Stagiaires’ meeting in Beira, Mozambique – 16th to 21st February


Stagiaires Beira Feb 2015 09_modifié-1As part of our formation, the stagiaires meet at Nazaré Centre in Beira from 16th to 21st February. Prior arrangements took place regarding our travel documents and means of transport. Nazaré is really beautiful. It is run by the M.Afr on behalf of the Diocese of Beira. Everything took place in a very conducive environment despite the hot and humid weather. However, things went on well thanks to the generosity, the eagerness and good will of all the participants.

Personal prayer, moments of sharing and the Eucharistic celebration at 17:30 were our daily timetable with the exception of an outing on 19th at the beach next to Beira town.

We were warmly welcomed by the Sector Superior of Mozambique; Fr Timothée Bationo. He expressed his heartfelt sentiments of joy seeing us around. The mission looks bright. Fr Hugh Seenan gave us a brief history of the Church in Mozambique going back to 1560. We had two coordinators: Fr Venerato Babaine and Fr Richard Ujwigowa.

Each one of us got a chance to share his experience as a stagiaire. We allowed ourselves to be challenged to listen with our hearts more than our ears.

Our missionary experience calls for commitment, courage, determination, perseverance, a sense of focus and an attitude of prayer. These values were actually expressed in the sharing as being essential elements of our discernment and response to the call to be missionaries.

Sadly, on 18th February, we learnt the death of the father of our brother Martin Somda. We felt called upon to let our sense of brotherhood be a reality in such an unfortunate circumstance. We marked a pause and prayed for his father. Martin left the meeting and went to Burkina Faso to be with his family. Then, we had a thanksgiving mass at the sector house with the confreres in Beira on the last day.

Indeed, we had a fruitful meeting. We would like to thank all those who have made it possible for us to live such enriching moments: the Provincial Council, the Sector Delegates and the Coordinators. We thank especially Frs. Richard Ujwigowa, Armand-Bamouni-2014Jean de Dieu Bukuru and Jean Bosco Nibigira who transported us to and from the Zambia-Mozambique border to Beira. Thanks to all who have contributed to this unforgettable experience.

Armand Bamouni, Stagiaire in Serenje, Zambia.

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The Southern Africa Province Stagiaires’ meeting – February 2013


Stagiaires 2013 03 - CopieStagiaires who came to their meeting held in Lusaka from the 18th till 23rd February. In brackets: Nationality/Stage.

First row: Jean-Baptiste Todjro (Togolese/Zambia), Emmanuel Lyabonyende Rulinyuma (Congolese/Zambia), Humphrey Andibah Lyubah (Kenyan/Zambia), Fitiwi Abraha Yohannes (Ethiopian/Zambia), Fidèle Mugalihya Macara (Congolese/Zambia)
On top: Jean-Paul Basikaba Evi (Congolese/Zambia), Maurice Aduol Odhiambo (Kenyan/Mozambique), Venance Bharotota Shundu (Tanzanian/Zambia), Raphaël Patrick Sebyera (Congolese/Zambia), Facilitator Paul Namono (Burkinabe/Malawi), Clayb Caputolan (Filipino/Malawi), Joseph Prabhu (Indian/Zambia), Élie Nyembo Sango (Congolese/Zambia), Serge Kabwakila Kasongo (Congolese/Mozambique), Hervé Tougma (Burkinabe/Malawi), Jonas Michael Mensah (Ghanaian/Zambia), Alfred Nkundimana (Rwandese/South Africa), Facilitator Camille Konkodo, (Burkinabe /Zambia), Erick Balderas Vega (Mexican/Zambia)
 
The meeting started on Monday 18th February at FENZA. It was facilitated by two Missionaries of Africa priests: Camille Konkobo and Paul Namono. We were 18 (1 SA, 2 Moz, 3 Mlw, 12 Zmb). Fr Christopher Chileshe, the provincial of SAP, gave us the opening speech and welcoming remarks to us all gathered. After adopting the timetable and sharing the responsibilities, we received Fr. Bernard Udelhoven who gave us an input on “the Church and the Culture”. He invited us to listen to the culture and to be open before any judgment.
Our expectations during this meeting were to know each other better, to know the joys, the difficulties and the challenges in community and apostolic life. We also hoped to enrich each other with the experiences and to strengthen our brotherhood. We also expected to have clarity on stagiaires’ dues and duties within the province. We then shared our experiences, focused mainly on our life story, prayer life, language course, community and apostolic life, transport and allowances. Each one was given twenty minutes of sharing after which time was given for questions.
This year 2012-2013, there are eighteen stagiaires from twelve different nationalities. Ten of them are finishing their stage and joining different centers for fourth phase of formation. The others eight are beginning their apostolic experience. All of us were happy to hear that we are coming from Christian families. The experience of the spiritual year has helped us to be aware of the love of God for us, to deepen our faith, and to be taken by Christ’s love through our apostolate. The experience of stage is helpful and quite challenging at the same time. For some of us, the community was prepared in advance, while elsewhere the place was not ready to receive the stagiaire: Just at the arrival, some of the stagiaires entered into the program of the community through youth camps and sessions for youth, while others found conflicts between members of the community.
The meeting was a great opportunity for us to be together as brothers and encourage each other. Our responsibilities in communities and pastoral field differ. The experiences help us to be prepared for the future ministries as Missionaries of Africa. We feel sharing the same mission with our confreres, and being part of the Society. We participate in everything apart from administrating the sacraments. Most of our missions are in a primary evangelization milieu. We are aware of our limits, not being Eucharistic ministers; we offer our service (help) in order to bring Jesus to people and people to Christ.
The sharing was appreciated by all of us. This is because it was done in respect for each other and great listening. Our expectations were fulfilled throughout the meeting. The visit of the confreres in Lusaka, during the meeting, was a blessing for us. We feel being part of the big family of Missionaries of Africa in the Southern Africa Province. The picnic and visit to our 2 parishes in Lusaka town were a time of relaxation, joking and enjoying a different atmosphere together.
By Alfred Nkundimana, Lebombo Community and Elie Sango, Namushakende community
See also: http://www.mafrome.org/stagiaires_sap13.htm

Erick Balderas Vega


Erick Balderas Vega is originally from the State of Idalgo, close toErick_Balderas_02 Mexico City. He grew up there together with three brothers and two sisters. Erick is the third child of the family and his parents are still alive. After his High School, Erick did his philosophy at the diocesan seminary. Then he spent a year at home before coming to our formation house in Guadalajara in 2006. He first met our confrere Sergio Villaseñor Salinas and saw in him what he was looking for, someone committed to missionary work in Africa. What really attracted him to the Missionaries of Africa is our international community lifestyle where he feels really at home. Erick spent a few months in Washington DC to learn English before going to Lua-Luo in Kasama for his noviciate. At present he is a stagiaire at the parish of Kabwata in Lusaka. Erick has to make efforts to overcome his shyness. He does not rush into things but takes his time to reflect before making a decision. His family will surely see in him a new person when he goes back home at the end of his stage. Erick has been recommended for further studies at Merrivale by his community of Kabwata. He is still waiting for his official appointment.