AUGUST 17TH, 2012 will be remembered for the Formal Opening of the New Irish/Brazilian Redemptorist Mission in Mozambique and Malawi:
‘Plant an acorn, wait for an oak.’
Ever heard of ‘Chechewa’ ? Across Mozambique and neighbouring Malawi, it is the native language of 15 million people! And two Irish Redemptorists, Fr. Brian Holmes from Cork, Fr. John Berminham from Co. Kildare, have been learning Chechewa over the past two years, in Mozambique.
The formal inauguration of this new Redemptorist Mission in Mozambique/Malawi will take place on this August 17th at 9am in the Parish of Christ the King (Furancungo, Macanga, Diocese of Tete) Dom Inácio Saure, Bishop of the Diocese of Tete (which celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year) has agreed to preside.
This new Mission is a joint project of the Irish Redemptorists of the Dublin Province, and the Redemptorists (Irish and Brazilian) from the Vice-Province of Fortaleza in N. East Brazil, – a Mission begun 51 years ago from Ireland. This new Gospel outreach will, please God, be staffed by Redemptorists and co-workers, men and women, working as partners with our new African friends.
Fr. Eridian (Vice-Provincial Superior from Vice-Province of Fortaleza) and Fr. Michael Kelleher ( Provincial of the Dublin Province of the Redemptorists) plan to attend this formal opening. Having surmounted a health hurdle or two, Fr. Brian Holmes and Fr. John Bermingham are doing fine, thank God. They have a motor bike and have just invested in a second hand Hilux Surf car. They are now able to celebrate Mass in the local language (‘Chechewa’) in the communities of the district; their new means of transport will further facilitate their missionary outreach. Meantime, they have begun to put roof, doors and windows in the extension to the little house they live in, beside the chapel in Furancungo. Recently, they wrote:
“Day by day learning a few new words, and phrases, learning how the people survive here and understanding a bit more each day their way of life. We are happy. Last week we climbed one of the mountains near the town and you can see here the beauty of the region and have some idea of the town below. Today we are in Tete, the provincial capital, on the banks of the Zambeze River. At sundown it can be beautiful too. Thinking of you. Keep us in your prayers. John and Brian.
During the African journey from mid August to early September, Frs. Michael and Eridian hope to travel with Frs. John and Brian to see Bishop Emmanuel in Dedza, Malawi, to discuss having a foundation in that country also. After that meeting, a Network gathering of the Conference of Redemptorists of Africa & Madagascar will be held in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
Please pray for this new venture;- for the Redemptorists, it is like Peter stepping out of the boat and walking on water, after Jesus had said ‘Come !’ It is a great act of faith when our own numbers seem very small. Do any of you hear Jesus saying ‘Come’- and give your life ministering for the Gospel among the 15 million people who speak Chechewa ?
‘Glory be to God who by his might power at work within us is able to do far mare than we could ever dare to ask or even dream of,- infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes.‘ (Ephesians 3:20)
Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R.