Cardinal Richard Baawobr / Return to the Celestial Father

With sadness and pain we hereby inform you of the return to the heavenly Father of Cardinal Richard Baawobr which occurred today, Sunday, 27 November 2022. Our confrere was taken by ambulance from the Generalate to the Gemelli Hospital at 5.45pm and we received the sad news at 6.25pm. May Richard rest in the peace of his Lord whom he so generously served. On behalf of the bereaved Society. Our prayer and our thoughts go also to his family, to his diocese, his fellow bishops, to all his friends and acquaintances.

Rome, 27th November 2022

André-Léon Simonart,
Secretary General.

To express your condolences:
baawobr.condolences@mafr.org

Prayer for Ha-Jo

Prayer for the liberation of Father Ha-Jo Lohre

God our Father,
You, the Merciful,
the all-powerful in love,
You who are always attentive
to the cries of those who call upon you,
we turn to you with confidence.

We pray to you for our brother,
Father Ha-Jo.
Protect him. Strengthen him in faith,
hope and charity.
Give him the strength
to stand firm in his new mission
which he did not choose,
in the hope that he will soon be released.

We pray for his captors: touch their hearts;
that they may understand that
you call us all to live together
in love and brotherhood.

To those who are working for his release,
inspire just decisions
that lead to a happy outcome.

We pray for all the other hostages;
that they all regain their freedom
and return to their families
as soon as possible.

Bless the Church-Family of Mali;
Bless Mali!

Our Lady of Africa,
watch over our brother Ha-Jo,
Watch over Mali.  Amen

Pierre Féderlé R.I.P.

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

Father Emmanuel Lengaigne, Provincial Delegate of the sector of France,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Father

Pierre Féderlé

on Monday 21st November 2022 in St-Martin du Tertre (France)
at the age of 89 years, of which 62 years of missionary life
in Italy, Great Britain, Malawi and France.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Download here the announcement of Father Pierre Féderlé’s death

Milestones in the life of Father Pierre Fédrelé

Born in Mulhouse
on 02/12/1932
Spiritual YearMissionary OathPriesthood ordination
in the diocese of Strasbourg28/08/195413/07/1960 03/02/1961
 Nationality: French Maison-Carré
(Algeria)

 Totteridge
(Great Britai)

Brunstatt
(France)

Bionotes

01/09/1961Etudes: BibleRoma, M.G.Italia
01/09/1965Prof. TotteridgeLondonAnglaterre
01/01/1974VicaireLilongwe, CathedralMalawi
01/01/1977Professeur, Gd.SéminaireZombaMalawi
01/01/1981Professeur, Grand SéminaireKachebereMalawi
01/09/1983SupérieurStrasbourgFrance
11/05/1988Nommé Malawi
15/04/1991Centre Etudes Africains.ToulouseFrance
01/12/1996Maison GénéraliceRomaItalia
03/02/1997Petit EchoRomaItalia
17/05/1998Communicat.ChapitreRomaItalia
09/05/2003Nommé France
01/01/2004Fraternités MissionnParisFrance
01/03/2016MinistèreMoursFrance

Ha-Jo Lohre / Communication

Communication

All confreres are herewith informed that our confrere Ha-Jo Lohre has been missing from his community in Bamako since Sunday 20 November 2022. In the evening, his confrères noticed that his car was in the courtyard, but it was badly parked and the driver’s side door was slightly open. They searched everywhere without finding him. The police were alerted and came to the scene.
Didier and Stan ask all the confreres to pray for Ha-Jo. May God give him strength where he is. May our Lady of Africa intercede for him and his family.

Rome, 21 November 2022
André-Léon Simonart,
Secretary General.

Cardinal Richard Baawobr News

Communication

Dear confreres,

Last Friday, November 18, in the afternoon, our confrere Cardinal Richard Baawobr left the Gemelli Hospital, where he had been transferred on Saturday, October 15, and arrived here at the Generalate. In the evening Richard came to the refectory to have supper with the community. He took the opportunity to thank all the confreres for their prayers and for their support.

Richard is here to rest and regain his strength while receiving the care he needs. We are happy to have him with us here.

Rome, 20th November 2022.
André-Léon Simonart,
Secretary General.

Cardinal Richard Baawobr

Communication

Dear confreres, yesterday Cardinal Richard Baawobr asked me to convey to you all his greetings.  Our confrere Richard continues to take an interest in what is happening in the Society and in his diocese. He finds the waiting time long and hopes, as we do, that the doctors will soon decide on the modalities and the time for an intervention on his heart. I have assured Richard of our friendship and of our prayerful support.

Rome, All Saints Day 2022.
André-Léon Simonart,
Secretary General.

Cardinal Richard Baawobr

Official Communication

   On Saturday 15 October 2022 our confrere, Cardinal Richard Baawobr, was transferred from the Santo Spirito di Cassia Hospital to the Gemelli University Hospital with the help of the Vatican in order to receive the special care he still needs. Richard sends his greetings to all of you, keeps his spirits high and remains alert to what is happening in his diocese and in the Society. We continue to accompany our confrere with our prayers so that he may recover all his strength and quickly resume his ministry.

Rome, 19th October 2022.

André-Léon Simonart,
Secretary General.

Our confreres in the North of Ethiopia

Our confreres in the North of Ethiopia

As we all have heard or read, on the early morning of the 24th August 2022 the war in the northern part of Ethiopia started again, just six months after the official ceasefire. A message from the Section Superior dated 26th August informed the Council that the day before, on 23rd, the confreres in Ethiopia managed to have Brother Clayb flown out from Mikelle. Brother Clayb and Father Sabu had remained in Adigrat throughout the war and chose to remain out of solidarity with the people when the fighting ceased. Confreres have also arranged for Clayb to go home to the Philippines and rejoin his mother and the whole family who have all been very worried about him. Clayb will then have the time to mourn the death of his father who passed away in July 2021. In a message to the Superior General dated 1st September he explained briefly the situation of the orphans and of the employees at the home and wrote : “Famine is a reality. Most people can only afford to have a meal a day. I tried my best to provide the children with two regular meals per day… In spite of the various challenges, Ethiopia remains a wonderful place to be a missionary.” Two confreres are still in the North of the country, Father Sabu in Adigrat and Father Angel in Wukro. We remember them to the Lord, commend them to the care of our confreres and pray for peace in Ethiopia.

A.L. Simonart, Secretary General

Growing old whit our elders, French-speaking confreres

Meeting of French-speaking confreres in charge of elderly communities

Four days of sharing, four days trying to learn and understand, and finally, four days of facing up to our individual responsibilities. This is the feeling that remained with me after this meeting in Rome between the various superiors of retirement homes in the province. And what did we learn? … solutions? … methods? … new ideas? None of this, except the observation that no two retirement homes are alike, no model is ideal, our elderly confreres are all different, and none of them ages according to the rules, but they all deserve respect and recognition for all they have achieved in their long missionary lives out in their missionary territory. It is also true that each one of them still feels they are missionaries and will be missionaries until they “return to” the Father, even though it is the same Father that each one of them has made known in their own way and who has always supported them throughout their lives. But can we speak of ” returning to… “?

This is why all our discussions were marked by respect, even affection, but never by certainty. This is perhaps also why Gérard Chabanon let us talk a lot without looking at his watch, because in the end we all came to this slightly guilty realisation: if our elderly confreres each have problems – and they do – it is we, the people in charge, who feel them the most. 

That is why this meeting has been so important. It has allowed us to assume our responsibilities in a new light, thanks to the sharing of our fears and doubts, and sometimes our disillusionment, to our informal meetings which are often more fruitful than the common meetings themselves, to the common prayer in which our elderly confreres have pride of place and finally to our poverty, which is a source of infinite richness. The Superiors of the Society in Rome did not get it wrong, as they did everything to welcome and thank us; but none of them ventured to give us the slightest advice and it was much better that way. On the plane back to Paris and to “my” community, I felt a little disoriented but happy and at peace. I felt much more “responsible” since I discovered that I would no longer have to accompany elderly confreres but rather in union with all the confreres in charge of retirement homes in the province, we would have to grow old together with our “old people” just as our novice masters had tried to grow with us. This is perhaps the only conclusion that, unconsciously, we came to seek in Rome, a source of hope and comfort.

Clément Forestier

 

Growing old with our elders, English-speaking confreres

Meeting of English-speaking confreres in charge of elderly communities

This meeting was held in Rome from Sunday 6th March to Friday 11th March 2022 and was hosted by the Provincial, Gerard Chabanon, and the Assistant Provincial, Georges Jacques.

Unlike previous meetings there was no outside invited speaker or animator.  This had not always proved to be beneficial.  Instead, the meeting would proceed at the pace and in the interests of those present with guidance from Gerard and Georges.

We met on Monday morning for a recollection led by Francis Barnes in which he reminded us that, especially in old age, we come to realise more fully our total dependence on others but above all on God.  The Nunc Dimitus of Simeon in the temple reminds us the peace and beauty of “letting go” and placing the past, the future and all in the hands of the Lord.

Frank led our Eucharist that day and on other days we celebrated together in the chapel of the Uganda Martyrs. It was a special moment to pray for those entrusted to our care.

In the afternoon we began our sharing on the different experiences we are living which would take us through until lunchtime on Tuesday.  There was no hurry and each was allowed time to present their report.  It is clear that the setup of our houses differs in each country.  In the Netherlands and in Germany there are opportunities for collaboration with other organisations, lay and religious.  In Ireland and in the UK this is more difficult.  However, our confreres are the same and the joys and challenges of caring are the same. It was clear that we are all happy in our ministry and enjoy what we have been asked to do.

On Tuesday we spent time, with the help of videos, discussing the signs, causes and effects of dementia which is on the increase everywhere.  This led to a discussion on the importance of every confrere having in place all the legal paperwork needed when one is seriously ill or has died. The decision when to move a confrere from our care to more professional care is a delicate one.

A special mention was made of those living outside community and our duty of pastoral care for them.

On Wednesday time was given to our life in community and how to energise and motivate our communities. Clearly our community and personal prayer is the mainstay of our life together and is well practised everywhere.  It was noted that visiting individuals is an important role of the one in charge and listening to them and their life stories.  Outings and community games are a way of drawing us together and relaxing.  Special mention was made of inviting confreres to write their memoirs, which is not only therapeutic but which can also contribute to the archives of the Society.

The group put relaxing into practice on Thursday by taking a day out together.  We visited the church of Cardinal Lavigerie, Basilica di S. Agnese.  His name and crest are clearly to be seen in the church.  The church stands above the smallest catacombs in Rome and we were able to visit them with the help of an excellent guide.  In the evening we joined the community for the Eucharist and after supper the tradional serata romana.

In conclusion the meeting was one of the most relaxed and positive I have attended.  There were no solutions or striking ways forward but an open and honest sharing of the joys and challenges of our ministry.

We thank Gerard and Georges for their support and their encouragement clearly felt throughout the meeting.  And finally, of course, we thank the community of the generalate for their warm and fraternal welcome.

Jozef de Beeker