29 July 2017

DELEGATION OF SOUTH AFRICA AND SWAZILAND 25-26 July 2017 AT MERIVALE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY.






The Delegation meeting of South Africa and Swaziland held in Merrivale (KZN) on 25-26 July at the Theological Seminary, from the point of view of Imc evangelization, can be considered as cornerstone in readiness to the implementation of the thirteenth General Chapter’s resolutions and the delegations plans. In the context of this great event, the Delegation members experienced a true moment of grace, since at the very heart of this gathering was the presence of our Lady Consolata, who as taught by Blessed Joseph Allamano,is our most tender Mother, who loves us as the apples of her eyes.(572)                                        
Beside our Lady, was Blessed Joseph Allamano who reminded us that the motto of the Consolata missionaries should be, "I want to become a saint, a great saint, and so soon’’ (Bl.Allamano 13). Sitting next to the Founder was blessed Irene Nyaatha whose words ‘’all for Jesus, northing for myself’’ made the delegation members deeply aware of the presence of the risen Lord who said to them as he did to his Apostles ‘’ peace be with you’’ (John 20:21).
From the opening Eucharistic celebration presided over by the delegate Superior,Fr. James Githinji, with all the delegation members present, the words contained in the constitutions:‘’ consolata missionaries live a Eucharistic life,the source and apex of our work of evangelization, the center to which the spiritual life of both the individuals and communities tends…… (No 12) became a witnessed reality. This unique characteristic,indicated that indeed we are a family,gathered together in the Lords’ name,aiming to put into practice the words of the Lord,’ ‘’by this love you have  for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples’’ (const 15,21).Sharing in the one bread and one cup, strengthen our bonds of communion.
In the afternoon of the first day,the delegate superior presented the resolutions of the thirteenth General chapter with astonishing clarity.The delegation members listened with rapt attention, asked questions and nodded in approval in unison as did the Israelites ‘’ whatever  Yahweh[the chapter] says we shall do’’ (Exd 19:8),bearing in mind that it is incumbent upon the General Chapter to examine life,activities,determining the aims and norms of our Congregation (Const no 110).The theme of this presentation was revitalization of the congregation and each member in particular in relation to what St. Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians‘’ your minds are to be renewed in spirit so that you can put on a new man that has been created on God’s principles, in uprightness and holiness of the truth (Eph 4:23).
   The second day opened by liturgy of hours in the morning.The small chapel of the seminary resounded with the different voices in praise of God with psalms. It was the big feast of St. James the Apostles.Yes as stated in the constitutions, the community of the members of the delegation during this morning became the voice of Christ, who entreats the Father for salvation of the World, and carry out the motherly mission of the Church, which is to bring all people to the Lord’’ (Const no 66).Bearing in mind the words of Augustine,and as taught by the Founder, ‘’if the psalms sighs, sigh; if it prays ,pray; if it rejoices,rejoice; if it hopes,hope;if it fears fear’’,the missionaries deeply expressed this during the liturgy of the hours.The figure of Apostle James reminded the delegation members that missionary work is a drama of charity,heroism and sacrifice which makes the Church great and holy.
  The first siting on the second day opened up by more input from the delegate superior, presentation on the financial situation of the delegation by the Administrator Fr. James Mwigani.Fr. Mathew Ouma then led the deliberation on the property owned by the delegation. At mid-day, all gathered in the chapel to pray the Angelus.
The arrival of the Cardinal Wilfred Napier to grace this august gathering and presiding over the Eucharistic celebration was indeed a singular design of providence. In his address to the members on revitalization, the Cardinal frankly stated that it all begins with the personal renewal. Moments of celebration immediately followed after the Eucharist, marked by the famous braai (grill meat) and farewell to Brother Mario Bernardi. This was an event marked by brotherly love, whereby the words of the Psalmist, ‘’ how good, how delightful it is to live as brothers all together’’ (133:87) found their expression in action.

                                               By ORERO CHARLES imc



21 June 2017

Consolata in Swaziland





The name Consolata was made known to the people of Swaziland with the coming of Bishop Jose Luis Ponce de Leon as the apostolic administrator of the diocese of Manzini following the death of Bishop Ncamiso Ndlovu. Bishop Jose Luis would later be joined by Fr Giorgio Massa, thereafter deacon Peterson Muriithi (now a priest) who came to serve in the diocese after his deaconate ordination in South Africa. The number of Consolata missionaries increased from three to five with the coming of Fr Rocco Marra and finally Fr Francis Onyango who together with Fr Rocco had just handed over Madadeni parish back to the diocese of Dundee.
With the Consolata pentagon already in the diocese, the name ‘Consolata’ was no longer an isolated term. However, the name gained more prominence when the bishop entrusted us with the pastoral care of the newly established parish of St Peter & Paul (Kwaluseni). It was here that the maiden Consolata Feast was celebrated on the 11th of June 2017. We chose an early date to accommodate the bishop who was meant to leave the country for a pastoral visit to the Philippines. The spirit of enthusiasm that we witnessed among our parishioners was beyond our expectation. It was the very first time that the parish was celebrating a Consolata feast but the way they did it would make one wonder if at all it was really a maiden celebration.

The celebration began with a procession from the main road leading to the church with majority of the people donning their traditional Swazi attire. The bishop rode on an open van where he waved to the jubilant parishioners as the Salesian Brass Band led the procession. The atmosphere was that of joy and excitement as the youth waved flags of various nations and women ululating even as passers-by watched with amazement at such a magnificent sight – it was a very impressive sight and a moment of pride for a parish that is barely six months old. The youth stole the show and kept everyone glued to the celebration as they brought their talent to liturgy. They brought the bible in a processional dance in what looked like a ‘smoking Ark of the Covenant’; they then dramatized the gospel and later did a traditional dance for the procession with the gifts. Finally they dramatized the sending of the first missionaries by Fr Founder highlighting a case of a young boy with a vocation to priesthood but who faced serious resistance from his own parents.

We had a second celebration of the Consolata Feast on the 19th of June at the Little Flower chapel in Manzini just opposite the cathedral. This was meant to accommodate the priests and religious men and women who due to pastoral commitments could not be available when we celebrated with the parishioners. The Mass at the Little Flower chapel was celebrated by Fr Giorgio Massa who shared more about our journey from the foundation of the institute to our presence in Swaziland. It was a moment to enlighten others about who really are these Consolata missionaries. After Mass we had a reception at our house where we treated the priests, sisters and seminarians to nice delicacies. The joy in their faces was visible even as one priest shouted: ‘next year, same time, same place,’ sending everybody to laughter. He said this in anticipation of next year’s Consolata feast. Our presence in the diocese of Manzini and in the kingdom of Swaziland is visible and we hope that by the grace of God, the seed of consolation that we plant in this diocese will grow and become a big tree that will provide shades of consolation even to generations to come.

Fr Samuel-Francis IMC





05 June 2017

Francis to Consolata Missionaries




(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged missionaries to reserve special attention for dialogue with Islam, to promote the dignity of women and the values of the family, to be sensitive to issues of justice and peace
The Pope was addressing Consolata Missionaries who have begun their 13th General Chapter in Rome. The Chapter will officially end on June 20th, the feast of Our Lady 
Pope Francis expressed his joy at being able to welcome both the male and female branches of the Religious Family founded by Blessed Giuseppe Allamano and he highlighted his appreciation for their particular mission that takes them into challenging situations.
In view of the effort to continue to produce abundant good fruits in the Consolata communities and in the missionary activity of the Church, the Pope told the religious that in light of new pastoral urgencies and new forms of poverty they are called to deepen their charism and renew their impetus for evangelization.
“While I thank the Lord for the good that you are doing in the world, I urge you use great discernment and consideration of the situations in which the peoples you are working with find themselves in” he said.
Encouraging them never to tire of bringing comfort to populations that are often marked by great poverty and acute suffering, as in so many parts of Africa and Latin America, he said: “Let yourself continually be provoked by the concrete realities with which you come in contact and try to offer the testimony of charity that the Spirit has poured into your hearts in a proper way.”
Remarking on the fact that - just like that of any family - the history of the religious communities is marked by joys and sorrows, by lights and shadows, and recently, he said “it has been made fruitful thanks to the Cross of Christ”.
“How can we not mention your brothers and sisters who loved the Gospel of charity more than themselves and who crowned their missionary service with the sacrifice of their lives? Their evangelical choice highlights your missionary commitment and encourages you to pursue your particular mission in the Church with renewed generosity” he said.
The Pope said that to pursue this difficult mission it is necessary to live in communion with God with an enhanced awareness of the Lord’s love and mercy for us.
“It is more important, he said, to be aware of God’s love for us, rather than of how much we love Him.”
The Pope said that we all need to rediscover the love and mercy of the Lord in order to become more ‘familiar’ with God. Consecrated persons, he continued, need to rediscover that love and mercy in order to conform more closely to Christ, with freedom, spontaneity and a sense of awe for the wonders He performs.
In this perspective, the Pope said, religious life can become a journey of rediscovery of divine mercy, “helping you in your attempts to imitate Christ’s virtues and His humanity as you carry out your pastoral ministry”. 
He also encouraged them to joyfully be open to the many incentives for renewal and commitment that derive from true contact with the Lord Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit. 
This, the Pope noted, will allow you to be actively present in  new arenas of evangelization with openness and attentiveness to situations of particular need that are emblematic of our time -  even should this imply some sacrifice.
Pope Francis urged those present to always look to the example of their blessed Founder and not to tire of giving new impetus to missionary work.
He remarked on their responsibility to support Christian communities that have been entrusted to them “especially those of a recent foundation” and called for sensitivity towards inculturation of the Gospel, respect for co-workers and the choice of being present in simplicity and poverty.
The Pope invited them to reserve special attention for dialogue with Islam, to promote the dignity of women and the values of the family, to be sensitive to issues of justice and peace.
He concluded encouraging the Consolata brothers and sisters to continue in their missionary journey with hope and expressed his trust that it may increasingly provide a vivid and sanctifying encounter with Jesus, source of consolation, peace and salvation for all men.