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Displaying items by tag: africa

African Leaders and Formators’ Meet in Boko, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on January 21-29, 2024

A conference for the commissaries, delegates, and leaders of missions in the African geographical area was held at St. Teresa of Avila Spiritual Center in Boko, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The conference, from January 21-29, 2024, was themed This Way is Holy and Good: Walk in It (Carmelite Rule, 20): Confronting Carmel’s Challenges in Africa.

The conference center is a ministry of the Carmelite Missionaries Sisters of St Therese of the Child Jesus. Every foundation in Africa had representation present except one for unforeseen circumstances. In a follow-up survey, the participants expressed gratitude for the warm hospitality shown to them by the Carmelite sisters and the men of the Tanzanian foundation.

The conference exposed a number of challenges for Carmel on the African continent. Some of these are outside of the control of the Order: the socio-political and economic situations as well as a number of active conflicts that have continued for a number of years. Other difficult situations can and should be addressed by the Order: the formation programs, approaches to ministry, dependence on founding provinces (there are no provinces in Africa, only foundations dependent on provinces located in Europe or the Americas), and issues of financial management, accountability, transparency, and self-reliance. Difficult situations also persist because of a lack of communication, relationships with local churches, and differences in cultural traditions and customs in a number of critical areas.

A series of speakers provided the group with input in the hope that the leaders and formators would get to know each other personally; that participants would have the opportunity to discuss their experiences and challenges openly; that leaders and formators would themselves grow in Carmelite identity in order to more effectively witness to their communities; that strengthened by the awareness of expectations, the participants would raise the standards of integrity and apply principles of good governance in their own reality.

Key presenters were Mother Lilian Kapongo, CMSSTCJ, Fr James Kulwa Shimbala, SMA, Fr Jean-Marie Dundji, O. Carm, Fr Jerome Paluku, OCD, and Fr. Conrad Mutizamhepo, O. Carm., general councilor of the Order for Africa.

Mother Lilian Kapongo presented Becoming Carmel in the Context of Africa – “This Way is Holy and Good: Walk in It” (Rule § 20): Leadership and Formation for Carmelite Religious Identity, stressing the importance of a solid initial and ongoing formation programs that challenges candidates to be motivated to do discernment of their motivations and challenge to continually purify their motivations at every stage of their religious life.

Fr Shimbala spoke on Religious and Priest: Two Vocations, One Person-- Lifegiving Ministry Approaches that Preserve the Two identities in Community, emphasizing that religious identity springs from a personal or intimate encounter with Jesus according to the Order’s charism.

Fr Jean-Marie Dundji, O. Carm, addressed the topic The Process of Formation of the Carmelite According to the Constitutions 2019 and the Ratio Institutionis Vitae Carmelitanum 2013, pointing out that the Carmelite charism is still in its fragile stages in Africa and that the quality of people is often qualified by the structures and the quality of persons who run them.

Discalced Fr. Jerome Paluku reflected on Religious Life in Africa: Exploring Pathways to Financial Self-Sustainability, examining strategies for income creation which depend on context, mission of investing organization (i.e., charism), investment opportunities and lifestyle of persons. He proposed five areas of management to help mitigate problems and promote viability.

On Saturday, Conrad Mutizamhepo offered a reflection on The Charism of the Order According to Part One of the Constitutions 2019: Viable Ways of Transmitting the Charism by Leaders and Formators, discussing the origins of the Carmelite charism as transmitted through the history, traditions, spirituality, myths, symbols, and significant Carmelites throughout history.

Two days later, Conrad shared another reflection on Vibrant Participation in the Mission of the Order: The Commissions of the Order and their Role in the Carmelite Entities in Africa. He presented the basic structure of the Order and how the mission of the Order is advanced by the eight commissions of the Order and the four other task forces/secretariats.

The opening Eucharist, held on Sunday, January 21, 2024, was strengthened by the musical and choral accompaniment of the Bikira Maria wa Mlima Karmeli parish choir from Bunju. On Sunday, the conference participants joined the parish for Sunday Eucharist and a celebratory meal afterwards.

The Conference agreed upon a Final Message which calls for collaboration between leaders and formators and at Africa level; investment in Carmelite life at all levels, cultivating financial management skills anchored on transparency and accountability; fostering teamwork and building a common vision; rooting our life in the Rule and Constitutions through interiorization; study and application to life in community; ensuring that the Constitutions are available in French; ensuring an appropriate balance among Carmelites living the religious and priestly vocations; fostering awareness of and presence of members at community activities; and, finally, ensuring that Commissions of the Order are reflected at the grassroots.

The extensive evaluation of the conference was very positive. Members were also given the opportunity to make recommendations for future conferences.

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
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Wednesday, 13 September 2023 12:46

New Foundation of Carmelite Nuns in Kenya

The Carmelite Monastery of Our Lady of Protection Museve Shrine was officially opened on September 1, 2023. The Rt. Rev. Joseph Mwongela, bishop of Diocese of Kitui, conducted the ceremony.

According to the sisters who took part, "The celebration was very joyous and colorful." Some 500 people were in attendance to witness the new growth of Carmel in Africa.

Also participating was the General Delegate for Kenya, Patrick Musyimi, O. Carm., as well as other members of the community and lay Carmelites.

Six of the nuns from Machakos will make up the new community: Sr. Margarita de Cristo Rey, O. Carm.; Sr. Mary Grace Mumbi, O. Carm.; Sr. Mary Leho Raissa, O. Carm.; Sr. Mary Lucy Nthule, O. Carm.; Sr. Mary Veronica Muthini, O. Carm.; Sr. Mary Lucy Munyiva, O. Carm.

Video from the celebration

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
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Wednesday, 17 May 2023 13:51

Priesthood Ordinations in Congo

As part of the opening of the 50th anniversary celebrations in Congo, two members of the commissariat were ordained to the priesthood during the Mass on May 16. Bishop Dieudonne Uringi of the Diocese of Bunia ordained Philémon Kambale Sivasi, O. Carm., and Emery Losinu Ngadjole, O. Carm. during the celebrations. Fr. Emery is originally from Pimbo, Dem. Rep. Congo and Fr. Philémon is from Mutambi, Dem. Rep. Congo.

The celebrations continue in various places with various activities planned during the coming year.

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
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An Interview with Fr. Roberto Toni, prior provincial of the Italian province

Congo’s 50 Years of Carmel and Some Ideas on the Future

Carmelite Fr. Roberto Toni serves as the prior provincial of the Italian province. He reflected on the establishment of Carmel in the Congo by the province he now leads and what he sees as the future. Here is a summary of what he wrote in response to questions from CITOC.

Fifty years ago, the province established Carmel in what was then called Zaire. Before that it was known as the Belgian Congo. Today it is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Italian province was then known as the Roman province.

With the Second Vatican Council, a new missionary spirit developed in the Order. In 1973 when the Carmelites went to then Zaire, only eight years had passed since the conclusion of the Council. The spirit of a new Spring for the Church was in the air. The entire Roman Province, corresponding to Central Italy, mobilized with great enthusiasm for that first presence. Three missionaries went: Fr. Arcangelo Colandrea, Fr. Ubaldo Pani, and Fr. Domenico Fiore (two of whom are still living). These first seeds of Carmel settled on around the village of Jiba, in Ituri, in the northeastern part of the great country, near Lake Albert, in the diocese of Bunia.

Through the periodical La Madonna del Carmelo and the work of the person in charge, Fr. Riccardo Palazzi, the whole Province, friars, nuns, sisters, tertiaries and laity of the shrines and parishes, was regularly informed of the mission's growth steps. It was also helpful in the collecting of funds and the sending of materials that would be useful in the mission.

When the Italian province of the Carmelites was established in 1991, the mission in the Congo had developed considerably. It became the patrimony and commitment for the whole Carmelite Family that made up the new province. It was also an occasion for strengthening the unity through a common effort.

After Bunia, there was Butembo, then Nioka, then the foundation in the capital, Kinshasa, and finally, not so many years ago, Kisangani. Today it is a provincial commissariat with 11 houses, about 74 confreres, including novices. Some of these Carmelites are in the communities in Italy to help our presence these or to specialize in studies. The "mission" itself has become, in turn, "missionary."

Congo opened our minds to the universality of the Church and Carmel; in that same year, 1973, Carmelite Fr. Lauro Negri departed from Veneto for Latin America. Colombia, along with the Congo, became a "window" of new Carmelite life in the world.

There is still a long way to go, but we have seen the Carmelite charism entering African and Congolese culture, the blossoming of vocations, and the need for discernment. There is the challenge of evangelical coherence and a charity that goes beyond mere welfare. This window on a rich, joyful, and troubled Africa has allowed us, the brothers in Italy, Colombia, and now Romania to come into contact with and share the dramas of these last thirty years in Congo. There have been wars, massacres, exoduses of refugees within the country. All of this breaks through the door of our indifference and calls us to "bear one another's burdens," to reflect on why there is so much injustice, to ask what we can do.

The Church in Congo, with its youth and challenges, has known Carmel and, through the mouth of the bishops, asks us to "authentically be we are." Even simple people can discern by looking at us whether we are just going through the motions or are true believers who are credible. From us they for evangelical radicalness in the witness of fraternity, prayer, and humble and selfless service. It would make no sense to accommodate ourselves or to become implementers of works without quality and soul. The Congolese people have a strong sense of spirituality. But the consumer mentality, for which everything has a price, as well as secularism, are making their way into the hearts and practices of the people, especially of the youth. Hence the corruption, the conflicts, the disintegration of a humanity full of values that are in danger of being lost. As Carmelites, as contemplative brothers and prophets, we have much to witness to.

If we follow Christ Jesus, there is no alternative to his gift of life. Today, fifty years after that beginning, our Province asks: what does the Lord ask of us who are called to live following Him?

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
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Tuesday, 09 May 2023 13:31

Carmel in Congo Celebrates 50 Years

On Tuesday, May 16, 2023, the Order will begin a yearlong celebration of its presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. To begin the celebrations, a solemn Eucharist will be held in the parish of Isidore Bakanja at Chemchem (Bunia). The bishop of Bunia, Msgr Dieudonnè Uringi will preside.

As a provincial commissariat of the Italian province, a host of people from around the Congo and Italy are expected to participate. These include the General Councilor for Africa, Conrad Mutizamhepo, representing the prior general. Also participating will be Roberto Toni, prior provincial of the Italian province, Henry Venecia Cerro, provincial councilor, Sebastian Benchea, secretary of the council and province, and Giuseppe Grussu, provincial treasurer, Guido Sartori. Also present will be Mario Serra who served in the missions previously.

Two Carmelites will be ordained during the ceremony: Emery Losinu Ngadjole and Philémon Kambale Sivasi.

Congratulations to the Congolese, the Italian province, and the Church on this milestone in the development of Carmel in Africa.

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
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Wednesday, 19 January 2022 07:13

Causa Nostrae Laetitia - Nov/Dec 2021

Initium Novitiatus

14-11-21 Mary Karen Wambura of St. John of the Cross (MAC) Machakos, Kenya
14-11-21 Mary Margaret of Christ the King (MAC) Machakos, Kenya
14-12-21 Constantino Barreto Amaral (Aust-TO) Middle Park, Victoria, Australia
14-12-21 Moises Soares (Aust-TO) Middle Park, Victoria, Australia
14-21-21 MAnuel Xavier Gonzaga (Aust-TO) Middle Park, Victoria, Australia

Professio Temporanea

21-11-21 Teresa Rosa del Sacro Cuore di Gesù (CAR) Carpineto Romano, Italia

Professio Solemnis

06-11-21 Maria Grazia Panlilo (CAE) Camerino, Italia

Ordinatio Diaconalis

20-11-21 Albino Dos Santos (Aust-TO) Middle Park, Victoria, Australia
14-12-21 Emmanuel Shikoli (Ken) Nkoroi, Kenya

Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

04-12-21 Marlon Beharry (SEL-TT) Middletown, New York, USA
14-12-21 Eugine Ekeya (Ken) Nkoroi, Kenya
14-12-21 Peter Wafula (Ken) Nkoroi, Kenya
14-12-21 Daniel Nthama (Ken) Nkoroi, Kenya

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Wednesday, 17 November 2021 07:31

Causa Nostrae Laetitia - Oct/Nov 2021

Professio Solemnis
15-11-21 José Ivanildo Justino (Flum) São Paolo, Brazil

Ordinatio Diaconalis
25-10-21 Jean de Dieu Kavunga (Ita-RPC) Kinshasa, Dem Rep Congo
25-10-21 Philéomon Kambale (Ita-RPC) Kinshasa, Dem Rep Congo

Ordinatio Sacerdotalis
25-10-21 Noël Kwaya (Ita-Cong) Kinshasa, Dem Rep Congo
25-10-21 Jean-Claude Isusi (Ita-Cong) Kinshasa, Dem Rep Congo
14-11-21 Andres Nono (Indo) Maumere-Flores, Indonesia
14-11-21 Andreas Yorenus Waji Rasi (Indo) Maumere-Flores, Indonesia
14-11-21 Mariano Puken (Indo) Maumere-Flores, Indonesia
14-11-21 Yeremias Geleta Huler (Indo) Maumere-Flores, Indonesia
14-11-21 Yohanes Palaama Belang (Indo) Maumere-Flores, Indonesia

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Thursday, 21 October 2021 08:33

Causa Nostrae Laetitia - Iunius/Oct 2021

Initium Novitiatus

24-06-21 Adorn Ansel (STSA) Lisieux Bhavan Chala, India
15-08-21 Patrick Mingard (Gal) Nante, France

Professio Temporanea

31-08-21 Giovanna D'Aniello (SAR) Sogliano al Rubicone, Italia

Professio Solemnis

16-07-21 Matteo Antonllini (Ita) Castellina, Italia
04-09-21 Maria Sabrina Fubelli (CAR) Carpineto Romano, Italia
08-09-21 Mary Jackline Bochaberi of the Cross (MAC) Machakos, Kenya
08-09-21 Mary Veronica Muthini of Christ the King (MAC) Machakos, Kenya
11-09-21 Richard Philip Green (Brit) Aylesford, England

Ordinatio Diaconalis

03-07-21 Alfredo Pisana (Ita) Torrespaccata, Italia
17-10-21 Emery Losinu (Ita-Cong) Butempo, Dem Rep Congo
17-10-21 Samuel Ndjate (Ita-Cong) Butempo, Dem Rep Congo

Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

20-08-21 Mário Josué Bernando Alves (Pern) Jaboatão dos Guasarapes, Brasil
21-08-21 Jorge da Costa Silva (Pern) Alagoa Grande, Brasil
25-09-21 Bruno Castro Shoder (Rio) São Paulo, Brasil
17-10-21 Matthias Mukombozi (Ita-Cong) Butempo, Dem Rep Congo
17-10-21 Gilbert Paluku (Ita-Cong) Butempo, Dem Rep Congo
17-10-21 Charles Kambale (Ita-Cong) Butempo, Dem Rep Congo
17-10-21 Innocent Djomby (Ita-Cong) Butempo, Dem Rep Congo

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Wednesday, 22 September 2021 08:29

Causa Nostrae Laetitia - Augustus/Sept 2021

Initium Novitiatus

14-08-21 Simplisius Seke Kawa (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Fridolin De’e (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Yohanes Delasale Bao (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Fransiskus Solanus Ngozo (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Antonius Du’a (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Marseliano Hernan Bagio (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Hubertus Benge Ratu (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Roman Rofinus Nganja (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Carlos Demitrio Staren Djaman (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Markus Apryaldi Purnama (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Marianus Soni Jaya Mahe (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Berno Andrianus (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Epi Pianus Gregorius Gadja Wora (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Stanis Rikardus Aprinus (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Bonaventura Marciano Thomas Ire (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
14-08-21 Hendrikus Thomas Temongmere (Indo-Flores) Maumere, Indonesia
15-08-21 Patrick Mingaro (Gal) Nantes, France
29-08-21 Stefanus Jemmy Handira (Indo) Batu, Indonesia
29-08-21 Matius Pilalek Sapokkak (Indo) Batu, Indonesia
29-08-21 Trisantus Sihombing (Indo) Batu, Indonesia
29-08-21 Kiki Forfius Situmorang (Indo) Batu, Indonesia
29-08-21 Tumpal Parulian Alexandris Sinurat (Indo) Batu, Indonesia
29-08-21 Gian Suharjo Situmorang (Indo) Batu, Indonesia
29-08-21 Reinhard Mayliano Forthe Gama (Indo) Batu, Indonesia
29-08-21 Albertus Bagus Kartiko Wijaya (Indo) Batu, Indonesia
29-08-21 Yohanes Dian Anugrah Simanjorang (Indo) Batu, Indonesia
03-09-21 Achille Ango (Ger-Cam)
03-09-21 Alphonse Marie de Liguori Engal III (Ger-Cam)
03-09-21 Benjamin Yutcha Tedonang Yemele (Ger-Cam)
03-09-21 Eric Bahati Kodjo (Ita-Con)
03-09-21 Bertrand Gangnon (Baet-Bur)
03-09-21 Anderson Nana (Baet-Bur)
03-09-21 Fernand Yameogo (Baet-Bur)
12-09-21 Salvatore D'Antuono (Brun)
12-09-21 José Luis Lebron Carela (ACV-Rep.Dom)
12-09-21 Laurentiu Francu (Ita-Rom)
12-09-21 Germán Pérez Contreras (ACV-Rep.Dom)
12-09-21 Matthew Galloway Janvier (Brit)
12-09-21 Alexander de Jesús Batista Almonte (ACV-Rep.Dom)
12-09-21 Alex Trani (Brun)
12-09-21 Marco Figuccio (Ita)

Professio Temporanea

15-08-21 Mary Irene Nzilani of Our Lady of Sorrows (MAC) Machakos, Kenya
15-08-21 Mary Eunice Mwikali of the Holy Angels (MAC) Machakos, Kenya
04-09-21 Boris Fokou Lamago (Ger-Cam)
04-09-21 George Maurice Ondoua Atedzoe (Ger-Cam)
04-09-21 Jude Sahla Madmo (Ger-Cam)
04-09-21 Achille Sylvain Babassagana (Ger-Cam)
04-09-21 Eric Ilboudo (Baet-Bur)
04-09-21 Yves Roland Zongo (Baet-Bur)
08-09-21 Elisha Marie of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (CHR) Christoval, USA
08-09-21 Andrew Raftis (LAK) Lake Elmo, USA
12-09-21 Michele Silvi (Ita) Jesi, Italia

Professio Solemnis

21-08-21 David Ulises Garcia Hernández (PCM-ES), San Salvador, El Salvador
21-08-21 José Aristides Menjivar Larios (PCM-ES), San Salvador, El Salvador
21-08-21 Von Erick Sandoval (SEL), Middletown, New York
29-08-21 María Martha Matata (MON) Torre de Moncorvo, Portugal
08-09-21 Andrew Raftis (LAK) Lake Elmo, Minnesota
11-09-21 Joseph Bacye (Beat-Bur) Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkino Faso
17-09-21 Itamar dos Santos Neri (Pern) Olinda, Brazil

Ordinatio Diaconalis

22-08-21 José Aristides Menjivar Larios (PCM-ES), Nuova Cuscatlan, El Salvador

Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

14-09-21 Giovanni Paolo Sarcinella (Ita), Roma, Italia

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
Friday, 02 July 2021 14:15

Pastoral in Kenya during COVID-19

The year 2020 will go into the history books! Like most countries, Kenya was not spared the Corona pandemic. Though compared to many other countries, especially in the West, they were not very badly affected.

Covid-19 arrived in Kenya early March 2020 and ever so slowly started spreading from the capital city, Nairobi, to the towns and villages. The country went into a severe lock down from April through July 2020. Businesses, educational institutions, and churches, among others, were most affected among others. Some institutions were closed.

The Carmelite Delegation in Kenya was not spared. When the lockdowns were announced, all the students in formation were sent to their families where they stayed for the duration. Other religious institutions and dioceses did the same to avoid infections and the spread of the disease. "We felt it prudent to have the minimum number of people around", remarked Fr. Boniface Kimondolo, O. Carm.

The General Delegation has six priests, three deacons, one brother with simple vows, three novices, and eight postulants. They are divided into two communities which are located near to each other. Nearby these communities they have one parish which also serves an outstation. This is a small church which is two kms away from the parish center and serves a population of around fifty families.

"It was not easy to live through such moments. We were without our people. We could only pray and do a few activities in the community", commented Fr Boniface.

A parish in Kenya is seen as a charity center. Covid-19 brought many difficulties to many families. "People came to us asking for financial help and food. We could only share the little we had. From time to time, we received donations from some generous people. This greatly helped those who were most affected!", stated Fr. Boniface.

Fr. Boniface revealed that "people were always at our door. The needs were great. Many people lost their jobs. Families were forced to live together for long periods of time. Arguments arose between children and parents as well as between the couples themselves. The church became a centre for counselling on a daily basis. Through it all, the Carmelites did their best. Still today we are ministering almost the same way with people coming to our door asking for help", he concluded.

After the lockdowns which were difficult, the government started slowly opening up some counties and towns. The students came back in July 2020 for the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Since then, life started getting back to somewhat normal in the Carmelite communities. The churches were partially opened and people returned. Also the students “returned” to school through studies on-line.

In Kenya, as well as many parts of Africa, large numbers of people attend church on Sundays. The church in Nkoroi has a capacity of one thousand people. They used to celebrate three Masses every Sunday in normal times. When the church re-opened after the lockdowns were lifted, they followed the ministry of health protocols. Therefore the church only had seating for three hundred people.

"We had to create space in the church hall. But we still could not accommodate all the faithful. We came up with the idea for a drive-in Mass. This could accommodate any of the parishioners who drive", stressed Fr Boniface. 

The idea worked well and until today they have several celebrations, including the drive-in Mass. The people drive up in their cars to a prepared field. They park and listen to Mass from inside their vehicles through the speakers. They only leave their cars to receive Holy Communion. After receiving, they get back into their cars. When Mass is over, they drive out and others come in for the next Mass. They now have two drive-in Masses every Sunday.

"Life seems to be slowly returning to normal. We hope all will be well soon!", concluded Fr. Boniface.

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
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