18 New Missionaries of Africa
On Friday 15th December at 4:30 pm, in the beautifully decorated chapel of the Merrivale Formation House in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, eighteen young men were officially received in the Society of the Missionaries of Africa by pronouncing their Missionary Oath. Many relatives and friends had come from near and far to pray with them and witness this serious life commitment of these generous new confreres. Their Oath was received by Fr. Didier Sawadogo, M.Afr, one of the Assistants to the Superior General. The Provincial of the Southern Africa Province, Fr. Felix Phiri, M.Afr, as well as the Provincial Delegate for South Africa, Fr. Raymond McQuarrie, M.Afr, were also present. The occasion was also enhanced by the presence of Bishop Jan De Groef, M.Afr of Bethlehem Diocese (South Africa) and Bishop Sanctus Lino of Nebbi Diocese in Uganda.
Our new confreres are: Maurice Aduol (Kenya), Jean-Pierre Badjanga Titi (DR Congo), Jean-Paul Basikaba (DR Congo), Stephen Beru (Ghana), Ryan Contamina (Philippines), Philippe Dakono (Mali), Siby Dominic (India), Francis Eze (Nigeria), Eric Kambale (DR Congo), Christopher Nkandu (Zambia), Silas Nsambimana (Burundi), Robert Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso), Justin Ramde (Burkina Faso), Elie Sango (DR Congo), Victor Sanou (Burkina Faso), Martin Somda (Burkina Faso), Jean-Baptiste Todjro (Togo) and Pierre Chanel Ulama (DR Congo).
This makes a lot of 18’s! What a wonderful gift for our jubilee year, our 150 years of foundation!
Indeed, the day after the Missionary Oath, on 16th December, in St. Vincent Parish Kwampumuza in South Africa, we had the pleasure to celebrate the ordinations to the diaconate of the same eighteen new confreres for the Missionaries of Africa and two others for the Dominicans (O.P.).
Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, ofm, Archbishop of Durban Archdiocese, presided the celebration assisted by Bishop Jan De Groef, Bishop Sanctus Lino of Nebbi Diocese in Uganda and over fifteen priests. Everything went smoothly with the enthusiastic and brilliant participation of the local parish choir, the altar servers and all the other liturgical ministers.
After the four-hour celebration, the parishioners, under the wise leadership of their parish councillors, treated everybody to a delicious meal and to some great entertainments. This parish was recently taken by the Missionaries of Africa and we find the people very responsive and generous. They organised everything and contributed not only their time and energy but also all the food and drinks for this great occasion. Great! Siyabonga kakulu! (Thank you very much!)
God’s Family Is Expanding!
By Deacon Jean-Baptiste Todjro, M.Afr.
‘I was glad when I heard them say let us go to the house of the Lord’ Ps 122: 1. These words mark the beginning of our immediate preparation for our Missionary Oath and Diaconate Ordination. Indeed great was our joy to be accepted into the family of the Missionaries of Africa.
One word was echoed strongly throughout the celebration of our Missionary Oath and Diaconate Ordination: FAMILY. Prior to the celebration of the oath, Didier Sawadogo, representing the Superior General, presented to us the message of the General Council by giving to each of us the positive affirmation of our Society which states: ‘Filled with the joy of the Gospel and guided by the Spirit, we are an intercultural missionary society with a family spirit. Sent out to the African world and wherever our charism is needed, for a prophetic mission of encounter and of witness to the love of God’ (Capitular Acts 2016:17). It is with this sense of belonging and willingness that we responded YES to the call of God and the desire of making God’s love known and flourish in the African world. The word FAMILY was at the heart of the homily of Cardinal Wilfrid Napier who in addressing us insisted that we have to participate in the mission of the Church and identify the challenges that families are facing as our primary mission in collaboration with the universal Church. As such one can boldly say we are ordained to be APOSTLES TO FAMILIES, NOTHING BUT APOSTLES TO FAMILIES.
We wish to thank all those who made this event possible: our community, our formators and provinces of origin who believed we can contribute positively to the Mission of Jesus Christ within the Society of the Missionaries of Africa. Our gratitude also goes to you, our parents, friends and confreres who graced this event with your presence or with a thought or a prayer. Please, continue praying for us and supporting us.
Please remember us and all missionaries of Africa with this hymn that served as a procession and entrance hymn during our Missionary Oath:
À vous mes chers Missionnaires d’Afrique, l’amour est notre unique vocation. Dieu nous envoie en Afrique en mission, pour proclamer par notre vie son Amour. Aimons-nous d’un amour tendre et fidèle, soyons apôtres et rien que cela. Soyons unis pour que la vie soit plus belle, allons sans peur vers notre Dieu qui nous appelle. Nous sommes la présence, du Dieu de l’alliance. Qui nous parle dans le silence, Dieu d’amour et d’espérance. Nous sommes sa présence, ici en Afrique. Qui proclame ses merveilles, Dieu d’amour et d’un nouveau jour.
We are the presence, of God in Africa. Who speaks to us in the silence, God of love and God of hope. We are God’s presence, here in Africa. That proclaims God’s great deeds, God of love and of a new day.