Oath and Diaconate in Merrivale, October 1, 2016


oath-diaconate-2016-45St. Joseph’s Parish church was packed on Saturday morning to celebrate the Oath and Diaconate of six Missionaries of Africa students. The broadcast was pretty grim with rain but gave way to a mix cloudy and sunny day though hailstones fell heavily at the end of the day. With them, two Sacred Heart candidates from DRCongo were also ordained Deacons together with eleven M.Afr students who received the ministry of Acolyte.

Were also present our Superior General, Stan Lubungo, our Provincial, Felix Phiri, Neil Frank , President of St. Joseph’s Theological Institute and Bishop Emmanuel Kerketta of the Diocese of Jashpur in India[1]. The main celebrant was our confrere Bishop Jan De Groef. Many other priests, religious and relatives or friends were present at this joyful feast sang in various languages; English, French, Ndebele, Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda, IsiZulu, Lingala and Latin.

Refreshments were offered after Mass in the parish hall and a meal in our formation Centre in Merrivale, about fifteen minutes away by car from the church.  

Brief presentation of the new Deacons.alfred-nkundimana-2016_jpeg

Born in 1984, Alfred Nkundimana is Rwandese. He began his preparatory year in Burundi. He was then sent for three years of philosophical studies in Bukavu, DRCongo. He made his spiritual year in Burkina Faso and was sent in South Africa for his pastoral experience. He is a qualified nurse. He joined Merrivale in 2014.

daniel-iraguha-2016_jpegBorn in 1986, Daniel Iraguha is Rwandese. He began his formation with the M.Afr in Burundi from where he went to Bukavu in the DRCongo for three years of philosophical studies. He then went to Burkina Faso for his Spiritual Year and made his stage in Gao, Mali.

amorain-wayikpo-2016_jpegAmorain Wayikpo (Kwami) is Togolese and was born in 1981. After completing his studies in geography, he began his philosophical studies in 2007 in Ouagadougou and then went for his spiritual year in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. In 2011, he was sent to Rwanda for his two years pastoral experience. He joined Merrivale community in 2014.

anthony-wie-2016_jpegBorn in 1980, Anthony Wie Batieka is Ghanean. After a few months of preparation in Nigeria, he did his philosophical studies in Ghana. In 2010, he was sent for spiritual year in Burkina Faso. He then went to Burundi for his pastoral experience.

erick-balderas-vega-2016_jpegErick Balderas Vega is Mexican and was born in 1981. After studying philosophy in a diocesan seminary, he spent two years in our house of formation in Mexico. He was then sent to Zambia for his spiritual year and his pastoral experience which he made in Kabwata Parish in Lusaka.

theophile-sam-2016_jpegTheophile Pegwedewende Sam is Burkinabe, born in 1984. He did his philosophical studies in Ouagadougou and his spiritual year in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. In 2011, he was sent for pastoral experience in Uganda and, after two years of pastoral experience, he joined our house of formation in Merrivale.

[1] Three M.Afr originate from his Diocese: Filiyanus Ekka, Erus Kishor Tirkey and Anand Kujur. Bishop Kerketta is very proud of it.

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Also the following students received the ministry of acolyte: Philippe Dakono (Malian), Christopher Nkandu (Zambian), Martin Somda (Burkinabe), Victor Sanou (Burkinabe), Éric Kambale (Congolese), Ryan Contamina (Filipino), Silas Nsabimana (Burundian), Robert Ouedraogo (Burkinabe), Dominic Shiby (Indian), Francis Eze (Nigerian) and Pierre Chanel Ulama (Congolese).

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Click below to read the translation of this article in Italian thanks to Luigi Morell, M.Afr:

Giuramento e Diaconato a Merrivale: 01 Ottobre 2016.

Aussi en français:

Serment et diaconat à Merrivale

The death of Amorain’s father


Amorain WayikpoOn behalf of Amorain Wayikpo, our second year candidate here in Merrivale, we inform the death of his father Jean Wayikpo who died this evening in Togo. Mr. Wayikpo’s death has just been announced by a confrere who called from Burkina Faso. The father got stroke few days ago and he has been in hospital until this evening when he passed away. Amorain is already in contact with his family and we wait for further arrangements in view of burial before buying a plane ticket. Amorain says it might take few days before the actual day of burial is announced.
Let us keep Amorain and his family in our prayers.
Fraternally, Quinbert Kinunda, M.Afr

The Community of Merrivale, December 2014 – Missionaries of Africa Formation House.


By Amorain Wayikpo. Merrivale, on 7th December 2014.

At the beginning of this year 2014, our community was composed of 23 members coming from 13 different countries. We had 2 Burkinabe, 4 Congolese (DR Congo), 1 Ethiopian, 2 Ghanaians, 1 Indian, 1 Kenyan, 1 Mexican, 1 Polish, 3 Rwandans, 3 Tanzanians, 1 Togolese, 1 Ugandan and 1 Zambian. Br. James Calder, M. Afr. a Canadian is also a member of our community. He is a lecturer in Philosophy at Saint Joseph’s Theological Institute (SJTI). Coming from different countries and cultural backgrounds has thus kept us an international and intercultural community.

Merrivale 2014 - CopyOur community is focused and well programmed. We started the year with the eight-day retreat from 27th January to 3rd February 2014. Second year students had the opportunity to do their 30 days retreat the whole of January. After coming back from our retreats, as a united community, we gathered to have our orientation session. We were inspired by Saint John 10: 10, “I have come, so that you may have life and have it to the full.” This mission statement was shared in teams, and it inspired us to live as brothers in spite of the fact that we have some challenges in our community life. For instance, we had an issue about the means of transport to the Institute which provoked a strong discussion during some of our community meetings. We have classes from Monday to Friday ending at mid-day. Most of us go to the Institute on foot and cover 8 kms per day. The use of our community bus and cars for class purpose is only reserved to when it is raining or when we have some activities in the afternoon at the Institute.

Another challenge is the departure of four candidates which is part of formation. They left their formation due to diverse reasons. The Ethiopian left during the first semester, 1 Tanzanian at the end of the first semester and 2 Congolese at the beginning of the 2nd semester. Then, at the end of the academic year, 2 deacons completed their theological studies and left for their holidays. The rector of the House finished his mandate and he has been appointed for another mission in Jerusalem.

The next academic year starts on 5th February 2015 and we are looking forward welcoming 9 new students and 2 formators. This will make our community come to a total of 28 members; 23 students, 4 formators and 1 brother.

Although theological studies are our main concern while here, we are also devoted to some pastoral activities during weekends. Some of us are doing apostolate in St. Joseph Parish which belongs to the Congregation of the Redemptorists. This parish has got two outstations; Kwa-Chief and Shiyase. Majority of our brothers do their apostolate every Sunday at St. Raphael Parish – Kwamzimba and its outstations. St. Raphael Parish belongs to the Missionaries of Africa and it is the only parish we have in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal. 

This year, two memorable events have taken place in our community; the ministry of acolyte on 17th May 2014 and the Missionary oath linking to the diaconate ordination on 28th – 29th November 2014 (see the previous article on these events).

St. Joseph Theological Institute is a property of Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI).

This Institute aims at “Empowering People through Philosophical, Developmental and Theological Learning rooted in the Catholic Tradition in Living Dialogue with Christian Communities, Religions and Cultures.” (Imbizo Magazine – www.sjti.ac.za)

STJI offers the following study programmes: Higher Certificate in General Philosophy, Advanced Certificated in General Philosophy, Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Advanced Cert. in Human and Social Development, Higher Cert. in Human and Social Development, Bachelor of Theology, Bachelor of Arts in Theology.

Concerning our presence in Saint Joseph’s Theological institute, we are well appreciated due to our academic Excellency and full participation in different activities of the Institute. These activities include; Organizing graduations, Tuesday afternoon liturgy, ecumenism and some football competitions between different communities within the institute. About leadership at SJTI, 2 of our confreres are heading two departments: Human and Social Development Studies and Philosophy. The retired president of the students’ executive forum was a student from our community.

This academic year 2014, at SJTI, was ended with a ‘Cultural day’ colored of different cultural presentations which emphasized on our unity in diversity and a closing Mass on 24th November 2014 presided by Fr Sylvester David, OMI, Institute President. Finally, during summer or long holidays, candidates of Merrivale Formation House are allowed to go for holidays outside South Africa, but within the Southern Africa Province.

Perpetual Oath and Diaconate Ordination of Serge Zihalirwa Boroto, M.Afr


Diaconate Henley 2014 13 copieMerrivale, on the 4th December 2014

By Amorain Wayikpo

On the 28th November 2014, in the Formation House of Missionaries of Africa – Merrivale South Africa, Serge Zihalirwa Boroto made his perpetual oath. He was born in 1981 in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. He started this initial formation with the Missionaries of Africa in 2005. Since January 2012, Serge Boroto has been doing his theological studies in St. Joseph Theological Institute of Cedara.

The Eucharistic celebration which was animated by the candidates of the House began at 11:00 and ended at 13:00. The presider was Fr. Christopher Chileshe, the Provincial, superior of Southern Africa Province (SAP).

Before the oath, Serge Boroto professed his faith and belief according to the Roman Catholic Church and its official teachings and Tradition. This was in view of his diaconate ordination, evidently in the presence of ocular witnesses such as Fr. Christopher Chileshe, Fr. Raphael Gasimba the former superior and rector of Merrivale community and some members of Boroto’s family.

Indeed, it was in the name of Rev. Fr. Richar Kuuia Baawobr, Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa, that Fr. Christopher received the perpetual oath of Serge Boroto which made the latter become a full member of the Society. Commenting on the readings (1 Sam 3:1-10; Psalm 103; Col 3: 12-17; John 15:9-17) chosen by the deacon to be, Fr. Christopher congratulated him for having reached that moment of responding to the Lord as Samuel: “Speak Lord your servant is listening”. He also took this opportunity to thank Serge’s family and friends because there is no doubt that a good missionary comes from a good family, in the sense of being supportive. Moreover, he especially appreciated the formators in their role, as Eli in Samuel’s call to have guided Serge toward answering the call from God. However he reminded him of the importance of being connected to Christ. Otherwise, if he misses this connection he then misses the point and everything will fall apart. On one hand to remain in Christ means that a missionary must have a restless search for God and restless love for God. On the other hand, love to others comes with its Cross. For Christ, it was manifested at Calvary, but for the disciple of Jesus, it is in sacrificial charity and in the daily activities of life.  “Serge, through today’s oath you will be taking up the ‘visa for martyrdom’ which Lavigerie had pointed to. There is always a cost to love other people dearly and sincerely. It is that Cross you must be willing to take up each day for your missionary life.”

Some family members of Serge after the Mass. Brothers and sisters; daughters and brothers in law and friends of Serge came from Bukavu, France, Belgium, Canada and South Africa (Pretoria and Cape Town) to witness to this event.

The party of perpetual oath took place in the community hall called “Maison Carrée”, where the guests enjoyed themselves with a copious meal and lovely music. In the following image some people expressed their joy, one carrying the cake of the day on his head and dancing in procession.

It was really a joyful and beautiful day.  The following day, on the 29th November 2014, Serge Zihalirwa Boroto was ordained deacon at St. Raphael’s Parish, Kwamzimba, by Right Reverend Father Jan De Greef, M.Afr, Bishop of the diocese, Bethlehem in South Africa.

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Read this article in French at : « Serment missionnaire à Merrivale». Amorain Wayikpo, originaire du Togo et étudiant dans ce centre de formation en Afrique du Sud partage la joie de l’engagement définitif d’un congolais dans la Société des M.Afr. (lire la suite)