The first semester of the Academic Year 2016 in Merrivale, South Africa.

Amorain and RobbinBy the new editorial team in Merrivale.

As we start our first semester of the academic year 2016, we wish to welcome each and every community member from his holidays. Our first year students had an opportunity of spending more time in silence and prayer for a period of one month in their retreat. Five of them went to Marianhill, and were directed by Fr. Fisher Urs CMM and three others went to the Capuchin sisters in Port Shepstone and were guided by Fr. Michel Côté, M.Afr on mission in Malawi. While chatting with some of them, they affirmed that they had a good experience which they will live and carry on through the rest of their missionary life.

Damian_and RobbinImmediately after their deaconate ordination, our five deacons were sent outside South Africa in different parishes. Damian Ahimbisibwe was at St. Francis parish Kanengo and Albert Kondemodre at St. Thomas the Apostle parish Mzuzu, both in Malawi. Robbin Simbeye was at St. Peter’s parish, Serenje and Alphonse-Marie Byishimo at St. John the Baptist Kasamba parish both in Zambia. Konrad Simon Millanzi went to Mozambique at Our Lady Queen of the World, Dombe. They all had a wonderful pastoral experience in their respective places. On this note, they are grateful to the staff members for sending them not only for pastoral, but also for giving them a chance of meeting and working with people from different cultural backgrounds. Likewise, they appreciate the hospitality received from different confreres during their mission. We pray that the Almighty God may guide you in your missionary zeal to serve the Church.

A Few days after the arrival of our deacons from their pastoral experience, they joined the rest of the community members for their annual retreat at St. John Paul II Centre in Bethlehem diocese. Our retreat, animated by Fr. Michel Meunier, M.Afr, was very enriching spiritually.

We wish to welcome our new editorial team members to the office but also send a word of thanks to our previous one that did a tremendous job of keeping us updated on different issues. We hope that different articles and homilies that they have been posting benefited many of us in different ways.

Jones Kawisha 2016B_JPEGOur community is growing not only in numbers but also in faith and love. We thank our present three staff members that are doing their best to keep us focused on our missionary vocation. Soon Fr. Jones Kawisha will be coming to join the formation team, and he is most welcome. Seven students have been appointed to this formation House and they will be starting their academic year in July 2016, during the second semester for some. We finally express our gratitude to all of you who contribute in making our community lively. Happy Lenten season to you all and may God bless you.

My journey to Merrivale, South Africa

By Serge St-Arneault, M.Afr
On the 12th December 2013, I travelled to Merrivale with Michel Meunier in view of witnessing the Oath of Antony Alckias and Tomasz Podrazik and their diaconate ordination. We left after celebrating Mass at 12:30 at Radio Veritas. The journey took five hours and gave me the opportunity to see impressive mountains. On arrival at Merrivale, not far from Edendale and Pietermaritzburg, I met Raphaël Gasimba, Rector, and the students. Many more people came for the event including friends from Zambia, Tanzania and Orange Farm in South Africa. Below are some pictures of our M.Afr Merrivale Formation House newly built. Also, on the same premises of Merrivale, the Louis Blondel house where our confreres René Garand, George Okwii, James Gordon Calder and Philippe Docq live. They are engaged at Henley Parish except for James who is teaching philosophy at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute, Cedara, where our students go. 
Journey to Merrivale 24
Meet the 2013 Merrivale Formation House Community members: (Front row left) Dieudonné Bulambo Amani (DRC), Ryan Lungay Contamina (Philippines), Raphaël Gasimba (DRC), Damian Ahimbisibwe (Uganda), Douglas Ogato (Kenya), (2nd row right) Antony Alckias (India), Albert Kondemodre (Tanzania), Paul Kikenge Mpombo (DRC), Serge Boroto (DRC), (3rd row left) Pierre-Claver Mutombo (DRC), Alphonse-Marie Byishimo (Rwanda), Tomasz Podrazik (Poland), Konrad Millanzi (Tanzania) and Edward Saguti (Tanzania).

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Ministry of acolyte in Merrivale, South Africa

Serge Boroto Ziharirwa, Congolese, Douglas Ogato Moumanyi, Kenyan, and Tomasz Podrazik, Polish, received the ministry of acolyte on Saturday the 4th May in our formation house in Merrivale. The Emeritus Bishop of Bethlehem Diocese, Hubert Bucher, officiated the liturgical celebration which was followed by a small but joyful feast.

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Forth Phase Theological Studies in Merrivale, South Africa

Based in South Africa, Merrivale is our Forth Phase Theological Studies aiming at the formation of newTomasz Podrazik missionaries. Time is distributed between studies at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute in Cedara, personal and community prayer, apostolate and various community activities. Here is how Tomasz Podrazik is witnessing his life experience.
I appreciate the fact that our studies are taking place in the context of adaptation into a new milieu, a new country and culture. We get to know people through our apostolates, by reading newspapers, watching news and meeting personal friends. In this way, we begin to see the situation of the people from a different angle. Their life story marks their hearts deeply. As a missionary candidate, I see the importance to learn from the people. A confrere who went back to his native country told us recently that he was still searching for a deeper understanding of the local culture up to his final departure. Indeed, the mission of Jesus Christ is an unending one. No matter how little my contribution might be, it is precious because of being part of a global mission which is the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
At the moment, we are unable to foresee the future of our missionary life. Few days ago, someone showed me two photos. One was taken in 2005 in St Peter’s Square after the election of Benedict XVI. The other one was taken last month after the election of Pope Francis. The first photo portrayed the people waiting for the announcement of the new Pope. But, on the second one, every person had a stretched arm trying to take a picture using a mobile phone. It was a crowd of cell phones. Technology is only one example of changes which is taking place. Similarly, in a fluctuating world, we have to make an effort to be ready to adjust to unforeseen situations. Every possible future appointment will bring challenges which we are not able to anticipate.
In that regard, life at Merrivale can be stressful as we are precisely exercising in a spirit of openness our capacity of adaptation by facing for instance new commitments related to swooping duties within the community. The question is not only about being open towards future challenges but also about exercising the ability to leave the past behind and move forward right here in our formation house.
Tomasz Podrazik
St. Joseph’s Theological Institute has been registered with the South African Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1977 (Act No 101 of 1977). The Institute is home to more than 200 students and 40 staff members, comprising a mosaic of different cultures from more than 20 African countries, with frequent representation from Asia, Europe, South and North America. Apart from the cultural richness of our members, we are also blessed with the rich diversity of charisms with most students coming from more than 20 male and female religious congregations within the Catholic Church.

Forth Phase Theological Studies - Merrivale 2013

Below from the left: Edward Saguti /Tanzania; Paul Kikenge /DRC; Albert Kondomodre /Burkina Faso; Robin Simbeye /Zambia; Damian Ahimbisibwe /Uganda.
Standing from the left: Fr. Raphael Gasimba /DRC; Douglas Momanyi Ogato /Kenia; Fr. Francis Novienyeku /Togo; Br. James Calder/Canada; Konrad Millanzi /Tanzania; Ryan Contamina /Philipines; Alphonce Byishimo /Rwanda; Amani Bulambo Dieudonné /DRC; Fr. Quinbert Kinunda /Tanzania; Harrison Banda /Zambia; Tomasz Podrazik /Pooland; Antony Alckias /India; Claver Mutombo /DRC.

Ordination of three young Missionaries to diaconate in Merrivale, South Africa

Ordination of three young Missionaries to diaconate in Merrivale, South Africa

The 1st of December 2012 was indeed a joyful day for the Society of the Missionaries of Africa and in the formation house in Merrivale, South Africa. Rt. Rev. Francisco J. Silota, Bishop of Chimoio Diocese in Mozambique, a member of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, ordained three young missionaries to the Diaconate. He was assisted by Rt. Rev. Jan De Groef, M.Afr, Bishop of Bethlehem Diocese. … READ MORE

Diaconate Merrivale Diaconate South Africa B 2012 - Copie B

By Harrison Banda M.Afr