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


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

Ce n’est qu’un au revoir!

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

Jean-Luc_Gouiller

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

Farewell to you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Messages from Confreres:

From Michel Meunier, M.Afr.

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

From Christophe Boyer, M.Afr, du Caire:

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

From Filiyanus Ekka, M.Afr

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

From Réal Doucet M.Afr

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

Visit to the Queen of the Lozi kingdom, Zambia


Mongu-Nov-2014-03St. Gabriel’s Parish, Namushakende, Mongu, Zambia

Wednesday the 19th of November was a memorable day for our Namushakende Parish. That was the day when we had organized a visit to the Queen of the Lozi kingdom, the female Litunga or as she is refereed to, the Litunga of the Southern Lozi land, at her palace in Nalolo, across the great Zambezi River. Litunga means the owner of the land. We the staff of St. Gabriel’s Parish, Namushakende, accompanied by Fr. Venerato Babaine who was visiting at that time, two religious Sisters working in the parish, a few leaders of the Parish, and a group of the Catholic Women’s League from some Parishes in Mongu and some from the Centres in our parish. We were all together 36 people.

We started off from Namushakende around 07:00 hours, drove to Machapa Centre just at the edge of the Zambezi plains, and from there drove 15 km through the Barotse flood plains to the bank of the Zambezi. The boat “driver” took us in 3 loads across the river, and from there we walked to Nalolo village and the palace of the Queen amidst great jubilations and excitement.

The Manduna (the traditional elders and council of the palace) and the staff of the palace received us well and organised the place where we could celebrate Mass with the Queen, in front of her royal palace. It is interesting to note that almost all elders (Manduna) and the court of the Queen are not Catholics. In the presence of the Queen, our choir was mainly made up of the Catholic Women’s League who offered us a good and prayerful liturgy. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Robert Lavertu who was to offer his farewell greetings during the same visit, and he was accompanied by Fr. Alfred Awogya. We seized the opportunity of our visit to introduce to the Queen Fr Christian Muhineza and Joseph Kakule who have arrived to work in Namushakende,

After the Mass, we were allowed inside the palace to meet the Queen in two groups, first the Priests and the Sisters, then the CWL and the other lay people. It was a warm welcome that was offered to us, and the Queen offered us delicious snacks of her own. In our conversation, the Queen, who is a committed Catholic, emphasized how much she appreciates to be visited and to pray with groups like ours; she invited us to visit her again. After a long time at the Palace, we made our way back to the river to be taken across in 3 trips as previously.

The whole ceremony and visit was coloured by deep cultural reverence and display. For us as missionaries working here, it was a great lesson on culture and insertion in the rich and profound deposit of the Lozi cultural heritage. We had a great day, and all the participants expressed their joy and satisfaction, and their desire to repeat the visit some time later.

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Dave Cullen; Hospital Chaplain in Chipata


Dave Cullen - Chipata Hospital 2014 06 copieDave Cullen is currently the Hospital Chaplain in Chipata, doing a remarkable work every day in the afternoon walking throughout the wards to pray with the sick. The establishment looks pretty good and large. Dave updates his list of sick patients and provides spiritual assistance with the help of Patricia, a lay volunteer. Here are some pictures of Dave in action moving up and down the aisles and stairs of the hospital.
Thanks to you Dave for your beautiful ministry.

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Kalongwezi community as it has been during the last years


Kalongwezi community 2014Henk van Kessek 2014 JPGDuring the last years, we have most of the time been four or five members in the Kalongwezi community. Henk van Kessel, Dutch, 88 years old, is the unwearied and uncontested Archivist of the Diocese. He has also been the Chicewa/Chinyanja language professor for quite a long time, a job which regularly bounces back.
Dave Cullen 2014 PNGAfter the departure of Edgar Pillet in 2012, at 78, for retirement in France, Dave Cullen, English, of the same age, came to replace him as Chaplain of the Regional Hospital nearby, and, like Edgar also, he gives a help to the Marriage Encounter groups. He also does some visits to the local Prison. Both Henk and Dave go to St Monica’s Secondary School for Masses during the week.
Jean-Luc Gouiller 2014 JPGJean-Luc Gouiller, 78, French, who is linked with some groups of the Christian Agricultural and Rural Adult Movement. He has also been asked to update the demarcations and the title deeds of the various places held by the Diocese of Chipata throughout the Province, a work very much tied with the delicate land issue. He also takes part in some vocation work as do the other members of the community.
Joe McMeninmem 2014 JPGJoe Mc Menamin, Irish, 74, joined us after several years of missionary animation in Ireland. He replaced Edgar Pillet who was also a curate at the Mary Mother of God Parish of Nabvutika, a big compound of Chipata. After some time Joe became and still is the Parish Priest of that very parish.
Halen Kerketta  2014 JPGThe stagiaire Halen Kerketta, from India, is finishing his first year of Stage. He has some activities with the Youth Team of the Diocese and some others in Nabvutika Parish.
René-Garand-2014 JPGBrother René Garand, coming from South Africa, is joining the community and will supervise or follow up the construction work on the site of the new Preformation Centre.
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