Page 1



No. 69 August 2015

30 Nov 2014 - 2 Feb 2016

Year of Consecrated Life Like us on Facebook: jesuitszimbabwe


Jesuit Province

of Zimbabwe-Mozambique

The mission of the Society of Jesus today is the service of faith, of which the promotion of justice is an absolute requirement.

JESUIT IDENTITIES AND ACRONYMS Men and Women for and with Others, Finding God in All things, For the Greater Glory of God (AMDG), Magis, Contemplatives in Action,…….. Interested in serving God as a Jesuit Brother or Priest? Contact Vocations Director 52 Mt Pleasant Drive, Mt Pleasant Harare, Zimbabwe Mobile: +263 773314466 Landline: +263-4-744295 mclydez@gmail.com


Beira –Mozambique *Laison SJ +258 825315888 eltonlaissone@gmail.com Tete—Mozambique *Goncalves SJ +258 825321927 goverissimo@yahoo.com.br


Vision Statement Mukai-Vukani (“Rise”) Journal for the Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe-Mozambique serves as a Bulletin for Theological Refection among Jesuits in Zimbabwe-Mozambique and their friends. It tries to help us answer the question, “What direction do we have to follow in the light of the Word of God at this moment in time?” (Mukai 23, p.2), facilitating dialogue among Jesuits and their friends based on study, prayer and discernment.


Editorial - Consecration, Communion, Mission


An insight into the meaning and nature of Consecrated Life - Anold Moyo, SJ


The Paradox of Leadership and the Pope’s Message on The Year of Consecrated Life - Wedzerai Nhemachena


The Pope’s Message on The Year of Consecrated Life: A personal interpretation - Sr Rosemary Mwagarezano, RSHM


The Year of Consecrated Life: What’s in there for those not in Consecrated Life? - Fr. Choobe Maambo, SJ


What is special about being a brother? - Br James Langlois, FMS


Year of Consecrated Life: Called to wake up the World through the Evangelical Councils - Sr Kativu, SDC



The Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Sacred heart of Jesus Zambesi Mission, here we come! - Sr Ferrera Weinzierl OP Humbly learning the art of Pastoral charity - Fr Oskar Wermter, SJ


“Ad Gentes: A prophetic text for our church” - Fr. Joseph Lazaro


The role of women in Evangelism - Dominic Satumba-Nyandowe

25 27

Book Review: Slavery worse than ever - Fr Oskar Wermter, SJ Book Review: Consecrated Life in Bantu Africa - Br James Langlois, FMS

Cover Photo: Photo montage of Sisters at an Easter Vigil Mass, Fr(s) Isaac Fernandez SJ and Courage Bakasa SJ taken at St Peters Mbare Parish

Journal for the Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe-Mozambique No. 69 August 2015 Published by Jesuit Communications Office of the Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe-Mozambique as an in-house magazine for Jesuits and Friends. Editorial Office: JesCom, 37 Admiral Tait Rd, Marlborough, Harare, tel. (+263) 0772 239 146 / (+263-4) 309 623 e-mail: jescomzim@gmail.com or jescom@jesuitszimbabwe.co.zw website: www.jesuitszimbabwe.co.zw Editorial Team : Fr Clyde Muropa SJ, Tawona Tavengwa Layout, Design and Distribution: Frashishiko Chikosi, Tawona Tavengwa Printing: Print Dynamix Articles with full names of their authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board.

ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 3


Consecration, Communion, Mission Pope Francis has declared a Year of Consecrated Life (30 November 2014 – 2 February 2016) to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the two important documents of the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium and Perfectae Caritatis Fr. Clyde Muropa SJ These documents speak extensively on the theology and the renewal of religious life. In his Apostolic Letter for the Year of consecrated Life, the Pope spells out the aims of this year. He urges the religious to “look to the past with gratitude, to live the present with passion and to embrace the future with hope”. He equally invites the consecrated men and women to examine their presence in the Church and to respond to the new demands that are constantly made on them by society, especially the cry of the poor. Because of the role of consecrated life in the Church and its importance, Saint John Paul II, decided to convene a Synod in order to examine in depth its significance and its future prospects. In his PostS y n o d a l E x h o r t a t i o n Vi t a Consecrata, on the Consecrated Life and its Mission in the Church and in the World (1996), clearly clarifies that the consecrated life, deeply rooted in the example and teaching of Christ the Lord, is a gift of God the Father to his Church through the Holy Spirit. Consecrated (religious) Life can therefore be simply explained in



relation to the evangelical counsels or vows. The Second Vatican Council, for instance, interprets religious life in terms of the evangelical counsels.Thomas Aquinas, for example, in Summa Theologiae, holds that “the three vows of religion form the essential of all religious life.” Therefore, in every age there have been men and women who, obedient to the Father's call and to the prompting of the Spirit, have chosen this special way of following Christ, in order to devote themselves to him with an “undivided” heart (1 Cor 7:34). One can see almost the same pattern in the teachings of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reaffirms it when it says; “The perfection of charity, to which all the faithful are called, entails for those who freely follow the call to consecrated life the obligation of practicing chastity in celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, poverty and obedience. Following upon Pope Francis' aims in the Year of Consecrated Life, how can we not recall with gratitude to the Spirit, the many different forms of consecrated life which God has raised up

throughout history and which still exists in the Church today? In every age, consecrated men and women must continue to be images of Christ the Lord, fostering through prayer, a profound communion of mind with him, so that their whole lives may be penetrated by an apostolic spirit and their apostolic work with contemplation. It is our fervent hope that the reflections in this issue will continue and lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the great gift of the consecrated life in its three aspects of consecration, communion and mission. The articles contained herein, from different religious men and women sharing their charisms and experiences intend to elicit from the local church the greater need to “adopt” consecrated men and women. This can be done by, say, “adopting” a brother, or sister or priest and journey with them in their life in prayer, in showing them appreciation of their work and contribution to the church.

- Editor

An insight into the meaning and nature of Consecrated Life Introduction One of the ways in which the richness of Catholic faith and life is made manifest is through the existence in the Church of the state of consecrated life. Inspired by the ecclesiology of Vatican II, the 1983 Code of Canon Law presents a rich understanding of consecrated life, demonstrating its spiritual, theological and ecclesial dimensions. In this paper, I shall focus on the Church's understanding of consecrated life as presented in articles 573 and 574 of the Code of Canon Law. In discussing this ecclesiological notion of consecrated life, I shall also make use of some documents on consecrated life that have been produced by the Church in an effort to give us insight into the meaning and nature of consecrated life. Anold Moyo, SJ Hekima University College, Nairobi

Spiritual Dimension Canon law presents consecrated life as fundamentally baptismal in character. In the text, baptismal spirituality is presented in a way that applies specially to consecrated life.1 All Christians, by virtue of their baptism, have been “consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood […]. 2 Likewise, all baptised Christians are called to holiness and closeness to God through Christ, since they “have obtained an equal privilege of faith through the justice of God”.3 Thus, holiness and communion with Christ are summons made to all the baptised; and this is also the basic summons to those in consecrated life. Consecrated life is hence a gift rooted in baptism.4 However, the same summons to those who have consecrated themselves to God through the profession of the evangelical counsels is more radical in a way that is not required of the other 1

faithful in the Church. Canon 574 states that “some of Christ's faithful are specially called by God to this state so that they may benefit from a special gift in the life of the Church […]”. Consecrated life takes the call to sanctity more radically and to a higher level. As Canon 573 states, those who are in this state of life chose to follow Christ more closely and are totally dedicated to God and seek the perfection of charity in the service of God's Kingdom. This brings out the radical nature of consecrated life as understood by the Church. Consecrated persons pine for a profound closeness to Christ, and one that is transformative of their own-selves so that their lives reflect Christ himself. A vowed life allows them to be more intimate with Christ so that they can manifest in their lives Christ's attitude.5 The radicalness of consecrated life is manifest in the total dedication to God by those who

George Lobo, New Canon Law for Religious (Bombay: St Paul Publications, 1986), 20. Lumen Gentium, 10a. 3 Lumen Gentium, 32c. 4 John Beal, P., James A. Coriden and Thomas J. Green, ed., New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (New York/Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2000), 734. 5 George, 20. 6 George, 21. 7 Janusz A. Ihnatowicz, “Consecrated Life in the Ecclesiology of Vatican II”, Faith and Reason Magazine, (1991), 11. 2

profess the evangelical counsels. The evangelical counsels free a person completely for God. The person is freed from attachments to worldly things and inordinate desires that may impede his total commitment to God. As Lobo states, this “self-donation indicates the highest value which a person offers to the divinity”. It is complete self-giving in response to God's grace and generosity, one that sets apart the consecrated person for God alone. Once a person has been freed from anything enslaving, they are in a better disposition to pursue a deeper love of God and thus perfect their charity both for God and for others. Consecrated life is thus a path to holiness and perfect love, one that allows the consecrated persons to live the gospel more radically, aided by the freedom achieved by living faithfully the life of vows, and thus come to a more intimate communion with Christ. As a deeper way of living baptismal life, “consecrated life manifests what Christians, in virtue of their baptism are, and what they should become.7

ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 5

Theological Dimension Consecrated life has theological dimensions of an Christological, Trinitarian and eschatological nature. From a Christological perspective, consecrated life is a deep intimacy with and imitation of Jesus Christ. Canon 573 states that the consecrated life is an endeavour to follow Christ more closely. The profession and faithful living of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience is an imitation of Christ who was poor, chaste and obedient to the Father. The evangelical counsels represent a clearer and more complete way of being conformed to Christ.8 Consecrated life is also Trinitarian in character. Those who are called to this state of life consecrate themselves, through the evangelical counsels, to God by the imitation of the Son and through the action of the Holy Spirit. This Trinitarian character of consecrated life is brought out clearly in the very first article of the Canon that deals with institutes of consecrated life. Canon 573 states that consecrated life is one “in which the faithful follow Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit, and are

totally dedicated to God, who is supremely loved”. Consecrated persons profess the evangelical counsels in order to live for God alone, following Christ who is the example of perfect love, under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit who inspires and sustains their vocations as well as being the one who consecrates them. Apart from its Christological a n d Tr i n i t a r i a n c h a r a c t e r, consecrated life is also eschatological in nature. People in this state are a “splendid sign in the Church, as they foretell the heavenly glory”.9 Consecrated life anticipates eternal life, the eschatological fulfilment towards which the whole Church is moving towards.10 Having been joined to Christ by the gift of their lives, and thus living in Christ's image,

Apart from its Christological and Trinitarian character, consecrated life is also eschatological in nature. People in this state are a “splendid sign in the Church, as they foretell the heavenly glory” 8




Perfecta Caritatis, 1b; Lumen Gentium, 42b. Code of Canon Law, 573. 10 Vita Consecrata, 14.

Men consecrated for service



consecrated persons reveal by their state the transcendence of the Kingdom of God and its demands over all earthly things.11 In this sense, not only is consecrated life eschatological, it is prophetic as well. Consecrated life reveals to all the baptised their true calling and challenges them to the perfection they should strive for in order for them to receive the eternal life promised to them by Christ. Perfecta Caritatis asserts that consecrated life is “a splendid sign of the heavenly Kingdom”.12 It witnesses to a new and eternal life which all the baptised have acquired by God's redemptive work through Christ while at the same time prefacing their resurrection and glorious life in heaven. One can thus say that consecrated life is a sign of the Kingdom that already is and that is yet to come.

Vita Consecrata, 20. Perfecta Caritatis, 1a.

Ecclesial Dimension Canon law states that consecrated life is linked in a special way to the Church and its mystery. It further states that the state of consecrated life belongs to the life and holiness of the Church and that it is to be therefore fostered by everyone in the Church. 1 3 These clauses demonstrate the essentially ecclesial nature of consecrated life. Consecrated life is a state to which some within the Church, both clergy and laity, are called to. While consecrated life is neither part of the Church hierarchy nor a middle state between the clerical state and the laity, it is a stable form of state that forms an integral part of the Church. In the words of Vita Consecrata, consecrated life, “present in the Church from the beginning, can never fail to be one of her essential and characteristic elements, for it expresses her very nature”. 1 4 A d d i t i o n a l l y, t h e C h u r c h understands consecrated life as a gift from God to the Church. As a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church, consecrated life can be regarded as a charism in the Pauline sense. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul speaks of how different people within the Church are granted spiritual graces and gifts to perform particular tasks for the sanctification and growth of the Church. Thus, diversity of charisms exist within the Church.15 Consecrated life can be counted among these charisms that some people in the Church receive for its sanctification and growth. It is a spiritual gift granted to some of the faithful to prepare and empower them for the work of renewing and building up the Church. As an integral part of the Church, consecrated life is thus supposed to be promoted and nurtured by all in the Church. Individuals within the Church as well as families ought to pray for and actively promote the vocations of those contemplating to join this state of life as well as support those who already belong to various institutes of consecrated life, both spiritually and materially. Related to its ecclesial nature, consecrated life is juridical as well. The coming into being of an

institute of consecrated life is depended on the approval by the competent ecclesiastical a u t h o r i t y. 1 6 Institutes of consecrated life need the approval of the Church for their foundation and legal existence. Their rules of life and constitutions need the Church's approval. The Church hierarchy itself has the mandate of regulating the practice of the evangelical counsels. Thus in as much as institutes of consecrated life have a high degree of autonomy, they are required to obey the local ordinaries of the places where they operate and carry out their mission as well as obey the hierarchical institutions of the Church. Another way in which consecrated life manifests its ecclesial character is its apostolic orientation. Canon 573 states as one of the missions of consecrated life the building of the Church and the salvation of the world. For most consecrated people, their lives are devoted to the welfare of the Church. They participate actively in its evangelising mission, in the propagation of faith and in the provision of social services such as health and education, and in the advocacy for social justice inspired 13

Code of Canon Law, 573-4. 14 Vita Consecrata, 29.

by the gospel. Consecrated life is thus life at the service of God within the Church.

Conclusion The discussion in this paper has been centred on the ecclesiological notion of consecrated life as presented in articles 573 and 574 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. With the help of various Church documents on consecrated life, I attempted to clarify further these spiritual, theological and ecclesial dimensions, bringing forth the meaning and nature of consecrated life as understood by the Church. In conclusion, I would like to borrow the words of Pope Francis in his

recent letter to all religious and consecrated people; that ultimately, the distinctive sign of consecrated life is prophecy and that its apostolic effectiveness depends on the “eloquence” of the lives of consecrated persons. Thus, however consecrated life can be understood, if it is not transformative of the lives of its members, of the Church and of the world, it would have fallen short of its calling and purpose. 15

Lumen Gentium, 41. Code of Canon Law, 573.


Bibliography Beal, P. John, James A. Coriden and Thomas J. Green, ed. New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law. New York/Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2000. Flannery Austin and Laurence Collins. Light for my Path: The New Code of Canon Law for Religious. Wilmington/Delaware: Michael Glazier, 1983. Ihnatowicz, A. Janusz. “Consecrated Life in the Ecclesiology of Vatican II”. Faith and Reason Magazine, 1991. https://www.ewtn.com/library/PRIESTS/FR91203.TXT (Accessed 17 April 2015). John Paul II. Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Vita Consecrata. Vatican City, 1996. Lezohupski, Robert, OFM Conv. Code of Canon Law. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2013. Lobo, V. George. New Canon Law for Religious. Bombay: St Paul Publications, 1986. Paul VI. Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life, Perfecta Caritatis. Vatican City, 1965. Paul VI. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. Vatican City, 1964. Pope Francis. Apostolic Letter to All Consecrated People on the Occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life. Vatican City, 2015.

ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 7

The Paradox of Leadership and the Pope's Message on the Year of Consecrated Life: Towards Greater Responsibility Introduction This article is a reaction and interpretation of Pope Francis' message on the Year of Consecrated Life. It is strongly felt that it is a leadership call from the Pope and that it also relates to a research study by Nhemachena (2015) titled “An Exploratory Study on the Management of Social Capital in Organizations: A Zimbabwean Perspective” in apparent response to some leaders in Zimbabwe who seem to have lost all sense of direction leading Zimbabweans to either flee the country or go on the streets to sell their wares because there no longer is a viable industrial sector that can accommodate them. As the leader of the more than 1 billion Catholics around the world, the Pope mourns the lack of leadership that is affecting this world. This is well captured in Pope Francis' statement titled “Year of Consecrated Life” where he notes that “…the powerless encounter oppression, where inequality abounds…” It is for this reason that those living a consecrated life should be torch bearers in restraining those who are abusing their positions of power because like Jesus Christ, they should protect the weak and feed the hungry. To confirm the Pope's concerns in poor leadership, some important findings in this study are that Zimbabwean employees have lost trust in their leadership because they attribute the state of the operating environment to the leadership who are the chief architects of the operating environment. The study has also established that the leadership is involved in corrupt deals, greed, selfishness, irresponsibility, poor service delivery, and poor governance among others. In addition, the study has further established that leadership has given themselves fat pay checks timely and has not bothered about the welfare of their employees. Instead, they have given priority to sending their children to schools in foreign countries and they have also sought medical assistance in foreign countries at the expense of the populace, thereby showing that they have also lost trust in the operating environment they have created. Turning to the Religious for 8


Leadership in a Distressed Operating Environment The leadership challenges highlighted above bring in the Pope's statement in context where the consecrated men and women of God come in as people who can show us the way. Kunnumpuram SJ (2010:189) notes that the priest is a sign of hope, and by his life of simplicity and joyful sharing of the goods of this world, he bears witness to humans' vocation to be totally independent of all created things. In Zimbabwe, the religious have shown the light by leading by example in that they have made tremendous contributions in education, that is, primary school, secondary school through to university. In Zimbabwe, Catholic run schools are rated the best in the country as they produce the best results in the country. This is well attributed to the commitment of those living a consecrated life who are focused on improving the quality of life for all and not enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.

Wedzerai Nhemachena PhD Fellow; Catholic Music Composer; and Part-time University Lecturer

In the health sector, the Church has built many mission hospitals run by the religious, and accessible to all. Most people in Zimbabwe prefer mission hospitals to other types of health facilities in the country. The Church in Zimbabwe has also been involved in skills training for those who are more inclined to the acquisition of life skills such as building, carpentry, welding and basket making among others. A few examples spring to mind; St Peters Kubatana in Highfields, Chinhoyi Training Centre (commonly known as “kwaBrother Simon”) and other centres that have taken to skills training for the young people. Chandrakumar (2011: 149) in apparent reference to living a consecrated life refers to Samson as one consecrated leader who is forever not strongly remembered for his great victories, but rather for his fall. Samson was called by God to defeat Israel's enemies, but a woman named Delilah robbed him of his strength. Samson's story warns us in this Year of Consecrated

Zimbabwe church leadership: Those living a consecrated life should be torch bearers in restraining those who are abusing their positions of power because like Jesus Christ, they should protect the weak and feed the hungry. Life that if we play with God's anointing, we can even lose it. Chandrakumar (ibid) goes on to say that there are people in churches today who have lost the anointing and they do not know it. He says some of them are even deacons, elders, and pastors. I would like to end this discussion of the Pope's message by making reference to Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, SDB (2010:148) who pointed out that religious convictions such as those living consecrated lives should provide convincing motivations for a radical commitment to the common good.

This article does not need to overemphasize the legacy left by Jesus Christ and now followed by the religious as a model of leadership. Fernandes SJ (2010) referring to insights into the words of consecration “Do this in memory of me� notes that Jesus as a leader was leaving a legacy for His followers to live a life like He did, denouncing wrong and unfairness, not returning evil for evil, and His death on the cross at Calvary. He has left what I refer to in my research as the paradox of leadership. In such a paradox, the leader exposes his life to the service of those he leads despite the many

hazards before them and does not take advantage of their precarious position. It goes on to identify some notable people who have also done it, some before Jesus and others after Him. These are General Wu Ch'i of China, who displayed such leadership style by going to the war front with common soldiers, Shackleton, an explorer who shared the little available resources with his team on their tour of the North Pole, and Richard Branson who is still a living legend who shares his wealth equitably with his employees. In all cases, trust levels in such leadership are high and desertion is low.

References Chandrakumar, M. (2011) Leadership Insights From Heroes of the Bible, Authentic Books, Andhra Pradesh Fernandes, J.B. SJ (2010) Becoming Christ, St Pauls, Mumbai Kunnumpuram, K. SJ (2010) Towards the Fullness of Life, St. Pauls, Mumbai Markel, M.H. (1988) Technical Writing: Situations and Strategies, Drexel University, New York Menamparampil, T. SDB (2010) Towards a Sense of Responsibility, Better Yourself Books, Mumbai Nhemachena, W.Z. (2015) An Exploratory Study of the Management of Social Capital in Organizations: A Zimbabwean Perspective, Bluestone Books, Harare

ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 9

The Pope´s message on the year of Consecrated Life - A personal Interpretation Pope Francis declared the Year of Consecrated Life starting from 30 November 2014 stretching through to 2 February 2016. In his letter for the grand opening of the year, the Pope mentioned three aims. We should look to the past with gratitude; Live the present with passion and l Embrace the future with hope.



The Pope asks us to look back and reflect on the work of our founders who did so much to instil the charisms in the religious institutes and spread the gospel with so much enthusiasm. After reflecting, we should then live with passion convinced and happy with what we are doing and then embrace the future with hope despite all the challenges. Trusting in God cannot be overemphasised. “Let us set out anew, with trust in the Lord”, the Pope pleads with us.

The Pope calls for the religious to be men and women who ´wake the world.´ if you are waking up someone, it means they were sleeping. Thus, here the religious have a duty to ensure that all people “do not sleep” but continue to be alive and present in the glory of God. He calls us to do this by the way we live. He summarises his speech and says ´I want to say one word to you and this word is ´joy´. Wherever consecrated people are, there is and must always be joy! This joy, should speak volumes to those whom we work with and live with. In simple terms, it should be contagious! The Pope´s message is about joy. Joyful thanksgiving for what has been, living the present with joy and looking into the future with joyful hope. Consecrated people should give witness to the joy that arises from the certainty of knowing we are loved, from the confidence that we are saved. Our task then is to bring this joy to others and not to keep it to ourselves. We have a thousand reasons for remaining in joy. In calling you, God says: You are important to me, I love you, and I am counting on you.



Jesus says this to each one of us! Joy is born from that! Feeling loved by God, feeling that for him we are not numbers but people; and knowing that he is calling us! Listening to this exhortation, I am filled with joy in the conviction that God loves me and you so, we have no reason to be sad. To support this, the Pope said: There is no holiness in sadness! Wonderful indeed, may the Lord deliver us from gloominess! The Pope has expectations and hopes for us as well. That we religious be women and men of joy not only this year but throughout our lives. In the middle of our world full of suffering and pain, the Pope expects us to be joyful and radiate that joy which in turn brings hope to others. “The consecrated life will not flourish as a result of brilliant vocation programmes, but because the young people we meet find us attractive and see us as men and women who are happy. We should not be like ´consecrated refrigerators´, Br A. Mazhambe would say; but warm, welcoming and loving people if we are to be truly the salt of the earth.

Sr Rosemary Mwagarezano (RSHM)

Let us ´wake up the world´. Let us be prophetic as the Pope emphasised. ´… a religious must never abandon prophecy´. This is a big challenge because we can only wake up the world if we are awake ourselves. We should be leaven in our world and God encourages us ´Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you´ (Jer 1; 8). Let us dare to be different! If we are really trying, God will bless our efforts. Another plea is that we ´make the church a home and school of communion´. He encourages us to set aside our differences and work together for the common good in the communities and the institutions where we live. He encourages us to step out more courageously from the confines of our respective institutes and to work together. 'This would make far more a more effective prophetic witness. Working together opens avenues for encounter, dialogue, attentive listening and mutual assistance´. The idea is not only to work around our mission hospitals or mission schools and become the best but working together, collaborating and networking to ´come out of yourselves and go

Contemplative monastic life is a lived response to a call from God, heard within the heart; a call to go apart and enter more fully into the search for God. It is marked by a life of intense prayer cultivated in silence and solitude but lived within a human community which offers the constant invitation to conversion of heart. Women and men called to the contemplative life in monasteries pray, work and live in community.

forth to the existential peripheries´. Jesus missions the disciples to the whole world and indeed the world is waiting for us to give hope, it is thirsting for the divine. It is waiting for us consecrated people to say the truth and to give hope. The laity have been called to actively participate in this year´s celebrations as well, to increase understanding, respect and reciprocal co-operation with the religious. Vapikiri vanobva mumhuri dzedu saka ngativa riritirei. The Pope says, “I ask all of you to draw close to these men and women, rejoice and share their difficulties and assist them. Let them know the affection and the warmth which the entire Christian people feel for them.” Our faithful

are so good and always pray for the religious, please keep it up, we count on your prayers! Consecrated Life is a gift to the church, it is born of the church, and it grows in the church and it is directed to the church, says the Pope. May we be worthy of our call. Congratulations to all our consecrated people who are living and working in Zimbabwe! We look to the past and thank God for the first missionaries who worked tirelessly to spread the gospel, we would like to live the present listening to the signs of the times and implementing ever more fully the essential aspects of our consecrated life. It is cool to be a religious! Let us look into the future

with trust in the Lord of the harvest, who alone knows the needs. Let us not search for quantities but quality! Lastly, I want to end with the two blessings from the Pope himself to us for this year. May this year of Consecrated Life be an occasion of confessing humbly, with immense confidence in the God who is love (1 John 4; 8,) our own weakness and, in it, experience the Lord's merciful love. Amen. May this year, likewise, be an occasion for bearing vigorous and joyful witness before the world to the holiness and vitality present in so many of those called to follow Jesus in the Consecrated Life. Amen.

The Pope says, “I ask all of you to draw close to these men and women, rejoice and share their difficulties and assist them. Let them know the affection and the warmth which the entire Christian people feel for them.” ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 11

The Year of Consecrated Life: What's in There for Those not in Consecrated Life? One of the many moments of my life that I was caught napping was around the time of the launch of this year’s theme. The theme was publicized; posters were displayed around and banners with the theme were already swinging in the corners and walls of the churches. A parishioner came up to me and said: “Father, this year is dedicated to you in consecrated life, what's in there for those of us not in consecrated life?” At this moment, it dawned on me that I had not yet reflected deeply upon the meaning of the theme. I was completely caught off guard. There I was hitting my head and trying to extract an answer from it. Thanks be to technology, my cell phone rang. So it is true when they say that “she was saved by a phone call.” Had it not been for the phone call, I must confess that I was going to give a half-baked response. After the phone call, I came back to where I left the parishioner but, to my relief, he was gone. This gave me an opportunity to reflect deeply upon the meaning of the theme, especially for those not in consecrated life. The following reflection therefore, emanates from the question of the parishioner: What's in it for those of us not in Consecrated Life?

On 21 November 2014, on the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Father Pope Francis issued an apostolic letter to declare the year 2015 a Year of Consecrated Life (YCL). The YCL began on the First Sunday of Advent, November 30, 2014 and is expected to run through and close on the World Day of Consecrated Life, February 2, 2016. In his apostolic letter to all consecrated people, the Pope invites and he is counting on the consecrated persons to wake up the world. “I am counting on you to wake up the world, since the distinctive sign of consecrated life is prophecy.” In this manner, the Pope is calling all men and women in consecrated life to renew the manner in which they follow Christ in a prophetic way. Consecrated life is a gift from God. Therefore, the Holy Father is calling upon the lay faithful to thank God for the services that consecrated people render. What therefore is Consecrated Life? Consecrated life is one way that some men and women have freely responded to Christ's invitation to follow him closely, 12


love him so dearly and to serve him so passionately. In this manner, consecrated persons give themselves wholeheartedly to God and strive for the perfection of charity inspired by the action of the Holy Spirit. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church “from the very beginning of the church there were men and women who set out to follow Christ with great liberty, and to imitate him more closely, by practicing the evangelical counsels. They led lives dedicated to God, each in his [her] own way” (CCC. 918). Canonically, consecrated life is a stable way of following Christ by those faithful who feel called by Christ and is recognized by the Church. “The life consecrated to God is characterized by the public profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, in a stable state of life recognized by the Church” (CCC. 944). According to the Code of Canon Law “life consecrated by the profession of the evangelical counsels is a stable form of living by which faithful, following Christ more closely under the action of the

Fr. Choobe Maambo SJ (Zambia-Malawi Province, Lusaka Jesuit Noviciate)

Holy Spirit, are totally dedicated to God who is loved most of all, so that having dedicated themselves to His honor, the upbuilding of the Church and the salvation of the world by a new special tittle, they strive for the perfection of charity in service to the Kingdom of God and, having become an outstanding sign in the Church, they may foretell the heavenly glory” (CCL. 573). In all, consecrated persons participate in the life of the church by a complete dedication to Christ and to one's brothers and sisters and witnessing to the Gospel. From the canonical description of consecrated life, it is clear that those leading this kind of life generally join a religious order. And yet, in so far as the theme of this year speaks loud to consecrated men and women, it even speaks louder to the lay faithful not in consecrated life. This is because it is among and even within these lay faithful that consecrated life is realized. Consecrated persons consecrate themselves to God not only for their own sanctification, but also for the salvation of others. Therefore, there is no doubt that the

Therefore, let the entire Christian community especially during this year, be a breeding ground where consecrated life would be bred, sustained and finds joy. . .

Christian faithful have a great part to play in bringing to fruition the theme of this year. After all, by virtue of their baptism, all Christian faithful participate in the common priesthood of Christ. Thus, they are dedicated to Christ and consecrate themselves to God by participating in the priestly, prophetic and kingly offices of Christ Jesus. When the Pope decreed the theme of this year, he did not intend to speak to consecrated persons only. “In this letter” he says, “I wish to speak not only to consecrated persons, but also to the laity, who share with them the same ideals, spirit and mission. The Year for Consecrated Life concerns not only consecrated persons, but the entire Church.” This is an invitation to the whole Christian family to be increasingly aware of the gift which is the presence of the many consecrated men and women. The Pope acknowledges that around most Religious Institutes, there are lay families that identify themselves with the spirituality of that particular institute. To all the

Celebrating the Eucharist

lay faithful who identify themselves with the spirituality of a particular Institute, the Holy Father is inviting them to live this Year of Consecrated Life as a grace which can make them more conscious of the gift of consecrated life. He further encourages all the lay faithful to celebrate this year with their entire families so as to grow and respond together to the dictates of the Holy Spirit. To my parishioner out there and to all who have the opportunity to read this reflection, in as much as the theme of this year is dedicated to persons in consecrated life, it is also dedicated to you. It is your year and you are invited to celebrate it with a heart filled with joy and thanksgiving to God. Yours is to thank God for the gift of consecrated men and women who are a gift to the Christian community. In so doing, you open up yourself to the calling of the Holy Spirit. You are invited to experience this year as a moment of gratefulness to God for even many other gifts that we receive from

him. The Pope is asking you to draw close to consecrated men and women, to rejoice with them, to share their difficulties and to assist them, to whatever degree possible, in their ministries and work. Let these consecrated men and women know the love, affection and warmth which the entire Christian family has for them. The theme of this year is an invitation to create an ambiance where consecrated men and women would flourish. Consecrated life is a vocation just as marriage is. And vocations come from among the Christian faithful; the Christian community then, is the foundation upon which a vocation is built. This year gives us the opportunity to pray intensively for religious vocations in the Church. Therefore, let the entire Christian community especially during this year, be a breeding ground where consecrated life would be bred, sustained and finds joy. Further still, let the entire Christian community be a place where consecrated persons would find solace, love and acceptance. ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 13


BEING A BROTHER? Generally our vocation is not well understood. People have asked me at times why I did not go all the way to the priesthood. On learning that I am a Brother, some are puzzled, so I explain briefly what we are about as Marists. On the other hand, at a meeting of the executive of the Conference of Major Religious Superiors some years back, a religious Priest commented on the fact that we, Brothers, choose the religious life as such, while for them the priesthood tends to become the main focus. As a result their religious life may take second place. The others concurred. Let us be clear. Being a Brother is a noble vocation, a call from the Lord to follow him in a special way, beyond what he asks of every baptized person. He invites us to love his Father, like him, with an undivided heart, given entirely to him and our mission. What Jesus told the apostles afterwards applies to us too: “You did not choose me. No, I chose you.� He invites us to lead a consecrated life patterned after his own, hence the need for us to look up to him for inspiration till the end of our days. He sought his Father's will earnestly in prayer and lived it courageously. There was no selfseeking in him. This made him so free and very zealous. More than this, he was the God of Love made flesh, full of mercy and compassion, so attentive to the needs of others, physical as well as spiritual. This is why he related with people in a way that went contrary to the conventions of his day, praising the faith of gentiles, offering hope to the poor and those that society saw as sinners and outcasts. To all he offered the good news of salvation. In the end he lay down his life that we might have life, and have it to full. Jesus asks us to somehow be his presence in our world, free from self-seeking in relationships, free from attachment to home and material possessions, courageous enough to go beyond comfort



zones. He calls us to bring hope by Brother James Langlois spreading the Good News by word FMS and example, especially to those in the Spiritans, but few generally greater need of it. As you can see, among the Salesians, the Jesuits, the the call to be a Brother is an exalted Franciscans, the Redemptorists, as one, at the same time an exacting well as the Carmelites, the one? Benedictines, the Capuchins and The ministry of Brothers varies the Missionary Society of from one congregation to another. Bethlehem. In these religious For us, Marists, Christian Brothers orders the apostolate varies and Brothers of the Sacred Heart, it c o n s i d e r a b l y b e t w e e n the is the Christian education of youth. individual Brothers. It can be, for Our own Founder asked us to make instance, the care of orphans out of Jesus known and loved, hence the school or the sick, conducting emphasis on religious education, retreats, teaching, counselling, or prayer and worship in our schools. parish ministry, to name but a few. And he saw education as more than In religious life we are book learning, which is why he privileged. There is so much help at asked us to spend time with our our disposal. Daily there is Mass as pupils in activities outside the well as time for personal and classroom. Even in the 1820s he community prayer. Generally we insisted that our rural schools have a have a chapel in our houses where playground. He maintained that to we can have precious moments of educate children we must love them intimacy with Our Lord. We have all, yet paying more attention to access to religious and spiritual difficult pupils. To sum up he said material to assist us. We can find that our aim should be to turn out understanding, support and good Christians and good citizens. encouragement in our His main focus was the children in communities, which sustains us in rural France who had little our lives and ministry. Guests who opportunity for schooling after the spend time with us comment at French Revolution, and were times on how we do enjoy being ignorant of the faith. Each one of us together and relate simply with lives this ministry in a unique way, those in authority. according to his particular gifts. ...turn to page 16 The Brothers of Saint Paul, on the other hand, serve in the Church in a variety of ministries. Some are nurses, social workers, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, while others are teachers, administrators or specialists in the media. In congregations of men with a majority of priests, there are also A Marist Brothers school-holistic Brothers. There are a formation of students number of them with

Sisters of the


A Diocesan Congregation in Mutare. Founded by Rev Sr. Gertrude Bhobho with the help and support of the bishop S.D.C is a group of committed members rooted in Christ, called to live evangelical counsels faithfully in responding to Christ. This makes us able to live the life of Christ in the world. Our prayer is the work of the Holy Spirit who teaches us to pray in truth and love. We have a genuine desire in baptism binding us together more closely in Christ in a common vocation of charism, life and mission.

CHARISM Through adoration of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament we pray for the protection of the unborn babies, the born ones and their parents, the orphans especially those surviving under abusive environment and for the youth that they may be able to respond to their vocations accordingly.

APOSTOLATE A genuine desire to serve God and his people is essential. Our apostolate includes pastoral work, teaching, administration, nursing and social work. That is being called to be a disciple. For more information, Contact us on:

The Vocation Promoter Sisters of the Divine Child Box 1, Nyanga

Call/whatsapp on +263776136049 Email: divinechildsisters@gmail.com

ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 15

...continued from page 14 Besides we, can benefit from yearly retreats, sessions for spiritual renewal in the course of our lives, as well as workshops to improve our performance in our ministry. In the present Year of the Religious Life Pope Francis calls us to renew ourselves and rethink our ministries. He invites to adapt our Apostolate to changing conditions. He also invites us to go out to spread the faith where people have been neglected and the needs are great. Young man who may feel the call to follow Jesus as a Brother and spend your life in the service of others, you may hesitate to go ahead. And you, parents, may be reluctant to say yes. Let your son go. You will not be sorry for doing so, quite the contrary. Of course there are challenges in the life of a Brother. It does require courage and determination. At the same time it enables one to make a difference in the lives of others. And it has its joys. It is so rewarding, in our case, to witness the progress students make, the maturity they acquire. We form deep friendships with some of our men, also with lay people we work with. Time and again it is wonderful to meet with former pupils. Personally I enjoy living with Brothers I helped in their period of formation, and I am delighted to see them taking on responsibilities in our schools, our congregation. It is now their turn to carry on the mission passed on to us by previous generations. For my part, I have now been a Brother for 65 years, and believe me, it is a life very much worth living.

In religious life we are privileged. There is so much help at our disposal. Daily there is Mass as well as time for personal and community prayer. Generally we have a chapel in our houses where we can have precious moments of intimacy with Our Lord. We have access to religious and spiritual material to assist us. We can find understanding, support and encouragement in our communities, which sustains us in our lives and ministry.

KINDLY MAKE A DONATION !!! If you would like to make a donation to help us cover the production and distribution costs of this publication, please do so. We want to produce more and quality issues of Mukai-Vukani and any amount our readers can spare towards this effort is very much appreciated. JESUIT COMMUNICATIONS, NMB ANGWA CITY BRANCH, HARARE ACC. No. 020151137 or ECOCASH 0783 407 781




CALLED TO WAKE UP THE WORLD THROUGH THE EVANGELICAL COUNCILS In declaring the Year of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis emphasizes that “Every person is a gift for the people of God on a journey”. We are called to be witnesses of joy in this world which is full of sadness, cries and injustice. In his letter 'Witnesses of Joy' (2015) Pope Francis wrote: “where there are religious, there is joy”. With joy we embrace freely the evangelical counsels for mutual sustainability, mutual collaboration and mutual relatedness. It is through the vows that we are able to embrace the world and all its creatures. We are therefore called to live these vows freely for the world hence according to 'O' Murchu the language of vows should be changed from the vow of poverty, of obedience and of chastity to the vow for mutual sustainability, mutual collaboration and mutual relatedness. Take note the difference of 'for' and 'of'. This paper discusses vows with reference to Murchu's thought. Mutual sustainability (poverty) The vow of poverty, as it was called earlier was believed to be an individual vow and was interpreted as the renunciation of worldly goods this understanding of the vow was characterized by a negative and destructive attitude towards creation, the body and worldly goods. The result of this was that consecrated life paid too little attention to the responsible care for the creation. 'O' Murchu then proposes to speak about the vow for mutual sustainability that is, we are called to look after all that is entrusted to our care bearing in mind that we are doing it on behalf of someone who has given us use and usufruct in trust. This call for mutual sustainability is about learning afresh what it means to be at home where we really belong and to be at home creatively with all those others whom we share the earth as home. Mutual collaboration (Obedience) The word obedience is derived from a Greek word odi audiere meaning to listen attentively. This requires religious men and women to be open and attend to a deeper message and meaning of all that is entrusted to us. Obedience in the past was understood or interpreted as obeying all who are superior to you

without any question, this was done mainly out of fear and there was no freedom. 'O' Murchu then suggests the renaming of the vow as mutual collaboration, meaning readiness to relate and work in co-operation and harmony. Our obedience today demands us to obey and listen attentively to the needs of the world, and to work for the same world and all contained in it. Co-operation and not mere competition characterizes the human species, a conviction that is difficult to claim in a culture saturated with dissension, strife, rivalry, and combat. Mutual collaboration is about a conversion of heart and mind that allows and enables us to see the world

Sr Kativu (Sisters of the Divine Child)

differently. There is a link between this view of 'O' Murchu and that of Pope Francis that all consecrated people are “called to wake up the world” then freely direct obedience in its new meaning to the world and all its creatures. Mutual relatedness (Celibate Chastity) My relation with other people determines my relation with God from day to day. Earlier, talk was about celibacy as moderate appropriate care for the body only whereas the form of physical enjoyment had to be renounced. Talking about human sexuality and relationships among religious was

Women educators in the church ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 17

considered a taboo. In the history of Christianity, human sexuality has always been attacked and subdued. In the present world, our views and ideas of celibacy must be changed. Concerning the vow for celibacy, 'O' Murchu proposes to call it mutual relatedness, I can also call it the vow of love, that is the love of self and love of the world and all its creatures. In this year of consecrated life, we are called to wake up the world and show mutual love. This mutual relatedness

should be central; relatedness with the self and one's own corporality, but also with God, with the whole creation and with other people. We used to think that with the vow of celibacy we are supposed to withdraw ourselves from the world but here comes the question that if we say we are not of the world how are we going to connect ourselves to the world. So in order to connect with others we must first accept our feelings and know our needs and

desires. Mutual relatedness means that we are sexual and normal beings, sexuality which means energy, force and creativity, so our energies are supposed to be focused and directed to the needs of the world especially to the insane, the poor and the marginalized of the society. Let us show our creativity by waking up and building up our collapsing world not only this year but all the days of our lives here on earth.


THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS ZAMBESI MISSION, HERE WE COME! 5 Dominican Sisters left King Williams Town, SA, on 7.2.1890.


They arrived in Fort Salisbury on 27.7.1891


St Dominic started the order of preachers in the year 1217 to preach the truth (veritas) and to praise, to bless and to preach. He introduced democratic leadership far ahead of his time, by electing the leaders of the Order. In 1889 Fr Daignault SJ came to King Williams Town in South Africa to ask the Dominican Sisters in that Convent for volunteers to come and re-inforce the missionary efforts of the Jesuits in the Zambesi Mission (today's Zimbabwe and Zambia). What did the Dominican Sisters come for? They came to heal the sick, to teach those who wanted to learn, to serve the poor and orphaned, to raise up the down-trodden and to console 18


those in distress – in short, they came to witness to and share the Love of God with the people, to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ by word and deed, according to the Dominican ideal of veritas. How did they come? They travelled by train from King William's town to Kimberley, then by Cape Cart to Mafeking and from there they came by ox-wagon. For about 1700 miles they jogged along in their clumsy, springless cart, transporting a whole field-hospital with them, over rough and treacherous roads, crossing bridgeless rivers and making their way slowly through malaria-infested valleys; they were in danger from wild animals (lions attacked the sixteen oxen, who pulled the wagon) and suffered from illnesses and shortage of water and food.

Sr. Ferrera Weinzierl OP Twice they were delayed on their journey for several months – using these periods to nurse the sick. Altogether their journey took one and a half years! Arrival in Fort Salisbury On 27th July 1891 the first five Dominican Sisters arrived in Fort Salisbury. They lived for some time still in their ox-wagon until some simple huts were built. Hospitals and Schools: Three days later, on 1st August 1891, they started the first hospital in a huge pole-and-dagga hut, standing in Fourth Street, Salisbury, where the Mukwati-Chaminuka and Kaguvi Buildings are today. Of

this first hospital, only the mortuary survives, which is the smallest museum in the country. Both black and white people were nursed there. Further hospitals were started in Fort Victoria (1892) and Bulawayo (1894) within the first five years of their arrival. All in all the Dominican Sisters began and ran 24 mission hospitals and clinics in Zimbabwe. Convent and mission schools, totalling 34, were built in towns and mission stations at primary and secondary level; the sisters were involved in Teacher Training in Salisbury, Musami, Loreto, Fatima Mission and Bondolfi. They also ran domestic science schools in Gokomere, Silveira, Bondolfi and Ozanam Centre in St Martin's. In addition, they taught and are still teaching the Blind and HearingImpaired. A good number of the hospitals, clinics and schools are now run by indigenous Zimbabwean Sisters. Over and above religious instruction was carried out as “Right-of-Entry” teaching in many government schools. Training of three Diocesan Sisters' Congregations: In the course of time the Bishops of the Dioceses of Salisbury, Gwelo and Lusaka wanted Diocesan Sisters. They asked the Dominican Sisters to help them in their training. In 1932 Bishop Aston Chichester SJ initiated the Congregation of the Little Children Of Our Blessed Lady (LCBL Sisters) in the Salisbury Diocese. These Sisters were trained at Makumbi Mission. In 1947 Fr Gut SMB and Bishop Alois Haene SMB with the help of the Dominican Sisters began the Sisters Of The Infant Jesus (SJI) congregation in Silveira Mission and later transferred them to Driefontein. Bishop Kozlowieski of Lusaka (Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia) asked the Dominicans sisters to train the Handmaids Of Our Blessed Lady at Mpunde Mission. The Dominican Sisters continued this training until the various Congregations had their

own Sisters to do this. These three Congregations have grown rapidly and are making a great contribution to the local Church. Seven years after their arrival in the Zambesi Mission, the Dominican Sisters were asked to separate from the Congregation of the King Williams Town Sisters and become their own independent Congregation. Answering Social Needs of their Time: Soon the Dominicans began to answer other urgent social needs of their times. In Chishawasha, orphan girls were looked after and a school for African girls was started in 1898, a school that is still flourishing today. In Emerald Hill, an orphanage with a school was begun in 1914 and in 1925 St John's was founded in Avondale. It started in great poverty as an orphanage and primary school, which in time developed into a Secondary school, taking in Colored and Indian children, most of them committed by the Social Welfare. In Solidarity with the people until death: During the years of struggle to gain independence in Zimbabwe, the Dominicans, in solidarity with the people, endured all hardships and carried on with their different apostolates, despite great danger. Thus five of them lost their lives, four at Musami Mission and one at Driefontein Mission. The Pope called them “Martyrs of Peace”.

Branching Out: Needs in other parts of the world prompted the Dominicans to branch out into; Germany Zambia United Kingdom Mozambique Colombia Italy Kenya

in 1917 in 1924 in 1946 in 1946 in 1973 in 1979 in 1982.

AIDS pandemic: A special challenge for the Dominicans was the outbreak of the AIDS Pandemic. Home-based Care, orphan care, care for childheaded families, special AIDS programs run in collaboration with international organisations such as Zvitambo, Pact, Shine etc. became very important aspects of our Health Care. To unify formation in Africa: A combined novitiate was started in Lusaka, Zambia for the young Dominican Sisters of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Kenya to facilitate unity and collaboration. Most leadership roles have been taken over by the indigenous Sisters of Africa and Colombia. The first African Mother General was elected at the last General Chapter in 2014. May the Lord grant us the grace to continue to praise, to bless and to preach the good news and work for veritas in a world that has a great need for honesty, integrity and truth.

Dominican sisters ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 19


PASTORAL CHARITY The Seminary and Preparation for the Priesthood

A high-ranking churchman once gave me some advice which I have never heeded. He said, “You do not need to go and visit the people. If they want something they come and see you.” I was shocked. That is not what Jesus advised us to do or showed us by his example.

We need priests who act like the Good Shepherd. He said, “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?” (Luke 15: 4). A priest must be another Christ. He must model his life on that of Jesus, the Good Shepherd who does go and seek out the lost ones. That is the kind of priest we want. We do not want Pharisees who look down on the people and 'put heavy burdens on their shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them' (Mt. 23: 4). The seminary should be first and foremost a community where to get to know Jesus, not a place where to get academic honours for the greater glory of future Father XYZ. They must get to know Jesus through the Scriptures as explained by the Church. Lectures and books are necessary, but not enough. Jesus gathered a community around himself, and the disciples got to know him by inter-acting with him. In the seminary, too, teachers and students must form a community and live together. The formation of future priests is not confined to the classroom. The lecturers, who are also formators and educators, must form and mould our future shepherds and pastors by being with them much of the time, during recreation, on the football ground, in discussion groups, sharing jokes as much as sad news from home. The teachers must go with their young students to meet the people, maybe celebrating a Sunday Mass for a small community of “lost sheep” somewhere on the farms. Maybe by taking them along to a Bible study group. The teacher's work starts in the classroom, but it 20


does not end there. How is the knowledge acquired in the classroom passed on to ordinary people? How is the shepherd bringing forgiveness and peace to the lost ones? How are young couples led step by step to understand their vocation in marriage and family as “good news”, and live it with joy? Jesus did not have a wife and a family in the usual sense. The Church is His Bride. We are his brothers and sisters. For the priest it is the same. The Church gives him his “family” to look after. The seminary priests and the priests out there in the parishes where candidates for the priesthood spend their working holidays must show them how to live with the people entrusted to their care, love them and feed them with the Word and the Bread of Life. And the people in the Christian communities where the young men are sent for “pastoral experience” must receive them as their future shepherds and teach them how to minister and serve them. Students for the priesthood, when sent for “pastoral

Fr. Oskar Wermter (SJ)

experience”, should spend their time learning how to teach and preach, supervised by their “elder brothers”, the priests of the parish, and walk from house to house, from family to family, from section to section to get to know the people, listen to their tales of woe, praying with the sick, giving good news to the suffering and console those deeply troubled in their hearts. Such candidates for the priesthood deserve that the parish council tells the Bishop, “Please do ordain this young man we had with us recently. We will be happy to have him as our priest.” But those who waste their time watching TV and videos day and night, unless they are driving around in the parish car everywhere except in the parish, should be warned: “You are not on the way to being a servant of the people. You are just seeking an easy life and a comfortable job.” And the Bishop should be told: “Watch out, Father Bishop, this young man you sent us is not serious. He needs a complete turnaround, or else send him away.” Seminarians must be serious


about their studies for the sake of the people of God to whom they are sent. They should say to themselves, “I must work hard so that I can answer the questions of the people and give them a joyful, liberating message.” Working hard in the seminary is already an act of “pastoral charity” of the “good shepherd” for his hungry “sheep”. The seminary is not a factory for making priests. The entire Church community must be involved in forming our future 'good shepherds'. The Church, whether in the seminary or out there in Christian communities, must share with these young men the love of Jesus so they can be and act like him. To be with Jesus in prayer, silent and withdrawn, or in community, and especially in the celebration of the Eucharist, has to be learnt. The latest social media, the constant interruptions by cell-phones and the noise of rappers and rock music, disrupt all genuine communication, i n c l u d i n g p r a y e r . “Be still and know that I am God”. The people call the priest “a

man of God”. Is he? Does he seek the presence of the Lord, praying quietly before the Blessed Sacrament? Can he endure silence? Has he got the self-discipline to spend time with Jesus, be in his presence? To act like Jesus means learning to be available to the poor, the sick, the mentally disturbed, the spiritually troubled, the bereaved and the suffering at all times. “They could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, 'He has gone out of his mind'” (Mark 3: 20 – 21). Jesus could only give and spend himself entirely because of the time at night he spent in the presence of his 'Abba/Father', praying. The seminary must also be a school of prayer. The years in the seminary come to an end. But learning, studying, being in dialogue with fellow priests and co-workers must never come to an end. “Kudzidza hakuperi”. Seminary formation must be followed by “on-going formation”. Reading and up-dating yourself is a

duty, it is part of “pastoral charity”. If you love the people of God you will continue studying Scripture, so you have a fresh message for them every Sunday, and will not be repeating yourself, boring the congregation stiff with the same old stories and stale jokes. A priest should be a professional. If a doctor, a lawyer or engineer stop reading and learning about new developments in their profession, they are finished. Imagine a doctor who does not know about new diseases and the new drugs with which to treat him. He would be useless. A priest, too, must be humble enough to admit that he does not know everything. He has to keep learning, discuss problems he comes across with his fellow priests, and listen to the men and women he is working with so that he benefits from their experience and wisdom too. “Servants are not greater than their master” (John 13: 16). Priests have to keep learning from Jesus who was never out of touch with his Father.

“AD GENTES: A PROPHETIC TEXT FOR OUR CHURCH” (TO THE 50 YEARS OF THE DECREE “AD GENTES”) On the 7th of December 1965, The Second Vatican Council, officially proclaimed the Decree “Ad gentes divinitus”, which is about the missionary activity of the Church. The Decree lays down the principles of missionary activity for the coming of the Kingdom of God Ad Gentes (AG 1). It states the duties of the whole People of God, especially the bishops, whose mandate is to "proclaim the Gospel throughout the world" (AG 29), it also states the responsibilities of the missionaries who are responsible for evangelization (AG 23) and how to achieve and establish wellstructured communities of faithful (AG 15). The whole Church is missionary, "the Christian faithful have different gifts" and "should work in the gospel each according to his chance" (AG 28), all should feel itself the task (AG 36). Missionary activity falls within the "mission" of the Church and specifies what is meant as

"missions" (AG 6). Redefine the status of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (AG 29), the cooperation of the whole People of God in missionary activity and also stresses the importance of maintaining the relationship with those developing (AG 37). An attentive reading of this text shows us its prophetic power in different subjects, that they continue being novel and urgent. Why do we affirm that “AD GENTES” is one document in force today in Zimbabwe? l Because Zimbabwe is a Christian country, but there are a lot of people that don´t know who Jesus Christ is in their lives. This is our pending subject as Catholic Church: the preparation and formation of our laity. Only when the believers

Fr. Joseph Lazaro Spanish Missionary Priest, Diocese of Hwange

are able to give reason of their faith and hope in the presence of none Christians, then the community is growing up, but that requires time and a lot of patience between the members of the church. l Because the mission of the Church is a reality also in our country (AG 5; Mt 28, 19-20), where there are a lot of places and groups of people in which ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 21

the presence of the Catholic Church is too small and where it is difficultly to survive the attacks of other groups or religious confessions. Moreover, we are living to the tragic division of the Christians (How many Christian churches are there in Zimbabwe?), a true scandal for all people who are called followers of the Lord Risen (AG 6). This document invites us to be witnesses of the Word and to work in the announcement explicit of Jesus Christ and his Gospel, but maybe Catholics haven't known very well how to enter in contact always with the joys, pains and hopes of so many people that are waiting to believe in the love (AG 11). Being witnesses of the Life and of the dialogue, is our aim that we should welcome as a Church during the following years, especially to us who are living in Zimbabwe, our dear country.


The local church in Zimbabwe has experienced a considerable advance in the number of dioceses, missions and parishes, and in the number of vocations of priests, religious men and women and lay people; perhaps,


now is the time in which Zimbabwe Catholic Church should “offer its services for missionary work in distant and forsaken areas of their own diocese or of other dioceses” (AG 20). There are some experiences in Africa about diocesan priests or missionary institutes from Nigeria, Uganda or the Democratic Republic of Congo, which are working as missionaries in other countries of the continent or even in some countries of Asia. If we give up our weakness, we will be able to receive a bigger reward in spiritual gifts and in the number of vocations; only if we win trust in the love of our God. But the question is, Are we able to do it? The Decree Ad Gentes caused a greater force in missionary activity and a deepening of the missionary dimension of the particular Churches. At the same time raised major questions about the redemptive mission of the Church. Now - 50 years after- is also the time of the mission, the time of our Church that walks in Zimbabwe, is «our kairos», we have the chance to approach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people, especially to all those who are wishing to listen one word

of Life, of Hope or Love; because they have given up to believe in all kind of human institutions, as consequence of the corruption or because they are not already trustworthy. I'd like to finish this article with some words of our Pope Francis, that detail perfectly which are the first motivations to evangelize, to live in state of mission: “The primary reason for evangelizing is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation which urges us to ever greater love of him… The best incentive for sharing the Gospel comes from contemplating it with love, lingering over its pages and reading it with the heart. If we approach it in this way, its beauty will amaze and constantly excite us. But if this is to come about, we need to recover a contemplative spirit which can help us to realize ever anew that we have been entrusted with a treasure which makes us more human and helps us to lead a new life. There is nothing more precious which we can give to others.” Evangelii Gaudium, n. 264.



Text us your phone number or send us your email address, and we’ll keep you IN TOUCH WITH CHURCH AND FAITH Text/Send to: jescomzim@gmail.com or jescom@jesuitszimbabwe.co.zw Text (+263) 0772 239 146 / (+263) 775 920 702 +263 783 224 876 Whatsapp platform



Visit our Website: www.jesuitszimbabwe.co.zw

Like us on

Facebook: Facebook: Jesuits Zimbabwe Jesuit Communications Zimbabwe


EVANGELISM My travels to my rural area in Nemaire Village in Makoni, Rusape has led to a very worrisome trend. Every time I attend service (Mass is said once a month), the church is filled with women, with five or so boys. There is no one man during the service. Men only come to church when the priest is saying Mass. Yet, despite this sad reality, women's role in evangelisation has been peripheral. The same women, who fill the church, will elect a man to lead them as parish chairperson. It is gratifying to see that recently some of the positions of the church are now held by women. However, women need to do more in evangelising. But what really is evangelisation?

Pope Paul VI's definition of evangelization reads; “Our understanding of evangelisation means the transformation of all layers of human society. But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by Baptism and by lives lived according to the Gospel.” Evangelisation is the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ, and it is a step of our Christian walk that naturally follows on from a meaningful encounter with Him. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI refers to evangelisation as showing “the path - to teach the art of living”. The Good News of Christ should reach all ends of the earth, and women have a great role to play in this evangelisation. Apparently, there are hopes in many circles in the Church, at its Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2015, that the bishops will look at issues to do with divorced and single women and their (re-) admission to the Eucharist as that is an important area of evangelisation. One cannot give what they do not have. And it follows that women cannot teach about sacraments that they do not take or which they are not part of.

Statue of Mary

Women's role in evangelisation cannot be overemphasised and they have their work already cut out for them. Let us reflect on the Bible where women played key

Dominic Satumba-Nyandowe

roles in evangelising and spreading the gospel. We will start with Mary, 'Mother of the Church'. Mary was an evangeliser. Mary heard the Word of God and listened to it. She said yes and from the moment God spoke to her through the Angel Gabriel (Luke 1:26–38), everyday of her life, she lived for the Lord. She spread the good news of the Lord in the way she carried herself around. Humility and love of people (we see her visiting Elizabeth even in her pregnant condition, a visit that needed a long travel). From escaping with Jesus from the death trap of Herod, to going to look for him in temple. Mary also showed care and love for the people when she interceded on behalf of the bridal party at the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1–11), when wine ran out. Today's woman can imitate Mary and apply her virtues to the present. While in the Church women cannot be priests, they have a big role to play in supporting the Church and evangelising. Evangelisation is not all about preaching the word of God. It must be like culture. The way people live has to be affected by the way women carry themselves around. In the Shona culture it is said 'musha mukadzi'. Literary translated, a woman builds a home. We are ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 23

talking of a home, not a house. This means the women have the whole development and growth of the person in their hands. This might be spiritual, political, economic or social. In politics, women are the most voters. For a candidate to campaign well, they need women. How women conduct themselves during these political processes is a pointer to evangelisation. Women must show love towards the opponent. They must help in resolving conflict between opposition parties. Peace begins with women. In a homily at Uganda Martyrs Parish in Mufakose, Fr Cannan Dumbura gave an example of a woman from another Church who came to him and asked why two particular women of the Catholic Church still wear uniform yet they do not “see eye to eye?” The dispute between the women was over avocado tree leaves that fall on the other side's yard. This is a good example where women must ask themselves what lessons they are giving to their neighbours and the c o m m u n i t y. D e b o r a h , t h e prophetess, led Israel through decisive battles and judged God's people wisely, resulting in 40 years of peace and freedom from the Canaanites (Judges 4:4-7). Jesus' earthly ministry was supported not only by the twelve male disciples, but by many women disciples (Luke 8:1-3). The privilege of announcing the important news to others fell to a woman, Mary Magdalene, to whom Jesus first appeared on Resurrection (John 20:11-18). All these biblical examples indicate not a token role for women in the church, but vital contribution women can and must make in the life of the church. Women can increase their role in evangelisation in one or more of the following ways and others: Becoming members of parish councils and executives l Become members of deanery l



Sacred Heart Guild members

and diocesan pastoral councils and executives l Taking part in Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace programmes l Be part of the Social Communications Media Commission of the Church l Be part of the various lay apostolates like the choir l To continue to catechise even at home and in the communities they live l To live the life of humility and love So women of today should reach out in all facets of society, with love, tender truth and care – and in a joyous and gladly manner – proclaim the news of Salvation. As Pope Paul VI said in the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Apostolicam Actuositatem: “The perfect example of this type of spiritual and apostolic life is the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, who while leading the life common to all here on earth, one filled with family concerns and labours, was always intimately united with her Son and in an entirely unique way cooperated in the work of the Saviour.

Mary served God with humility and gladness, and despite the worldly challenges in her time, she lived in a way befitting the Mother of Salvation. Today's world is full of temptations, especially for the young. Spurred on by science and technology - and in case of Zimbabwe and Africa, countless western cultures – the young are behaving in a deviant way never seen before. From simple issues of dressing to morality like respect for elders, abuse of alcohol and drugs, the young are found wanting. There is an ever increasing nonstandard behaviour, even by the so-called Christians. Women have so much to do in ensuring the young stick to and respect these morals. They have a role to teach and witness to the young one so that the light of Jesus Christ continuously shines on them. Women, as they are the ones who were entrusted with humanity, are much more presently called to radiate the love and tenderness of Christ to all. Dominic Satumba-Nyandowe is a Master of Science student in Peace, Leadership and Conflict Resolution, with a bias towards Gender Equality.



SLAVERY WORSE THAN EVER Reviewed by Fr. Oskar Wermter SJ Melanie O'Connor HF, The Church and Human Trafficking, Signs of the Times Series, No 6, Cluster Publications 2013

Language is treacherous. It hides and yet betrays dark secrets. Take the work “sex worker”. The traditional words are “whore” or “prostitute”, words expressing contempt for women who sell their bodies to men, which is regarded a despicable act, a dishonourable occupation, a shame and disgrace. Champions of women's liberation, in attempting to give these women respectability and restore their dignity call them “sex workers”, as if their occupation was a job like any other, just a way to make money as workers in the “sex industry”, another new expression trying to render a very ugly, repulsive thing acceptable, harmless and commonplace. 17 Like any other error or falsehood, this distortion of language contains a grain of truth. It is not so much the women who should be held in contempt, but the men, the buyers of this commodity called sex, or rather “women's bodies”. Without their demand for “commercial sex” there would not be any supply of women for this “market”. This does not make all women offering their bodies for money innocent victims. As long as they join this “market” voluntarily they have at least some responsibility for their behaviour, even though some may act under economic pressure. Nevertheless, it is the men who are the main culprits. '"In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem... gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them." (Fact Sheet: Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications of the Swedish Government April 2005). Every now and then a completely new perspective creates a mental Copernican revolution. The Swedish view of prostitution is

one such revolution. The shift in perspective is extremely simple: henceforth to take the women's point of view.' (From an article by Chris Chatteris SJ, Feminism takes on Prostitution in Sweden, published in Southern Cross). However, a large number of the women, as this book by Sister Melanie shows, are indeed primarily innocent victims, victims of a huge criminal network of gangsters who kidnap, abduct and sell girls and women for “work” in the “sex industry”. “Human trafficking” is not restricted to women and girls; there are also men and boys who are being forced into slave labour. But the vast majority of human beings that are being sold on this new slave market are indeed women and girls meant to be used in commercial sexual exploitation. Most of these activities are clandestine. You do not see this happening in public. And yet it may happen anywhere in Europe or Africa that you see, but do not recognize, trafficked slaves walking about like any other members of the public, except you do not know that they have lost their freedom and human dignity in such slavery: as foreigners, without documentation, their passports having been confiscated when they were first captured, they have no

17 Another famous example is “reproductive health” which mostly refers, not so much to reproduction, as to easy access to contraception and abortion. – Another example of linguistic manipulation is the avoidance in “correct” gender language of the words “mother” and “father” (they are considered discriminatory against homosexuals and their “unions”). They are replaced by “parents”. -

way of escaping their dehumanizing condition. They do not need to be handcuffed or held in underground dungeons to be totally dependent on their slave masters. This is one reason why the public has so little solid knowledge of this old and yet new slavery. The world continues to pride itself of having abolished slavery 200 years ago. This is a huge self-deception. The ever increasing international migration in this globalised world creates a backdrop for “human trafficking” which makes this criminal activity almost indistinguishable from ordinary migration. Or is it just naiveté and not wanting to know the harsh, cruel reality of “trafficking”? Do we not see other victims of this international mafia almost daily on countless TV channels trying to flee “failed states”, war, unemployment and poverty in Africa or the Middle-East? Do we not see those rickety, unseaworthy vessels into which those gangsters have forced their human merchandise at great profit to themselves and enormous risk for the human “cargo”? Melanie O'Connor HF is coordinator of the Counter Trafficking in Persons Office (CTIP) run by the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference and the Leadership Conference of Consecrated Life (LCCL [SA] - major superiors of religious congregations). ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 25

South Africa is a “hotspot” for trafficking. Here “many of today's slaves answer to the demand for an ever growing sex industry, despite the fact that prostitution is illegal in South Africa” (7). There are many reasons for the ever growing demand for commercial sex and the increasing number of “buyers”, sex tourism for instance, a growing demand for “virgins” (small girls of 9 or 10) because of the traditional belief that sex with virgins cures from dangerous diseases like HIV/AIDS. Some traditional healers advise their “clients” to provide them with certain body parts from female children as “muti”, magic means to achieve health and wealth, which leads to ritual killings of kidnapped and abducted, in one word “trafficked” children. Gruesome happenings like that are considered by ordinary people as mere horror stories born of some sick imagination. This book confronts us with reality. These things do happen in our neighbourhood. Some innocent little school girl whom we meet on her way home to Mum and Dad may at any time fall into the hands of monsters who believe in the power of witchcraft. Modern medicine also creates a market for body parts and does not shirk, if not ritual, then “scientific” killings: some rich people pay anything for life-saving organ transplants; they may also buy “spare-parts” on this gruesome market supplied by “traffickers”. “Human trafficking is one of the largest sources of profit for organized crime worldwide” (12). What can we do about it? What is the answer of the Church? Men and women were created in the image of God. They have a value and dignity which completely rules out slavery, buying and selling, marketing persons and turning them into mere things for human consumption. The Church's teaching on marriage, family, respect for sexuality as the source of life completely rules out the “buying of sex” on the “sex market”. It is often said by “liberal” Christians who pride themselves of their deep concern for social justice and the need to fight poverty that the Church should stop being 26


obsessed with sexual morality and instead preach Social Doctrine and act upon it so as to eradicate global poverty. This is very naïve and a sign of ignorance. Trafficking of women and girls to supply the “sex market” with “sex slaves” is one of the worst forms of exploitation of the poor by the rich (e.g. sex tourism). It is the rich “buyers” of commercial sex who create the demand for “sex slaves” which criminal gangs of traffickers are busy supplying from among the poor and destitute, desperate jobseekers, victims of war and violence and the sheer misrule of African and Asian “failed states”. If you want to end the drugs trade, you do not pounce on the traders, but try and eliminate the drug addiction, the demand for drugs. Then the supply and trade will die by itself. Similarly, if we could stop the craving for illegal, immoral sex and make the “buying of sex” socially unacceptable, the traffickers would lose their market. This is a challenge to Bishops' conferences, preachers and teachers of the faith to warn the people young and old, that if they make use of “sex workers” they become slave holders and perpetuate the torture of sexual exploitation. It is not true, or at the very least grossly simplified, to assume that “sex work” is an honourable occupation which women choose freely. Many are destitutes driven into it by grinding poverty, a big number forced into it by traffickers, i.e. today's slave traders. A “customer” benefitting from this trade is no better than a slave trader in the Atlantic slave trade between Africa and America in past centuries. The author takes a firm stand against the legalizing of prostitution, demanded today by supporters of “gender equality”. “The legalizing of prostitution is essentially the legalizing of an addiction” (32). 18

But prostitution is perpetuating “gender inequality”. Permitting legal brothels “increases the demand for prostitution and enhances the opportunities for criminals”. “Gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them” (32). That is undoubtedly true. But we must base the demand for equality between men and women on more solid grounds than the author does by quoting “gender ideology” as her authority.18 The author knows that she cannot win in the war against human trafficking unless the awful truth about this new slavery and its link to prostitution, sex tourism, trade in body parts, witchcraft, slave labour, child labour becomes generally known. The Church has a serious duty to enlighten Christians about these dark corners of our society, and, positively, to teach her members about the equal human dignity of men and women in the eyes of the Creator. The media must be challenged to stop glamourizing “sex workers” as empowered, liberated and independent women and their trade as “the oldest profession” (a stupid cliché!). St Josephine Bhakita, herself once a slave girl captured in Darfur/Sudan, is the patron saint of all persons who suffer in slavery and of all who dedicate their lives to the liberation of all trafficked, abducted, bought and sold persons. As to the dignity of women that must be restored by abolishing “sex work” and male demand for a well-supplied “sex industry”, the Church must also remember that she cannot honour and revere The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of God, while neglecting to restore the honour and dignity of Mary's sisters all over the world.

Isablle Crespi: “Gender polarization …creates an artificial gap between women and men” (chapter four, Gender and Human Trafficking, p. 53). “Sex is biological …. Gender is cultural”. In other words, the only difference between woman and man is biological, all else is a “cultural construct”. It is unfortunate that this excellent and important books is selling this confused “gender ideology” which wants to convince us that the equality between man and woman makes them in every respect the same, except in biological terms. “Men and women are of equal human dignity, and yet different” is closer to the truth and indeed mystery of our having all been created in the image of God. Later on in her book the author says quite correctly, “Gender equality should not be seen as implying that men and women are or should be the same, but that they should be equally respected and enabled to develop their full potential.” The “idea of patriarchy” must be deconstructed. I would add that we need a positive understanding of “fatherhood” (“gender ideologues” avoid the word).



BANTU AFRICA Vincente Carlos Kiaziku Fr. Vincente Carlos Kiaziku

Reviewed by James Langlois, FMS

(Nairobi, Paulines Publications Africa, 2007) 256 pages. Anyone interested in the subject of inculturation of religious life will appreciate this book written by Father Vincente Carlos Kiaziku, an Angolan Capuchin. He did extensive research on material published in this field, focusing on consecrated life in Bantu Africa, at the same time looking for examples from West Africa. The process of inculturation has been going on, especially since the Second Vatican Council, but the author believes that much more is still needed. African religious in Bantu Africa at times experience frustration when faced with a way of thinking alien to their culture. Inculturation, then, has to go deeper than simple adaptation in liturgy, architecture, dress and food. What is required on one hand is a sound understanding of the charisms, structures and spirituality of the religious orders that established themselves in Bantu Africa and somehow influenced local congregations. Then comes the task of rooting this reality in the cultural and spiritual life of Africans today, in a manner that makes the Gospel relevant. I will dwell at greater length on the section covering the vows as it is of particular interest to the reader. The author admits that the evangelical counsel of poverty is, perhaps, the most controversial of the three. Why, because “Africanness� is rooted in solidarity, essential for survival in our context. One understands then why young religious not able to share with their families living in poverty may be frustrated. Then there is the fact that the life style of religious communities being often higher than in their neighbourhood, the term poverty seems inappropriate. Some authors therefore suggest that we call it a vow of sharing, of solidarity. As for assistance to the families of religious in great need, the consensus is that it be given, but by the community, after due discernment. The author concludes by focusing on the essence of the vow: following the poor Christ who, having emptied himself, lived in complete openness to the Father

and to others. Thus, at the centre of religious life there is a choice: to share Christ's attitudes and way of life. From him we learn to live simply, with a heart free from attachments to possessions and selfcenteredness, sensitive to the needs of others, readily available for service, generous to provide assistance in appropriate ways, at personal cost if need be – in all this witnessing to God's love for everyone, reaching out to those neglected by society. The evangelical counsel of chastity profoundly connects our lives as consecrated persons with the Lord. It can be a powerful witness, but it represents a choice that runs counter to our cultural outlook which sees fertility as so important: it is through procreation that someone becomes a person. The childless individual is pitied, ridiculed, even at the moment of his burial. The author therefore suggests that what impels one to renounce fatherhood or motherhood must be something greater, more important. African religious, like their lay counterpart, yearn for fruitfulness. They need to realize that the ultimate source of human life is not their ancestors, but God. Their motherhood and fatherhood is spiritual: the passing on of faith and divine life from one generation to the next. So the choice of consecrated life in fact enriches their culture. The section on the evangelical counsel of obedience is also enlightening. Faithfulness comes on account of attraction to a Person, Jesus, and a desire to follow him in his filial obedience to the Father, unto death. In his footsteps religious are invited to die to self, their lives now ruled by him under the motion of the Spirit. Obedience in a good African family provides a model, as

well as the 'dare' for the taking of important decisions. In African culture, though, the collectivity tends to absorb the individual. Personal initiative is not favoured that much. Christian obedience, on the other hand, puts the emphasis on personal freedom, the individual choosing to love the Lord and placing trust in him. In this scenario the person is responsible for his actions and does not pass the blame on to others for his mistakes. He works at solving his problems. The book also emphasizes the danger of obedience linked to one's tribe. Loving one's clan is fine. It is the blind bias that is not. Another problem encountered at times is the relationship between obedience and studies. Degrees are not to be sought for their own sake. In decision making both those in authority and the ones concerned should be guided by what would help the individual to serve God and the people better. From there the author weighs the positive and negative aspects of fraternal communion and comes out with recommendations for community life. Then he goes on to reflect on questions regarding the formation of the religious; concern for the candidates coming in nowadays, mistakes to be avoided, and an inculturated curriculum. He also devotes a section to the formation of formators. Lastly the author admits that mistakes will undoubtedly be made, yet the processs of inculturation must go on. What is encouraging at this stage is that we are rediscovering consecrated life in itself, with a new emphasis on being over doing. It is the quality of the lives of the African religious that will gradually lead to meaningful inculturation of their congregations. ISSUE 69- AUGUST 2015 27

. . .in the next issue of

Pope Francis’ long awaited encyclical on climate change and the environment




Profile for JesCom Zimbabwe- Mozambique

Mukai / Vukani No.69  

Year of Consecrated Life 30 Nov 2014 - 2 Feb 2016

Mukai / Vukani No.69  

Year of Consecrated Life 30 Nov 2014 - 2 Feb 2016