Month: April 2013 Page 1 of 4

Saint Anselm; one of the first opponents of the slave trade

Saint Anselm of Canterbury SealAnselm lived from 1033 to 1109. Having decided to enter a monastery, he was attracted to Bec in Normandy by the reputation of the great teacher, Lanfranc. Anselm became a monk at 27. A student and close friend of Lanfranc, he eventually succeeded him as prior and abbot of Bec, and became a still more famous teacher.
After the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, William I replaced the English hierarchy with Normans, and Lanfranc was sent as Archbishop of Canterbury. Three years after Lanfranc’s death, Anselm was in England (1093) and was forcibly made archbishop. He was not be nature either an administrator or a politician, but persevered in difficult times and, through his encouragement of English devotions, helped heal the wounds of the Conquest on the English.
Anselm’s fame lies in his role as theologian and philosopher; his argument for the existence of God still holds strong appeal for many. His spirituality greatly influenced the Church and in his concern for the oppressed, he was one of the first opponents of the slave trade. Never formally canonized, he was made a Doctor of the Church in 1720.
From: Living with Christ, April 2013, pages 171-172
Other reference:

PRESENT. Newsletter for Candidates and Students of M.Afr – March 2013

05 Present Magazine Mar-April 2013 logo

Second interview with Pierre Lukusa

In the first Interview with Pierre Lukusa, we learned how our confrere found his way to Brazil and some discoveries he made on the path of his inner self-awareness related to alcohol dependency. In a new interview, Pierre offers us a deeper understanding of himself and the environment surrounding Fezenda de Esperança in Brazil.

Fezenda da Esperança

Can you remind us about your journey leading to Brazil?
It happened that the founders of Fazenda da Esperança, Fr. Hans Stapel OFM, and Mr. Nelson Giovanneli, knew the Missionaries of Africa in Mozambique very well. They offered me the opportunity to go to Brazil for a full year programme. I came here on the 17th August 2012. I was very well received. So much so, that I felt part of a family from the very beginning. My immigration papers are in order till August 2013 when the programme officially ends.
Tell us a bit more about the physical environment of Fezenda da Esperança.
The Centre is located at about 300km North-East of the mega city of São Paulo. The place is encircled by few Christian communities belonging to the neighbouring parish. In a valley, the Centre is surrounded by the Sierra de Mantiqueira Mountains. In general, the weather is cool and the environment is conducive to personal meditation and reflection. It is like a retreat centre whereby I can reflect upon my life and my missionary vocation.
Made up of ten houses, the Centre can accommodate 160 people for a therapeutic programme. To this figure, we need to add 15 residents; the father in charge and his counsellors. At the moment we number 167. Each house forms a community under the guidance of two coordinators who are themselves under the responsibility of a “Padrinho”, usually an ex-dependent who had already finished his therapy and work as a volunteer. Since last February, I am one of those “Padrinhos” in charge of two houses.
At this point, I need to mention that there are currently 90 Fazenda da Esperança Therapeutic Centres, throughout the world, including one in Dombe, Mozambique, at the White Fathers Mission.
What is the specific charism or spirituality of Fazenda da Esperança?
Thanks to the spirituality of the Fazenda, my way of thinking and perceiving reality has positively changed towards everything. My daily experiences among my fellow drug addicts, as well as the “Direct Approach to the Unconscious” (ADI) programme, have helped me to understand the therapeutic method used in the Fazenda to help people caught by chemical dependency such as drug addiction and alcoholism.
In his own time, Saint Francis of Assisi was a God´s sign for the Church when he proposed poverty and fraternal life style as a path leading to hope. Up to now, many people are inspired by this spirituality. Nowadays, this insight embraces drug addicted people and alcoholics.
More recently, Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolari movement, brought in the world the great charism of “Unity”. It has become a collective spirituality bearing in itself a new hope for our century. This spirit of unity consists in putting Jesus at the centre of every single activity, including the decision making process.
Those charismatic insights inspired Fr. Stapel and three young people; Nelson, Iraci and Lucilene. As a result, the Franciscan spirituality and the Focolari Movement have become the soul that animate Fazenda da Esperança; to bring hope to desperate people of our time, not only the drug addicted people and alcoholics but also families affected by all kind of behavioural disorders of their members.
In a nutshell, Fazenda da Esperança is a Catholic community that is taking care of young drug and alcohol addicts, trying to show them a new way of life by living each day according to the Gospel.
Can you tell us more about the therapeutic method used by Fazenda?
The experience shows that those who seek help are suffering from inner problems before becoming drug or alcohol addicts. In other words, they are spiritually, psychologically, mentally, emotionally and morally disturbed before being physically dependant on drugs or alcohol.
In order to be efficient in its mission, the Fazenda has understood that the main concern is not to fight against drugs and alcohol, but is to help the victims to be holistically reconciled. The method used is a threefold therapeutic method based on an active spiritual life, community living and manual work. The three elements are logically drawn from the Franciscan spirituality and the Focolari movement. This threefold therapeutic methodology helps people to gain back their ability to live in society, to master their own emotions and to strengthen their relationship with Christ, even though no one is obliged to be or to become a Christian. It has been evaluated that 80% of those who went through the twelve months therapeutic programme in different Fazendas have recovered their dignity and are back to a normal life, always trying to live according to the Gospel recommendations.
Can you clarify the steps you have been through since your arrival at Fazenda da Esperança in Brazil?
Upon arrival, I was given three months of initiation into the threefold therapeutic methodology. In December 2012, I was blessed to follow the “Direct Approach to the Unconscious” (ADI) experience that helped me to recover from my loss of self-esteem. In January this year, I followed the session of initiation to the Focolari movement together with other members of the Fazenda. After it, from February, I have been asked to accompany two houses as spiritual director. Currently, I have 40 persons under my guidance. Besides helping as spiritual director, I also give some sessions of formation to those being prepared and trained as coordinators for different houses. By doing this, I am working also on my own problem.
Is your action limited to the two houses under your responsibility?
As I said, our Centre is encircled by few Christian communities belonging to a neighbouring parish. I help the Parish Priest on demand. It gives me an opportunity to put into practice my new knowledge. I happened to meet desperate families suffering from misbehaviour caused by drug or alcohol abuse. So far, I have managed to reconcile two families. This makes me believe that what I am gaining here will help me later in my ministry.
Has your prayer been transform because of Fazenda?
When I feel frightened, I pray the Lord to transform my fear into trust.
When I feel like suffering, I ask the Lord to transform my suffering into growth.
When I experience a disturbing silence, I ask the Lord to transform it into a time of adoration.
When I experience any crisis, I pray the Lord to transform it into maturity.
When tears drop from my eyes, I ask the Lord to transform them into prayers.
When I feel furious, I ask the Lord to transform this anger of mine into intimacy.
Whenever I feel depressed, I ask the Lord to transform my discouragement into faith.
When I experience solitude, I ask the Lord to transform it into contemplation.
Being conscious of my own dignity enables me to go ahead with confidence, strength and courage.
Positive attitudes in life, the desire to do well and helping others bring satisfaction in a constructive mind.
The time to be happy is now! The place where to experience happiness is where I am.
I am going through a new birth because of Fazenda de Esperança. I am asking the Lord to help me to see the colour of love in every living being. I want to feel the beauty of hope in every dawn. I aspire to always be able to decide about what is authentic, just and true.

What would be your last word at the end of the interview?

Once reconciled with oneself, everything else seems possible. It is like putting the Gospel into practice; loving your neighbour as yourself. In this regard, with his simplicity, our new Pope Francis is inspiring me greatly.

Missionary Oath in Jerusalem

Missionary Oath invitation Card Jerusalem 06 (2)The Missionary Oath of Bonaventure Bwanakweli, Emmanuel Mubanga Chisanga, Fredrick Limo Ng’etich and Vincent Kyererezi will take place in Jerusalem on Tuesday the 30th April 2013 at 17:00 hours in Saint Anne’s Basilica.
We as the SAP are proud of all of you.
May the good Lord bless this day always and make it a memorable day for your missionary journeys.
United in prayer.
Christopher Chileshe, SAP Provincial

Sad news about the health of Clement Alekwe

Clement_AlekweOur confrere , who was part of the Lua-Luo noviciate in Kasama last year, has been diagnosed with cancer of the bones. He is undergoing radiation treatment in Nairobi which will last till the 10th May. After it, according to the results of another medical test, he will continue with chemotherapy. Even though Clement is a strong man, as we know him, this treatment is heavy on him. Let us unite our prayer for him that he may find health and strength once more.

Interview with Monika Grzelak

Monika Grzelak 03Monika Grzelak came to Zambia on the 9th March after six months working as a volunteer in Kenya. Let us discover her journey of life.
What is your background?
I am a 25 year old Polish woman. I got my diploma in Social Studies at the University of Nicolas Copernicus in Toruń. I also got a Master degree in Education in Warsaw. My parents are still at home with my younger brother. I quit my job last year and left everything behind to fulfil my dream to come to Africa. I have no fear. My basic trust brings me the necessary freedom I need to be where I am today. I love it.
How did you made your way up to Zambia?
After half a year in Kenya, I wanted to know more about Africa. This continent has always fascinating me. So, I went to Dar es Salaam and bought a ticket just two hours before the departure of the train. Forty-eight hours later, I stopped at Kapiri Mposhi where I met a Polish Sister from the Congregation of the Holy Family. Two days later, I took a bus to Lusaka without knowing anyone. I didn’t have any idea what to expect. Simply, I was hoping to find a place where I could do some voluntary work. I was directed to Good Shepherd Parish at Kabwata and met Father Vitalis Dero. He phoned to Jacek Rakowski who came within fifteen minutes. I was so enthusiastic about his description of Home of Hope that my decision to become a volunteer was taken on the spot.
Monika Grzelak 01Is it not surprising for a young woman like you to travel alone in various African countries as you did? Do you really need to travel so far to do voluntary work?
As a matter of fact, I have always been a volunteer, even in Poland. It is part of my life. I like to discover new places, new cultures and new people. What really matter for me, besides helping people, is simply to be with them. My few weeks at Home of Hope have been great. My only regret is my lack of knowledge of the Chi Nyanja language. Time was too short.
Have you shared your experience with other people?
Yes indeed! Just few days ago, I met a Zambian woman working in town. She found it bizarre that a stranger like me came from so far to do voluntary work in Zambia. I felt that she might become herself a volunteer soon.
You will be leaving Zambia in a week from now. Which prospects do you have once back to Poland?
I will be going back to Dar es Salaam by train. Then, I go back to Kenya once more to work for two weeks in a small home for disable boys. Finally, I should be back to my country by the end of June. Once there, I will look around to find a job. I will add my experience in Africa on my C.V. adding that it has been the best time of my life, so far. I am pretty sure to come back again. I feel as if I could go anywhere.
What is your most important discovery in Africa?
You know! The mentality of the Polish people is not always easy to understand. They have the tendency of complaining about anything, even when things go well. Very often, my friends feel worry about me when I am telling them that everything is fine. Life in Africa is by far harder than in Europe but people are smiling. There is a taste of joy here which attracts me.
Monika Grzelak webpageFor more information about Monika, see her webpage on

STOP Slavery Leaflet – South Africa

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Bulletin JIPC-ED No 9 April 2013

Bulletin-JPIC-ED April 2013Together with the whole Church we warmly welcome the new Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. Since the day of his election, he has repeatedly asked his audiences to pray for him. Let us also in our daily prayers commend him to God to bless him in his new challenging ministry. … Continue reading

Child Abuse and Trauma Management – Facts, Culture, Lessons to be learned

FENZA attracted over 50 people to its regular conference on the 24th April 2013 dedicated this time to child abuse and trauma management. The Director, Father Gotthard Rosner, was very pleased to introduce the Bemba group Fimbusa founded in 2008 and aiming at preserving traditional cultural values. This group is composed of six men and 17 women from various cultural backgrounds but using primarily Bemba symbols in their teaching. They operate as a research group within FENZA.
Jacek Rakowski, from the Home of Hope, was also invited to present facts about the reality of child abuse. According to his research, 85% of cases of abuse are related to neglect, so called emotional abuse. It is particularly the case in dysfunctional families or related to social poverty. For many children, life is nothing else than a hostile environment. Consequently, traumatic experiences remain as lifelong scars. Physical abuse, including sexual ones, from which discipline beatings are not easy to distinguish, ends up with injuries.
Sexual abuse takes place most of the time within the family set up where the “conspiracy of silence” and the denial of abuse reinforce the traumatic burden of the victim. Very often, abusers have been abused themselves and also need help.
Finally, to conclude the presentations, Patrick Mumbi, psychologist and anthropologist, gave a magisterial presentation of the negative effects imparted upon victims of child abuse. As counsellors or helpers, we are all invited to listen to the various personalities which are hidden within a traumatised person. By all means, an abuse should never be hidden. It must be said, preferably denounced. The wrongdoer is the abuser, not the child.
We are looking forward to attend the next FENZA Conference.

Lumimba Pastoral Team 2013

Lumimba Pastoral Team 2013

From Left to Right:
1. Abusa Zimba-Catechist-(Mwanya outstation),
2. Fr Phelim Malumo (Assistant Priest-Ministry),
3. Abusa Mpande-Catechist (Chasera outstation)
4. Br Jonas Mensah (Stagiere-1st Year)
5. Fr Pawel Mazurek (Parish Priest)
6. Fr Frederic Ajaruva Bedijo (Curate & Community Animator).
1. Abusa Gondwe (Catechist Lumimba outstation)
2. Abusa Zimba (Chiweza Outstation).


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