Newsletter South Africa No 69 – 29th November 2016


newsletter-south-africa-no-69-titleGreetings! I hope you are well and that you have fully entered into the beautiful time of Advent! Yes, this is an occasion for each Christian to prepare to receive the Lord in a missionary way. Which means to involve others in this great hope and expectation of Jesus who is coming at Christmas. On the first Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis reminded us that “The Gospel is not trying to frighten us, but to open our horizons to further dimensions, giving meaning even to everyday events.” This is an invitation to open our hearts and minds to others, thus to live as missionaries wherever we are. The Pope adds: “we are called to enlarge the horizons of our hearts, to be surprised by the life that is presented each day with its newness. In order to do this we need to learn to not depend on our own securities, our own established plans, because the Lord comes at the hour which we don’t expect.” He concludes by saying that this time is “an invitation to vigilance, because, not knowing when He will come, we must always be ready…” On 14th November, I went to Malawi. The first night, I stayed at Mua Parish where I started as a young missionary in 1970; a long time ago! As part of the Parish life, Fr. Claude Boucher, M.Afr, from my home diocese in Canada has established an art school and a museum to help keep the Malawian culture. I suggest you visit their website at kungoni.org. You can see the museum and different aspects of his work with his team of artists. Then, from 15th to 21st, I was in Salima, on the shore of Lake Malawi. There, I did my yearly retreat in the house of retired bishop Rémi Sainte-Marie, bishop emeritus of Dedza Diocese and archbishop emeritus of Lilongwe arch-diocese. He welcomed me warmly and respected my times of prayer and silence. It was a good spiritual experience.

From the 22nd to the 26th in Chipata Pre-Formation Centre (Zambia), we held our meeting of Vocation Directors of the Southern African Province. We were from the four Sectors of Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa.

vocation-directors-in-chipata-nov-2016This new Centre in Chipata currently has its second intake of 18 aspirants from Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia (nobody from South Africa!). From October to May, they are spending time discerning their vocation, exploring their self-knowledge with psychological assessments, in order to understand better their deepest aspirations and desires in the light of God’s call. They also study the Bible, Church history, liturgy, the missionary dimension of our lives as Christians, and how to reach out to people, especially the poor, and how to share with them the Good News. They also have activities such as manual work, sports, etc. After this intense period, if they are still decided and if they are accepted, they will be called to go to the First Phase of their formal training: three years of philosophy in Balaka, Malawi.

This month, our aspirant Patrick Kadima wrote an article for our Provincial blog. To read it, go to our blog at mafrsaprovince.com.

 Wishing you all the best for a blessed Christmas! Fr. Michel Meunier, M.Afr

newsletter-south-africa-no-69-pdf-cover

Interview given by Michel Meunier, M.Afr, on Radio Veritas, Johannesburg, South Africa.


edenglen-09Michel Meunier was invited to give an interview by phone on Radio Veritas, Johannesburg, following the death of Fr Didier Michon. The interview took place a few days ago. Didier celebrated Mass regularly at the radio station while Michel is still doing it. Here below some pictures taken in 2015 showing Michel in the studio and Didier welcoming a missionary, Norbert Angibaud, at Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

Click HERE to hear the interview on MP3

capture

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Newsletter South Africa No 64 – 20th June 2016


Newsletter South Africa no 64 titleThis Newsletter comes to you earlier than usual, because in the next ten days I will be on a long trip with some friends in a part of Canada that I have never visited: we will be touring the Magdalen Islands, in the far eastern part of the country, between the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Look on the map!

Newsletter South Africa No. 64 June 2016 Magdalen IslandsAs you can see, this Newsletter is also quite short. I am out of the South African context and also I am kept quite busy with my relatives and friends, without mentioning many M.Afr confreres whom I am meeting here after many years; we have so many stories to tell one another and a lot of news to catch up on. The most important piece of news this last month has been the election of our new General Council in Rome. Last month, I already told you about the new Superior General, Fr. Stanley Lubungo. This time, I simply send you an attachment introducing all five members of the new General Team. You surely will notice that they are men of great experience, having lived in different countries and worked in various fields. This is what we expect of Missionaries of Africa. Hopefully, reading about the background of each one will inspire you.

Newsletter South Africa No. 64 June 2016 Circus people introduced their tiger to Pope FrancisI just want to add one remark about Pope Francis’ approach to people during this JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY. I am so struck by his very down-to-earth way of interacting with people, just like Jesus who went about, meeting people where they were. Pope Francis visits people, especially the poor and unsophisticated. And he invites them to come celebrate the Year of Mercy at the Vatican, whoever they are, whatever work they do, the sick and healthy alike. Recently, he met with people working in circuses and encouraged them to continue bringing joy through their entertainment. He often focuses on joy (see his beautiful exhortation The Joy of the Gospel); a Christian is someone who lives in the joy of the Risen Lord.

In the midst of our unsettled and struggling society, may we give more joy and hope to the people we meet! This is surely a very good way to be a missionary!

God bless you all! Fr. Michel Meunier, M.Afr

New General Council 2016

Few days in Edenglen, South Africa


Serge St-Arneault Filya 2 - CopieBy Serge St-Arneault, M.Afr
I was privileged to spent few days in South Africa and be welcomed at our house in Johannesburg, South Africa. Better known as Edenglen house, every confrere is warmly received by Didier Lemaine, Michel Meunier, Didier Michon and Seán O’Leary.
I enjoyed to accompany Michel to Radio Veritas where he is celebrating Mass from time to time at exactly 12:30. This Catholic radio station is quite close to Edenglen house.
Many thanks for helping all of us to feel at home. The following pictures give a glance of the outside building while, in the kitchen, you can recognised Jos Van Boxel cooking and serving wine alongside with Seán. Jos attended the ordination to the diaconate of Antony Alckias and Tomasz Podrazik in Merrivale. Norbert Angibaud was also there coming from Mozambique on his way back home to France for good after forty years of missionary life in Malawi and Mozambique. Norbert was welcomed by Didier Michon at O.R. Tembo International Airport which is at ten minutes’ drive from Edenglen.
In the chapel of Edenglen House, a special corner is dedicated to the confreres who worked in South Africa but died, two of them in brutal circumstances: Georges Bodinier (24th Sept. 1941 – 3rd Feb. 1985), Francis Carey (20th Sept. 1938 – 5th May 2010), Josef Stumpf (29th Nov. 1930 – 19th August 2006), Raymond Bourque (6th Jan. 1931 – 30th June 1978) and Louis Blondel (14th June 1939 – 7th Dec. 2009). May they rest in peace!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.