On Wednesday 21st June the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph concluded their Chapter. Here is a brief report: 21 June chapter summary This is the last of our chapter summaries.…
In school one of the most precious times apart from classtime is the breaktime. Breaktime is a time to refresh and re-energise; it is a time to refill as does the traveller who runs into a fuel station with an empty tank and leaves assured that the journey will proceed smoothly. Apart from refilling and refreshing, breaktime is also a time to take stock, evaluate and refocus. It was in this light that the “young” young members (under two years of appointment) from Kenya and Uganda, gathered in Kampala for three full days to refresh, re-energise, evaluate and refocus on their mission, the mission of Christ to preach Good News to all and welcome all to the kingdom.
Nearly 40 priests from different Dioceses in Pakistan attended the just concluded Annual Young Priests' Conference held in Lahore, Pakistan. The 3-day get-together was organized by the National Clergy Commission Pakistan to provide on-going formation for young priests not less than a year and not more than five years ordained. The Conference was also intended to promote a closer relationship among the young priests so that they can support each other and share with one another their joys and struggles.
The Africa Cluster meeting of this year was held at Mill Hill house Nairobi, from the 7th to the 11th November 2016. These meetings where constituted by Chapter 2010 with the aim of creating a Forum where the Society Representatives from the six African countries with a Mill Hill presence come together once a year. In the presence of the Councillor for Africa they share how the members in their respective countries are living out the Society’s mission priorities, the needs, joys and experience of their local areas. They also discuss matters of Society Policy and its implementation, and make recommendations to the General Council for future planning. It’s also an opportunity for the Councillor for Africa representing the General Council to brief the leaders of some of latest developments in the Society.
The sun is shining brightly . It is going to be a scorcher. It was difficult waking up this morning to rush to the parish Church for a small English mass. Bishop Joseph Francis Kwaku Essien, the bishop from Wiaswo Diocese in Ghana was my co-celebrant. We had breakfast together afterwards in the attached presbytery where he was staying. He has been a bishop for seventeen years having been a military chaplain most of his life. He is very concerned about his country in Africa and feels it is going backwards. I congratulated him for bringing 120 Ghanians to the youth days. He said
It is called World Youth Day but in fact it lasts a week! As an old timer, or better still 'foreign missionary' -who is on a constant learning curve about the ways of the people we try to serve, it has taken me a full week to catch up with the way the youth do things! My dear Polish hosts gave me the correct cable for my phone and at last I was able to tune into the FM app. I also started reading the pilgrim book which we got on registration and it threw light on many of the mysterious things I was hearing about. But one thing I didn't achieve was registration as a priest and so I forewent the privilege of concelebration in the big mass once again.
The third and last catechesis in our local church was given by Archbishop Kurt from Louisville Kentucky who is the Chairman of the United States episcopal conference. He was a jovial and sensitive man asking us where we all came from: America, Australia, Ghana, Malaysia, Great Britain and Poland. Hands up those who could understand his accent - and we all could! He said today we are going to deal with handing out mercy as a development on receiving it. He quoted the contribution of St John Paul 2 in Gaudium et Spes which says we do not assert ourselves so much in the world as Christians but we make a gift of ourselves.
Today the Pope was welcomed by the Youth with song and dance from all the continents.
Fr Jim Fanning with Youth Light members Well after four hours of sleep I was up and headed for the local church for a few quiet moments of prayer. The Church of our Lady Queen of Poland was the first consecrated by the young Archbishop Wojtyla who became Pope John Paul. But the place of silence was full with earsplitting singing from the groups from Hartford Connecticut. They were doing a lead-in for the English catechesis given by Archbishop Christopher from Canberra in Australia.
Patrick and companion Imagine meeting Patrick (photo) here. He walked from Uganda to South Africa. I met him when I went to see the Pope in Uganda last November as he began his walk. I flagged him off in Kisumu. He visited Stephen Giles and John Melhuish and Emmanuel Omollo