Wilfried Langer R.I.P.

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

Father Ludwig Peschen, Provincial Delegate of the sector of Germany,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Brother

Wilfried Langer

on Sunday, 5th May 2024 in Hechingen (Germany)
at the age of 83 years, of which 57 years of missionary life
in Burkina Faso, Mali and in Germany.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Download here the announcement of Brother Wilfried Langer’s death

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Joseph Eberle R.I.P.

SOCIETY OF THE MISSIONARIES OF AFRICA

Father Ludwig Peschen, Provincial Delegate of the sector of Germany,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Brother

Joseph Eberle

on Sunday, 21st April 2024 in Oberdischingen (Germany)
at the age of 91 years, of which 63 years of missionary life
in Malawi, Mozambique and Germany.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Download here the announcement of Brother Joseph Eberle’s death

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Roger Bélanger R.I.P.

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

Father Réal Doucet, Provincial of the Americas,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Father

Roger Bélanger

on Wednesday, 24th April 2024 in Montréal (Canada)
at the age of 87 years, of which 58 years of missionary life
in Malawi and Canada.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Download here the announcement of Father Roger Bélanger’s death

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Stagiaires meeting from 15 to 17 march 2024

Niamey Sector, NIGER

WITH A GRATEFUL HEART

………………………………………………………………………………

Song translated from French (Que tes œuvres sont belles, Que tes œuvres sont grandes ! Seigneur, Seigneur, tu nous combles de joie! )

Great are your works, how beautiful they are!
Lord, Lord, you fill us with joy!

1. You are the God who made us, who kneaded us from the earth!
Every human being is a sacred story; every human being is made in the image of God!
Your love fashioned us from the womb of the earth!
Every human being is a sacred story; every human being is made in the image of God!
You put your Spirit within us: we stand on the earth!
Every human being is a sacred story; every human being is made in the image of God!

………………………………………………………………………………

This sacred song and prayer guided our three-day meeting as stagiaires from the Niamey-Niger Sector. Father Pascal Kapilimba, vice-Provincial of the PAO, facilitated the meeting.

Therefore, with an open heart, we begin by thanking Almighty God for his presence and blessings upon us. Glory be also to God for his presence among us as we continue to share and witness his love among the people of Niger. I also believe that this is the prayer of every one of us: whatever we say, whatever we think, whatever we accomplish and whatever we do, may it be for the greater glory of God, and that in everything we do and say, people see only Christ Jesus through us and in us.

We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Father Pascal, who set aside his busy schedule to be with us at this particular meeting. As we move forward, I want to highlight some of the important things we shared at our meeting.

“APOSTOLIC CHARITY”

The idea of apostolic charity is obvious and snow-white. “We are not tourists, in as much as our charism is that of apostolic charity… About apostolic charity: nothing else but as Christ’s disciples”. All to all. This requires us to be nothing other than all people. As stagiaires, we are always asked to learn the culture of the people, to eat their food, to feel and be with them in all their sufferings, and so on. This is not new to the missionary spirit. Therefore, we must recognise that it is a challenge to live this way, especially when we want to depend on our human power. A missionary should, therefore, be a man of prayer who seeks the Holy Spirit, God’s humility, to guide him and do all things through Christ, who calls him at every moment of his daily life.

We would also like to acknowledge the presence of Father Leo who joined us on the last day of our meeting. It was encouraging to learn that Father Leo and Father Pascal share the same idea of living ‘all things to all people’: “We need people who are not just priests, we need missionaries”, said Father Leo. This means that we’re not there simply to celebrate Mass or be among the many Christians, as might be the case in countries like Zambia or Uganda, just to name a few. In a country like Niger, we have to get used that there are just a few Christians, in for example the parish of Saint Joseph in Saga or of Saint Vincent de Paul in Birni N’Konni. But more than that, a missionary is there not only for a few Christians in that particular parish but for the whole population. That’s what it means to be a missionary. Living this helps to build a joyful community.

A JOYFUL COMMUNITY

A joyful community in the context of the M.Afr. is a group of people who are fully human, responsible, grateful, open-hearted, and who know how and when to communicate with each other. Being responsible also means having a sense of belonging to the community. Each of us must feel this, and it must help us live our interculturality by seeking unity despite our differences of nationality. Cardinal Lavigerie reminds us that ” we must love each member of the Society in the same way”. Father Pascal also reminded us that, as stagiaires, “we are sent by the Superior General who sends all the confreres to their respective communities. We must remember that although we are community members, we are also candidates in formation. Secondly, as community members, we must not wait to be welcomed to propose new ideas (we do not separate ourselves from the community), but rather do everything in our power for the good of the community to which we belong”.

It also means that every community member is invited to make an effort to building a joyful community. In this way, we can achieve a joyful community thanks to everyone’s efforts to work towards these important elements.

I can say that this meeting was a special moment that helped me to pause, reflect on my life and evaluate how I can pass this on as a candidate for the Missionaries of Africa to the people of Niger. Not only to the few Christians in the parishes I visit here in Niger but rather to the whole population, especially those I meet in my daily life. Apart from that, it was also a time for me to listen and be inspired by my colleagues’ experiences and to recognise God’s presence in my life story and the lives of others.

I am grateful for all that God still accomplishes through me as a stagiaire of the parish of Saint-Vincent de Paul in Birni N’Konni, Niger.

By: Kelly Mukosha, Stagiaire

 

Denis Laliberté R.I.P.

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

Father Réal Doucet, Provincial of the Americas,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Father

Denis Laliberté

on Wednesday, 10th April 2024 in Sherbrooke (Canada)
at the age of 88 years, of which 63 years of missionary life
in Zambia and Canada.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Download here the announcement of Denis Laliberté’s death

(more…)

Dieudonné Kitumbule R.I.P.

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

Father Arsène Kapya, Provincial of Central Africa,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Father

Dieudonné Kitumbule

on Saturday, 17th February 2024 in Nairobi (Kenya)
at the age of 47 years, of which 16 years of missionary life
in Burkina Faso, Mali and DR Congo.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Download here the announcement of Father Dieudonné Kitumbule’s death

(more…)

William Moroney R.I.P.

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

Father Réal Doucet, Provincial of the Americas,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Father

William Moroney

on Saturday, 17th February 2024 in Nairobi (Kenya)
at the age of 89 years, of which 63 years of missionary life
in Tanzania, USA, France and Kenya.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Download here the announcement of Father William Moroney’s death

(more…)

Safeguarding Audit Announcement, Irish Sector

The Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) Irish Sector have invited the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland to conduct a review of safeguarding practice in the sector. 

If you have any views about safeguarding in the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) Irish Sector we invite you to come forward to us +353 1 405 5263 or to the National Board at +353 1 505 3124. 

If you wish to report a child safeguarding concern, please contact Julie McCullough, Designated Liaison Person for Safeguarding, on +353 86 328 8503 or email pep.irl.cim@mafr.org

Alternatively, you can contact the Garda Child Sexual abuse Free Phone: 1800 555 222 or Tusla:  http://www.tusla.ie/get-in-touch/

Celebration of the Feast of the Consecrated Life on the 3rd of February 2024 in Lilongwe, Malawi

Burnout in the mission

In 1997, Pope Saint John-Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This feast is celebrated in the Catholic Church every February 2nd. In the archdiocese of Lilongwe, this celebration is often arranged on a convenient day after the 2nd of February for all the consecrated men and women to meet together and have a day of recollection and gathering. This year, we celebrated this feast on the 3rd of February 2024.

Presentation of the animator

The theme guiding the recollection was “Burnout in the mission”. Rev. Fr. John Mangwere belonging to the apostolic society of the Pallotines animated the recollection. He ardently called upon all the consecrated people to be on their guard against physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion. This causes fatigue, stress, and depression and eventually may lead to loss of vocation. “As consecrated people, we are given to the mission and spend much of our energies serving others, forgetting our own selves”.

This reflection on burnout in the mission is a unique call to the consecrated people in service to often have a renewal in pastoral ministry. Evangelization is a tiring service that requires constant discernment, especially in this fast-changing world. Without having a regular update regarding the signs of the time, one loses the direction and moral in the ministry.

Incessant deterioration of community life in many religious houses was pointed out as a leading cause of burnout in the ministry. The ‘cancer’ of individualism in our societies does not leave religious communities spared. This has been spotted as an evil and is a paramount factor challenging religious life and ministry in the church.

Upon hearing this emotion-moving reflection from Fr. John, the dozens of consecrated men and women were ushered into a moment of meditation. This was meant to prepare for the asking of pardon from God for the numerous times, that we had failed. The sacrament of reconciliation, arranged minutes before the holy Mass, mended the broken bridges between humanity and God, shattered because of sin.

The archbishop’s homily

In attendance was his grace the Archbishop of Lilongwe Archdiocese George Desmond Tambala (O.C.D.) and his Auxiliary His Lordship Bishop Vincent Frederick Mwakhwawa. Their presence and that of other dignified Deans of the deaneries of Lilongwe diocese showed the unity among the consecrated men and women in the archdiocese.

In his rather challenging homily, the archbishop invited all consecrated present to meditate on the role they play in the church. “The Catholic Church as seen today is both a growing church and a dying church. In the global south and Asian parts of the world, the Church continues to have numerous baptisms, while the Catholic Church in the western world is on the verge of extinction”. This should awaken the call to moral and enthusiasm among the consecrated men and women. “The church and the world are in dire need of the religious”.  “Their role in the society is vital”, he added.   He insisted on the education and formation of formators responsible for the formation of the consecrated in the church. “Today, unlike in the past, we need formators well-versed in spirituality, psychology, and human sciences”. Hence, the need for a holistic education of formators.

He ended his homily by calling upon all the consecrated women and men to work together in the ministry to the young people. The youth are the foundation of the church of tomorrow. They are the joys of the church we need to see tomorrow. The responsibility for their evangelization lies entirely on the consecrated men and women of today.

Appreciation of Father Turnbull

In a nutshell, the Vicar of the Religious, Fr. Bill Turnbull (M.Afr.)  thanked all consecrated men and women who made their contributions to grace the celebration. He appreciated the unity among the consecrated and invited them to continue with the same spirit in the forthcoming jubilee of the religious due in 2025. As a religious, a missionary and a Christian, what is my/your role in this world, where cultural norms, religious life and faith facts are in flux! Christ was consecrated and given to this same world more than 2000 years ago. You and I are consecrated people and offered to this world of today. Behold this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel (Lk: 2:34), and so everyone of us is also destined for the rise and fall of many in our mission stations today.

By: Justus Wednesday (Stagiaire)