowadays school classroom churches in the hood are not attracting many people as most of them stay home waiting for a foreign prophet to come to town.

If they want marriage, they call upon the name of a prophet instead of the name of God; if they want their husbands to stop drinking beer, they call upon the name of a prophet instead of God; if they want their underwears to be as white as snow, they call upon a prophet to bring anointed underwear.

Needless to say, it is not right to drag the name of God into problems involving one’s underwear, even if one needs a new one.

In other words, for some people, prophets have become substitutes to witchdoctors who also profess to have solutions to every problem, including bringing back one’s lost lover.

Some people call upon the name of a prophet to heal them instead of the name of God, others call upon the name of a prophet when they need babies instead of the name of God.

This is why some prophets have been demanding a lot of money from some desperate women in the hood, even duping them into having sex with them under the pretext of anointing them with fertility.

Some women are duped into paying huge sums of money to some prophets under the pretext that their marital problems would be solved by prayer.

bushiri_profitThis brings me to the prophet Shepherd Bushiri saga. He has been accused by some of his followers in South Africa of ripping them off.

According to a report by ANN7, a woman who attended his session accused prophet Bushiri of making her pay 5,000 rand after she wrote to him to help her pray for her marriage.
The woman says nothing has changed in her marriage after paying the money to him.
Shepherd Bushiri has been in the news in recent weeks, of course, for wrong reasons.

In Zambia, he has become at odds with Government and some local clergymen whom he has accused of frustrating his trip to the country to conduct healing sessions.

Even if he had insisted that he would travel to Zambia in spite of his travel ban as a foreign prophet, the government says he is not welcome.

Of course, it would be naïve for him to insist on coming to the hood when he has thrown the name of Minister of Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili into the mad.

I support Government’s position to ensure that controversial prophets like Bushiri do not make people in the hood start adding ‘prophet’ to their names and sell prayers to the highest bidder to buy planes.

Of course, not all prophets are bad, but it is some clergymen like Bushiri who have distorted people’s view about prophets.

bjboydphiri@yahoo.com

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 16 mai 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

 « ND d’Afrique à Rome chez les SMNDA » c’est le 22 avril que les Sœurs Blanches d’Afrique ont célébré la fête de Notre Dame d’Afrique à leur maison générale (lire la suite)

« François : prier pour les vocations » un texte du pape qui date du mois de novembre 2016, mais qui s’applique à la date du 7 mai 2017, journée mondiale de prière pour les vocations (lire la suite)

« A quand le jugement de Blaise Compaoré ? » Blaise Comparoé, resté 27 ans au pouvoir, est cité à comparaître, non pas en tant que Président, mais en tant que ministre de la Défense. (lire la suite)

 Témoignages
« Au nom de la religion ? » (barbarie ou fraternité) recension d’un livre du jésuite François Euvé paru aux éditions de l’Atelier en 2016 (la slire uite)

« Long week-end à Erbil » André Querton était récemment dans le Kurdistan irakien. Après avoir traversé d’anciennes zones de combat, il a visité de nombreux camps de réfugiés. (lire la suite)

« Le patriarche Bartholomée 1er »  À l’invitation du cheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb, le patriarche œcuménique Bartholomée Ier a prononcé une conférence intitulée « Les religions et la paix » (lire la suite)

 Dialogue interreligieux

 « Déclaration conjointe de Rabat » sur le site de l’ARCRE ces informations sur la rencontre entre l’Académie du Royaume du Maroc et le Conseil pontifical pour le dialogue interreligieux (lire la suite)

« Noé » deux articles assez récents parus sur le site du Groupe de Recherches Islamo Chrétien de Tunis, sur le thème de Noé (lire la suite)

« Le Pape à Al-Azhar, espoir pour le Moyen Orient » cette visite du 28 avril 2017, constitue un événement fondamental en cette période si troublée (lire la suite)

« Amitié islamo chrétienne à Taizé » la communauté de Taizé, sur l’appel d’amis musulmans et avec eux  a organisé, du 5 au 8 mai, une rencontre sous le signe du « Goût de Dieu » (lire la suite)

 Justice et Paix

 « Comment étudier si on n’a pas d’argent ? » la question se pose et trois cas sont choisis pour inciter à la réflexion : deux en Côte d’Ivoire et un au Burkina (lire la suite)

« Pêche illégale en Afrique de l’Ouest » Greenpeace mène une opération de repérage de pêche illégale dans les eaux des pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Les chinois sont bien présents (lire la suite)

« Lutter contre l’apatridie » en Afrique de l’Ouest. Être apatride, soit sans nationalité, a beaucoup de répercussions sur la stabilité des pays et la vie quotidienne des personnes concernées (lire la suite)

 Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

 « 82 jeunes nigérianes libérées par Boko Haram » Ces jeunes filles ont été rendues à la liberté, mais cela fait trois ans qu’elles avaient été enlevées. Retour difficile à une vie normale (lire la suite)

« Mauritanie et CEDEAO » La Mauritanie, qui a quitté la Cédéao en 2000, semble s’en rapprocher de nouveau même s’il n’est pas question de réintégrer l’organisation régionale pour le moment (lire la suite)
« Lutter contre le terrorisme en Afrique de l’Ouest » tout particulièrement au Mali, au Tchad et au Niger (lire la suite)

« Comment va le Burkina ? » des informations très détaillées et plutôt optimistes prises sur le site de Jeune Afrique (lire la suite)

Miracle money, talk-time, touch: My foot!


Mirical MoneyGENDER FOCUS with EMELDA MWITWA

Zambia Daily Mail Limited May 4, 2017

A PASTOR was arrested in Chisamba district recently for defiling five girls, two of them his own flesh and blood. The 49-year-old repeatedly had carnal knowledge of the girls aged between 10 and 14. Call him a masquerader who has been disowned by his church, but my concern is on ‘unsuspecting’ women and girls falling in the sexual trap of dishonest clerics. This is just one of the many cases where some of our clerics have made news for the wrong reasons. Women have been the worst victims, but now, we have seen girls also falling prey to dishonest ministers of the gospel.

What makes women and girl children easily fooled than their male counterparts is that the former are normally driven by desperation to do things that are unbiblical at the command of the preacher. As far as some women are concerned, anyone who comes in the name of God is infallible. If he is able to quote a few scriptures and claim to be operating under prophetic power, they will do anything he asks them.

And the men and women who are cheating people in the name of God have seen how people nowadays hunger not for righteousness or service for God, but the gifts and blessings.

People want quick money, miracle talk-time, miracle jobs, supernatural promotions and anything that comes miraculously, regardless of the fashion in which it comes.

In an ideal world, the Church should teach their members to work hard to earn money, but now, the prophets are encouraging laziness among their followers because their miracles allegedly come instantly.

Young girls and boys should be encouraged to study and have future ambitious of what they want to do when they complete school.

Children should know that education presents a myriad of opportunities for them to have a better future and also contribute to socio-economic development.

 And of course, with the Lord helping them, they will pass examinations if they study and will be able to achieve whatever they want in life.

The Bible does not say Christians should get things on a silver platter; they too need to earn their bread by hard work. According to the Bible in Proverbs 10:4 ‘A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich,”, whereas 2 Thesalonnians 3:10 says ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’

These are among, the many scriptures that teach us to work hard, so where this spirit of people flocking to church to with folded hands to get miracles is coming from, no one knows. Even Jesus Christ the son of God was a carpenter before he went into full- time ministry. To me, this teaches us to work hard for what we desire, and then we can pray to God to bless the work of our hands, according to Deuteronomy 15:10.

So adults should model hard work to the children so that they are not cheated, and eventually sexually molested by people who twist the word of God for personal gain.

Believe you me, women and girls who are being cheated by unscrupulous clerics are not grounded in the word of God.

And because of the unique needs of women for such things as attention from their husbands, the desire to meet Mr Right and the need to conceive, they allow these people to abuse them. Some women allow the so called clerics to touch them inappropriately during ‘prayers’ without raising alarm. Ideally, the Bible should serve as a model of how we ought to pray, how we need to conduct ourselves during fellowship and how we should to relate with the clergy or opposite sex.

But when things get to a point where a woman makes a complaint of sexual assault or rape allegedly occasioned by a pastor, one wonders how the cleric was allowed to stray in that area. Not to say that the cleric can’t drift away, but before anyone who comes in the name of God goes that far, there must have been some danger lights flickering. But most women choose to ignore danger signs and hence finding themselves alone in secluded places with the prophet or at the mountains for deliverance.  Any woman in right frame of mind should raise alarm when the prophet starts making funny suggestions like ‘let’s go to the mountains for prayer’ or ‘I need to sleep with you to exorcise the spirit of bareness.’

Surprisingly, some women make it a habit go to the prophet’s house and entering private rooms for prayers or counselling. And sometimes, this cleric will be alone at home though knowing fully well that he has an appointment with a certain woman or girl.       

And why should the clergy of the opposite sex give you private counsel on ‘sensitive’ matters behind closed doors?

Obviously, some bedroom issues will require the clergy to provide counsel in the presence of his spouse, and if possible, the counselee should also be accompanied by their partner.

Emotional attachments development due to carelessness between the counselee and the counsellor. Our girl children are now falling prey because they see their mothers, sisters and aunties going to all lengths to please the ‘prophets’.

How come, it’s only the girl children who are on record of being abused by clerics of questionable character? I believe they have seen women flocking to these places, probably they have accompanied their mothers before.

Some mothers even put their young daughters on ‘special prayer’ programmes at the prophet’s house.

It’s unbelievable that in this era when girl children are at worst vulnerable to sexual abuse, that a mother should send her daughter unaccompanied for a series of prayers.

If need be, there is nothing wrong with young girls going for ‘special prayers’ but they need to be accompanied by adults to protect them from the ongoing abuse of children.  

Apart from that, mothers and fathers alike need to educate their children about the wolves in sheep skin that are going about cheating people.

Girls should be told that no man should touch them inappropriately even if he claims to be a servant of God. They also need to know that a true servant of God will not take them to a secluded place for prayers. Come on women, let’s guide our girl children properly so that they are not misled and abused.

emeldashonga@yahoo.com/eshonga@daily-mail.co.zm

Mirical Money newspaper form

Miracle money

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 2 mai 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

« Pâques 2017 à Kaya » le récit et quelques photos des célébrations, grâce à un message reçu du curé de la paroisse de Kaya (lire la suite).

« La perpétuité pour Hissène Habré », confirmation du jugement porté en 2016 contre l’ancien chef d’état du Tchad (lire la suite).

« Procès Blaise Compaoré » qui a été reculé et doit avoir lieu le 4 mai 2017, après un long temps de tranquillité pour l’ancien chef d’état (lire la suite).

Témoignages 

« Mission à Marseille », un texte du Père Michel Ouedraogo, originaire du Burkina et à Marseille depuis deux années (lire la suite).

« Projet école primaire bilingue » un article paru sur le site abcburkina.net, qui est en même temps un appel à participer à ce projet (lire la suite).

« Récompense Unesco pour le graffiti » une femme et un homme récompensés pour leur engagement qui se traduit visuellement (lire la suite).

Dialogue interreligieux

« Les nouveaux acteurs de l’Islam », la recension d’un livre de Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner,  parue sur le site de l’ARCRE (lire la suite).

« Mai, calendrier interreligieux » lui aussi paru sur le site de l’ARCRE (lire la suite)

Justice et Paix

« 1er mai en Afrique », l’histoire du syndicalisme en Afrique francophone, sur le site de Radio France Internationale (lire la suite).

« Esclavage en Mauritanie » les Harratines réclament la fin des discriminations dont ils s’estiment toujours victimes, car la situation serait encore bien inégalitaire (lire la suite).

« Éducation secondaire gratuite ? ». Ceci est un projet qui va peut-être voir le jour au Ghana et qui changerait la vie de beaucoup de jeunes (lire la suite).

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« 20 terroristes arrêtés au Mali ». L’armée française annonce avoir « neutralisé » samedi 29 avril près d’une vingtaine de « terroristes » au cours d’une opération de la force Barkhane à la frontière entre le Mali et le Burkina Faso (lire la suite).

« Manifestation à Ouagadougou », premier grand rassemblement de l’opposition depuis l’accession au pouvoir de Rock Marc Christian Kabore (lire la suite).

« Nigéria, un émir soupçonné de corruption » mais ses partisans pensent qu’il est visé à cause de ses projets de réformes sociales (lire la suite).

Challenges for rural substance farmers in Zambia.


By Douglas Ogato, M.AfrDouglas-Ogato-2014

While travelling along the Great North Road in Serenje area, I came across a number of women and children by the roadside selling big and cute looking sweet potatoes. For a distance stretching about 15 kilometers, there were about 10 groups of them at different points airing their commodity for sale. One group of sellers after another kept on waving at moving cars begging them to stop. It became blatant to me that those sellers shared the same serious challenge; lack of market.

sweet potatoes copieMy mind and heart got immersed in the daily lives of these people. As I did so, I took a mental flight to the month of October when they were toiling on their farms under the scorching sun to plant sweet potatoes. While working, their hearts must have been full of vigor and hope for the future. They must have hoped for bumper harvest; enough for household use and for fetching some income for the family. At the end of my mental flight, I landed at their present lives. These women and children virtually spend their whole day by the roadside. At the wee hours of dawn, women are already by the roadside hoping to catch up with a generous motorist. And as the day goes by, their children come to join them. This explains why one always sees children accompanying these women selling by roadside. It has become their life; they cook lunch and supper from there. They only go home late at night to lay their heads. During school days, it must be very difficult for schooling children as they won’t have time to do their homework from home, perhaps they do it by the roadside.

As I kept on reflecting on my mental flight and its eventual landing, I made a decision that on my way back to the parish I will stop by one of this “stop and buy roadside markets” not to extend a hand of solidarity. As I parked my car, they all rushed to me with a bucket of sweet potatoes. And no sooner had I came out of the car than they began one by one promoting their commodities. For the few minutes, I realized that, due to lack of market for their produce, they end up disposing them at a throw away price.

As I drove back home, I kept on thinking about these hardworking women of Serenje who tirelessly work hard to break the chains of poverty. May Saint Joseph, the hardworking worker and patron of all workers, intercede for them and all those in similar conundrums!

Statement on the Current Political Situation in Zambia, T-G Mpundu, PRESIDENT – ZAMBIA CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS (ZCCB)


IF YOU WANT PEACE, WORK FOR JUSTICE (Paul VI)

“Let Justice flow, … down like a river that never dries …” (Amos 5:24)

Statement on the Current Political Situation in Zambia

ZCCB LOGO copieTo all Catholic faithful and all people of good will in Zambia.

This is Easter Tide when we celebrate the great feast of Easter till the feast of Pentecost. My greeting to you is in the words of St. Paul: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 1:3; 2 Cor 1:2; Gal 1:2-3; and Ephesians 1:2).

PREAMBLE

  1. As Shepherds of the Church, it is our honour, privilege and duty to teach and guide the faithful through instructing them in matters of faith and morals. It is also our duty to enlighten them concerning the issues confronting them in their daily lives in the light of our faith and the teaching of the Church as the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) so succinctly put and expressed it: The joys and hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.[1]
  2. The Prophet Jeremiah reminds us in Chapter 22 verse 16 that we cannot claim to know God if we fail to respond to and confront the injustices in our society because to know God means to do justiceand to do justice is to know God.” Therefore, knowing God cannot be separated from doing justice and from what we do or omit to do to our neighbour. Consequently, people who inflict pain and suffering to their fellow human beings cannot claim to know God, let alone be “Christian!
  3. The unfortunate incident that happened in Mongu during the Kuomboka ceremony has since been followed by the arrest and detention of Mr. Hakainde Hichilema followed by the slapping of a treason charge on him. We do not in any way condone illegality. We nevertheless deplore the massive, disproportionate and entirely unnecessary force with which the Police acted in apprehending him. Would it not have been much more civilised and professional to deliver a summons to him containing a charge and ordering him to appear before the police to answer charges of alleged law breaking? The brutal way in which the Police acted has only served to heighten the already considerable tension in the nation particularly between supporters of the UPND and PF. The peace that we wish for you and the nation at large in the words of St. Paul is not mere absence of war or strife. Peace means harmony, understanding, respect for and acceptance of others, respect for and even defence of divergence of opinion, wishing others well no matter who they are and what they do for a living. This peace comes from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ. This peace right now is in short supply in our nation. Why?
  4. The continuous tension between the UPND and PF has affected the lives of many other citizens in the country who are living in fear and are not going about their business of life freely. We as Shepherds of the Catholic Church in our country are deeply saddened by the incidents of unprofessional and brutal conduct of the Police Service, the damage to the innocent citizens’ property by suspected cadres, the arbitrary arrests of and horrific torture of suspects as well as the careless, inflammatory and divisive statements of our political leaders. All these are indications that our democratic culture is yet to be firmly planted, nurtured and promoted to enhance the respect for human dignity and rights. Our democratic credentials which have not been much to go by at best of times have all but vanished in this nation that loudly claims to be “God-fearing,” “peace-loving” and “Christian.”
  5. It is our considered view that as a nation, we have lamentably failed to robustly address a number of recurrent snags including those that stem from our previous elections. The current political predicament directly flows from deep-rooted problems we have failed to fix or resolve, notwithstanding four constitutional commissions of inquiry. As we have stated before, “The political environment in Zambia, today, is characterised by manipulation, patronage and intimidation of perceived government opponents. We urge the government to stop using state security institutions to intimidate its own nationals. The police service in particular must be professional and impartial in carrying out their duties of maintaining law and order. Too many of the nation’s resources and time are wasted on politicking at the expense of real development. This culture must change for the better.”[2]
  6. Ideally, the period immediately after such a divisive election as was held in August 2016, our political leaders should have embarked upon a programme of national reconciliation, building and fostering dialogue by keeping old channels in good repair and creating new ones more suited to the new situation. Unfortunately, the Judiciary, the arm of government responsible for adjudicating between individuals and between institutions and delivering justice did not do much, if anything, to engender a mutually acceptable solution.
  7. We are also convinced that the big part of the problem is that politics in Zambia are still reeling in the hangover from the pre-independence political struggle for independence which was reinforced in the One-Party-State. This hangover derives from the wrong perception that political competition is aimed at annihilating or totally silencing political opponents at all costs and by all means available! This is the root cause of intra and interparty intolerance and violence. However, a democratic dispensation that cherishes the parliamentary democracy we would like to build and consolidate demands respect for divergent views and for the rights of individuals and political parties to organise, associate and assemble without any undue restrictions and intimidation. We are again disappointed when we review the events that marked the run up to the August 2016 elections. The democratic principles we have come to know have been violated left, right and centre so that instead of going forward and consolidating our still fragile democracy, we are retrogressing and not so slowly! The political party in power is in the driving seat of the political game on the political field.

We therefore demand from the government of the day to put in place concrete measures to reverse this worrying and dangerous trend.

OUR HOPES AND CONCERNS FOR 2017

Political Situation

  1. We applaud and praise those Zambians on the political playing field who, in spite of all sorts of provocation, are committed to peaceful means of doing politics and refrain from any violence, verbal or physical. These are the people who give us and the nation hope of holding on to a functional democracy in a multiparty scenario where there is more than ample room for citizens’ participation through organised groups although there is tremendous pressure to the contrary. Such people are martyrs of true democracy and must be emulated.
  2. We decry the bad habit which political parties in power assume immediately they make a government of using the Police Service to settle political scores and prevent their political rivals from organising, campaigning and therefore selling their vision of the country and nation to the electorate. It is the same story from one administration to the other and the present government is no exception, if not one of the best examples of the misdeed just mentioned! As a result of brutalising the people through the Police Service, the general public is reduced to fear so that the order of the day is corruption and misuse of public funds. Anyone who criticises the government for wrong doing is sure to have the police unleashed on him or her.
  3. We have always been concerned about the selective application of the Public Order Act by the Police. It is quite disgraceful that a quarter of a century after the return to plural politics and more than half a century of political independence from Great Britain, our governments which we put into power through our votes use the Public Order Act to oppress political opponents and prevent them from organising and assembling together political rallies and to openly express themselves instead of protecting the rights and liberties of the very people who put them into power. Paradoxically, each political party in opposition goes through the biased use of this notorious Act but once in power, they find it so useful that they do nothing to modify or repeal it. Disgraceful indeed! We hope and pray that this law will be revised and if not, then the Police Service must be required to apply it professionally and without targeting opposition political parties only.

The Judiciary

  1. It is an open secret that the Judiciary have let the country down by failing to stand up to political manipulation and corruption. How can one explain the failure of the Constitutional Court to hear and exhaustively conclude a presidential petition? We reiterate what we said before: “For some time now, there has been a persistent discourse on the state of the judiciary in Zambia with respect to its independence and impartiality. This situation has undermined public confidence in this institution. There is need to restore confidence in this important arm of Government. There are also many unresolved questions of public interest that have been left hanging and unanswered by the Executive.”[3] Where is the Judiciary to call the Executive to attention?
  2. We also strongly denounce attacks on the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and the government’s plans to undermine it. We believe that given optimum conditions, LAZ could play its rightful role as one of the most effective checks and balances in a true democratic dispensation. The plans to kill LAZ are discreditable and we hope and pray they will fail. Together with the Judiciary, LAZ is the last defence of citizens particularly in respect of excesses by the Executive.

A Police Service or Police Force?

  1. What a pity that all the efforts and financial resources our government and the donor community spent to reform the Police from a British South Africa Company and British Colonial Administration Police Force to a modern one of being a Police Service have paid little, if any dividends at all. It is sad to see the police being used and acting like political party cadres. Police officers are supposed to and must be exemplary in following the rule of law since they are in-charge of keeping law and order. We strongly appeal to the Police Service Personnel to be professional in their conduct, impartial and scrupulously fair in the manner that ensures and is seen to ensure that citizens’ rights are respected, protected and not violated. We call upon the government to depoliticise the Police Service forthwith and leave them to do a professional job they have been trained for. Almost immediately after independence, the politicians took over the Police Service as they told them whom to arrest and prosecute and who not to touch!

Culture of Silence

  1. There is fear and trembling among the people shown in the way they are afraid to speak out against injustices. This is due to several actions by government which were meant to instil fear into and intimidate the masses. One does not need to belong to a political party in order for him or her to speak out on the misdeeds happening in the nation. Furthermore, we are witnesses to what transpired during the run-up to the August 2016 general elections when several media houses were harassed and finally closed. The recent happenings were not reported by several media houses because of the heavy presence of the Police. Our country is now all, except in designation, a dictatorship and if it is not yet, then we are not far from it. Our political leaders in the ruling party often issue intimidating statements that frighten people and make us fear for the immediate and future. This must be stopped and reversed henceforth.

Call for Genuine Dialogue and Reconciliation

  1. As hinted earlier on, the process of national healing and reconciliation after last year’s election should have been priority number one for the government as the institution in the driving seat. Unfortunately, the Executive missed this chance. It has been opined that the Church Mother Bodies should have continued their arbitration role as evinced by the Holy Cross Cathedral Meeting before Easter last Year. That initiative was taken on the appeal to ZEC (ZCCB) of the President on 12th March 2016 on the occasion of the ordination of Bishop Justin Mulenga of Mpika Diocese. The Church Mother Bodies did their best but immediately after the meeting, the resolutions which had been taken and agreed to by the participating political party leaders were broken particularly by the ruling party. The Church Mother Bodies were not allowed to succeed! We believe strongly that now that the political party in power because it is now in a strong position and has nothing to fear by way of electoral defeat must be in the driving seat. The Church Mother Bodies, if called upon, are ready to come along.
  2. The politicians especially those in the ruling party must realise that the nation they are governing is deeply divided between those who voted for UPND and those who voted for PF in the last elections. Let the politicians of both parties take it from us since we always have our ears close to the ground that our country now stands on the edge. It is no use playing an ostrich game by burying our heads in the sand thinking that the storm will pass away. It will not, at least not before it has done great harm to this nation. The use of force and intimidation are not the solution whatsoever. Only genuine and sincere dialogue aimed at national reconciliation is the long-term solution. This reconciliation must be firmly rooted in the Christian values of Truth, Forgiveness, Peace, Unity, Social Justice and Freedom. Let us learn to burry our immediate past and rise again to new life.
  3. To the Church and other Religious Leaders, we appeal to them to be instruments of peace, reconciliation and unity. They must urge the entire membership of their flocks to be collectively and individually channels of peace and reconciliation thereby living to our Lord’s call to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Shepherds and the faithful together must be committed to preaching messages of peace, reconciliation and love in word and in deed. Our nation is much larger and transcends our present and future individual or collective political fortunes.

Issued and signed on 23rd April 2017 (Divine Mercy Sunday)

Mpundu signature

 

 

 

T-G Mpundu

Archbishop of Lusaka

PRESIDENT – ZAMBIA CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS (ZCCB)

[1] Vatican II Documents, Gaudium et Spes – Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, #1.

[2] Cf. Pastoral Statement of the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC), Issued on Thursday, 23rd January 2015, #5.1

[3] Cf. Act Justly and Walk Humbly with your God, A Pastoral Statement of the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC), Issued on 27th January 2013, #8.  

IF YOU WANT PEACE, WORK FOR JUSTICE – pastoral letter Mpundu April 2017

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 19 avril 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

« Nouveau provincial d’Europe » en la personne du père Gérard Chabanon, qui a déjà eu de nombreuses responsabilités chez les Pères Blancs (lire la suite).

« Que devient le franc CFA ? » des nouvelles prises sur ‘Jeune Afrique’ et qui remettent les choses à leur place (lire la suite).

« Nouvel évêque de Laghouat-Ghardaia » des nouvelles déjà connues sur ce sujet, mais quelques précisions intéressantes (lire la suite).

Témoignages 

« Une femme se déradicalise » la recension d’un livre écrit par Laura Passioni, où elle raconte son évolution, son parcours en faveur de Daesh, et l’abandon de cet engagement (lire la suite).

« Décès du Père Francisco Hellin », le 14 avril en Espagne, à l’âge de 78 ans dont 50 ans de mission, au Burkina, au Mali et en Espagne (lire la suite).

« 70 ans de serment missionnaire » pour le père Jean Fisset, présentement à Bry sur Marne, et qui a vécu la mission en Algérie (lire la suite).

« Les M.Afr africains bien présents en France » leurs noms sont donnés, ainsi que leurs engagements en communauté ou en paroisse (lire la suite).

Dialogue interreligieux

« Le pape en Égypte » il y a 17 ans que Jean Paul II y était allé, en février 2000. Suite à l’attaque terroriste contre les églises coptes, ce déplacement est d’autant plus significatif (lire la suite)

« Journée mariale islamo-chrétienne » qui se passera à Alger, le 29 avril prochain, sur le thème ‘Écologie et spiritualité’ (lire la suite).

« Dialogue islamo chrétien au Sénégal » où il n’y a que 5% de chrétiens, ce qui n’empêche que la Pâque sera célébrée par tous (lire la suite).

Justice et Paix

« Côte d’Ivoire, procès en cours », suite aux attaques à l’hôtel Novotel d’Abidjan, 5 militaires risquent la prison à vie (lire la suite).

« Jugement à venir pour Blaise Compaoré ». Même si ce dernier est toujours en Côte d’Ivoire, la Haute cour de justice du Burkina a annoncé que l’ancien président et les ministres de son gouvernement seront jugés à partir du 27 avril (lire la suite).

« Dialogue entre l’état et les étudiants au Niger ? » le chef de l’État, le président Issoufou, a rencontré les dirigeants des étudiants mécontents (lire la suite).

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Nouveau gouvernement au Mali » Le nouveau premier ministre Abdoullaye Idrissa Maïga a rendu publique le 11 avril la liste des membres du nouveau gouvernement malien (lire la suite).

« Famine en Afrique » Le nombre de morts provoqués par la famine en Afrique s’accroît de plus en plus. Il faut une aide urgente. La guerre est un facteur déterminant de cette situation (lire la suite)

« Financer les entrepreneurs au Burkina ». L’exécutif burkinabè a décidé de fournir des fonds à ceux qui veulent se lancer. La somme prévue est de deux milliards CFA par an sur 5 ans (lire la suite).

« Fin de grève dans la santé au Mali » Le mot d’ordre de grève est levé, parce que nous avons obtenu satisfaction, a déclaré secrétaire général adjoint du Syndicat national de la Santé (lire la suite).

Justice and Peace Statement on Stay Away (7th April 2017)


Catholic Arch of Johannesburg logoThere seems to be a stigma of challenging and critiquing an elderly person or any hierarchical authority in the African context. This could be due to a cultural background within which the respect of an elderly person or hierarchical authority is instilled in one’s mind at a very young age of one’s upbringing.

The area of concern with such a stigma is, serious erroneous decisions may certainly be made by an elderly person in the society or by any hierarchical authority, should that happens, how could the society convey a message of concern to any hierarchical authority so that any erroneous decision which cripple the society/country could be reconsidered or rather reversed.

In the political arena, mass protest is one of the means which the society uses to express its grievances to the government. The mass protest in itself as a means of the society voicing its concerns to the government with the expectation of being heard is not a bad gesture. Unfortunately, such a gesture often comes with a pack of a double aged disastrous outcome.

On one hand, the disastrous action may come from the protesting group who may end up showing its anger by burning hospitals, schools and university computer labs.  Such a gesture is certainly to be condemned through and through for it brings no human transformation to the society but rather cripples the society from bad to worse. Furthermore, we urge the leaders to refrain from using violent language which insinuate public violence.

On the second hand even if the mass protest is done peacefully, unnecessary shootings which claim the lives of people may follow as the outcome. Such a gesture is also to be equally condemned.

The country is now faced with a very crucial moment whereby Friday the 7th of April South Africa is encouraged to shut down as a means of communicating a serious message to the government. The Catholic Church in Johannesburg (Justice and Peace) urges a peaceful demonstration or stay away whereby people express their concerns to the government without causing any calamitous way which destroys the country’s environment, people’s lives and property.

The Catholic Justice and Peace Department of Johannesburg urges the South African government that it hears the massive cry and concerns of the people; discern these concerns and ultimately come up with decisions which transform the country.

Issued by Episcopal Vicar of Justice and Peace Department of Archdiocese of Johannesburg

Fr. Innocent Mabheka scj

http://www.catholicjhb.org.za/departments/justice-and-peace/

Honorary Doctorate Degree in Culture and Social Anthropology awarded to Father Claude Boucher, M.Afr


Philip MerabaGreat Works Attract Great Admiration and Recognition.

By Philip Meraba, M.Afr.

Our Confrere, Fr. Claude Boucher, founder of the popular Kungoni Centre for Culture and Arts under Mua Mission in Malawi, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Culture and Social Anthropology by the Malawi Campus of the United Kingdom based Share-World University in 2014 during a colourful graduation ceremony.

Mzuzu a dHistory repeated itself this year when on the 24th of March 2017, Fr. Claude Boucher, M.Afr, received his 2nd Honorary Doctorate Degree in the same discipline by the University of Mzuzu at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi. The 18th Congregation (graduation ceremony) of the Mzuzu University that lasted for four hours drew thousands of people from various part of the country. 851 graduated with Diplomas, first Degrees, Masters and P. HD in different fields.

Fr. Claude Boucher was honoured alongside two other hardworking and exemplary Malawians; Mr. Napoleon Dzombe with Doctorate in Entrepreneurship (Honoris Causa) and Mr. Felix Mlusu with Doctorate in Business Leadership (Honoris Causa).

Mzuzu 3b

The enriching heroic profile of our confrere about 40 years of intensive research in the Malawian Culture and languages attracted a lot of applause from the crowds and feeling of amazement and curiosity at the same time as the whole hall stood up to catch the glimpse of this unique cultural Priest not confined   in the sacristy. Mrs. Mercy Kaunda Chinula who read out the biography and presented him afterwards to the Vice-Chancellor of the Mzuzu University, Dr. Robert G. Ridley to confer on our confrere the award stressed that Fr. Claude Boucher well deserved the merit because of his love and respect for Malawi, her citizens, culture and languages, combined with the tireless research on blending culture with religion. This was an encouragement and a challenge to the newly graduates not to excel only in academics but to prove efficient in the field, putting into best the knowledge acquired during long years of intellectual formation and contribute their quota for the growth of the Nation. ‘‘Hard work pays, therefore, graduates of today, work hard and the society shall admire, recognize and honour you like Fr. Dr. Claude Boucher’’, said one of the organizers.

The ceremony was climaxed by interviews on different topics patterning to culture with the new Doctor of Culture and Anthropology. Fr. Claude recurred and narrated to his confrere who represented the White Fathers at the function when many years back he was requested by his Superiors to pursue further a Doctorate Degree in Culture and Social Anthropology after obtaining his M.A. and his reply was, he shall do the Doctorate in the field. This is a dream come true, with two Doctorates in the field. Big congrats Dr. Dr. or Dr² Claude!

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First edition of Mansa Diocese Roundup for the year 2017, Zambia.


Mansa Roundup Newsletter Vol. 3 Issue 1 No. 21 logoBy Rt. Rev. Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv., Bishop of Mansa Diocese

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as the Year 2017 Unfolds, I present to you this first edition of Mansa Roundup for the year 2017: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Pastoral Theme that is accompanying our programs this year is: Ba Minshioni ba Lelo Nifwe (We are the Missionaries of Today). This is inspired by the ongoing commemoration, of 125 years, since the arrival of the first Catholic Missionaries into the present day Zambia, and 116 into today’s Mansa Diocese.

On the national level, this Jubilee was inaugurated, on 6th August 2006, at Mambwe Mwela in Mbala District, the very site of first settlement by the pioneer White Fathers (1891). The celebrations will conclude, on 15th July 2017, with the solemn celebration of the Eucharist in Lusaka.

Locally, in Mansa Diocese, the celebrations were launched on 2nd October 2016 at Santa Maria wa Mwelu, near Chibote Mission, where the first missionaries settled in 1900 and intended to establish the first Catholic mission in the Luapula region. The ruins and bricks of the house for priests are still intact up to date – a living sign of the continued sacredness of this site. To this very place we are returning on 7th October for the diocesan solemn closure of this year of celebrating the arrival and works of the pioneer missionaries. This would also be the fitting occasion to consecrate this holy site as a Diocesan Marian Shrine, dedicated to the Queen of Missionaries. Let us all work together towards the success of these events, for Ba Minshioni ba Lelo Nifwe.

Patrick Chisanga, OFM ConvThe beginning of this year has been crowned with significant events in the life of our Diocese and the realization of its Vision. It was very remarkable, for instance, that the very first procession into the Cathedral, for the New Year Eucharistic celebration, was led by a person with special needs who carried the processional cross and served during Mass. Our dear friend, Billy Beddor, who was born with Down Syndrome 51 years ago, came all the way from the US with his sister Sandy and sister-in-law, Coleen, together with Amy Hewitt and her team from the University of Minnesota.

The training they conducted regarding people with disabilities was a great step towards the realization of our Vision of “A Diocese that Embraces Everyone with Christ’s Love.” To this effect, I call upon every parish and diocesan institution to put in place deliberate policies that fosters love, respect and inclusion of people with disabilities.

Another significant blessing at the beginning of this year (5th January) was the Government’s handover of Kabunda Girls Secondary School as a Catholic Mission School with Grand-Aided status. This followed the arrival of the Dominican Sisters in the Diocese (4th January) who have since been entrusted with management of the institution, which on 24th February was re-dedicated as Holy Trinity Girls Secondary School during the solemn Eucharistic celebration. Welcome to Mansa dear Sisters and thank you for taking up the challenge. The needs of this school are immense; let us all contribute to its rebuilding.

A hearty welcome also to members of other religious institutes who have recently come on board to contribute to our mission of giving life in abundance to God’s flock (John 10:10). I thank in particular the superiors of the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate (LSMI), the Franciscan Missionaries of Divine Motherhood (FMDM), the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters), the Sisters of St Joseph (Soeurs de Sant Joseph Auxiliatrice de L’Eglise) and our own Sisters of Mercy for the personnel they have made available to serve in the various apostolates of the Diocese in the recent past. Furthermore, I welcome the many lay faithful who have come to our Diocese and are already fully involved in the life of their respective new parishes.

Events such as the foregoing are a source of great hope for our Diocese despite the many challenges we face, especially those arising from the economic crisis that have always haunted our region of Luapula. Let us be united and fight this dehumanising evil of poverty. Let us also demand positive action from all our leaders, especially those appointed to high portfolios of central Government who tend to forget their roots. There shall be no excuse for them not to make a difference.

As the year 2017 unfolds, I invite everyone to pay heed to the Lord’s command, which we have also adopted as the theme for our Diocesan Strategic Plan 2016-2021, to “Let Down the Nets for a Catch” (Luke 5:4). All departments and individuals must strive to implement the strategic goals that pertain to them. Let us be true missionaries of today who pledge not to betray the great sacrifice and works of the pioneer missionaries.

May God bless all our readers of Mansa Roundup. Thank you for your constructive feedback and every support. Have a fruitful Lenten Season.

Click here to open the PDF file of this magazine.

 

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 07 mars 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

« Rencontres littéraires de Niamey 2017 » qui auront lieu au Niger du 20-26 mars 2017. Événement littéraire majeur de la sous-région, ces rencontres ont pour ambition de provoquer la rencontre du grand public avec des auteurs nigériens et des pays voisins (lire la suite)

« Décès du père Joseph-Roger de Benoist » le 15 février à Bry-sur-Marne. Il travailla entre autres au Sénégal, Mali, Bénin, Burkina Faso. (lire la suite)

« FESPACO 2017 » des textes et images parues sur le site de Radio-France-Internationale le 4 mars 2017 (lire la suite)

« Palmarès du Fespaco », informations prises elles aussi sur le site de RFI le 5 mars 2017 (lire la suite)

Témoignages 

« Communauté de Toulouse en France ». L’installation du nouveau curé a été l’occasion de vivre une célébration multiculturelle très appréciée. (lire la suite)

« Message du Pape pour le carême » Le pape y médite sur la parabole du riche et de Lazare, mettant en garde contre l’attachement à l’argent et encourageant à « une conversion sincère » (lire la suite)

« Un jésuite israélien témoigne » dans un ouvrage hétéroclite et foisonnant, le jésuite israélien autour des thèmes qui lui sont chers, notamment la théologie de la Terre sainte et le dialogue interreligieux au Proche-Orient. (lire la suite)

Dialogue interreligieux

« Décès du père Claude Geffré » Si ce prêtre dominicain décédé à l’âge de 90 ans était expert en herméneutique biblique, le pluralisme religieux était également l’un de ses domaines de recherche et de réflexion (lire la suite)

« Que disent les musulmans de Jésus », la recension d’un livre ou Douze Musulmans parlent de Jésus, sous la direction de Fawzia Zouari (lire la suite)

« Karima Berger écrivaine franco-algérienne » et préside l’association « Écritures et spiritualités » a organisé le 4 mars, à Paris, un salon du livre ouvert aux auteurs s’inspirant des grandes traditions spirituelles (lire la suite)

Justice et Paix

« Alep se relève malgré la guerre » le témoignage de Andrea Avveduto le 31 janvier 2017, suite à sa rencontre avec le frère Ibrahim Alsabagh, curé dans une paroisse d’Alep depuis octobre 2014 (lire la suite)

« Meilleures relations entre Burkina et Côte d’Ivoire » La venue du président Ivoirien à la clôture du Fespaco n’est pas anodine et  semble bien signifier une amélioration des relations entre les deux pays (lire la suite)

« Se mobiliser contre l’insécurité », c’est ce que font des peuls du Mali, du Burkina et du Niger (lire la suite)

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Au Burkina, émotion et colère des enseignants » après la tuerie dans le Soum, le double assassinat du directeur d’école et d’un habitant à Karfayel (lire la suite)

« L’ONU contre Boko Haram » les diplomates ONUSIENS se sont rendus à Ndjamena puis à Niamey pour faire le point de la situation (lire la suite)

« L’opposition manifeste au Niger » pour réclamer plus de transparence dans la gestion des ressources du pays (lire la suite)

« Lutte contre le terrorisme au Mali » les premières patrouilles mixtes entre soldats maliens, groupes armés pro-gouvernementaux et ex-rebelles relancent timidement les espoirs de paix dans le nord du Mali (lire la suite)

We celebrate our 150th Anniversary!


A short history.

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

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

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

Our commitments over the years.

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

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

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

And the mission goes on…

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

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

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

With God’s blessings.

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

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 21 février 2017


Mafrwestafrica logoAujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site http://www.mafrwestafrica.net.

Actualités

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

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

Témoignages 

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

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

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

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

Dialogue interreligieux

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

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

Justice et Paix

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

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

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

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

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

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

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

Religious Extremism and Violence in Tanzania


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 02 février 2017


Mafrwestafrica logoAujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site http://www.mafrwestafrica.net.

Actualités

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

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

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

Témoignages 

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

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

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

Dialogue interreligieux

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

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

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

Justice et Paix

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

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

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

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

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

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

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

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

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

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