Stagiaires meeting from 15 to 17 march 2024

Niamey Sector, NIGER



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.


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 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


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