Missionary News from Africa
The General Superior’s Visit in Africa
In June of 2001, our General Superior, Very Rev. Father Mark Garrow, MIC, visited Rwanda and Cameroon, our two African countries of mission. He came with the General Treasurer, Fr. Vincent Pawlos, MIC. While realizing the missionary limits that arise in Africa, he made the decision to transform the African Vicariate into two independent missions – Rwanda and Cameroon. They will be managed directly by the General Council in Rome.
As of September 2001, we have missionary communities in:
1.Parish of Nyakinama. Fr. Mark Ciebien, MIC.
2.Formation to the Postulate and the Novitiate. Fr. Andrew Tokarczyk, MIC, and Fr. Leszek Czelusniak, MIC, who returned to the mission in August 2001 after a three–years work in France.
3.Fr. Zdzislaw Zywica, MIC, works for the community “Foyer de Charité” in Remera–Ruhondo.
Work in Doumé and building of a new parish – Atok – in the same diocese continues. Starting in January 2002, it will be staffed by Frs. François Filipiec, MIC, Richard Gorowski, MIC, and Boguslaw Gil, MIC. Fr. Boguslaw is the youngest missionary. He came to Cameroon on September 19, 2001, after one year of studying French in Paris. Our community in Cameroon already has the first candidates who want to enter our Congregation.
Continuation of work in Doumé and building of a new parish – Atok – in the same diocese, which, starting in January 2002, will be staffed by Frs. François Filipiec, MIC, Richard Gorowski, MIC, and Boguslaw Gil, MIC. Fr. Boguslaw is the youngest missionary. He came to Cameroon on September 19, 2001, after one year of studying French in Paris. Our community in Cameroon already has the first candidates who want to enter our Congregation.
Father Richard Kusy, MIC, having health problems, returned to Poland after working for three years at the parish of Nyakinama. When his health improves, he will receive a new assignment from our General Superior.
To answer the call of our Superior for a stronger formation program, in September 2001, we started an intense year-long program with the nine young Rwandans who wish to follow in Christ’s steps through their Marian vocation. Father Andrew took the responsibility of accompanying these young men. As part of this process, we plan for them individual meetings with their spiritual director and three one-week sessions on vocation discernment and growth in Christian life. After this, they will be able to begin in September 2002, the Postulate, and then in August 2003, the Novitiate with Father Leszek, MIC.
Meanwhile, we are going to finish the construction of our formation house in Nyakinama. We expect work to be completed in March 2002.
NEWS FROM ROME AND ISSY-LES-MOULINEAUX
Br. Octave Nzamwitakuze, our Rwandan seminarian, began his last year of theology studies at Gregorian University of Rome. We expect his return to Rwanda next year; he will undergo there his pastoral internship. We wish him strength of mind to succeed in his studies. Father Marius Janiszewski, MIC, continues to work in France as pastor of St. Benedict’s parish in Issy-les-Moulineaux.
300th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF OUR FOUNDER, BL. STANISLAUS Papczyński
On September 17, 2001, we celebrated the 300th anniversary of the death of the Founder of the Marians, Venerable Servant of God, Father Stanislaus Papczyński. During the morning Mass we prayed for his beatification. We were touched joyously by our parishioners who came in great number to be with us in prayer by songs and solemn dances. We presented the life and work of our Founder, which has always been of great interest to the Rwandans. His life invites all Christians to follow in his imitation of Mary’s example and service, immersed in profound prayer and sacrifice. Next month we hope to receive pictures of our Founder that will be on display at the parish.
WORLD MISSION DAY – October 21, 2001
This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the institution of World Mission Day by Pope Pius XI.
John Paul II in his message this year told us:
Contemplation of Jesus, the first and the greatest evangelist, transforms us into evangelists… It is necessary to undertake without hesitation the road, as did Mary, Mother of Jesus; as did the shepherds, who rose at the first announcement of the Angel; as did Mary Magdalene at the sight of Risen Lord. In the beginning of this new century, our work must be more alert while we tread, all over again, the roads of this world.
The mission requires prayer and dedicated involvement. The need is great for diffusion of the Gospel. Mary, Mother of the Church, Star of Evangelization, stays with us on this path as she stayed by the sides of disciples on the day of Pentecost.
This mission also requires a widespread spiritual and material cooperation so that it becomes a sign of unity and continuation of Christ’s mission.
KIBEHO – RWANDAN LOURDES?
On 29 June 2001, Bishop Augustin Misago, the Ordinary of the Gikongoro diocese, issued an official declaration carrying a definitive judgment on the apparitions of Kibeho in Rwanda. First, this lengthy document presents a short history and facts of apparitions. Then it provides the content of the message of Kibeho and its spiritual fruits. The second part is a statement based upon studies of the medical and theological commission. Bishop Misago says: “Yes, the Virgin Mary did appear in Kibeho on November 28, 1981, and during the following months. There are more good reasons to believe this than there are to deny it. Only testimonies of three visionaries were included in this approval: these of Alphonsine Mumureke, of Nathalie Mukamazimpaka, and of Mary–Claire Mukangango. The Virgin Mary appeared to them under the name of ‘Nyina wa Jambo’, which means ‘Mother of God’, as she herself explained.”
The bishop wishes “that Kibeho become, therefore, a destination of pilgrimages and those who seek God, a place of conversions, reparation for the sins of the world and reconciliation; a place that recalls the Gospel of the Cross.” The document ends with pastoral instructions and an outlook toward the future.
Bulletin of Mission’s News of Marians, October ’01, Fr. Leszek Czelusniak, MIC