Bro. Trevor Robinson’s wheelchairs

Missionary Brother Creates
Wheelchair Tricycles
for Disabled in Ghana

Here is a short article published by ZENIT on the 15th July, featuring the work of our confrere Bro. Trevor Robinson in Ghana.

Hope for the ‘last among the last’

On the streets of Tamale, a Ghanaian town of over three hundred thousand inhabitants, you see boys and adults with disabilities. In those conditions, disabled people can only stay near their home. The rest of the world does not exist for them and, above all, they live in a degrading condition. Looking at these “last among the last”, marginalized, vulnerable and without any help, Brother Trevor Robinson, an English missionary of the White Fathers (the Society of Missionaries of Africa), had the evangelical desire to dedicate time and energy to improve their living conditions.

For this reason, he decided to create simple handmade wheelchair tricycles for the disabled, reported Fides News Agency. Exploring the possibilities to remedy that situation, Brother Trevor designed a wheelchair tricycle that enables the person to sit in a wheelchair-type bike seat and move pedals with their hands, thus enabling them to have mobility. From the project to the first prototype, the step was short and, thanks to the help of volunteers and donors, Brother Robinson started the work of recovering useful material, such as pieces of old bicycles donated by friends or acquaintances.

“When I started, I thought of turning this tricycle into an opportunity for street kids. I asked some of them to help me. At first, we produced about ten a week. Now, slowly, we have reached fifty,”  said the missionary. The total price of a tricycle for disabled people is about 250 euros. “They have been given to men, women and older children who are too poor to purchase like this for themselves. Some people offer us a little money if they have it — but for the most part, those who are receiving them are too poor to pay anything at all. The wheelchair tricycles allow people to have dignity.

“When a disabled person manages to obtain one of these means he enters a new dimension and regains a hope of life. Thanks to the tricycle, he can move anywhere. This allows him to relate with many people and to grow. Not only that, but his muscles become stronger and this improves his physical health condition. Now there is a glimmer of gratitude and light in their lives.”

Back to the Future

This morning, the liturgy proposed to us, in the book of Exodus (Ex. 3:1-6.9-12), the story of Moses, the adopted Egyptian prince who became an outlaw in exile in the desert not far from the Horeb mountain – Mount Sinai – the mountain of God. That took me back 25 years…

I was in Mbezi (Tanzania) with Brother John Abobo. We ran a centre for street children. On Friday evening, at nightfall, the boys were watching a video projected on a bed sheet stretched between two trees outside my office. They preferred action films, which they commented on as much as they wanted, because they did not understand the dialogues. But that evening, short of a film that would make them unanimous, I played them a cartoon, a VHS cassette – probably illegal – bought in the streets of Dar es Salaam. I feared their boredom, even their recriminations… In fact, there was even more noise than usual. I had trouble concentrating on my work in the office. Then, at some point, total silence, just the sound of the film that I hadn’t perceived from the beginning. Intrigued, I went out to see what was happening… They were all glued to the screen, as if hypnotized by what they saw and heard.

The “Lion King” is Simba’s story, from his birth to his ultimate vocation as “King of the Jungle”, in the noblest sense of the role – a protective king, a provider, a servant, a king respected and loved by his subjects….

Initiated by his father, King Mufasa, the young Simba took advantage of his leisurely years. But one day, he leads his childhood friend, the young lioness Nala, to explore a taboo place, forbidden for a good reason, it was an elephant cemetery, haunted by death. His father had warned him, however. His uncle Scar, unworthy brother of King Mufasa, took advantage of his young nephew’s innocent mischief and devised a diabolical plan to get rid of both the King and his heir to take over royal power. He puts Simba in mortal danger, forcing Mufasa to take great risks to save his son. With a little help from Scar, Mufasa will die there. Scar will deceive Simba by declaring him guilty of his father’s death and advise him to leave… far away… never to return again. Simba ran away… far into the desert where he was taken in, dying, by Pumba, a warthog whom no one wanted to approach anymore and by Timon the meerkat, a species of small mongoose that lived in the Namibian desert. Both were living carefree in the desert, singing and dancing, feeding on all kinds of insects and plants. They will introduce Simba to the same lifestyle, teaching him the song that reflected their philosophy so well: “Hakuna matata”, all you have to do is let yourself live and enjoy…

Meanwhile, Scar took power over the people of the Jungle, but instead of being a protective and providing king, he abused the environment and the people until he completely exhausted the common resources, forcing all the inhabitants of the jungle into true slavery, just to survive. Simba’s childhood friend Nala decided to go looking for him. But when she found him, he only complained about his own guilt. An important character then appears: Rafiki, the monkey who symbolizes the priest in the story of the Lion King – he was the one who introduced the newborn Simba to the people of the Jungle and anointed him as the King’s heir… Rafiki finds Simba lost in the idleness of a sad and wasteful life; he puts him to the test. And when Simba lamented that he had caused his father’s death, Rafiki revealed to him that his Father was alive and well. Perplexed, Simba followed Rafiki through brambles and bushes to a piece of water. “Shh, shh, quiet… You want to see your father? Look in the water!” Simba’s excitement quickly turned to disappointment when he only saw the reflection of his own face, but Rafiki insisted: “Look… deeper… He lives in you, he lives in me. He watches over everything we see. Into the waters, into the truth. In your reflection, he lives in you.” This little Oasis in the heart of the desert, became the holy ground of the Encounter, where Simba hears anew his Father’s call that he is to be the protective and providing King. He set out to challenge and defeat the traitor Scar and restore a kingdom of balance, prosperity, justice and peace.

It was on Mount Horeb that Moses met the Lord in the burning bush, the holy ground from which he drew the necessary strength to return to Egypt and deliver his people from slavery. Street kids are not just poor abandoned children. Many were educated and shaped by Pumbas and Timons. But some of them that evening set out again on the path of Life. I know, I crossed their path years later.

I invite each of us to ask ourselves: What is my Mission today? Where do I go from here? And every time I stop in silence in holy ground, it is the Father who calls me to take the path of Life again.

Twenty-five years after the release of the cartoon “The Lion King”, the same movie but completely remastered, more real than ever, is now being released on the big screen around the world. I can only invite you to go and watch it as a pilgrimage… or a little retreat.

Philippe Docq, M.Afr.

Blessed are you poor people


Theme of the year 2019 in Lourdes
150th anniversary of the M.Afr.

Georges Paquet, M.Afr.

“Blessed are you poor people! “I prefer another translation: “How lucky for you poor people…” But what poor people? I have met many “poor” people in Tanzania and for 20 years now in France among migrants – I have seen that some can be harsh, aggressive, violent, even towards the other poor! But who are ” the poor who alone possess the Kingdom of Heaven ” (Madeleine Delbrel). Certainly not those who claim to be “in a valley of tears and in exile on earth”, as it is still sung in Latin… Yes, how lucky for you Bernadette Soubirou when you say of your parents: “as long as they do not get stuck.” You’d rather see your parents struggle to get by than see them in the hands of the city’s bourgeoisie – who tried to trap you with nice clothes. You understood that the essential thing was what you lived with your loved ones, loving relationship, prayer in the family and later in a religious community. “I praise you, Father, for hiding this from the wise and understanding, and for revealing it to the little ones. “(Lk 10:21)

And this voice that called you “you” allowed you to remain yourself in front of the world of false great ones like Zola and others… You have nothing to give but a message, heard in the depths of your heart: “I am not here to make you believe it, but just to tell you”. “This is what I witnessed in Africa:” Everyone has the right to hear Jesus’ message and then to do with it what he wants. ” (Kila mtu ana haki ya kusikia maneno ya Yesu, na baadaye ya kufanya kama anavyotaka.)

I, who was not born into poverty, how am I challenged when I say: ” How lucky are you poor people? I want to be with you to fight against poverty, destitution and I will be able to do so if I can do it with as much passion and love as Bernadette…. 140 years after her death, see what technique and a lot of love can achieve: look at this excerpt from this summer’s show in Lourdes with Eyma… who is 16 years old.

The Kingdom is living the present moment, being a creator with the Creator. We are not happy in the world of selfishness, of hatred.  “The other world” is where there is love.

It is up to everyone to listen to the Voice, which is right next to you.

A bit of history: 

    • 1830: the miraculous medal “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. » 
    • 7.01.1844 : birth of Bernadette Soubirou
    • 1854: the dogma of the immaculate conception

“No doubt the expression Immaculate Conception struck her ears, in church, on the feast of December 8. But in these sermons delivered in French (a foreign language)… it is an unknown notion for her…” (p. 123). “Bernadette had a rosary of 2 cents bought in 1856 in Betharram, she knew how to pray it in French; she also knew this invocation that was said at the evening prayer: “O Mary conceived without sin…” (p.48).

    • The apparitions from 11.02 to 16.07.1858 – “I saw something white, Aquéro (that or this one, depending on the accent) has the shape of a small maiden ( damiséle)” (p.78).
    • “On June 3, 1859, she made her first communion. In July, a young lawyer, Charles Madon, talks with Bernadette: “and your secrets, what is it about? – They concern only me – and if the Pope asked you, would you tell him? – No…” (p.140) What if his secret was the way Aquéro understood the meaning of “immaculada councepciou”?
    • “Great difficulty for his canonization! In the summer of 1861, on the first floor of the sisters’ hospice, she ordered a little girl, a certain Julie: “I throw my hoof out the window. You go get it and bring strawberries. ” (from the garden below) (p.159) “I can’t meditate… but she started in the long run. » (p.161) “ 4.04.1864: Bernadette says she wants to be a religious
    • 7.07.1866: she is in Nevers
    • 16.04.1879: Bernadette dies

Quotations in “Vie de Bernadette” by René Laurentin, Desclée de Brouwer (1978)

    • Charles Lavigerie was born in Bayonne on 30.10.1825, in the same century. He was Archbishop of Algiers in 1867 and Cardinal in 1882.
    • On 1.07.1888, in Paris, he launched his anti-slavery campaign. The wording of “Temps” wrote: “The cardinal destroyed almost entirely the overly brief notions we had about the state of the slave trade.”
    • On 19.10.1868, he opened the first novitiate and on 8 December, he named the “Immaculate Conception” patron saint of his new Society of Missionaries of Africa, known as the White Fathers. In 1869, they were the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa ( : Want to be holy?)
    • In 1878, it was the first caravan for East Africa, which would become Tanzania. I would be there in 1971, a hundred years after the explorer Stanley (not St Stanley, another American martyr).
    • In Chavanay, in 1878, my family erected a statue of Mary, with these words on the base: “Holy Mary of the star, I am the bright gold, the brightness of noon, the last ray of the evening. Hail Mary 1878. »
Notre Dame de la Grande gorge – above the Rhône, facing the sunrise.

Read my poem « Marie » in 

Georges Paquet, M.Afr.
Tanzania 1971 – 1998.

Consultation, Petit Echo & EAP Newsletter

Petit Echo
and various

By now, you should have received a new consultation letter from the General Council, on the Brothers’ vocation this time. The topic will be debated at the forthcoming Plenary Council. So your reflection is requested and your opinion matters.

The timing is particularly good, for the July edition of the Petit Echo is precisely on the Brothers in the Society. And it should be shortly on its way by snail mail (I mean by post) and is already on line on this website. I believe it might be very wise to go through it prior to reflecting on the Brothers in our Society.

You will find as well the Newsletter “Mini-Lien” from the French sector, as well as the “Nuntiuncula” from Belgium, both on the download page of the PEP newsletters.

And on the download page of EAP, you will find the latest newsletter from the East African Province.

Pierre Humblet, R.I.P.

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

Father Luc Putzeys, Provincial Delegate of the sector of Belgium,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Father

Pierre Humblet

on Wednesday the 10th July 2019 at Ohain (Belgium)
at the age of 87 years, of which 62 years of missionary life in
in Lebanon, Tunisia, Italia, Syria, Israel/Palestine and Belgium.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.


Johannes (Hans) Gülle, R.I.P.

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

Father Rudi Pint, Provincial Delegate of the sector of Germany,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Father

Johannes (Hans) Gülle

on Monday the 8th of July 2019 at Trier (Germany)
at the age of 85 years, of which 58 years of missionary life in
Tanzania and Germany.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.


José Tomás Gómez, R.I.P.

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

Father Patrick Bataille, Provincial Delegate of the sector of France,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Father

José Tomás Gómez

at the beginning of July 2019 at Sagunto (Spain)
at the age of 70 years, of which 37 years of missionary life in
Malawi, Italy, Spain and France.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.


Pierre Gouin 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

Pierre Gouin

on Saturday the 6th July 2019 at Ste-Dorothée (Canada)
at the age of 86 years, of which 63 years of missionary life in
Zambia and Canada.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.


Guy Martin RIP

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

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

Guy Martin

on 2nd July 2019 at Québec (Canada)
at the age of 92 years, of which 67 years of missionary life
in Tanzania, Italy and Canada.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.


SAP encounter for First term confreres

The Missionaries of Africa on first term in the Province of Southern Africa, met in Johannesburg (South Africa) from the 3rd to the 7th of June 2019, to reflect about their experiences in the Mission and renew their commitment to serve in God’s vineyard. These confreres were: Fr. Thomas Pouya from Burkina Faso, working in Mzuzu (Malawi), Br. Vitus Danaa Abobo from Ghana, working in Lilongwe (Malawi), Fr. Konrad Millanzi from Tanzania, working in Henley Parish (South Africa), and Fr. Herve Tougma from Burkina Faso, working in Tete (Mozambique). Besides sharing their experiences, they also spent some time to familiarize themselves with the historical, political, religious and economic contexts of the country through visiting the “Freedom Park” in Pretoria, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, and some other places of interest.

Though the meeting was organized for the four confreres, the members of the hosting community at Edenglen, were actively involved in ensuring that the participants were well taken care of. Fr. Malachy Oleru who was the Moderator of the meeting facilitated the sharing and involved other confreres like Fr. Raymond McQuarrie, Fr. Jones Kawisha, and Fr. Peter Joseph Cassidy, to give input on different subjects based on their mission experiences.

The participants, together with the confreres of Edenglen community, started each day with the Laudes, followed by the Eucharistic celebration, inviting God to take charge of the day’s sharing, inputs and outings among others.

For confreres like Fr. Thomas Pouya, it was like a homecoming, since he did his pastoral training or “stage”  in Orange Farm, South Africa from 2010 to 2012. For Herve and Vitus, this was a new discovery. For Konrad Millanzi, who is working in Henley Parish, South Africa, visiting Johannesburg was nothing new.

On the first day of their meeting, the four confreres shared more about themselves, family backgrounds and their vocation journeys. This exercise was really an ice breaker for the group as some of the members were meeting for the first time. In their sharing, certain elements stood out, such as how the plan of God is made manifest through their family experiences, the decisions of their parents, and other human agents like relatives, friends, religious leaders and education systems. These have been part and parcel of the vocation stepping stones! Besides, the cultural experiences have also played a role in molding them into who they are today, and enkindled in them the desire to encounter other cultures. In the vocation journeys of all the members, there were moments of doubts, moments when scales that blinded their vision fell off, and moments of great certitude and confirmation of God’s will in their lives. All these challenges, doubts and joys contributed in helping them to respond positively to the Call of God to become Missionaries of Africa.

On the afternoon of the first day of their meeting, the group, with the help of Fr. Christophe Boyer, visited Freedom Park in Pretoria. Upon arrival at the Park, they spent some time visiting the Museum before they got a guide who helped them to appreciate the richness of the place and the different aspects of the park. The guide explained that, Freedom Park was born as both a national and international icon of humanity and freedom. He added that, the idea of a place of that kind was in the dreams of the late Dr. Nelson Mandela, of which Mandela himself in 1999 expressed beautifully in these words: “… the day should not be far off, when we shall have a people’s shrine, a Freedom Park, where we shall honour with all the dignity they deserve, those who endured pain so we should experience the joy of freedom.”

Some of the elements which caught the attention of the group were the Wall of Names, the Sanctuary, the Eternal Flames and the beautiful view of the City Centre from the walkway. Regarding the Wall of Names, the members were curious to know what criteria was used to select those whose names are inscribed on the Wall. It was also consoling when they found many names of heroes and heroines whom they knew or have read about on the Wall of Names like Thomas Sankara from Burkina Faso, Kwame Nkurumah from Ghana, Fred Agbeyegbe from Nigeria, Thomas J. O. Mboya from Kenya, and Empress Zweditu from Ethiopia. The guide explained that the Eternal Flame is meant to invite visitors to remember the unknown and unsung heroes and heroines who lost their lives, yet their names are not recorded in history.

A notice “PLEASE REMOVE YOUR SHOES” welcomed the group to the Sanctuary. With such a notice one realizes he or she is approaching a holy ground. The guide explained that visitors are invited to conduct a ceremony or light a candle in memory of the “victims in our struggles for freedom or simply to celebrate the life of a loved one.” Responding to a question asked by one of the group members, the guide said that anybody or a group from any religious affiliation is allowed to perform their ceremonies here, as long as they remove their sandals.

At the end of the visit the group had the pleasure of seeing the City Centre from a high altitude wooden walkway. They were excited to take some pictures from the walkway with the City Centre in the background. The group was so grateful to their guide who was very good at explaining the different things in the Park and also patient at listening to all the critiques and appreciations of the group. To show their appreciation, they invited the guide to take a picture with them, to which the guide accepted. The visit to South Africa will not have been complete without a visit to Freedom Park, where many centuries of history and humanity’s struggle for freedom have been showcased in a neutral, non-judgmental way.

On the Second day of the meeting, the group shared on their experiences of initial insertion into their places of Mission. In the sharing, it was clear that inserting oneself into a local milieu is not always easy as one encounters new confreres, cultural shocks, new languages, and in some situations new climate, among others. The experiences of the members during stage was found to be very instrumental in enabling them to adapt to their new places of mission. The challenges of inserting themselves into their places of mission pushed them to grow and become active participants in shaping their communities and places of pastoral assignment. The arrival of these new members in each of their communities, places of mission have brought in new energy, ideas and dynamics.

As if by God’s providence, all the confreres got invited in the evening to a Muslim family to join them in breaking their Ramadan fast. This gesture granted the confreres an opportunity to experience the generosity and hospitality of their Muslim brothers and sisters. During the meals which brought together at least four Muslim families, there were different discussions and sharing about what both Christianity and Islam has in common, and also the challenge of some extremists disfiguring the picture that many people have of Islam.

On the third day they reflected on Collaborative Ministry with the help of Fr. Peter Joseph Cassidy (PJ) who works in St. Thomas Parish, Lenasia. At the beginning of PJ’s input he shared about his experience in South Africa as a Stagiaire, his experience of collaborating with ministers of other religions as well as his joys of being a Missionary of Africa.

He insisted that joy and pain are part of our life and no matter which of the two that one is experiencing, there is a need to share with others, and where necessary to seek for help. On the same point of Collaborative Ministry, PJ reminded the group that Mission has to be centered on God, adding that ‘in Collaborative Ministry we have to encounter both Mission and Values.’ He compared this ministry to the different parts of the body making use of the letter of St Paul to the Corinthians (Cor12:12-31). He insisted that Collaborative Ministry is about ‘working together and building the Kingdom of God together.’ From the above reading, the group members shared some three lessons which included: the uniqueness of the different parts of the body, the need to appreciate each other and pay attention to the needs of one another. And finally, the fact that despite the importance of each part of the body, some of the parts may feel that they are not visible or appreciated.

PJ highlighted the importance of building bridges in life instead of building walls. He also emphasized the importance of taking up new challenges and putting our gifts into use.
He also introduced the idea of supervision as a tool to help us pay attention to our emotional, physical and psychological realities. In order to collaborate with others, he advised, ‘you need to collaborate with yourself.’

After sharing about their experiences of love at different levels, PJ invited the members to imagine what would have happened, if the same kind of energy they get through love was transferred onto the ministry. He invited all the members to approach the ministry with the same kind of energy which they get through love.

Lastly, PJ talked about Safeguarding Children and ensuring that in our ministry children are protected, loved and cared for. ‘We also need to pay attention to ensure that children are not abused around us.’ He also shared his experience about working on child abuse cases and other sensitive issues so as to encourage the confreres to pay attention to them and put in place measures to protect children in our places of apostolate.

In the afternoon of the third day, the group together with Fr. Paul and Fr. Peter Joseph, visited some historical places including, Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Hector Peterson memorial and our confreres working in Lenasia Parish.

At Regina Mundi the group was told the story of how some bullets were shot into the Church building. Some of the holes on the roof of the Church building were still visible. At the back of the Church, one could find different pictures, messages and even signatures about the Soweto uprising and the struggle against the Apartheid regime. The group driving past the residence of the late Dr. Nelson Mandela found a lot of visitors who had come to visit the house.

When the members arrived at one of the outstations of Lenasia parish, they were shocked to find that the motor which automatically opened the gate of the Church compound had been stolen the previous night. From there the group continued to Lenasia Community, where they were warmly welcomed by Fr. Mathieu Van Vlierden and Fr. Raymond McQuarrie. There they had a lovely chat together.

After the recap of the previous day’s input by Malachy Oleru, Fr. Jones reiterated the importance of Collaborative Ministry, emphasizing the importance of appreciating the gifts of each other instead of being jealous. Fr. Jones regretted that, ‘sometimes when new talented confreres arrive, instead of collaborating with them we become jealous of them.’ He also emphasized the need to be present to each other especially in today’s context, when sometimes ‘we don’t spend much time together, instead we spend more time with our computers or smartphones.’

Later on, Fr. Jones gave a short input about his experience in Tizi Ouzou, Algeria, North Africa.
During his experience he faced a challenge of keeping a balance between working with both the Christians (who were mostly Students) and the Muslims. Some of the Muslims would complain that the responsibilities and work is being given to the Christians, while the other Christians will complain that more attention is being given to the Muslims.

One of the dilemmas that the confreres faced was when some Muslims showed interest of wanting to become Christians. This is because one can be accused of converting Muslims into Christianity. The question still remains; do you refuse to admit a sincere Muslim who desires to become a Christian?

Despite the challenges that he faced in Tizi Ouzou, Algeria, such as the insecurity, he appreciated community life and concern that confreres had for each other. He was also appreciative of the trust and hospitality of the Algerian people towards the Missionaries of Africa.

With regards to working with Muslims, he emphasized the importance of collaboration and dialogue, highlighting that dialogue does not mean conformity. He added that, in dialogue it is essential to respect our differences and be sincere to our own identity.

Concerning the question of reciprocity regarding dialoguing with Muslims. Fr. Jones believes that, dialogue is part of the Christian faith; living out both the vertical and horizontal dimension of our faith. He however, recognized the fact that it is challenging.

After Jones’ input the other members also shared about their experiences of living with, schooling with and working with Muslims. It is remarkable that in the case of Burkina Faso some Muslims would join their Christian friends and relations to go for Charismatic prayers in Churches. They would also celebrate both Muslim feasts and Christian feasts as one family.

In the afternoon of the same day, the group in collaboration with Fr. Paul Namono and Fr. Jones visited the Apartheid Museum. There were many things that caught the attention of those who were visiting the place for the first time such as the distinction in the colours of the ID cards, the separation of local people in the residents according to tribes, the reservation of some services to whites only, among others. It was remarkable to see how the locals were enslaved, and not represented in Parliament. The tour of the Museum also gave the group to revisit the life and struggle of Nelson Mandela and many others, for the independence of South Africa (End of Apartheid System) in audio visual form. At the end of the visit, the members still left the Museum with a thirst as there were still a lot of exhibitions not visited due to the shortness of time. One thing is certain, humanities quest for freedom is a long journey and a burning flame which no individual or system can ever put off, be it through torture, starvation or death. This freedom once attained demands responsibility and discipline to maintain.

On the last day of our meeting, the group was blessed with the presence of Fr. Raymond McQuarrie. He talked about clericalism and the need to have an exit strategy in the mission. While emphasizing the importance of the Christian faith and getting rooted in the sacramental life, he invited his brothers to focus on what is happening around the world. ‘We should not forget the issues of Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation (JPIC) and other social issues of the present day,’ he emphasized. He gave us some motivational biblical texts to highlight the importance of paying attention to issues of Justice and Peace, with supporting documents from the Catholic Social Teachings of the Church.

Also, he highlighted the focus of making their communities and places of apostolate a family. Community life is one of the main values that have remained through most of the writings of Cardinal Lavigerie, the founder of the Society of Missionaries of Africa. Their first ministry is their families, Raymond reminded them. He added that ‘anything that undermines the cohesiveness of the family has to be challenged.’ He further challenged his brothers to bring back issues of Justice and Peace as expressed by Jesus in the book of Isaiah 61 to the forefront of their apostolate: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners… (Isaiah 61:1ff)

In summary the meeting of the confreres on first term working in Southern African Province was a success. It gave these confreres the opportunity to reflect together in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, about their experiences and see how God is using them to fulfil his Mission in Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa. It also gave them the chance to look back at their experiences and rethink how to better minister to God’s people. The fact that the meeting took place in Johannesburg, it also gave some of them the privilege to acquainting themselves with the South African context and appreciate how far the country has come up in the fight for freedom.
This meeting will not have been possible without the support of the Provincial and his team, as well as the confreres in the Sector of South Africa, most especially the community of Edenglen, who despite their busy schedule availed themselves and their resources to facilitate this meeting.

Vitus Danaa Abobo, M.Afr.