Shortly before the end of last year, I filled my agenda up to September this year because I was due for home leave. All of the sudden I got a request from PAC (Province de l’Afrique Centrale) to go for home service. Since I knew that my name was on a waiting list as far back as 2006, there was little ground for negotiation. Consequently I reviewed my programme to make it correspond with the new situation. Easier said than done! Indeed without the help of my community, I would have missed the plane since I finished to pack up only a couple of hours before my flight.
On the other hand, my confreres and friends around Lusaka transformed what could have been an emotionally exhausting period into a merry week. Have you ever imagined a farewell party each and every day from Monday to Friday? You people are marvelously good! I was overwhelmed by your generosity, your love which was beautifully expressed in a variety of ways. I will ever be grateful to you! What the Lord has done for me, I can’t not tell it all… Just allow me to ask Him to continue blessing you abundantly. By the way you are welcome to Bujumbura!
Fraternally, Marc Nsanzurwimo, M.Afr
As part of our formation, the stagiaires meet at Nazaré Centre in Beira from 16th to 21st February. Prior arrangements took place regarding our travel documents and means of transport. Nazaré is really beautiful. It is run by the M.Afr on behalf of the Diocese of Beira. Everything took place in a very conducive environment despite the hot and humid weather. However, things went on well thanks to the generosity, the eagerness and good will of all the participants.
Personal prayer, moments of sharing and the Eucharistic celebration at 17:30 were our daily timetable with the exception of an outing on 19th at the beach next to Beira town.
We were warmly welcomed by the Sector Superior of Mozambique; Fr Timothée Bationo. He expressed his heartfelt sentiments of joy seeing us around. The mission looks bright. Fr Hugh Seenan gave us a brief history of the Church in Mozambique going back to 1560. We had two coordinators: Fr Venerato Babaine and Fr Richard Ujwigowa.
Each one of us got a chance to share his experience as a stagiaire. We allowed ourselves to be challenged to listen with our hearts more than our ears.
Our missionary experience calls for commitment, courage, determination, perseverance, a sense of focus and an attitude of prayer. These values were actually expressed in the sharing as being essential elements of our discernment and response to the call to be missionaries.
Sadly, on 18th February, we learnt the death of the father of our brother Martin Somda. We felt called upon to let our sense of brotherhood be a reality in such an unfortunate circumstance. We marked a pause and prayed for his father. Martin left the meeting and went to Burkina Faso to be with his family. Then, we had a thanksgiving mass at the sector house with the confreres in Beira on the last day.
Indeed, we had a fruitful meeting. We would like to thank all those who have made it possible for us to live such enriching moments: the Provincial Council, the Sector Delegates and the Coordinators. We thank especially Frs. Richard Ujwigowa, Jean de Dieu Bukuru and Jean Bosco Nibigira who transported us to and from the Zambia-Mozambique border to Beira. Thanks to all who have contributed to this unforgettable experience.
Armand Bamouni, Stagiaire in Serenje, Zambia.
Yesterday the 24th February 2015, Filiyanus Ekka received the sad news that his cousin, Noel Kishore, had died. Noel leaves a wife and one daughter. He was in the Indian Army and a troop will bring his body home tomorrow. May he rest in peace. Let us keep Noel, his family, and Filiyanus in our prayers.
Message sent by Bill Turnbull, Delegate Superior in Malawi.
As the year begins with the election of a new President and appointment of a new cabinet, it remains to be seen how the economy will be steered to the end of the year. A weakening Kwacha and a slump in copper prices on the local and international fronts respectively could be indicative of a bumpy year ahead of us. It therefore calls for level headed leadership to navigate these challenges. The leadership that has been exhibited on the impasse surrounding the new mining tax regime however does not inspire confidence and is a source of concern to the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). It is not clear if the new mining tax regime announced in the 2015 budget is subject to negotiation and who is charge of the negotiation.
This is of serious concern for the Centre due to its adverse impacts on the livelihoods of the mine workers as well as government revenues. On one hand the jobs of many hang in the balance as the mining companies leverage them for a more favourable tax regime while on the other hand Government’s 2015 budget risks being unbalanced. There is therefore need for good leadership and consistent economic policy from the new Government even as they settle down. The conflicting statements from the President, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Commerce on the new mining tax regime as to whether to subject it to revision do not reflect well on the Government and risk the stability of the economy and cost of living for the majority Zambians. It should be realised that lives of people are at stake and so care must be taken in handling the issue of mining tax.
The January 2015 Basic Needs Basket for Lusaka stood at K3, 793.59. This shows a significant decrease of K111.63 from the month of December 2014 which stood at K3, 905.22. This can be easily attributed to decreases in the cost of food items such as that of Kapenta which decreased by K67.65 from an average unit cost of K139.08 to K114.90 per kg, Dry fish which decreased by K34.10 from K124.81 to K78.22 per Kg and Beans which reduced by K16.03 from K32.89 to K25.51 per Kg. Looking at the food items that have led to this significant decrease it can be said that these are due to seasonal changes which at any moment could vary again.
The JCTR therefore calls on government to come up with a clear direction for mining taxation as this could help ease the troubles currently being faced with the falling Kwacha and eminent rising interest rates that would further push up costs of various items on the Basic Needs Basket. Government should also be concise and comprehensive in reducing the cost of living, not just in the short term (e.g. during time of elections) but to find lasting solutions for these inconsistencies in the cost of living.
Warm Greetings from Nairobi! I would like to inform you that I got the approval to do the Perpetual Oath as Brother. I would do it here in Nairobi, along with one other Brother candidate and those brothers going for diaconate. We are ten all in all. On the same day, Willy Schoofs will celebrate 50 years of Oath while Roger Tessier will Celebrate 60 years. Richard Bawoobr will attend the celebration. The Oath will be on 15th May, 2015.
At the moment, I am doing African Studies at Maryknoll Institute of African Studies at Tangaza College, Nairobi.
I sincerely thank you all for all the support and prayers. Please continue praying for us that we may be faithful to the promise that we are about to take. Clayb Caputolan
We heard through WhatsApp that our Stagiaire , currently in Mozambique for the Stagiaires’ meeting, that his father passed away few day ago. Already, his mother died in June 2014 in a tragic accident in Burkina Faso.
Many sent their condolences using WhatsApp such as Lowrent Thokozani Kamwamza, Julian Kasiya, Philip Meraba, Didasio Mwanza, Paul Makambi Kitha, Bonaventure Gubazire, Dominic Kapatamoyo, Willliam Turnbull, Filiyanus Ekka and Philippe Docq. Many more would have done it if using WhatsApp. But, this media network is not available to all.
In his reply, Martin wrote: “I am grateful to all of you expressing your condolences to me. It is unfortunate that I am right now off from any social network. I do not have much information to let you know but I will be going home from Mozambique (…). Once more, thanks brothers. I am using the phone of Paul Namono to thank you. Martin Somda.”
Note: Martin is in his second year stage in South Africa.
Rt. Rev. Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza, Bishop of the Diocese of Mzuzu in Northern Malawi, died on Thursday afternoon, January 15, 2015, as a result of a tragic car accident on the M1 Road between Chikangawa and Mzuzu. He was driving alone coming from his home where he had gone for a rest after Christmas to Mzuzu, his official residence.
Nobody witnessed the accident and it was not ascertained how long the bishop was on the road between the accident and the eventual rescue by Fr. Filianus Eka, M. Afr. who was on a bus also heading to Mzuzu from Lilongwe. When he was discovered, Bishop Zuza had been ejected from the car and was covered in mud off the road. At this time he could still talk. He did not show any signs of external injuries. Anyway, transport was quickly organized to take the bishop to St. John’s Hospital, Mzuzu.
The hospital staff did what they could to save the bishop’s life, but in the meantime it was discovered that Bishop Zuza has had severe internal injuries and he died a few hours later, the same afternoon.
At the scene of the accident, the car he was driving, a Toyota double cabin, showed a burst rear tyre. The car must have swerved, overturned, pointing in the opposite direction.
Bishop Zuza’s Funeral and Requiem Mass took place on Monday, January 19, 2015, in the grounds of St. Peter’s Cathedral. Thousands of people braced the heavy rains to attend the funeral. They came from all over the country. All bishops from all the dioceses of Malawi were there.
More than 100 priests and religious were present. The president of the Republic of Malawi, H.E. Peter A. Mutharika and the Vice President, Hon. Saulos Chilima were in attendance. There were priests from Tanzania as well as the Auxiliary Bishop of Chipata Diocese, Zambia.
After the Mass, Bishop Zuza was laid to rest in the premises of St. Peter’s Cathedral of the Diocese of Mzuzu. The mammoth crowd at the funeral was a clear testimony of who and what Bishop Zuza meant to so many people. Many will remember him as a humble, friendly but courageous Bishop. Mzuzu Diocese has lost a dedicated and zealous Pastor. It goes without saying that many people miss him as friend.
At the time of his death, Bishop Zuza was the Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi and Chancellor of the Catholic University of Malawi among other high profile offices.
May he rest in God’s Eternal Peace!
http://www.ecmmw.org/new/2015/01/20/bishop-joseph-mukasa-zuzas-burial-laid-to-rest-at-st-peters-cathedral/ http://www.afriem.org/2015/01/rest-peace-bishop-zuza/ http://amecea.blogspot.com/2015/01/malawi-thousands-attend-funeral-of.html http://www.ecmmw.org/new/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IMG_9368.jpg http://malawivoice.com/2015/01/19/bishop-joseph-mukasa-zuza-interred-as-apm-veep-chilima-pay-tribute/