Commemoration of 150 years of the M.Afr in Chipata diocese


Modéra Bazié2By Modéra Bazié, stagiaire

In order to commemorate the 150 years of the foundation of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, the diocese of Chipata expressed its gratitude to the White Fathers by organising a pilgrimage of faith in Lumimba Parish run by our confreres.

On Saturday 20th October, a number of activities were held in Chasera; poetry, a play, a traditional dance presented by the students of the formation house in Chipata and football matches. Were present Bishop George Lungu, brethren from other Christian denominations and representatives from the Muslim community.

At the Sunday Eucharistic celebration, honourable chief Mwanya attested her happiness and the gratefulness of the people of Chasera for the work of our ancestors in the mission. She also expressed her thankfulness for the education and health facilities the missionaries have been given to the people of Chasera. She concluded: zikomo kwambiri, which means ‘‘thank you very much’’.

Bishop George Lungu expressed his joy of having missionaries in his diocese. He also prayed for the first confreres who planted the Catholic faith in Chipata. He encouraged all the religious over the diocese and the students of the Missionaries of Africa to take up the challenges of their time in order to bring the Gospel to all the whole world in the same spirit as the first missionaries did. All gratitude to the Missionaries of Africa, he said.

Chasera-01He also invited the Christians to be grateful for what the confreres have done and are still doing for them by supporting them. He concluded his speech with a special word of gratitude to Father Toon van Kessel for his wonderful work in Chipata diocese.

Finally, Father Adelarde Munishi thanked the Bishop, the whole diocese, the traditional believers and other denominations for their collaboration. We are all from one Family, the family of God – Banja Nyumba Ali modzi, he said. He expressed his gratitude to the Christians of Chasera for having hosted the celebration.

In this atmosphere of great joy, the celebration ended with the final blessing of Bishop George Lungu after the missionaries had sung the Sancta Maria.

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The Fingers of Thomas in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia


Fingers of Thomas for Blog Oct 2014 22The Fingers of Thomas, a group linked to FENZA under the leadership of Fr. Bernhard Udelhoven are continuing their good work of enlightening Christian communities on the issue of witchcraft. Four of them – Philip Lupiah, Michael Chanda, Evarist Manya and Fr. Bernhard Udelhoven – accompanied by Fr. Romaric Bationo of FENZA, stepped away from their personal jobs and busy schedules, to facilitate two seminars in Chikowa and Lumimba parishes, Chipata diocese,  from the 1st to 11th October 2014. These seminars were the initiative of Fr. Bwezani Phiri, the Episcopal Vicar for the Luangwa Valley.
The first three-day seminar took place at Chikowa Parish from the 1st to the 4th of October. It attracted 51 church leaders from various outstations, the priests of the parish and 2 Comboni novices. In Lumimba Parish, it is 32 lay leaders with their 3 priests and the M.Afr Stagiaire who attended the workshop from 6th – 10th October.
The Fingers of Thomas: Fr. Bernhard Udelhoven, Evarist Manya, Michael Chanda, Philip Lupiah and John Zulu from Caritas Chipata were the featured presenters. The Fingers of Thomas expounded on the fundamental issues of witchcraft which are beliefs in evil spirits, magic, the reality of fear, the recourse to traditional medicine. Their presentations struck a chord with the participants, when the Fingers elucidated the realms of witchcraft; explained clearly that fear is at the core of black magic; unravelled some of the manipulatory tricks of witch-finders. John Zulu talked about the Witchcraft Act. Each day was well winded-up with a prayerful liturgy at night around the theme of the day.
Ultimately, the seminars stressed clearly that no matter the causes and forms of witchcraft, and amid its mysteries and disorders the power of God through Jesus Christ overcomes witchcraft. Christ is victorious and true faith in Him and being at the service of His Kingdom brings freedom, healing, justice, peace and reconciliation.
The issues tackled, the well-articulated presentations, the joy, the approbation and the gratefulness of the participants at the end of every seminar are a clear indication that the Fingers of Thomas are doing a remarkable and well appreciated work of JPIC-ED. Their next outreach will be in Mansa Diocese!
Reportage from Romaric Bationo, M.Afr

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