Close Encounter of a Scary Kind

Ferocious wild animals in the Congo are difficult to get to see. Occasionally, someone keeps a monkey as a pet instead of for the pot and you might see a snake now and then, but, apart from that, the jungle keeps its inhabitants very well hidden. Yesterday, though, I came a step closer to brushing with the wild. The sky began to darken around 6 pm; the trees teamed with bright yellow weaver-birds, chattering and squealing and carrying endless streamers of grass and palm-leaf to build up their nests. Darkness descended swiftly, leaving ragged banana trees and oil-kernel palms silhouetted against the clear royal-blue sky, with vivid twinkling constellations scattered like sequins on a velvet cloth. People in Basankusu settled down to cook and eat their evening meal, the glow of charcoal burners and the smell of various foods filled the air.

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Meditating on Mission in Pluscarden Peace

The “Democratic Republic of Congo” is a far cry from Scotland’s Morayshire Vale of St Andrew – especially when the DRC’s hot and humid rain forest is remembered in a freezing winter at Pluscarden Abbey. But more striking than that is the contrast of atmosphere. Pluscarden is renowned deservedly for its Peace; the DRC, deservedly, is not! I am anxious to get back to my beloved troubled Congo. But I am revelling in the Benedictine Pax here; “In loco isto dabo pacem (In this place I will give Peace)” …. and I will get the monks’ powerful prayers for the DRC into the bargain too. In this Peace I am still grateful for the Mission I have been privileged to be sent on. I was encouraged here in Pluscarden many years ago to respond to that “foreign missionary” call, and have been supported ever since. What we have in common, in a contemplative life in northern Scotland or in an active ministry in ‘the Heart of Darkest Africa’, is that basic truth: ‘Nil carius Christo’ - Christ and His Love is more important than anything else.

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Cameroon: Youth Ministry
Patrick Lonkoy

Cameroon: Youth Ministry

After experiencing the life of young people in many different countries and situations - in DR Congo where I grew up, during my years of training for the missionary priesthood in East Africa (Entesekera/Kenya and Kotido/Uganda) and now as a theology student on 'mission experience' in the Catholic Mission of Ilung in NW Cameroon - I am deeply convinced that youth apostolate is not an optional extra but an integral part of the Church's ministry at every level.

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Women's Day

March 8th is the International Women's Day. International Women's Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. In 2017, the theme is "Women in the changing world of work." A reflective article in UCANews:

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