Monseigneur Étienne-Benoît Larue: The Founder of Child Jesus Sisters.


ChilongaBy Douglas Ogato, M.Afr

Recently, in the wee morning hours, I passed by the convent of the Child Jesus Sisters in Chilonga for a short visit. No sooner had I arrived, the Sisters welcomed me into their house for breakfast. I spotted a portrait of a man hanging on the wall. He was wearing a gandoura and a rosary around his neck. From a distance I could see that he was a White man with a long beard. I saw a name scribbled on the base of the portrait: Monseigneur Etienne Larue. Below were the following words: Our Founder. I asked the sisters: “Who is he?” In unison they responded: “He is our founder.”

Étienne-Benoît LarueAccording to her narration, the seed of the Congregation of Child Jesus Sisters was born when a White Fathers was preaching in Ipusukilo, Kitwe. A girl came to see him after Mass to share her wish to become a priest like him. The story came to the ears of Monseigneur Etienne Larue who heard a similar story from another girl. It became crystal clear to him that the Spirit was at work. God was calling these girls to religious life. So, he saw an urgent need of founding a local religious congregation of Sisters that will be admitting Zambian girls wanting to devote their lives in serving the Lord. This is how the congregation of Child Jesus Sisters came into existence.

Monseigneur Larue requested the White Sisters to help in admitting the first group of girls into the novitiate and to assist in forming and training them. By doing so, Monseigneur Larue applied a similar method to that of Cardinal Lavigerie when he asked the Jesuits to help in forming and training the first group of candidates he had just recruited for his missionary Society he had founded.

As I ardently listened to the Sister narrating their foundation story, my heart throbbed with nods. The Bemba people rightly say: Umwana uushenda atasha nyina ukunaya (a child who does not travel or visit other places praises her mother for her wonderful cooking). Initially, I had thought that the Child Jesus Sisters had been founded by the White Sisters. My stop over at their convent in Chilonga educated me about their foundation. Had I not stopped over, I was going to remain in ignorance about this rich and important moment of evangelisation in Zambia. Indeed, this is some of the history that we need to cherish and celebrate as we are commemorating 125 years of evangelization in Zambia. May the Spirit of Monseigneur Etienne Larue continue engulfing his daughters so that they may continue serving the Lord in truth and charity!

Bishop Étienne-Benoît Larue, M.Afr

Priestly Ordination of Douglas Ogato, M.Afr, July 29, 2016


ogato-ordi-2016-bbBy Douglas Ogato, M.Afr

My ordination to the priesthood took place on 29th July 2016 at Holy Family church, Gekano Parish in Kisii Diocese in the western part of Kenya. I was ordained by my Bishop, Joseph Mairura. Many Christians travelled from near and far to witness my ordination and to celebrate with me and my family this joyful occasion. Among those who attended were: religious sisters and brothers from within and outside the diocese, diocesan clergy, East African Provincial and other Missionaries of Africa from the Sector of Kenya accompanied by members of Lavigerie Family (a lay associate group), a delegation from Zambia led by Mama Grace Shawa of Regiment Parish, and Nyamira County Government officials led by His Excellency the Governor, John Nyagarama.

In his homily, Bishop Mairura talked passionately about the tremendous missionary work the Missionaries of Africa have done and continue to do in the continent of Africa. He expressed his joy that one of his own sons from the diocese of Kisii has responded to the call of missionary life.

The entire ordination celebration was a very touching experience in my life, one that will remain indelible in my heart and mind. I am very much grateful to God who has called me to his vineyard, and to my family, friends and parishioners of Gekano Parish for having supported my answer to the missionary call, and above all, to the entire fraternity of the Missionaries of Africa and all those who contributed in one way or the other towards the success of my ordination. To Him be glory for ever and ever!

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Invitation for Priestly Ordination.


The Society of the Missionaries of Africa and the Family of Mr. Barnabas Ogato and Mrs. Prisca Moraa is pleased to invite you to the Priestly ordination of their son Rev. Deacon Douglas Momanyi Ogato on the 29th July 2016 at Kisii town parish by his Lordship Joseph Mairura Okemwa, Bishop of Kisii Diocese.  

Fr. John Aserbire, Assistant Provincial, EAP (On behalf of the Provincial Secretary EAP)

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New CD of St. Peter’s Main Choir – Serenje Catholic Church, Zambia


St. Peter's Main Choir - Serenje

St. Peter's Main Choir - Serenje2Title: : Let’s praise You.

Songs: 1. You who serve the Lord. 2. The body of Jesus. 3. Confession. 4. Praises. 5. Father, I have overcome the world. 6. He is blessed. 7. My child. 8. You, our God, care for us. 9. Let’s praise You. 10. I send you. 11. He is born. 12. You God, come! Note: all the songs are in Chibemba.

The CD is a thanksgiving for 53 years of presence of the Missionaries of Africa in Serenje, Zambia. Currently in Serenje are Father Saju Jose Akkara, Indian, Deacon Douglas Ogato, Kenyan, and Innocent Majune Iranzi, Congolese.

Oath and Diaconate in South Africa, November 27, 2015


neralOath Diaconate SA Nov 2015 01By Amorain Wayikpo and Jean-Paul Basikaba, Media Committee, Merrivale.

Some of the young men in the Formation House in Merrivale, South Africa, professed their final Oath on the 27th November 2015. They are six: Albert Kondemodre (Burkinabe); Alphonse-Marie Byishimo (Rwandese); Damian Ahimbisibwe (Ugandan); Douglas Ogato Momanyi (Kenyan); Konrad Simon Millanzi (Tanzanian) and Robbin Simbeye (Zambian). Rev. Father Jozef Van Boxel, 1st Assistant of the General Council presided over the Eucharistic celebration and received the missionary Oath of these young confreres who have become full members of the Society of the M.Afr. After the community Morning Prayer, as it is required in view of a diaconate ordination, the candidates confessed their faith and belief in the Roman Catholic Church. They all signed the declaration of faith as their resolute will of serving and leading the people of God according to the official teaching of the Church.

In his homily, Father Jozef Van Boxel mentioned some similarities between the Prophet Samuel’s call (Sam 3:1-10) and the missionary call. This call to serve God comes from God. It is something very personal and intimate between God and those who are called. It includes listening, discerning and answering. The preacher pointed out some basis of the missionary call found in the Gospel (Matthew 11:25-30): the importance of a disciple to have a childlike trust and confidence in God that involves obedience to God and our Superiors in carrying out God’s mission and not our own; living apostolic charity in our mission and remaining celibate for the sake of God’s kingdom.

Fr. Jozef invited the new confreres to a very deep, close and personal relationship with God through a prayerful life which is a best means of fulfilling peacefully and joyfully God’s call.

The next day, on the 28th November 2015, the six new M. Afr, joined by three other candidates namely one Dominican, Clement Mweni (Zambian) and two Sacred Heart of Jesus, Blaise Bonkondi Biane (Congolese) and Ushinde Kambale Sahani (Congolese), were ordained deacons at St. Raphael’s Parish – Kwamzimba by Most Rev. Bishop Barry Wood, Assistant Bishop of the Archdiocese of Durban.

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