Sedos Residential Seminar May 2 to 6, 2016 – Arricia, Rome.

I took part last May in a seminar organised by SEDOS (Centre of Documentation and Study) in Rome.  We were 120 participants made up of priests, religious men and women from all five continents.  Four Missionaries of Africa participated in the seminar: Denis Pam from Rwanda, Filiyanus Ekka from India, Frank Rossmann from Germany, and Boris Yabre from Mozambique. Two Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa were as well among us.

SEDOS RESIDENTIAL SEMINAR 2016 - Arricia, RomeThe world is in constant pain, torn by divisions, violence, wars and mutual rejection, cultural and religious tensions. This has brought about the theme of the seminar: Interculturality: Living and Mission.

Inspired and helped by some erudite guess speakers from Italy, Japan, Cameroon, India, United States and Peru, we have come to better understand that interculturality, rather than an issue, is an opportunity.  It is a golden chance to go beyond oneself in order to learn, share, love and grow.

We need to move away from our egocentrism tendencies and learn to appreciate “cultural relativism”. Thus, it should be admitted that no culture is superior or inferior to another. “Rather, we could say that every culture is unique and none of them can be identified with another one. Every identity presupposes diversity which remains the starting point for intercultural dialogue and communication between cultures.” Indeed, every culture is a gift from God not only to a specific group but to be cherished by the whole humanity. Each culture is unique and should not be undermined. Put together, cultures in their diversities make up a common richness to be enjoyed by the whole world.

Interculturality is an evangelical necessity whereby conversion of the heart, the mind and the will are needed as experience shows how conflictual can be our intercultural religious communities. That implies widening continuously our horizons and making steps toward the other with the unique intention of knowing and giving a space that is due to that person.

Personality and interculturality are to be reconciled and balanced in the practice of community living. We may belong to the same cultural background and yet we have different personalities. The danger appears when someone judges an entire culture from one’s subjective experience from an individual belonging to this particular culture.

Boris-Yabre-2015The SEDOS seminar was excellent. It was a moment to experience our unity within the diversity inside the Church and in the world. The leaders of our little missionary Society thought well of sending four of us to take part in it. We are happy and grateful. We shall try our best to put into practice what our ears have heard.

Someone once sang, “different colours, one people”. I want to add, “different cultures, one people”.

Boris Yabre, M.Afr, Mozambique

Death of Noel Kishore, cousin of our confrere Filiyanus Ekka

Filiyanus EkkaYesterday 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.

Tragic death of Bishop Rt. Rev. Joseph Mkasa Zuza in Mzuzu, Malawi

Rt. Rev. Martin Mtumbuka and Rt. Rev. Joseph Mkasa Zuza
Rt. Rev. Martin Mtumbuka and Rt. Rev. Joseph Mkasa Zuza

Dear All,
I just received the sad news from Filiyanus Ekka that Bishop Zuza died earlier this afternoon.
Filiyanus, one of our confrères, was travelling back to Mzuzu from Lilongwe by bus when he saw the bishop’s car by the side of the road.  He got the driver to stop.  Found that the bishop had had some sort of accident and was thrown out of the car. It appears the car had rolled and was in the ditch.
Filiyanus-Samson-Richard-Ch - CopyFiliyanus managed to phone Richard Dery, our stagiaire in Mzuzu, and somehow arranged transport to take him to St John’s Hospital Mzuzu.  The bishop was conscious all the way and was talking.  From what  said he died in his arms in the hospital.
The details of what happened are not clear.  Filiyanus is still in shock and is at the hospital.
Let us keep Bishop Zuza in our prayers.  He was a great friend of the White Fathers and will be sadly missed by everyone.  May he rest in peace.
Will keep you updated on what happens.
Yours, William Turnbull, Delegate Superior, Malawi

Visitors from Malawi

Filiyanus-Samson-Richard-Ch - CopyPrison Fellowship 2 RichardWoodlands recently welcomed visitors from Malawi. Two of them are our confreres from Mzuzu; Filiyanus Ekka and the stagiaire Richard Dery. But two more have been sent by our Friend of Kungoni member Richard L. Hewitt. They are Samson Phiri and Chikondi Medson. The latest is a student of Richard L. Hewitt who is teaching at Kamuzu Academy in Malawi for the past ten years. Chikondi got a scholarship to perfect his knowledge in Latin and Greek languages at the Accademia Vivarium Novium in Rome for one year. Brilliant student originally from Tcheu in the central region of Malawi, Chikondi is only twenty years old. We wish him good luck in his first experience abroad. His got his visa in Lusaka on Monday 29th September and flying to Rome on Friday 3rd October. Have a nice journey dear Chikondi.