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. 

JPIC Promoters’ meeting in Rome

The monthly JPIC promoters meeting was held on the 20th of February 2019 at the headquarter of UISG in Rome. This meeting was organised by the African Working Group and focused on the topic “State of Islam in sub-Saharan Africa: providing keys for better understanding of the expansion of Islam”.

After the opening prayer prepared by Sr. Ignatia Asoh (TSSF) and Sr. Caroline Njah Bongnavti (SUSC), and the presentation of the 20 participants of various Religious congregations and institutes, Fr. Mariano Tibaldo (MCCJ) introduced the speaker. Fr. Felix Phiri is former Director of the Islamic studies in the Tangaza University of Nairobi and former Professor and lecturer at Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamology Studies (PISAI). He is at the moment actually in charge of the Southern African Province of the Missionary of Africa.

At the beginning of the conference, Fr Phiri explained the territorial expansion of Islam in its early existence. Next, he focused more on the Islam in sub-Saharan Africa showing how Islam spread in Africa. The speaker then stressed the conceptual frameworks underlying the Islamic expansion. He offered comprehensive explanation about “Da’wah” which refers to Islamic missionary activities in modern period. He stressed the different types of “Jihad”, the inner and outer jihad, and its extremist forms which are actually spreading out in various African Countries such as Nigeria, Mali and Kenya.

The Da’wah movement is encouraged by several agents of Islamic propagation, such as Islamic governments, Muslim International Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations and individual Muslim Initiatives. The Islamist infrastructure worldwide relies heavily on “zakat”, the mandatory charity demanded by Islam, usually 2.5 percent of one’s annual earnings.

The agents of Islamic propagation explore various strategies such as media, schools and universities, social welfare projects as well as funding of mosques, Islamic centres and madrassas. There are also different ways used to national politics, economy, society, family life, education, language and daily cultural habits.

Fr. Phiri concluded by saying that although a religion with a universal outlook, Islam foresees a coexistence with other religions. In its expansionist thrust, Islam needs no one’s permission, emphasised Fr. Phiri, on the contrary Muslims would gladly see Islam become more accepted in society. (click here for the content of the conference)

During the second part of the conference, the participants asked questions on cohabitation of Muslims and Christians. The answers given by Fr. Phiri were clear and realistic. He encouraged the participants to live their witness through authentic Christian life in coherence to the message of Jesus. To the question about Pope Francis’ landmark visit to the United Arab Emirates, the speaker underscored the important gesture of encounter, the coming as a friend, the importance of collaboration between Muslims and Christians.

At the end of the conference, the moderator, in the name of all participants, expressed deep gratitude to Fr. Felix Phiri for his very interesting and impressive conference on Islam in sub-Saharan Africa.

Before concluding the meeting, Sr Sheila (executive secretary) gave some information about the future events organised by the JPIC commission.

Andreas Göpfert (MAFR) and Mariano Tibaldo (MCCJ)

Summit on the Protection of Minors in the Church

Please watch the video announcing the Summit on the Protection of Minors in the Church, which will take place from 21st to 24th February at the Vatican.

Do also read the interview of Stéphane Joulain by Vatican News, posted yesterday (restricted to M.Afr. and MSOLA).

Interesting as well, the joint statement of UISG & USG before the Summit.

n.b.: UISG stands for Union of the International Superiors Major (Feminine) and USG stands for Union of the Superiors Major (Masculine).

And finally, do pray for the best outcome possible of this summit and follow the proceedings on http://www.pbc2019.org/home

https://youtu.be/6-uKPF7ibg8

International Day of Prayer and Awareness against human trafficking: 8 February 2019

On February 8, 2019 let’s turn on a light against trafficking of persons, to celebrate the 5th edition of the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against human trafficking whose theme this year is:

“Together against human trafficking.”

The first edition of the IDPT was celebrated on February 8, 2015, by the will of Pope Francis, who in 2014 entrusted the International Union of Superiors and Superiors General (UISG / USG) with promoting this day. In these years, gathering in prayer has facilitated collaborating and overcoming the boundaries within which we operate, dedicated to our projects that, although very important, could lead us to cut ourselves off from the others. The great tragedy of trafficking urges us to overcome every barrier to join forces and collaborate for the common good.

This requires us to coordinate our actions and unite our strengths.

“Together against human trafficking” is the invitation addressed to everyone, each according to their own possibilities.

Download here the text of the prayer vigil

Download the prayer card

Visit also the website of the prayer against human trafficking

 

Workshop with the Magazine “Africa Rivista”

The famous magazine of the Italian sector still belongs to the Missionaries of Africa, even if it is mainly professionals in the information sector who do most of the work. Evidently faithful to Africa, the Magazine organized a workshop in Milan on November 24 and 25 on : “Dialogue on Africa – to understand, know and discuss”. This short video will involve you from afar at a few selected moments of this workshop. If you have an Italian confrere or an Italian-speaking confrere on hand, he will certainly be happy to translate for you. After all, it only last 2:29 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eca-XQ5tMfM

Return to the Source : Day two

La Marsa (Tunis), 13th December 2018. This is the second day of our pilgrimage to the source. Technically, it’s the first day because yesterday we arrived from all over the world. We are about 45, White Fathers and White Sisters, and also some sisters from the MSOLA family and a former Polish White Father candidate who came to report on the 150th anniversary for a Polish Catholic magazine. The organization is excellent: the two leaders are Fr. Markos and Sr. Spesioza for logistics, but many will provide various animation services, among others.

An excellent little booklet was distributed to us, which includes the programs, schedules, common prayers, and especially historical and even spiritual contents following the circuit of our pilgrimage. The confreres and sisters who prepared everything did not cheat us. I will make this booklet available to you as soon as I get a PDF copy, so you can follow the same pilgrimage, minus maybe the local colours, the smells and the Tunisian kindness.

“This first itinerary is intended to be both a discovery and a spiritual journey in the footsteps of the ancient Church of Africa, Lavigerie and the White Fathers and White Sisters in Tunisia.” This introduction describes well what we will do throughout the day.

As some of us live in La Marsa, about thirty kilometres from the City Centre of Tunis, and the others live in the Diocesan House in the city, we met at around 9am. We “registered” and chose one of the four badge colours available. We were then invited to meet by colour, now part of this “sharing team” defined by the chosen colour. Everyone could express their prayers of expectation for this pilgrimage. Already, hearts were opening to a grace that would be abundant.

We boarded a large bus that will take us from one place to another in the suburbs of La Marsa and Carthage where we have seen and sometimes visited places rich in culture, the history of Christian martyrs from antiquity and the modern establishment of a Church… which will not succeed in convincing a Muslim world very proud of its culture. All of this was imbued with the strong and radical words of “Lavigerie”, our founding Father who, with Mother Salome, realized many of his visions, many of which were often very audacious.

We start by discovering the places where we live: the Chapel Lavigerie, Villa Odo, first residence acquired by the Cardinal, which has now become the Charles de Foucault monastery, and the first building built by the Cardinal, which will quickly become a junior seminary and has now become the property of the diocese, which rents the first floor to a local primary school.

The bus will stop several times to show us the Perret Institute, the many archaeological discoveries of Bishop Delattre, including the remains of the Majorum Basilica, as well as the amphitheatre of Carthage where the saints Perpetua and Felicity and their companions were martyred. It is in a cave in the amphitheatre, where the prisoners were probably waiting for their “entrance on stage”, that we meditate on the story of their passion. We discover to what extent Bishop Delattre was instrumental in uncovering the Christian remains, now Tunisia’s heritage.  We criss-cross Carthage, stopping at the Chapel of Saint Louis and the Basilica of the same name. We will visit it on Saturday.  We arrive at the former high school of the White Sisters where, for the first time, it seems, the headmaster of the state school comes to meet us and invites us to enter, taking us directly to the old chapel which has been converted into a library. Some quotes in English on the walls impress us (see photos). A second school will open its doors to us, the former Franciscan Sisters’ school, where we were also invited to enter the old chapel, converted into a conference room, but where the original stained glass windows are intact, a sign of Tunisia’s great respect for its cultural heritage, will later tell us our confrere-bishop, John McWilliam. We meet many high school students, very friendly and smiling, not hesitating to chat with one or the other of the “elders” or even to pose with Josef de Becker whose Burkinabe hat obviously impresses! We will pass through many other places and end with a visit to our well-preserved “cemetery” where many white fathers and sisters rest in peace. We find, among others, our famous archaeologist Bishop Delattre. We each place a small lit tea light on a few tombs and recite a decade of rosary.

We return to La Marsa where we exchange, in our sharing teams, the feelings that inhabit us. This sharing will be followed by the Eucharist presided over by Fr. Francis Barnes, General Assistant of the Missionaries of Africa. He will note the many open doors we had during the day and the obvious spiritual fruits gathered by the participants in this pilgrimage day. This will make him say that, truly, everything is grace.

You will take interest in read the PDF of the booklet as soon as I put it on this site. It is a very well done work by Sister Cécile Dillé, I think.

Philippe Docq, M.Afr.

And here is the booklet (the full version of the animator) realised by Sister Cécile Dillé.

 
Google has deprecated the Picasa API. Please consider switching over to Google Photos

140 years of presence in Jerusalem

This is an article from the site of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, dated December 11. The original post is here. The text was translated quickly with online help. In case of doubt, please refer to the original French.

On December 8, 2018, the Missionaries of Africa invited, as they do every year, the faithful and friends to come and celebrate with them the feast of the Immaculate Conception. This year, in addition to the Marian celebration, there was also the launching of the festivities for the jubilee of the 150th anniversary of the congregation and the 140th anniversary of its presence in the Holy Land.

The Mass of December 8 is traditionally celebrated with fervour among the Missionaries of Africa – also known as the White Fathers – because the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is the patron saint’s feast of this Society of priests and also the women’s congregation, the Sisters of Our Lady of Africa. This is also the date of the annual consular mass [1] and on this occasion the Deputy Consul General, Mr. Rémy Bouallègue, joined the ceremony.

But this year, the mass of December 8 was also celebrated in union with the mass for the beatification of the 19 martyrs who died for their faith in Algeria, including four White Fathers murdered on December 27, 1994 in Tizi Ouzou. Finally, this Mass on December 8 celebrated two important jubilees: the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Society of the White Fathers and the 140th anniversary of the presence of the Missionaries in the Holy Land.

Fraternity beyond cultural differences

It is the date of the opening of the first novitiate, October 18, 1868, which was chosen as the date of foundation of the Society of the White Fathers. For the founder, Bishop Lavigerie, the Missionaries of Africa must be “all things to all people” and adapt to the way of life of those to whom they are sent to spread the Gospel. For this reason they ask them to wear the local habit, to eat the same food as the inhabitants and to speak the language that allows them to open themselves to the culture of the country. Founded in North Africa, the society has developed in a large part of Africa. Today, there are still 1200 White Fathers, most of whom are in Black Africa. At the service of parishes and dioceses, they are as close as possible to the needs of the population and actively participate in interreligious dialogue. Also present in Europe, they bring their missionary experience to the dioceses of rich countries, to help welcome migrants and broaden the Church’s vision of the world.

Missionaries of Africa in the Middle East?

To find a congregation that has been mainly oriented towards Africa in the heart of Jerusalem for 140 years may seem questioning at first sight, but it would then be to not know the history of the founder. Charles Lavigerie before being the Archbishop of Algiers and the founder of the Society of the White Fathers was the first ecclesiastical director of the Work of the Schools of the Orient (now the Work of the Orient) and it is in this context that he had known, like a revelation, the Eastern Churches. This memory will come back in a flash when France, which became the owner of the church of Sainte-Anne, sought a religious community to keep it. Arriving in 1878, the White Fathers set up a seminary there in 1882 to train the Greek Melkite Catholic clergy. This seminary operated for 85 years, until the June 1967 war forced its transfer to Lebanon. Since then the White Fathers have continued, in various ways, to work for the Churches of the East, their unity and mission, and the service of the Church of Jerusalem in the fields of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, and action for justice and peace. Thanks to the biblical training sessions, organized in Sainte-Anne since 1976, the Church of Africa is now coming to Jerusalem to pray and recharge their batteries.

Cécile Klos

[1] Each year, the Consul General of France officially visits each of the national domains belonging to France and certain religious communities of French origin, by taking part in the celebration of a mass.

 
Google has deprecated the Picasa API. Please consider switching over to Google Photos