First edition of Mansa Diocese Roundup for the year 2017, Zambia.

Mansa Roundup Newsletter Vol. 3 Issue 1 No. 21 logoBy Rt. Rev. Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv., Bishop of Mansa Diocese

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as the Year 2017 Unfolds, I present to you this first edition of Mansa Roundup for the year 2017: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Pastoral Theme that is accompanying our programs this year is: Ba Minshioni ba Lelo Nifwe (We are the Missionaries of Today). This is inspired by the ongoing commemoration, of 125 years, since the arrival of the first Catholic Missionaries into the present day Zambia, and 116 into today’s Mansa Diocese.

On the national level, this Jubilee was inaugurated, on 6th August 2006, at Mambwe Mwela in Mbala District, the very site of first settlement by the pioneer White Fathers (1891). The celebrations will conclude, on 15th July 2017, with the solemn celebration of the Eucharist in Lusaka.

Locally, in Mansa Diocese, the celebrations were launched on 2nd October 2016 at Santa Maria wa Mwelu, near Chibote Mission, where the first missionaries settled in 1900 and intended to establish the first Catholic mission in the Luapula region. The ruins and bricks of the house for priests are still intact up to date – a living sign of the continued sacredness of this site. To this very place we are returning on 7th October for the diocesan solemn closure of this year of celebrating the arrival and works of the pioneer missionaries. This would also be the fitting occasion to consecrate this holy site as a Diocesan Marian Shrine, dedicated to the Queen of Missionaries. Let us all work together towards the success of these events, for Ba Minshioni ba Lelo Nifwe.

Patrick Chisanga, OFM ConvThe beginning of this year has been crowned with significant events in the life of our Diocese and the realization of its Vision. It was very remarkable, for instance, that the very first procession into the Cathedral, for the New Year Eucharistic celebration, was led by a person with special needs who carried the processional cross and served during Mass. Our dear friend, Billy Beddor, who was born with Down Syndrome 51 years ago, came all the way from the US with his sister Sandy and sister-in-law, Coleen, together with Amy Hewitt and her team from the University of Minnesota.

The training they conducted regarding people with disabilities was a great step towards the realization of our Vision of “A Diocese that Embraces Everyone with Christ’s Love.” To this effect, I call upon every parish and diocesan institution to put in place deliberate policies that fosters love, respect and inclusion of people with disabilities.

Another significant blessing at the beginning of this year (5th January) was the Government’s handover of Kabunda Girls Secondary School as a Catholic Mission School with Grand-Aided status. This followed the arrival of the Dominican Sisters in the Diocese (4th January) who have since been entrusted with management of the institution, which on 24th February was re-dedicated as Holy Trinity Girls Secondary School during the solemn Eucharistic celebration. Welcome to Mansa dear Sisters and thank you for taking up the challenge. The needs of this school are immense; let us all contribute to its rebuilding.

A hearty welcome also to members of other religious institutes who have recently come on board to contribute to our mission of giving life in abundance to God’s flock (John 10:10). I thank in particular the superiors of the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate (LSMI), the Franciscan Missionaries of Divine Motherhood (FMDM), the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters), the Sisters of St Joseph (Soeurs de Sant Joseph Auxiliatrice de L’Eglise) and our own Sisters of Mercy for the personnel they have made available to serve in the various apostolates of the Diocese in the recent past. Furthermore, I welcome the many lay faithful who have come to our Diocese and are already fully involved in the life of their respective new parishes.

Events such as the foregoing are a source of great hope for our Diocese despite the many challenges we face, especially those arising from the economic crisis that have always haunted our region of Luapula. Let us be united and fight this dehumanising evil of poverty. Let us also demand positive action from all our leaders, especially those appointed to high portfolios of central Government who tend to forget their roots. There shall be no excuse for them not to make a difference.

As the year 2017 unfolds, I invite everyone to pay heed to the Lord’s command, which we have also adopted as the theme for our Diocesan Strategic Plan 2016-2021, to “Let Down the Nets for a Catch” (Luke 5:4). All departments and individuals must strive to implement the strategic goals that pertain to them. Let us be true missionaries of today who pledge not to betray the great sacrifice and works of the pioneer missionaries.

May God bless all our readers of Mansa Roundup. Thank you for your constructive feedback and every support. Have a fruitful Lenten Season.

Click here to open the PDF file of this magazine.


Message of the Bishop Director to all the Consecrated 2nd February 2017 – World Day of Prayer for the Consecrated

worldday-consecrated-life-pngThrough you, let the light of the nations, Jesus Christ, shine to all the peoples

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Consecrated Life, May the Lord give you Peace.

In 1997, Pope St. John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for men and women in consecrated life. This World Day for Consecrated Life, whose annual celebration is attached to the February 2 Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, has accorded the whole Church and all peoples an opportunity to contemplate, with greater appreciation, the gift of the Religious Vocation and its contribution to the holiness of the Church, its mission of evangelization and the general advancement of human society.

ZCCB LOGO PNGOn this special occasion of celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the World Day for Consecrated Life, I, on behalf of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), wish to congratulate all members of the various Institutes of Consecrated Life who are witnessing and ministering here in Zambia. It is an undeniable fact that the history of the Catholic Church in our country is intimately linked to the missionary endeavours of the men and women from various Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

125 years ago, the first Catholic missionaries, the White Fathers, set foot into the northern region of our land and began the systematic proclamation of the Gospel. The decades that followed were characterized by such a prolific wave of missionary endeavours that by the mid of the twentieth century, the Catholic Church was practically established in all regions of the country. We pay resounding tribute to these gallant missionaries from various Institutes – the Jesuits, the Franciscan Conventuals and Capuchins, the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa, the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate, the Franciscan Missionaries of Assisi, the Dominicans, the Holy Cross, to mention but a few.

The Spirit of the risen Lord has at all times provided to the Church in Zambia Institutes of Consecrated Life with a wide diversity of charisms through which the spiritual richness of the Catholic Church is manifested. This feast day of the Consecrated during this Jubilee Year of the Catholic Faith in Zambia presents itself as another fitting occasion to reiterate our profound gratitude to the manifold expressions of Consecrated Life in our country today. Thank you for your relentless commitment to the mission of announcing the Good News and the concomitant social ministries through which you give hope and restore the dignity of God’s people, especially those in the far-flung and often forgotten parts of our country. We embrace you as a Divine gift to the local Church and a guarantee of its holiness.

It is our hope that your life in community, inspired by the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience that you profess, will continue to be a prophetic sign to our society as it grapples with the present day challenges of secularism, individualism, corruption, and mediocrity. Do not allow the great spiritual wealth of your consecration and respective charisms to degenerate into obsolesce and irrelevancy through unnecessary compromises and shift from things that really matter – prayer, charity, life, commitment. We guarantee to support you so that you may always remain faithful to the inspiration of your respective founders while at the same time being open to an ever more fruitful spiritual and pastoral cooperation with us in line with the needs of respective dioceses where you are established.

May the celebration of your feast day be an occasion of renewal and recommitment. Through you let the light of the nations, Jesus Christ, shine forth to all the peoples.

Happy Feast day. + Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv (Bishop of Mansa Diocese and Director of the Consecrated)

Editorial of Bishop Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv.; “Ba Mishioni ba Lelo, Nifwe”.

Note from the webmaster of SAP Blog: We are pleased to share with you the editorial of Bishop Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv. of Mansa Diocese published recently in their magazine. A special mention was given to the first missionaries who came to Zambia at Mambwe Mwela in 1891 as the Church of Zambia is celebrating its 125th anniversary. We are particularly touch with the aim of the diocese to enhance the faith and missionary spirit in the Youth.

Editorial of the Mansa Roundup magazine, volume 2, issue 6; Ba Mishioni ba Lelo, Nifwe”.

Rev. Patrick Chisanga Ordi Feb 2014 02bBy Bishop Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv.

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, complements of the season.

Christmas is a festive season that draws our attention to ‘the coming of the Lord’; a season of gratitude for the Lord’s manifold salvific interventions in human history; a time of awareness of God’s continued saving presence; an intense period of preparation and waiting in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

We thank the Lord for all the graces we received during the Extraordinary Year of Mercy. As we open this new liturgical calendar, during which the Catholic Church in Zambia celebrates 125 years since the arrival of the first missionaries at Mambwe Mwela (1891) and nine years later (1900) at Lwali near Chibote mission. Let us give a fitting glory to the missionaries who planted the first seeds of faith that has gradually grown into the present day Mansa Diocese. Let us also pay tribute to the ancestors of our land for opening their hearts to receiving the Good News. It is now our turn to assume responsibility and be committed to the continued propagation of the Good News of Salvation, mercy, unity and embracing every one with Christ’s love.

Christ’s love is precisely the Vision we have set as a Diocese in the Strategic plan 2016-2021, entitled “Let down the nets for a catch” (Lk.5:4) which was launched on December 12, 2015, and expressed in terms of a commitment to promotion of spiritual, moral education, health and general empowerment of the people in the diocese through evangelisation using well-coordinated pastoral and integral human development programmes based on three thematic pillars, namely: Pastoral Care; Social Human Development; Financial Institutional capacity and Self sustainability. Thank you very much to all those who successfully realised the goals in their respective departments for the year 2016. Our general evaluation indicates that the Social and Human Development managed 75% of the planned activities, the Pastoral Care completed 54% while the Financial Institutional Capacity and self-sustainability area realised only 15% of the planned activities.

I strongly urge the departments in the third pillar to assess their poor performance and ensure that set goals are realised. I also ask all diocesan departments, institutions and parishes to:

  1. Familiarise themselves with the vision, Mission and Values of the Diocese
  2. Draw from the strategic plan activities which pertain to them and workout an implementation programme.

iii. Ensure that their own local plan realises and enhances the general orientation of the Diocese.

The implementation of the strategic plan will be done in the context of celebrating 125 and 116 years of Catholic Faith in Zambia and Mansa Diocese, respectively. The missionaries did their part; today the ball is in our court, ‘We are the Missionaries of Today’. ‘Ba Missioni balelo Nifwe’ is the theme I therefore propose to accompany the pastoral action of the Diocese with effect from Saturday 17 December, 2016 through to 25 November, 2017, during this period all parishes are expected to:

  1. Set up programmes of missionary formation and catechetical lessons on the history of the Catholic Church in Zambia, in Mansa Diocese and in their respective Parishes.
  2. Enhance the faith and missionary spirit in the Youth and Holy Childhood.

iii. Display banners of the Pastoral Theme and recite the prayer at the beginning of every Eucharistic celebration.

  1. Renovate and beautify the Church buildings and surroundings.
  2. Organise pilgrimages at local or deanery levels to the shrines of Divine Mercy (Lubwe) and or Santa Maria wa Mwelu (Chibote) in honour of missionaries.

As we begin the festive season, let us all be united, repeating with one voice the refrain of the early Christian Community: “Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus.” Let this be a year of life changing encounters with the Lord, deeper commitment to the vision, mission and values of our Diocese and indeed, a year of celebrating God’s Love and Mercy through the pioneer missionaries to our land. May we all pay heed to the Lord’s command to “Go therefore to the world and proclaim the Gospel to all creations” (Mk. 16:15), because Ba Mishioni ba Lelo, Nifwe”.

I seek your prayers and wish each one of you the grace and peace of the Lord “so that you may have life in abundance” (Jn.10:10). May our blessed Mother accompany us on our journey of faith as a Diocese.

Below; PDF file of the magazine.

mansa-roundup-logoCommunications Office Diocese of Mansa Plot 225, Cathedral Road Mansa, Zambia.

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Bishop Patrick Chisanga: Year of Consecrated Life is a call for introspection

The declaration by Pope Francis that a Year of Consecrated Life be celebrated throughout the world starting today, the first Sunday of advent, has been described as “timely and important” by Zambia’s Bishop Patrick Chisanga. Bishop Chisanga is the Bishop of Mansa Diocese.  Before becoming a Bishop, early this year, he was a formator in his congregation, the Order of Friars Minor Conventuals.
The Year of Consecrated Life will close on 2 February 2016, the World Day of Consecrated Life.
In an exclusive interview with Vatican Radio’s English Service for Africa, Bishop Chisanga said the declaration of a Year of Consecrated Life coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Second Vatican Council document, Perfectæ Caritatis. This document promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1965 is the “Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life.”  It deals with institutes of consecrated life in Church.
Zambian Bishops Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv. (R) with Evans Chinyemba OMI (l) copie
Zambian Bishops: Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv. (R) with Evans Chinyemba OMI (l)

According to Bishop Chisanga, this period should be used by the religious to revisit their call to religious life. ”It is an important moment of introspection. Every religious institution in Africa needs to re-examine and ask itself where they are as an institution, where they are coming from and where they are going. In other words, in this moment in time, what is their place and role in the Church?” asks Bishop Chisanga.

The Bishop was however keen to underline the fact that the year is not exclusively for the religious. “It is not exclusively a year for the religious only. It is a year in which the Church as a whole reflects on the charisms of the religious in the context of new evangelization and in the context of the importance of the family in Africa and in the Church. We must never forget that the men and women in religious life come from families.” Bishop Chisanga emphasised.
Asked about what he sees as the contribution of the religious to the Church in Zambia, Bishop Chisanga says, “The religious and the history of the Church in Zambia are intertwined. We cannot talk about the establishment of the Catholic Church in Zambia without thinking of the religious.”  The Bishop says, the religious in Zambia continue to play a significant role in the life of the Church. He adds, “When you talk about quality health care and education in Zambia, you will find that these are always associated with the Church. In great part, we thank the religious sisters and brothers for this. This is the richness of the Church in Zambia and in Africa.” Bishop Chisanga said.
“While all these apostolates are important, we cannot reduce the value of religious life to these external apostolic ministries. More importantly, this special year gives to the religious institution an opportunity to bring out that which prompts them to give quality health care to remote outposts in rural areas. What motivates them as religious people to go to these places? In order to make this introspection, the religious need to go back to their spiritual foundations.” Said Bishop Chisanga.
Bishop Chisanga is also aware of the many challenges facing religious life today in Africa. He is convinced that religious life cannot pretend to be spared of these challenges. He cites the changing times and the consequent secularisation of society as a big challenge. He says, “In a world where faith is pushed aside and spiritual matters are pushed aside, people today are looking for solutions everywhere else other than in the spiritual realm.”
Other challenges he notes, include a Church in Africa which now has to look to itself for both material and human resources. Further still there is the ever-present danger of individualism. “While religious men and women vow to live in poverty or without property, there is a huge temptation that a religious person could easily fall into: This is the world of materialism.” Bishop Chisanga underlines.
In the end, what is really essential is that during this year, the religious continue to witness to that spirit which prompted most of their founders to “leave everything in order to gain everything.” The Bishop concludes.
(Fr. Paul Samasumo)