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


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.


« 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)


« 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.


« 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)


« 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.


« 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).


« 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).

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

Social Commentary by Venerato Babaine, M.Afr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 19 janvier 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.

Tout d’abord, une information intéressante : au 7 Janvier 2017 : Nous étions 1222 Missionnaires d’Afrique Moyenne d’âge 68 ans


« Sommet Afrique-France au Mali » deux parties dans cet article, l’annonce du sommet le 11 janvier, son évaluation le 15 janvier

« Burkina Faso, diverses actualités » : remaniement politique en vue, la venue proche du FESPACO, et des craintes de terrorisme (lire la suite)

« Soutien au président du Niger » allusion à la manifestation du 21 décembre, et à celle prévue pour le 13 janvier (lire la suite)

« Accord en Côte d’Ivoire » entre les mutins et le gouvernement : discussions plus complexes que prévues mais fructueuses (lire la suite)


« L’islam des tribus » un livre de Jacqueline Chabbi, des pages assez denses mais abordables pour tout lecteur intéressé par l’Islam et l’interreligieux (lire la suite)

« Le Père Chabanon écrit de l’Ouganda » notre confrère nous en envoie régulièrement et nous lui en sommes reconnaissants (lire la suite)

« Opérateurs pastoraux tués en 2016 » un texte pris sur le site de l’agence Fides du Vatican : 28 personnes tuées (lire la suite)

 Dialogue interreligieux

« Prière pour l’unité des chrétiens du 18 au 25 janvier » comme chaque année, avec le texte du pape à ce propos (lire la suite)

« Valorisation de la raison » sur le site de “Saphir News” (texte du 26 décembre 2016) – (lire la suite)
« Eduquer à la modération en religion » un article de Bénédicte Lutaud paru dans le Monde des religions du 22 décembre 2016 (lire la suite)

 Justice et Paix

 « Politique africaine de Barack Obama » les africains reprochent à Obama de ne s’être pas assez impliqué envers l’Afrique, mais les choses ne sont pas si simples qu’elles peuvent paraître (lire la suite)

« Qu’est-ce que le e-CFA ? » Le Sénégal sera le premier pays en Afrique de l’ouest à expérimenter le e-CFA. Servant ainsi de point zéro, si l’expérience est concluante, la monnaie sera étendue dans toute l’Afrique de l’ouest. (lire la suite)

« Journée mondiale des migrants et réfugiés (Pape François) » ce texte du pape insiste fortement sur les migrants mineurs (lire la suite)

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Nouveau gouvernement en Côte d’Ivoire » réélection de Guillaume Soro, avec quelques changement malgré tout (lire la suite)

« La situation au Congo (RDC) » nous consacrons pour une fois une page à ce pays d’Afrique Centrale où la situation est loin d’être simple (lire la suite)

« Yacouba Izaac Zida rayé des forces armées du Burkina » suite à sa fuite au Canada et à son refus de rejoindre son pays (lire la suite)

Editorial of Bishop Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv.; “Ba Mishioni ba Lelo, Nifwe”.

Note from the webmaster of SAP Blog: We are pleased to share with you the editorial of Bishop Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv. of Mansa Diocese published recently in their magazine. A special mention was given to the first missionaries who came to Zambia at Mambwe Mwela in 1891 as the Church of Zambia is celebrating its 125th anniversary. We are particularly touch with the aim of the diocese to enhance the faith and missionary spirit in the Youth.

Editorial of the Mansa Roundup magazine, volume 2, issue 6; Ba Mishioni ba Lelo, Nifwe”.

Rev. Patrick Chisanga Ordi Feb 2014 02bBy Bishop Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv.

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, complements of the season.

Christmas is a festive season that draws our attention to ‘the coming of the Lord’; a season of gratitude for the Lord’s manifold salvific interventions in human history; a time of awareness of God’s continued saving presence; an intense period of preparation and waiting in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

We thank the Lord for all the graces we received during the Extraordinary Year of Mercy. As we open this new liturgical calendar, during which the Catholic Church in Zambia celebrates 125 years since the arrival of the first missionaries at Mambwe Mwela (1891) and nine years later (1900) at Lwali near Chibote mission. Let us give a fitting glory to the missionaries who planted the first seeds of faith that has gradually grown into the present day Mansa Diocese. Let us also pay tribute to the ancestors of our land for opening their hearts to receiving the Good News. It is now our turn to assume responsibility and be committed to the continued propagation of the Good News of Salvation, mercy, unity and embracing every one with Christ’s love.

Christ’s love is precisely the Vision we have set as a Diocese in the Strategic plan 2016-2021, entitled “Let down the nets for a catch” (Lk.5:4) which was launched on December 12, 2015, and expressed in terms of a commitment to promotion of spiritual, moral education, health and general empowerment of the people in the diocese through evangelisation using well-coordinated pastoral and integral human development programmes based on three thematic pillars, namely: Pastoral Care; Social Human Development; Financial Institutional capacity and Self sustainability. Thank you very much to all those who successfully realised the goals in their respective departments for the year 2016. Our general evaluation indicates that the Social and Human Development managed 75% of the planned activities, the Pastoral Care completed 54% while the Financial Institutional Capacity and self-sustainability area realised only 15% of the planned activities.

I strongly urge the departments in the third pillar to assess their poor performance and ensure that set goals are realised. I also ask all diocesan departments, institutions and parishes to:

  1. Familiarise themselves with the vision, Mission and Values of the Diocese
  2. Draw from the strategic plan activities which pertain to them and workout an implementation programme.

iii. Ensure that their own local plan realises and enhances the general orientation of the Diocese.

The implementation of the strategic plan will be done in the context of celebrating 125 and 116 years of Catholic Faith in Zambia and Mansa Diocese, respectively. The missionaries did their part; today the ball is in our court, ‘We are the Missionaries of Today’. ‘Ba Missioni balelo Nifwe’ is the theme I therefore propose to accompany the pastoral action of the Diocese with effect from Saturday 17 December, 2016 through to 25 November, 2017, during this period all parishes are expected to:

  1. Set up programmes of missionary formation and catechetical lessons on the history of the Catholic Church in Zambia, in Mansa Diocese and in their respective Parishes.
  2. Enhance the faith and missionary spirit in the Youth and Holy Childhood.

iii. Display banners of the Pastoral Theme and recite the prayer at the beginning of every Eucharistic celebration.

  1. Renovate and beautify the Church buildings and surroundings.
  2. Organise pilgrimages at local or deanery levels to the shrines of Divine Mercy (Lubwe) and or Santa Maria wa Mwelu (Chibote) in honour of missionaries.

As we begin the festive season, let us all be united, repeating with one voice the refrain of the early Christian Community: “Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus.” Let this be a year of life changing encounters with the Lord, deeper commitment to the vision, mission and values of our Diocese and indeed, a year of celebrating God’s Love and Mercy through the pioneer missionaries to our land. May we all pay heed to the Lord’s command to “Go therefore to the world and proclaim the Gospel to all creations” (Mk. 16:15), because Ba Mishioni ba Lelo, Nifwe”.

I seek your prayers and wish each one of you the grace and peace of the Lord “so that you may have life in abundance” (Jn.10:10). May our blessed Mother accompany us on our journey of faith as a Diocese.

Below; PDF file of the magazine.

mansa-roundup-logoCommunications Office Diocese of Mansa Plot 225, Cathedral Road Mansa, Zambia.

Office Email: communicationssecretary@yahooo.com

News from our M.Afr Brazilian Sector.

missionarios-da-africa-brezil3The Missionaries of Africa of Brazil wish you a Happy New Year 2017. We are pleased to send you the news of the Brazilian Sector so that our mission may be known to all Society. Enjoy the reading in French. An English version is in preparation. Holy Year 2017. Moussa Serge Traore, M.Afr, Superior.

notre-dame-daparecida-pngOlá ! La situation politique et sociale reste tendue et instable. L’impeachment de la présidente a eu lieu. Le vice-président a pris le pouvoir. La chasse aux corrompus continue avec l’arrestation de politiciens. Les mesures et propositions du nouveau président de la république provoquent des manifestations publiques. La Conférence Nationale des Évêques du Brésil s’est prononcée contre certaines propositions du Président. Au niveau ecclésial, les évêques du Brésil ont déclaré l’année 2017, l’année Nationale Mariale car le pays célèbre le Jubilée de 300 ans de la découverte de l’image de Notre Dame dans le fleuve Paraíba en 1717. A cette occasion, l’image de Notre Dame d’Aparecida parcourt les paroisses, et diocèses du pays. C’est l’occasion de grands rassemblements et grandes célébrations.

Les confrères vont très bien. Ils se réjouissent de l’arrivée cette année 2016 du Père Francisco Javier, mexicain, un ancien missionnaire au Congo. Nous avons 2 communautés au Brésil. La communauté du centre-ville est composée de Moussa Serge Traore, prêtre, Burkinabe, 45 ans, 14 ans de serment ; Luciano Fuchs, Frère, Brésilien, 49 ans, 13 ans de serment ; Francisco Javier Ambrosio Vargas, prêtre, Mexicain, 42 ans, 4 ans de serment, Ethelbert Onyeaghala, stagiaire, Nigérian, 32 ans. Le Père Nazzareno Benacchio, italien, 94 ans vit dans sa maison de retraite á São Paulo. En 2017 il fera 60 ans de serment. Il est rattaché á la communauté de Federation. La communauté de la périphérie est composée d’Angelo Lee, prêtre, français, 67 ans, 39 ans de serment et Raphael Muteba Ndjibu, prêtre, Congolais, 38 ans, 5 ans de serment.

confrere-au-brezilAu pays du carnaval et du football, nous, Missionnaires d’Afrique, réalisons notre vocation et notre projet apostolique : être témoins du Règne de Dieu et partager avec ceux qui l’accueillent la grâce de la Bonne Nouvelle. Tous nos engagements, dans leur diversité, sont orientés vers ce but. Nous sommes de plus en plus connus, appréciés et sollicités. Nous sommes très heureux de notre présence missionnaire au Brésil. Nous avons le sentiment profond d’une mission bien remplie. Vive la Mission ! Vive le Brésil ! Sainte Année 2017.

PDF FILE: news-from-brazil-january-2017


Newsletter South Africa No 70 – 28th December 2016

newsletter-south-africa-no-70-titleGreetings! We are still in the Christmas Season and, hopefully, in the Christmas spirit! But this Newsletter will be short because, as you read in my special message “A FREAK ACCIDENT”, I am now reduced to the use of only one hand; it is an awkward way of typing!

newsletter-south-africa-no-70-michel-meunier-with-justinOne good positive point, following that unfortunate accident, is that I have a very good “private driver and helper”. Indeed, Justin Ramde, a Burkinabe, going into his third year of theology in Cedara and living at our House of Formation in Merrivale, has been here since last Friday. He takes some weeks from his holiday to come here to help me. He has been very good, not only driving me safely here and there for different pastoral commitments, but also helping me during Mass (like holding the ciborium so I may distribute Holy Communion with my healthy hand), and showing himself very much of service for doing various things requiring both hands!

He was very happy to take part in the Christmas Eve Mass at Mother Teresa’s Home; the small chapel was packed with surely more than 100 poor and sick residents, adults and children, together with the Sisters. They sang wholeheartedly for the birth of Jesus and everybody was in a festive mood. After Mass, each one received a present from the Sisters. On Christmas day, we were at City Deep for the francophone community. The church was full and the choir was really good.

After Mass, four doctors from the congregation gave me a free medical consultation! They told me that the healing seems to be taking its course well. Thank you also for all your prayers!

I want to wish you all a very good Christmas Season and a Happy New Year!

Fr. Michel, M.Afr. Vocation Director.

“Where are my Hearts”? 125 years of Evangelisation in Zambia

patrick_mumbiThe title is not meant for everybody but for a few like me. It is just there to guide my thoughts but in the grand scheme of things it is also challenging to me. 

Patrick Mumbi, M.Afr

Recently, I gave a talk to the Missionary Oblate students and they chose the title; “Formation as Missionary oriented.” My talk centred on the mission of St Paul; “Being all things to all people” (1Cor 9: 19-23). For me this is the heart beat of missionary life and this is what I saw and moved me with the White Fathers 25 years ago even before I joined them. I observed and felt that they were sent to all people not only to the Catholics. St Paul’s mission of “becoming all things to all people” was modelled on Christ; the “Man of all seasons”. Just as Jesus Christ modified his life though he was God, St Paul too simplified his lifestyle, his preferences in order to win all for Christ. Adapting of one’s life and going an extra mile is not only a stepping stone for a great mission but also a fertilisation of Evangelisation for people to come to Christ. We sometimes laugh about Father Joseph Dupont nicknamed as Motomoto becoming the husband to the wives of Paramount Chief Mwamba but how many people did he win for Christ? Actually, the story is that when Chief Mwamba was probably dying around 1899 he gathered his counsellors and handed over his wives and the kingdom to Motomoto. Is this not the origin of the famous book, “Roi de Brigands”? Around 1898 in Chilubula area, Motomoto had already established friendship with Chief Mwamba unlike his father Paramount Chief Chitimukulu who did not consent to the White Fathers settling in his Kingdom.

Having the spirit of being all things to all people, missionaries were washing the wounds of people and bandaging them, giving injections and pills. At times their cars acted as ambulances because they would be awakened at night to take the sick and pregnant women to the main hospitals. I am pretty sure all these helped people to listen and become more open to receive the Good News. In my conception, there is no cut and dried priesthood or sisterhood. Priesthood is a tool through which one can propagate and accomplish the mission of Christ. Evangelisation is an archetype concept such that at every stage of human life it has to be reinvented. Archetypes like the Evangelisation of Africa which our Cardinal Lavigerie conceived, emerged from the human psyche. The word “evangelist” comes from the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον (transliterated as euangelion) via latinised evangelium. The Greek word εὐαγγέλιον originally meant a reward given to the messenger for good news (εὔ = “good”, ἀγγέλλω = “I bring a message”; the word “angel” comes from the same root and later “good news” itself (Class notes of scripture 1991). Archetypes are the formative templates that give breath (inspire) and depth (materiality) to events in the outer world (Carl Jung’s archetypes 1959). In certain individuals like our Cardinal, events or history prepare themselves; and when the archetypes are activated in a number of individuals and come to the surface, we are in the midst of history, as we are at present. Missionaries were seized by this archetype of evangelising of Africa and therefore packed their bags 150 years ago.   

african-altar-boysCommitment to Christ’s mission: This commitment was very important for missionaries. Probably this is the reason why they worked tirelessly. This commitment and courage continued even when others perished, and the energy to work hard every day, is what impressed some of us and got the vocation to join them 25 years ago. This year in 2016, I celebrated my 25 years of priesthood in Luena parish and Jack compound in Lusaka. But concerning mission, do we as young missionaries have the zeal and commitment to work extra miles today as they did? As altar boys, we were visiting outstations with missionaries for months during holidays. With them we conducted catechumen classes, helped to carry out marriages and house to house visitations etc. For some of us young missionaries, going to an outstation is like a punishment. The only thing we would wish is to go back to the parish as quickly as possible. But in those days, touring and knowing people, registering them in books were taken as evangelisation. Bringing happiness and fulfilment were some of the other attributes of missionaries to the people they evangelised.

exit-dragon-enter-the-tigerAvailability to the people of God: The Parish Office was open from Sunday to Sunday. Unlike today, we open when people come to knock at our doors then quickly close them saying; “we do not have time or we do not want to be bothered”. When I was young, I saw that when one priest went out of the Parish Office, another one entered in to attend to the people. It reminded me of the film of Bruce Lee: “Exit Dragon Enter the Tiger.” They were serious and firm as any other priest found in the parish office when it comes to matters of faith. When someone enters the office they would enquire if he or she received all the sacraments. I must also acknowledge that they were of different temperaments; some moderate while others were hard. Some of them preached with passion such that children would get afraid and begin to cry out.

The spirit of service: White Fathers were servants of God and peoples. They served them with humility. They not wait for people to come but they would go to the people so as to know them better. I knew some White Fathers who used to come to our village to drink beer such as Fr Cletus Gerrie van Erp and Fr Anton Buys. They did so as to familiarise themselves with the people and get to the grips of their culture. The whole village became Catholics. Even individuals who claimed to be from some other churches joined Catholicism.

The new mushrooming churches I have seen was a later phenomenon when White Fathers had left. I would like to acknowledge that the evangelised people became evangelisers of the Copperbelt and some parts of Zambia because these were properly catechised. In the 1930s, when the Italian Franciscans came to the Copperbelt at the beginning of mining, they found groups of young men and women from the Northern Zambia and Luapula already praying on Sunday morning. It was easier for them to form Parishes.

The casualisation of mission: Nowadays we are witnessing the casualisation of evangelisation even that of the priesthood.  There is nowadays lack of seriousness in studying the language. The feature of not knowing the language and needing an interpreter is a recent thing. Besides, if one spends the whole night on the Internet watching one movie after another, would one have the energy next morning to go and work in the outstation? Nowadays there are vices such as overdrinking, priests befriending nuns and lack of prayer life, etc. I was once asked by parishioners the following; “when Father so and so was here, he used to read a little prayer book and saying the rosary while walking up and down, and you, do you also have that little book and do you say the rosary”? Ah, hum.

Zeal for the mission: Early missionaries were pastoral people and were filled with zeal for the mission. Do we have that pastoral zeal today? Where are our hearts? Ubulimi bwakale tababutalalikishako mwana; “My child stop crying of hunger, I used to be a good farmer with plenty of food,” meaning “you cannot at all times glory in the past successes”. We need to reinvent ourselves in this age. We need to be thinkers and reflectors about today’s mission which is a challenge, otherwise we shall be redundant. This is the reason why I said that evangelisation is an archetype concept and if we do not meditate on it we shall find ourselves outdated when actually the sky is the limit when it comes to evangelisation. Nowadays there are challenges in social life, worrying African politics, poverty of Africa, refugees. What would be our contribution to all these?

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PDF file: where-are-our-hearts

Traduction en français:

« Où est mon cœur ? » 125 ans d’Évangélisation en Zambie.

Mafrwestafrica lettre du 24 décembre 2016

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

Nous vous souhaitons tout d’abord de belles fêtes de Noël, et une bonne année 2017, pleine de paix et de joie.


« Baobab Echos n°26 » la dernière édition du bulletin de la Province d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Merci au secrétaire pour ce beau travail trimestriel (lire la suite)

« Réformer la Curie » dans son discours du 22 décembre à la Curie, le pape François a énoncé les critères de cette réforme à laquelle il tient beaucoup (lire la suite)


« Les religions considérées comme positives »  le secrétaire du Saint-Siège pour les relations avec les États, souligne le « rôle constructif » des religions dans la promotion de la paix (lire la suite)

« Aider les enfants au Burkina Faso » une association apporte une aide à plus de 1 500 enfants et 500 familles à Bobo Dioulasso (lire la suite)

« Poésie mystique » Iza Batres est lauréate au prix Fernando Rielo. Elle a déjjà à son actif plusieurs prix littéraires (lire la suite)

Dialogue interreligieux

« Pourquoi dialoguer avec les musulmans ? » les réponses du Cardinal Tauran à cette question, sur le site romain de Zenit (lire la suite)

« Laïcité France-Belgique » dans « Saphirnews » qui est le média leader sur le fait musulman. Il est le premier quotidien Web sur l’actualité musulmane tant par son ancienneté, sa notoriété que par sa fréquentation. (lire la suite)

« Les valeurs religieuses enrichissent notre société » Le Saint-Siège souligne « le rôle clé » du « dialogue constructif » et de l’éducation dans la promotion de la tolérance et de la non-discrimination (lire la suite)

Justice et Paix

« L’Evangile à la source de l’action » Que l’Europe retrouve la lumière de l’Évangile comme critère d’inspiration de ses actions (lire la suite)

« Crise des migrants et solidarité » ou comment la crise des migrants a réveillé la solidarité dans nos pays d’Europe (lire la suite)

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Législatives ivoiriennes » le parti soutenant le président Alassane Ouattara obtient la majorité absolue à ces élections (lire la suite)

« Bilan diplomatique de la CEDEAO ? » sur le site de « Jeune Afrique » différents liens qui permettent de mieux comprendre ce qu’est la CEDEAO et son bilan (lire la suite)

New publication on Inter-Religious Dialogue in Africa.

inter-religious-dialogue-in-africa-dec-2016-01Felix Phiri, M.Afr., Patrick Ryan, MHM (Eds), Inter-Religious Dialogue in Africa, In Search of Religious Respects, Ecumenical Centre for Justice and Peace, Paulines Publications Africa, 99 pages, 2016.

The topic of religious conflict is a concern of politicians, theologians, religious leaders and representatives, civil society and a wide range of stakeholders in the public and private domains.

This book is a sequel to the Manual for Inter-Religious Dialogue (Nairobi, 2012). That book was aimed at assisting religious leaders, facilitators and other actors in the broad field of inter-religious dialogue.

This book is a series of notes on selected aspects of dialogue between religions. It is not itself a manual of dialogue, but it is a companion to the Manual for Inter-Religious Dialogue. It is intended for professionals, for students of religion, and for all people of good will who believe in promoting dialogue among religions.

the-golden-ruleThis book reinforces the urgency of dialogue between religions. There is no alternative to dialogue when it comes to building durable and peaceful co-existence.

The Golden Rule – treat others as you would like them to treat you – also known as the Ethic of Reciprocity, has been valued by human societies for thousands of years and is found worldwide throughout cultures, religions, secular philosophies and indigenous traditions. It reveals a profound unity underlying the rich diversity of human experience. With its emphasis on mutuality, interdependence and reciprocity, it is a simple but effective guide for respectful and harmonious co-existence.


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Mafrwestafrica lettre du 10 décembre 2016

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


« Procès du général Sanogo au Mali » l’ex-chef de la junte, Amadou Haya Sanogo, s’enferme dans sa stratégie de défense : le déni et les menaces. (lire la suite).

« Simone Gbagbo en procès » malgré l’absence de l’accusée le procès se poursuivra pour les crimes commis en 2010-2011 qui auraient fait plus de 3000 morts en 5 mois (lire la suite).


« Mon père était un imam très apprécié » le témoignage d’une musulmane lors de la rencontre islamo-chrétienne du 19-11-2016 à Louvain-la-Neuve (lire la suite).

« En Terre Sainte, héritiers de Charles de Foucauld » 25 petits frères et sœurs de Jésus vivent en Israël et Palestine (lire la suite).

« Anniversaire de la mort du Cardinal Lavigerie » nous avons célébré le 124ème anniversaire de la mort de notre fondateur, le 26 novembre (lire la suite).

« Centenaire de la mort de Charles de Foucauld » il y a cent ans, le 1er décembre, Charles de Foucauld était assassiné à Tamanrasset (lire la suite).

 Dialogue interreligieux

« Le pape s’adresse au patriarche Bartholomée » : dépasser la division par la prière, le service du bien commun et le dialogue (lire la suite).

« Promouvoir la paix par le respect des lieux saints » le résultat de la 14ème réunion des dialogues entre le Saint Siège et les délégations du grand rabbinat d’Israël (lire la suite).

 Justice et Paix

« Bannir les carburants toxiques » quatre pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest s’engagent à bannir les carburants toxiques contenant trop de soufre (lire la suite).

« Quelle âme pour l’Europe ? » : valeurs de la personne humaine, liberté, créativité et invention, séparation des pouvoirs, telle est la démocratie vécue en Europe (lire la suite).

Vu au Sud – Vu du Sud

« Evasions au Mali » plusieurs dizaines de détenus ont pu s’évader de la prison de Niono (centre du pays) après qu’elle a été attaquée dans la nuit de lundi à mardi par des hommes armés (lire la suite).

« Fin d’une dictature en Gambie » : Adama Barrow a su renverser démocratiquement Yahya Jammeh, l’autocrate fantasque et inquiétant qui dirigeait la Gambie depuis vingt-deux ans (lire la suite).

« L’Algérie expulse les migrants subsahariens » Pour la première fois depuis 2012, l’Algérie rapatrie des migrants subsahariens, originaires de différents pays d’Afrique de l’ouest (lire la suite).

International Conference on Pentecostalism and the Catholic Church – Abuja, 13-17 November 2016.

International Conference on Pentecostalism and the Catholic Church.

bernhard-udelhoven-03By Bernhard Udelhoven, M.Afr

I was invited to attend the International Conference on Pentecostalism and the Catholic Church that took place in Abuja (13-17 November 2016), and that was organised jointly by the Nigerian and the German Bishops Conferences. It was a follow-up on a previous conference in Rome (which I did not attend), and it addressed questions about new trends in the Pentecostal global mission, in the ministry of deliverance and healing, oral hermeneutics and Pentecostal ways of reading the Bible (the Holy Spirit as prime agent of interpretation within a concrete community), a theology of prosperity shaped by the context of the Church’s option for the poor, and ventures of evangelisation through the social media. The conference addressed also the challenges of dialogue between the Catholic Church and Pentecostalism in its immense variety.  

The attendance of the conference proved to be an interesting mix. Apart from various scholars on Pentecostalism from around the world (among them Amos Yong, Opoku Onyinah, Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, Andreas Heuser, Richard Burgess and Afe Adogame), the conference was also intensely followed by thirty or so Nigerian bishops plus priests from all the fifty dioceses. Some of them were charismatics themselves, while others seemed rather sceptical about Pentecostal influences. Bishops and priests also had their own internal meetings in the evenings to discuss what the various contributions would mean to their situation and how they wanted to respond in a unified way. Apart from discussing a dialogue with Pentecostalism, the Nigerian Church was also seeking answers to the Pentecostal impact on Catholic practice. The invited Pentecostal and non-Catholic scholars were greatly outnumbered by the massive Catholic presence, but I guess that they also gained their own insights into the internal workings of the Catholic Church and how Pentecostalism is perceived by Catholics on an official level. Maybe it would have needed more time for all of us to digest better the different topics that have been presented to us.  

Personally, I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet and interact with different scholars on a topic that I have been quite engaged with. The conference has made me more humble, showing me how little I know about Pentecostalism, about its enormous sense of mission, about new ways of doing theology (based on the primacy of the Holy Spirit, dynamic experience and orality over reflection and interpretation), and about a highly organised outreach, often from the grassroots. We would all profit from an informed debate on the Pentecostal challenges.

Link FENZA website: Spirits and the healing of body and spirit: pastoral challenges by Bernhard Udelhoven. A paper delivered at the Conference on Pentecostalism and the Catholic Church, Abuja, 14 – 17 November 2016. Content: Boko Haram spirits – Healing ministry in the Catholic Church – Healing linked to deliverance – Diagnosis, prophecy and exorcism – The need for a person-centred and inclusive approach in a pluralistic world -A shift in focus that our approach requires – The discernments of truth in the inner worldA boy in a mountain – Inner experiences and outer tensions – “Being attacked by the spirit of my great-grandmother” – “Dreaming of my late mother” – “Haunted by dreams of having sex with my late husband” – Our approach in a nutshell –  Healing as a drama – Conclusion. Appendix: some areas of concern in the charismatic healing ministry that I encountered in some Zambian groups

Other links: Church in Nigeria discusses Pentecostalism phenomenon. Catholics, Pentecostals meet in Abuja over religious harmony

The leadership of Nigerian Catholic Church and the Pentecostals yesterday (November 15, 2016) in Abuja began an international conference on Pentecostalism, religious harmony among Christians and relationship with Muslims.

The event four-day event jointly organised by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and the German Bishops Conference, is being attended by experts and academicians from different parts of the world to discuss the theme: “The Catholic Church and Pentecostalism: Challenges in the Nigerian Context”.

The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, said the conference sponsored by Missio Aachen of Germany is a follow-up to an earlier international programme on a related matter, held in Rome in 2013. He said it became clear at the Rome event that Nigeria was the focal point of Pentecostal development in Africa due to the activities of Pentecostal Christians, hence the need to fashion out ways of harmonious relationship among Christians and other religions.

A member of the Research Group on International Church Affairs, German Episcopal Conference Andreas Hesenchever said the Pentecostals have been accused of arrogance and overconfidence that made them get into conflicts with Muslims and other Christians, thus the need for dialogue for peaceful co-existence.

archbishop-kaigama-of-nigeria-rv-copieThe Archbishop of Jos and President of the CBCN Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, said perpetual conflicts among Christians will impact negatively on Nigeria let alone Christian-Muslim conflicts and that “The artificial barrier erected for decades should be done away with. We have to relate and live well together in the interest of our country.

A leader of the German Bishop Conference Munster, Germany Bishop Stefan Zekorn, said the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement has proved to be an important challenge for the Catholic Church not only in Nigeria but many other countries worldwide for decades.

“The German Bishop Conference conducted a research and that experts have suggested positive encouragement and personal empowerment within Pentecostal communities that help people tackle the amenities of everyday life. Strong moral rule within the Pentecostal communities might help stabilize family and community values and bring people forward in their businesses and career,” Zekorn said.

Newsletter South Africa No 69 – 29th November 2016

newsletter-south-africa-no-69-titleGreetings! I hope you are well and that you have fully entered into the beautiful time of Advent! Yes, this is an occasion for each Christian to prepare to receive the Lord in a missionary way. Which means to involve others in this great hope and expectation of Jesus who is coming at Christmas. On the first Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis reminded us that “The Gospel is not trying to frighten us, but to open our horizons to further dimensions, giving meaning even to everyday events.” This is an invitation to open our hearts and minds to others, thus to live as missionaries wherever we are. The Pope adds: “we are called to enlarge the horizons of our hearts, to be surprised by the life that is presented each day with its newness. In order to do this we need to learn to not depend on our own securities, our own established plans, because the Lord comes at the hour which we don’t expect.” He concludes by saying that this time is “an invitation to vigilance, because, not knowing when He will come, we must always be ready…” On 14th November, I went to Malawi. The first night, I stayed at Mua Parish where I started as a young missionary in 1970; a long time ago! As part of the Parish life, Fr. Claude Boucher, M.Afr, from my home diocese in Canada has established an art school and a museum to help keep the Malawian culture. I suggest you visit their website at kungoni.org. You can see the museum and different aspects of his work with his team of artists. Then, from 15th to 21st, I was in Salima, on the shore of Lake Malawi. There, I did my yearly retreat in the house of retired bishop Rémi Sainte-Marie, bishop emeritus of Dedza Diocese and archbishop emeritus of Lilongwe arch-diocese. He welcomed me warmly and respected my times of prayer and silence. It was a good spiritual experience.

From the 22nd to the 26th in Chipata Pre-Formation Centre (Zambia), we held our meeting of Vocation Directors of the Southern African Province. We were from the four Sectors of Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa.

vocation-directors-in-chipata-nov-2016This new Centre in Chipata currently has its second intake of 18 aspirants from Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia (nobody from South Africa!). From October to May, they are spending time discerning their vocation, exploring their self-knowledge with psychological assessments, in order to understand better their deepest aspirations and desires in the light of God’s call. They also study the Bible, Church history, liturgy, the missionary dimension of our lives as Christians, and how to reach out to people, especially the poor, and how to share with them the Good News. They also have activities such as manual work, sports, etc. After this intense period, if they are still decided and if they are accepted, they will be called to go to the First Phase of their formal training: three years of philosophy in Balaka, Malawi.

This month, our aspirant Patrick Kadima wrote an article for our Provincial blog. To read it, go to our blog at mafrsaprovince.com.

 Wishing you all the best for a blessed Christmas! Fr. Michel Meunier, M.Afr