Ordination to the Priesthood of Bipin Kerketta

Here are some pictures of Bipin Kerketta’s ordination and first mass in northern India. The photos are of confreres who were present. Some photos come from Georges Jacques’ Facebook account, who had attached the following words to it:

“Here is a sample of this beautiful celebration of the ordination of Bipin Kerketta in India. We were 4 confreres to accompany him in addition to Felix, an abbot of Ste Marie d’Aguetto (Abidjan). But also the large crowd in the village! Beautiful cultural traditions. Unforgettable moments for Bipin and for each of us.”

SOA – Ordination sacerdotale

Dn. Bipin Kishor Kerketta

The delegate superior of the Section of Asia (SOA), Father John Gould, has the pleasure to announce the imminent ordination of Deacon Bipin Kishor Kerketta this coming Sunday 9th of June at Sacred Heart Parish in the diocese of Simdega by Rev. Bishop Vincent Barwa. Following, you will be able to visualise the area where Bipin comes from, the invitations he sent out, as well as photos gathered from his Facebook account. Seeing him in various  environment might help you to pray with us for him, that he may find hapiness and peace in his ministry.

EAP – Forthcoming ordinations in East Africa

2019 Ordinations in East Africa

The Provincial Superior of East Africa, Fr. Aloysius G. Ssekamatte, is pleased to announce the ordination to the priesthood of four confreres of the East Africa Province. Following on this page is a map with the four places where our confreres will be ordained. Then you will find, for each one, a short curriculum and a few pictures mainly taken from their Facebook accounts.

Recommendations to use this map : Click ONCE on each red circle to read the details. You will move the map by persistent left click and move in any direction. You will zoom in or out by clicking on + or – (bottom left) or by scrolling the mouse wheel. On selecting the top right square, you will see a full view and, zooming in, you will be able to see distinctively the churches where our confreres will be ordained. Enjoy.

Edwin Obare Oduor

Born in 1984 in Kenya, Edwin did his spiritual year in Kasama, his stage in DRC and is completing his theological studies in Nairobi where he pronounced his missionary oath on 23rd November 2018. He will be ordained at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Karen, Nairobi (Kenya) on 29th June 2019 by Bishop David Kamau.

Alex Akankwasa

Born in 1986 in Uganda, Alex did his spiritual year in Kasama, his stage in DRC and is completing his theological studies in Abidjan where he took his missionary oath on 8th December 2018. He will be ordained at Kiabi Parish, in the Archdiocese of Mbarara (Uganda) on 29th June 2019 by Archbishop Paul Bakyenga.

William Thomas Budotela

Born in 1984 in Tanzania, William did his spiritual year in Kasama, his stage in Ghana and is completing his theological studies in Nairobi where he took his missionary oath on 23rd November 2018. He will be ordained at Ilemela Parish, in the Archdiocese of Mwanza (Tanzania) on 2Oth July 2019 by Archbishop Renatus Nkwande.

Joshua Masive Musyoki

Born in 1987 in Kenya, Joshua did his spiritual year in Bobo-Dioulasso, his stage in DRC and is completing his theological studies in Kinshasa where he took his missionary oath on 9th December 2018. He will be ordained at Machakos (Kenya) on 31st August 2019 by Bishop Norman King’oo Wambua. 

South Africa at its best

Since its inception in 2009, the Ndlovu Youth Choir has profoundly affected the lives of the choristers and demonstrates the potential of any human being to achieve excellence no matter their background, education or place of birth. From its humble beginnings as an after-school activity the choir has evolved into a truly outstanding professional ensemble.

BF: Solidarity but not division!

Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner 
28th May, 2019

Theologians, pastors are looking for a way to display solidarity without accentuating ethnic and religious divisions

Anti-Christian attacks in Burkina Faso are continuing.

On Sunday May 26, heavily armed individuals entered a Catholic church during Mass at Toulfé in the north of the country.

Opening fire on the faithful, they killed four people and wounded several others.

On April 28, terrorists entered a Protestant church in Silgadj, killing the pastor, his sons and three members of the faithful.

On May 13, as the Catholic church celebrated the funeral of a priest and five members of the faithful who had been killed the day earlier in Dablo, four others were killed at a Marian procession in the neighboring province.

The messages of friendship and calls for prayer that circulated afterwards indicate the depth of emotion felt as well as growing concern at the determination of jihadist groups to sow terror in this small country of the western Sahara, which has long enjoyed a reputation for religious tolerance.

As has occurred after each anti-Christian attack in Sri Lanka, Egypt or the Philippines, the same question keeps returning. How to show solidarity with the victims without increasing religious division and thus assisting the terrorists’ in their objective?

“We must not fall into their trap and making a lot of noise is precisely what they are seeking by attacking religious institutions,” argues Father Anselme Tarpaga, the provincial of the White Fathers in the Maghreb region and originally from Burkina Faso himself.

Instead, those who wish to show their support should commence by informing themselves of the local situation. Although the authors of the attacks share the same ideology, the context and thus the resources available always differ.

In fact, tribal and family links have created a strong interreligious network in Burkina Faso where interreligious marriages are the norm, according to Father Tarpaga, who has a Muslim father and a Christian mother.

Similarly, Congolese Father Pascal Kapilimba, the director of the Institute of Islamo-Christian Formation in Bamako, Mali, sees this phenomenon as a means of countering the jihadists “by focusing on what unites us rather than what divides.”

“Rather than speaking of Christian victims, it is better to say they belong to the Yampa or Sawadogo tribes because when we say that, all Yampas and Sawadogos feel concerned, whether they are Christians, Muslims or practice traditional religions,” he believes.

While Wahhabi Islam – a form of Salafism – is growing, it is mainly based on the rural exodus.

“Since people are far from their families, young people are more easily seduced by the discourse and money of preachers formed in Saudi Arabia,” said Father Kapilimba.

“They may allow themselves to commit acts that are regarded as reprehensible by traditional Islam,” he says. “Moreover, they prefer to desert their villages because they will be viewed badly there.

“Father Christian Delorme, who is responsible for interreligious relations in the diocese of Lyon, identifies more fuel for the Salafist contagion in “the accumulated anger, jealousies, and feeling that the West – and therefore Christians – are to blame for all the evils of the world.”

For this reason, it is equally indispensable, in his view, to “display our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Africa and our refusal to normalize such actions” and to “refuse the fracture and the fatality of war.

“This can be achieved, he argues, by refusing to distinguish between “good and bad victims” and raising our voices against “all forms of violence.

“In a statement condemning the Dablo attack as “ignoble and unjustifiable,” the Federation of Islamic Association in Burkina Faso noted that imams have also suffered.

“The jihadists’ aim is to increase insecurity among all those who refuse to adopt their vision of the world,” said Father Delorme.

“It happens that attacking Christians has a greater impact than attacking victims practicing traditional religions,” he said.

Highly concerned by the attacks in his country of origin, Father Tarpaga has shared on social media the text of a practicing young Muslim Burkinabe who witnessed publicly to his gratitude to the Salesian priests with whom he “played football while young.

“Foreign Christians “must aid the Churches in Burkina Faso to keep their social and charitable works going,” he said because if they also give in to “the closing in, they will end up justifying the terrorists.”

Pope’s prayer intention

Pope's May prayer intention: For the Church in Africa

In this month of May 2019, Pope Francis invites us to pray that the Church in Africa may be a ferment of unity.

With all our apologies for the delay, we unite with the Pope’s prayer for Africa.

“The ethnic, linguistic and tribal divisions of Africa can be overcome by promoting unity in diversity. I want to thank the religious, priests, laity and missionaries for their work in promoting dialogue and reconciliation between the different sectors of African society. Let us pray this month that through the commitment of its members the Church in Africa will be a ferment of unity among peoples, a sign of hope for this continent.”

Petit Echo nr. 1101 – 2019/5

The latest Petit Echo is being printed. Soon it will find its way to your communities. If you can’t wait, you may start reading it online.

Petit Echo

Please, mind the planet and especially the trees! They are the lungs of Mother Earth! 

Before printing the PDF of the Petit echo, consider learning to read from your screen. 

World day of migrants and refugees

Pope Francis released his message on Monday for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be commemorated on September 29th.

As the Vatican’s Migrants and Refugees Section announced in March, the theme is “It is not just about migrants”.

In his message, Pope Francis spells out what that means, reflecting on how we can all build the “city of God” if we welcome, protect, promote, and integrate those seeking a better life.

“It is not just about them,” he says, “but about all of us, and about the present and future of the human family.”

“When we show concern for them, we also show concern for ourselves, for everyone; in taking care of them, we all grow; in listening to them, we also give voice to a part of ourselves that we may keep hidden because it is not well regarded nowadays.” The Pope adds several examples of what he means.

A mural at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos

Our fears

“It is also about our fears.”

He says sometimes fears are legitimate but that they become an obstacle “when they condition our way of thinking and acting to the point of making us intolerant, closed and perhaps even – without realizing it – racist.” Fear keeps us from encountering the Lord in another person, he says.

Charity and humanity

Pope Francis says the issue of migrants and refugees also has to do with charity and humanity. “Through works of charity, we demonstrate our faith. And the highest form of charity is that shown to those unable to reciprocate and perhaps even to thank us in return.”

Compassion for our shared humanity, he says, leads us to recognize suffering in another person and to take action to heal and save them. “To be compassionate means to make room for that tenderness which today’s society so often asks us to repress.”

Excluding no one

The Holy Father says it is also about seeing that no one is marginalized, observing that today’s world “is increasingly becoming more elitist and cruel towards the excluded.”

“Wars only affect some regions of the world, yet weapons of war are produced and sold in other regions which are then unwilling to take in the refugees produced by these conflicts.”

The price is always paid by the poor and the most vulnerable, he says.

Last put first, the whole person

Pope Francis says it is about putting the last in first place, calling this a Christian’s true motto.

“In the logic of the Gospel, the last come first, and we must put ourselves at their service.”

It is about the whole person and about all people, he adds.

“In every political activity, in every programme, in every pastoral action we must always put the person at the centre, in his or her many aspects, including the spiritual dimension.”

Building the city of God and man

Finally, the Pope says it is also about building the city of God and man, which he notes is not the same as a technological and consumerist paradise.

The phenomenon of migration, he says, debunks “the myth of a progress that benefits a few while built on the exploitation of many.”

Migrants and refugees are our brothers and sisters, he points out, and are “an occasion that Providence gives us to help build a more just society, a more perfect democracy, a more united country, a more fraternal world and a more open and evangelical Christian community.”

Youth for Peace in the Great Lakes

YOUTH PILGRIMAGE FOR PEACE AND PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE PEACEFUL TO THE SANCTUARIES OF THE MARTYRS OF UGANDA IN NAMUGONGO AND A SHARING YOUTH CENTRE - KAMPALA UGANDA, FROM 06- 13 MAY, 2019

Inspired by the theme that marks our 150th anniversary, “With Christ, Ever Faithful to Africa”, the Youth Chaplains Fathers – Lowrent Kamwaza, M.Afr. of Notre Dame d’Afrique Katoyi-Goma Parish (DRC), John SSekweyama, M.Afr. of the Parish of the Holy Trinity Buholo-Bukavu (DRC), Kingsley Njimogu of St. Augustine Parish (Burundi) and Edison Akatuhurira of St. Pierre Cyahafi Kimisagara-Kigali Parish (Rwanda) – took the young people of these 4 “Great Lakes Countries” on a 150th anniversary pilgrimage of Twinning for Peace and Coexistence at Uganda Martyrs Sanctuary in Namugongo, Kampala, 6-13 May 2019.

The second edition of this initiative in favour of the Youth of the Missionaries of Africa parishes of the Province of Central Africa (PAC) has proved to be a fruitful experience of encounter for our young people. It will leave deep traces in the hearts of these young pilgrims by stimulating in them the desire to seek Christ to the end, as witnessed by the young martyrs of Uganda – St Kizito, Charles Lwanga and others.

This pilgrimage began on May 6, 2019 when our young pilgrims from Burundi, Bukavu and Goma (DRC) were warmly welcomed into Christian families at Kimisagara Parish in Kigali. Exchanges, laughter, songs of praise and fraternal sharing marked this very important first step of the journey in the lives of our young pilgrims. The generosity of these host families and Rwandan confreres, the friendships forged during the meetings are all seeds of peace and love that will now sprout in the hearts of these young people.

The next day, May 7, the trip of more than 500 kilometres from Kigali to Kampala was very interesting. Two buses had been rented to transport these young people, most of whom were making such a long trip for the very first time in their lives. They were amazed by the beautiful landscapes and good roads of neighbouring countries, a world quite different from Congo or Burundi.

The highlight of this pilgrimage was a day of prayer and visits to the shrines of Namugongo and Manyonyo and to the parish of Nabulagala. For the first time, our young people saw their dreams come true when they set foot on the holy ground where our Martyrs of Uganda rest. Prayer, meditation, visiting these sacred places and celebrating the sacrament of penance and the Eucharist in the Basilica of Namugongo are experiences they will never forget. Our thanks to our brothers Vincent Lubega, Bernard Chowa and the trainees of Nabulagala who devoted their time to speak and give our young pilgrims the necessary explanations about the martyrs.

May we express our sincere thanks to our colleagues from Sharing Youth Centre Hillaire Guinko and Joseph Bakuri and their administration who fraternally welcomed and housed our young people during our stay in Uganda. These confreres have provided us with the best equipment and personnel to ensure the success of this pilgrimage. Their generosity impressed everyone and their welcome is a sign of true missionary charity. Many thanks to our colleagues at Lourdel House – Otto Kato, Elias Mwebembezi and Brother Francis – for their generous welcome.

May the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Apostles and Our Lady of Africa intercede for all of us and for this youth in search of peace!

Viva the 150th anniversary of the Missionaries of Africa!

Lowrent Kamwaza M.Afr.
May 23, 2019

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