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vlcsnap 2021 05 01 MaiWelcome once again to our monthly magazine looking at SMA activities around the world.
In this Edition, we will go to:
Ghana: “Hope for Life” Redinamization Project with the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church (SMMC)
Kenya: Opening of a New Mission in Namoruputh in the Diocese of Lodwar
Philippines: Relocation of the SMA Formation House in the Context of the Celebration of the 500 Years of the Philippine Church.

 

To start this edition, we will go to Ghana, to visit Hope for life, an NGO dedicated to the empowerment of people with disabilities. NGO which recently joined forces with the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church, in view of a greater impact in the lives of the disabled people.

GHANA

With its main branch situated in the Capital city of Ghana, Accra, Hope For Life is a nongovernmental organization founded by the SMA with the view of working with and for people with disabilities. The seed planted many years ago is today the hope of more than 800 people.

FANNY : Administrator "Hope for Life" Center

Hope for life association was established by Fr. Jean Thebault who was an SMA missionary in 1986. We have 17 branches cut across greater Accra and Eastern region and central region. We have 860 members. Each member is helped per his or her assessment; and we take the person through educational formation, surgery, we also setup as a startup capital and take the person through empowerment to help the person in his daily life; to also make him or her self-reliant.

Mr. KYEI : Central Regional President of "Hope for Life"

Hope for Life has done a lot for us. Because of hope for Life. With hope for life, we were able to attend school, we receive professional training; and some of us are teachers, doctors and lawyers. Some of us are off from the street. Hope for life has helped the disabled in Ghana a lot.

And the SMA is not just ready to stop there. In view of making the association more viable it is partnering with the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church, a religious institute founded by Bishop Anthony Konings, SMA, former bishop of the diocese of Keta.

Fr. Paul: Superior of the SMA Province of Ghana

Today is a new beginning for “Hope for life” with the SMMC Sisters coming on board they will help hope for life to move forward to get to reach out to more abandoned people more physically challenged people who are struggling who have been abandoned by their families to bring them on board so that hope will actually reach as many people as possible

Sr. Lucy HOMETORWU : Superior General of the SMMC (Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church)

we are very grateful to God that we have been called to partner with the society of African missions for care of the vulnerable, the disabled in society. I think it is a miracle that this collaboration between SMMC and SMA is happening; this collaboration to undertake this
mission is dear to our hearts because the mission of our institute is also in social apostolates apart from health and education, we are into social work.

Fr. Paul ENNIN, Superior of the SMA Province of Ghana

So, we are encouraging all, those who want to support and be part of this project of empowering the physically challenged to come onboard to
getting our fiscal challenge off the streets and empowering them to become autonomous, to live a dignified life so that together we might continue this mission of Christ to the most abundant.

We will now go to Kenya, to find out more about the Mission of St. Paul of NAMORUPUTH and its challenges: A new mission opened in order to strengthen the SMA presence among the Turkana people and thus continue to respond to our charism of first evangelization.

KENYA:

Fr. Robbin KAMEMBA : Superior of the SMA District of Kenya

Greetings from Kenya!
I would like to introduce to you one of our very new missions in Kenya and that is saint Paul’s mission - Namoruputh. It is located in Loima sub-county of Turukana county which is in the extreme northwestern part of Kenya where we have established a new mission and we have Fr. Pascal Emong a Kenyan from Ketaly diocese who is there as a parish priest. This new mission is really on the extreme, on the peripheries of Lodwar diocese. Our presence in saint Paul Namoruputh mission not only gives us an opportunity to exercise our charism of primary evangelization but it also puts us in direct contact with people who have been abandoned for so long by both government and local authorities and we are there together with them as missionaries to live and to profess the gospel of Christ among them.

a church to the periphery to which pope Francis has not stop to call us, to go to since election. this, however, is not without challenges.

Fr. Paschal EMONG’: Parish Priest of St Paul of Namoruputh

The main challenge first and foremost that I noticed almost immediately as evening fell, is the absence of light; we have no light, we depend on solar. I found two solar panels on the top of this house. So, light here is a major problem. We have the sun coming out brightly most of the day; and actually, a big part of the day. But, we will need a good solar panel and a battery to store the energy and then we can have light. If we have good solar panels We can have light, we can even have a fridge which we don’t actually have not even a tv or a radio. So, when night falls I prepare to sleep and when I wake up and prepare for Mass.

We cannot do the Mass much earlier because of the light. For one to be able to read, he needs light. The other challenge is the road. The roads are really tough and for that I am glad for the solidarity fund and to some friends and the American province, they contributed and I was able to get last month a good vehicle which proved itself yesterday as I got stuck in the mud; I was able to get out while coming from Lorugum. I had gone to meet with my brother Fr. Ephraim.

The other challenge apart from the road also is water. The water is really salty. So, to get a portable water for cooking and for anything we have to go behind these hills. The first people who came this side took that land that was their advantage and they were able to get a good water. we have 15 our stations but maybe seven also are acting; and as such, the challenge is also that the population is really low and because it’s low, so also is the money. I can get 300 kenyan shillings per Sundays. So, in a month maybe I will have a thousand, 1,200; it’s much for the area but it’s not much. Like for fuel, I will need to go about 80 or so 89 kilometers to Lodwar to get fuel.

To finish, we will go to the Philippines whose catholic church is this year celebrating 500 years. A yearlong celebration of Joy and thanksgiving.
Joy and Thanksgiving also for the SMA in the Philippines which besides this celebration is blessed with 12 Seminarians. As such, the formation house, previously in Manila was transferred to Silang in the province of Cavite.

PHILIPPINES:

The Filipino catholic community and SMA Philippines are celebrating 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines. The quin centennial is a year-long celebration which started in April 2021. On march the 14th 2021 pope Francis celebrated holy mass for the Philippine community and during his homily he said: you received the joy of the gospel, the good news that God so loved us that he gave his son for us; and this joy is evident in your people. We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your song and your prayers, in the joy with which you bring your faith to other lands.

The year-long lockdown has hampered vocation promotions in the Philippines but still SMA is blessed with 12 seminarians. A major change was made in the Philippines when SMA Philippines transferred its formation house to Silang, Cavite, as the place offers a healthier and more conducive environment for the formation and well-being of the SMA seminarians.

Fr. Julius CHELANGA : Formator in the Philippines

In the formation house we have ten (10) students: three (3) philosophy students and seven (7) students in preparatory program; and the staff is composed of myself Julius from Kenya and Fr. Raulyn EstalanE from the Philippines. The decision to bring the formation house to Silang was done last year during the district assembly of the Philippines and this was because the house in Manila was not really very conducive. It is in the in the city and the space is very small especially for the students to have space for outdoor games and maybe other activities like gardening as they do here in Silang. And, we are very happy to be here because it is a very spacious place and it is really very conducive for the students. So, despite the challenge of the pandemic which is affecting everyone, everyone in the house in Silang is very happy. Thank you very much and god bless you!

General Infos

 a) Le 21 avril, un webinaire organisé par la Commission NDA-SMA pour le dialogue interreligieux, interculturel et œcuménique a eu lieu en ligne. L'objectif principal de ce webinaire était de faire connaissance avec les membres des différents instituts de la commission, SMA-NDA et MCS-C, engagés dans le domaine du dialogue. Ce webinaire a vu la participation de 50 délégués représentant 12 pays différents.

b) les 17 et 24 avril, s'est tenue en ligne une rencontre organisée par le Forum international de recherche entre missionnaires et missiologues (Firmem), dirigé par le P. Basile Soyeye. Ce furent des moments de partage et de réflexions sur le catéchuménat dans différentes régions du globe.

c) Depuis le 10 avril, le P. Rozario, membre du conseil général, est en visite dans le district de Tanzanie.

d) Le Père François de Paul, vicaire général et chargé de la formation, est en visite à la maison de formation d'Agôdêkê au Togo depuis le 13 avril.

e) Et depuis le 23 avril dernier, le Secrétaire à la Formation, le P. Dominik Wacek est en visite à la maison de formation de Calavi.