Go and Tell
If you ever get a chance to look at a map of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, you could have a bit of fun tracing the journeys of St. Paul. Some Bibles have maps of his journey but they hardly do justice to the length and extent of his travels. Try using a modem day map. When you consider that he did it ail by foot you would have to agree that it was a fantastic achievement. The southern and western part of modem day Turkey have become important holiday destinations in recent years and flying into Izmir, Bodrum and Antalya will bring you to a land that was also familiar to St. Paul. But St. Paul was not there for the sandy beaches and sunshine, he was a driven man who was intent on fulfilling the Lord's command "Go and Tell". He was also totally convinced that this message was for everyone without distinction of nation, tribe, gender, race or colour. AH were invited to listen, to receive and in turn "Go and Tell". Pope BenedictXVI has said in his message for Mission Sunday: "In the jubilee year dedicated to St. Paul, we are reminded of the urgency to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the world. There can be no slackening or stagnation in the essential mission of the Church to evangelize ail people. To-day there are countless people thirsting for hope and love who are still waiting for the proclamation of the Gospel."
Missionaries, in particular, have been given the task of continuing this extraordinary project. St. Paul was always faithful to the message he received from the Lord. He took great care to transmit the word of God as he himself had received it. "Paul experienced and understood that rédemption and mission are the work of God and his love. The love of God prods us to missionary activity" (Mission Sunday message of Pope Benedict.)
October is the month of mission awareness. Many missionary organizations will try to bring to the attention of people the work that missionaries do to-day. Itis ironie that at the time when numbers are diminishing, there seems to be more interest than ever in missionary activity. The work of missionaries is much more appreciated even by Governments. Much modem day development work is based on the knowledge and expérience of missionaries. I remember working in a remote part of Tanzania when a big development project to look for rare minerais was announced by a large UN Development Agency. A Finnish Consortium was commissioned to carry out the project. They were a bit surprised to find 3 missionary priests running a very big Parish and 6 missionary sisters running a very big maternity clinic living in this remote area of Western Tanzania. They were even more surprised to find out that we had maps giving the location of the mines which had been worked more than 30 years previously.
Many governments are now channeling large sums of money through missionary congregations. Misean Cara has been set up by the Irish Missionary Union to make sure that this aid given by Irish Government and other large donor agencies goes to development work done by missionary personnel. Value for money and accountability are the buzz words. It means that Missionaries themselves have to learn new skills in order to benefit. Times are changing and Irish and other European missionaries are coming home and being replaced by missionaries from other parts of Africa and the world. On another page, you will be able to read about them. They are coming to Ireland to get knowledge and skills that will ensure that the Church's missionary activity continues.
Even if Missionaries are involved in Development work, it is still essential to tell people about The Good News. The Gospel, if we are true to its values, will empower people to move out and beyond themselves. It does not always turn out as one would expect. St. Paul was often surprised at people's reaction to his teaching. He was sometimes comforted, sometimes scandalized by the reactions of peoples to his teaching. His beloved Corinthians gave him continuous cause for concern, but he never despaired.
In the midst of war and conflict especially in Africa, there are always people at grassroots level who live up to their Christian ideals. The leadership of the Catholic Church in Kenya recently apologized for the lack of leadership shown in the électoral violence last year and have asked for forgiveness for their failure to act in a united way. But ordinary people did take risks and were quick to react by providing shelter and food to those who had been displaced. The leadership in the Catholic Church has now taken a more prophetie stand in the task of restoring peace and harmony to the Kenyan people. The Church struggles on in Zimbabwe. It still tries to witness to Christian values and bring hope for a persecuted population. My own expérience is that even in the most difficult of circumstances people will still come together to celebrate the Eucharist, to pray together, to help each other. It is not world shaking but it is a real basis for progress both spiritual and temporal to take place.
During the month of October there will be a chance to support and find out more about mission to-day. There are a number of activities organized by Mission Alive. The Mission Sunday Mass on October 19 will be broadeast by RTE1 from Longford Cathedral. There will be visit by Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo from Nigeria. He was the Superior General of St. Paul's Missionary Society, a thriving missionary congregation from Nigeria which now has missions in Africa and the United states.
Please continue to pray for ail missionaries both religious and lay from all parts of the world who Go and Tell.
MlSSIONARIES OF AFRICA STUDYING IN DUBLIN
Iam Bonaventure B.Gubazire from Kabale-Uganda; born in 1974. I did my first cycle of initial formation (Philosophy) in Jinja-Uganda from 1994 to 1997. I was then appointed to Bobo-Burkina for the novitiate (Spiritual year). I did my Stage (Pastoral expérience) in Marseille and Theology in Toulouse-France. I was ordained priest at Rushoroza Parish Kabale in 2003 and appointed to Mozambique (Murraça) in the diocèse of Beira.
At the beginning of the year 2008 I was sent for studies in Spirituality at Châtelard in Lyon-France. Towards the end of August 2008 I left for Dublin-lreland to start another adventure in Philosophical studies. I am on a two year Licentiate (Masters) course at Milltown Institute. With God's help and after a successful completion of my studies, I am expected to join our newly started 1st cycle of Philosophy in Balaka-Malawi. I need your prayers.
I am Anselm Theodos Ngetwa, born 12th September 1966 in Wasa in Tanzania, East Africa and am a priest in the Society of the Missionaries of Africa ( White Fathers) I finished my primary school and minor seminary studies in 1992 and earned a Diploma of Education in 1993. This was followed by one year of National Service,
Between 1993 and 1996 I studied philosophy in the Missionaries of Africa seminary in Kahangala Janzania.
The spiritual year was made in Fribourg in Switzerland, followed by pastoral experience for two years in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo. From 1999 until 2003 I was in Totteridge, London studying theology. During this time I took the Missionary Oath and was ordained Deacon on the 14th December 2002. Finally priestly ordination was on the 30th July 2003 in Wasa , Tanzania.
My first appointment as a priest was back to the Démocratie Republic of Congo in Goma Diocèse, There I worked until June this year, mainly with the youth. This was a time not without difficulties because of the war and the ensuing problems throughout the country. But it also brought a deepening experience of God and I developed a sincere love for the Congolese. I have now come to Ireland for two years to do further studies in Moral Theology at Milltown Institute, Dublin.
I am Fidel Salazar del Muro from Mexico and belong to the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers). I did my pastoral service in Mozambique for two years 1990/1992. During this time I found the vision of the face of Christ crucified in the war going on in that country. I then went to France to study Theology and did a course in the formation of counseling and worked with people who had AIDS.
I was ordained in 1995 in Mexico and was appointed back to Mozambique. There with the pastoral team we worked for the care and well being of AIDS victims. We did so from a spiritual point of view and tried to explain how God loves them in their présent situation. I also worked in Primary evangelization by teaching Christian doctrine to catechumens.
In 2000 I was appointed back to Mexico for mission animation and was appointed superior of the Mexico Sector. There are five Mexican Missionaries of Africa. In Mexico I can see that there are many who have the possibility of becoming priests and religious, whilst many others desire to spread the faith.
I have come to Ireland to improve my knowledge of the English language as it is used extensively in many fields of the apostolate.
I am Prosper Mbusa, Missionary of Africa (White Fathers) from the Démocratie Republic of Congo. I am the eldest of a family of five, four boys and a girl. Three events had a great impact on my life.
One day while playing football with friends I came across Fr Alain Delville from Belgium who was talking with some old and poor people. I was greatly impressed and said to myself that I would like to become a priest like him. I Bwas only six years old. When I was twelve myfather died and the dream of becoming a priest vanished.
I did my primary and secondary studies at a Jesuit school and the formation included attending Mass, days of I recollections and retreats. During one recollection day a passage from Matthew's Gospel, chapter 9 touched me very deeply: "as Jesus was walking on he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said I to him, 'follow me'. And he got up and followed him." I felt suddenly that this was addressed to me. I was only 14 years old but decided to talkto a priest about it. He gave me some books about the lives of the saints. These were ordinary people who left all to dedicate their lives to God in many ways.
I was not attracted to any particular religious group until one day I met a seminarian of the Missionaries of Africa. He talked to me about their founder. Cardinal Lavigerie and about their life in community, their prayer life and work among the poor and marginalised. And so after my secondary studies in 1994 I was accepted to do a year of preparation for the major seminary. This was the first time I had lived away from my people and home, and meeting those from other tribes. I learned and experienced personal and community prayer in this phase of the fashioning of my formation.
In 1999 following my philosophy studies I went to Tanzania for my Novitiate. We were 13 in number from 8 nationalities. Those in charge of our formation were also from various countries. After this I went to Zambia for two years pastoral training. It was here I learned and experienced what missionary life is all about, thanks to priests like Fr. Joe Mc Menamin who is now in charge of Missionary Promotion in Ireland. From 2002 until 2005 I studied theology in Toulouse, France and was ordained in Bukavu diocese in my home country on 14th August 2005.I was then appointed to work in Misisi, a shanty compound in Lusaka, Zambia, and considered to be one of the worst slums in Africa. There are approx. 90,000 people living in the area.
I am now in Ireland to follow a programme in Religious Ministry Formation in Blackrock, Dublin. Often I am asked how I adapt to life in Ireland and reply with a Zambian proverb: "To know what this or that means you need to be two". Thanks to the support of the community of White Fathers here in Templeogue, and to the precious smiles of the people I meet in Dublin, I am able to adapt myself and reply: "Ireland is a nice country. Whether there is sunshine or not, it is a nice country indeed".
THE FIRST TWO ETHIOPIAN
MISSIONARIES OF AFRICA
Two typical countryside parish churches in the Diocese of Adigrat
Forty-one years ago the Missionaries of Africa first came to Ethiopia. I happened to one of the three who arrived in September 1967. We were sent to Ethiopia in response to an invitation from the Bishop of the Diocèse of Adigrat to assist in the education and formation of his seminarians of the Ethiopian rite.
Only ten years later, in 1977, did the ordination take place of the first priest to have completed his studies since our arrival. From then on ordinations have taken place on a regular basis. During all those years, however, we never sought to promote vocations to our Society since we felt that it would be incompatible with our original mandate.
Much later, in 1992, another bishop of the diocese invited us to promote vocations to the Missionaries of Africa. In his written invitation he said that for 25 years we had steadfastly and selflessly served the diocese. Now, he felt that it was time that we stimulated a missionary spirit in the local church by promoting missionary vocations.
His invitation also contained challenges. While continuing to assist in the diocesan seminary, additional personnel would be needed to undertake the promotion of vocations, and an appropriate house would also be needed. Eventually, however, and thanks to the bishop, a site was obtained about 75 km south of Adigrat. In the compound of that site several undertakings hâve developed in the meantime. Besides a small résidence for prospective missionary vocations, a parish church has been built, an agricultural school opened, and, also, a social centre for the promotion of women's activities.
An old proverb says that "Perfect work is the fruit of patience." It would be presumptuous to call our work "perfect" at this early stage, but at least the patience is beginning to bear fruit as this year the first two Ethiopian Missionaries of Africa have been ordained.
The father of one of them had previously been an Orthodox married priest who became a Catholic and, then, as a married priest continued his priestly duties in this Diocese of Adigrat. In his family, for eight successive générations, the sons of married Orthodox priests have become, in turn, married priests. This may sound a little surprising for some at home. However, according to the very ancient traditions, shared by both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and still preserved by them both in the practice of the Eastern Rite, a married man can be ordained, but not vice versa.
The other Ethiopian Missionary of Africa is not from the Diocese of Adigrat. His home parish is about 1,500 km south of here, and most of his family is Orthodox. Between Catholics and Orthodox, however, there is virtually no distinction, especially when the Mass celebrated according to the Ethiopian rite by both churches is the same. Furthermore, inherited historical prejudices are now slowly giving way to enriching mutual understanding.
In many ways these two newly ordained priests personify the spirit of the Missionaries of Africa. Although they are both Ethiopians, they come from districts of the country which are far apart; they have different cultures and speak different languages, just as we would f ind differences between Ireland and Switzerland. Again, their respective missionary apostolates will reflect the internationality of our Society, as one will serve in Ghana and the other in Malawi.
We pray that, in due course, they will inspire other young men to follow Jesus Christ's invitation and challenge when He said: "As the Father sent me, I also send you.
Fr. Kevin 0' Mahoney
ORIGINAL CLASS OF 1958
15 AUGUST; 2008.
Most of the surviving ordination class of 1958 gathered at our house in Templeogue, Dublin from 12th - 15th August 2008. The above photograph include some who had left before ordination, as well as some who had subsequently left and married.
The reunion was a symbol of victory, at least of victory of survival. As memories were recalled and stories retold, who is to say that nostalgia is not what it used to be. Undoubtedly, although all are now more attuned to life's adagios than allegros, this was not a pusillanimous retreat into the past. Instead, there was a Piafian refusal to indulge regrets, as was manifest by the spirit displayed over these few days. The class of '58 are still open to that new thing which their God is undoubtedly ready to offer.
BISHOP AND PRESIDENT
Bishop Mathias Sekamanya, Bishop of Lugazi,
Uganda paid us a visit in March 2008. He was
invited to Aras an Uachtarain by President
Mary McAleese who visited Lugazi in 2007
during her visit to Uganda.
From left to right: Fr. Denis, Sylvia and
Bob Gavigan, Bishop Mathias Sekamanya,
President Mary McAleese, Fr. Pius Kirumira
and Fr. Pat Carroll, PP. Donnybrook.
Catholic Lobby Urges New Government to Fight Poverty
LUSAKA, September 9, 2008 (CISA) -As Zambia prepares to elect a new président following the death of Levy Mwanawasa last month, a Catholic civil society organization has called on the next government to make poverty eradication its chief priority.
Elections to pick Mwanawasa's successor are expected in November. The President died at the âge of 59 on August 19 in France.
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflections (JCTR) said though the country made économie progress under président Mwanawasa, hunger and poverty are wide spread.
"Indeed, the late Président Mwanawasa has left a legacy upon which further economic progress can be made. It is, however, imperative to highlight that while Zambia has recorded economic progress, this has hardly translated into the expected benefitatthe household level," the assistant coordinator of JCTR, Miniva Chibuye, said.
The high poverty levels averaging 62 per cent nationally indicate the extent of hardships currently being experienced by households in accessing basic needs, Chibuye said,according to theTimes of Zambia newspaper.
According to JCTR's 'Basic Needs Basket' that measures the cost of living for a family of six in Lusaka and other towns, trends of cost of living continue to show an increase, Chibuye said
She said in relation to the 'Rural Basket' conducted in Malama area in Eastern Province, Matushi in North-Western Province and Masaiti on the Copperbelt Province, the information indicated that most households in Zambia were facing serious difficulties in accessing food needs and meeting nutritional requirements.
Chibuye said the hardships were much more in rural areas as seenby the higher poverty levels, which had 80 per cent than urban areas, which had 34 per cent, and attributed the scenario to inequitable distribution of resources.
She said investments in rural infrastructure, alternative sources of energy, health and education, agriculture and employment creation must certainly be accelerated as demonstration of building upon the legacy of late President Mwanawasa to improve the lives of all Zambians, especially the poor.
Chibuye said the current double digit inflationary levels propelled by the increase in food and energy prices also risk increasing the already high poverty levels to Information from CISA ( Cat:holic Information Service for Africa )unprecedented degrees
Information from CISA: (Catholic Information Service for Africa )
justice/Peace Project Promûtes Catholic Social Teaching
KAMPALA, September 9, 2008 (CISA) -A Catholic centre has embarked on strengthening justice and peace awareness among families and educators in the 19 Catholic diocèses of Uganda.
John Paul II Justice and Peace Center (JPIIJPC) is organising one- or two-day seminars in Catholic parishes. People of other faiths and local leaders are also invited. Participants will share the knowledge, skills and experience acquired with families in their respective communities through sensitization meetings and concrete practices like tree planting. They are also encouraged to become role models within their families and in the neighbourhood.
Catechists and others who have influential roles in society are formed to become Trainers for trainees (TOTS). The project, based on Catholic Social Teaching, seeks to strengthen the ethical values and foster commitment in at least 40 couples and some catechists in each parish to effectively promote justice, peace, sustainable development and care for the environment in families.
The participants are enabled to reflect on the history of Uganda and the remarkable épisodes of war, instability, poverty and HIV/AIDS in
relation to the future of the next generations. They also reflect on their relationships as family members and their role as models for children in the building of a just, peaceful, developed, reconciled and environment-friendly home. Through the seminars, the participants evaluate their rights and duties as members of the community and are encouraged to become protagonists in nation building.
Another objective of the project is to strengthen skills for peace building, for promoting sustainable human growth, just ways of living and care for the Earth within families.
Project is being funded by Misean Cara. (Irish Missionary Resource Services)
Please Pray for our Friends who have Died
Mrs. Nora Gilsenan (nee Gilligan) Birmingham and Naul, Co. Dublin.
Sister Mary Cremmins, Mercy Convent, Kinsale, Co. Cork.
Mrs. Kathleen Lyons, Aghern, Conna, Co. Cork.
Mr. Thomas Condon, Cypress Grove North, Templeogue, Dublin.
Miss Vera Condon, Kenyon Street, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Mr. Mattie OHara, Newtownforbes, Co. Longford.
Mrs. M. Logan, Main St., Mohill, Co. Leitrim.
Mr. Patrick Nugent, Cluan Enda, Dundalk, Co. Louth.
Mr. Patrick McAfee, Mullylusty, Belcoo, Co. Fermanagh.
Mr. John (Jack) Cornyn, Corratubber, Dowra, Co. Cavan.
Mr. Donal McNamara, Ennis Co. Clare.
Mr. Patrick Lynch, Moher Cresent, Mitchesltown, Co. Cork.
Mr. Michael Galvin, Walsh Island, Geashill, Co. Offaly.
Ms. Elizabeth Moore, Shore Road, Kircubbin, Co. Down.
Miss Attracta Colgan, Raheny Court, Dublin 5.
Mr. Michael Shinnick, Ballyanihan, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.
Mrs Marie Healy, Cypress Lawn, Templeogue, Dublin.
Mrs. Mary Casey, Broomfield, Malahide, Co. Dublin.
Ms Sarah Devine, Dromore, Co. Tyrone.
Mrs. Peg Jennings, Ballyduvane, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
Mrs. Margaret Fitzpatrick, Commons Road, Cork.
Mr. John Crowley, Sarue, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork.
Mrs Mary Mehigan, South Douglas Road, Cork.
Mr. Joe Ryan, Willow Park Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Mr. Willie ODriscoll, Garda Station, Bandon, Co. Cork.
Ms. Mary Doohan, Co. Clare (Founder of The Little Way Association)
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
May they rest in peace with the Father
the Holy Souls
PLEASE REMEMBER THE MISSIONS IN YOUR WILL
Our legal name is Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers).
A suitable formula is:
I give to the Society of Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) the sum of €........... free of
duty. And I declare that the Provincial of the Society who now resides at Cypress Grove,
Templeogue, Dublin 6W shall be in good discharge.
Carry on the good work you have been doing during your life by helping to spread the
Gospel after you have gone to the Father.