Father Erasto Mgalama: missionary work in Africa in the sign of continuity

Fr Erasto Mgalama, General Councilor for African Continent. Photo: Jaime C. Patias

“Missionaries and life in our communities, our mission ad gentes, organizations and economic stands in favour of our missionary endeavors”. These are some of the most important traits to deal with as we proceed in our efforts of evangelization in the African Continent. Father Erasto Mgalama presents the final document of the Continental Assembly held in Tanzania in December 2023 after the XIV General Chapter.

By Jaime C. Patias and Adolphe Mulengezi *

This comes out very well from the short video clip that follows hereafter. The General Councilor for African Continent underlines that the focus of the efforts for the forthcoming six years, will be on “missionaries in community life”. The centrality of this topic was also recalled by the XIV General Chapter when “it invited us to perform a radical prophetic lifestyle. We are consecrated to missionary life as a family in a community setting”. That’s why father Erasto wonders: does our stile of formation help form missionaries who will able to adapt themselves with a family life in a community setup?”

Therefore, the main topic comprises three main aspects:

Identity: such an aspect will be lived in different ways depending on the cultural settings of the different contexts of the Circumscription.

Formation: our religious consecration “entails an ongoing process of spiritual renewal and a personal commitment to personal prayer life, so as to do everything for God and only for Him”

Charism: “we are sent to serve the others and make the love of God shine in the World, and in a special way, in the life of the poor and of those who are forced to live on the outskirts of society because of injustices and social inequalities. That is why it is important to foster the spreading of nonviolent life style and resume our commitment to Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation – JPIC”

See here the video with Father Erasto’s message (Realisation: SGC)

Our mission ad gentes

In African Continent our Congregation has long standing community presences, and it is in these places that indeed we have “to qualify our presences with a clear-cut missionary outlook”. This means that we have to spur Local Churches to embrace and live the missionary dimension of Christian life so as to live in a deeper way their missionary commitment.  If we fail in that, our presences will be meaningless, and no clear missionary identity will be showed.

The first part of the Final Document of the Continental Assembly held in Tanzania in December 2023, presents “an historical overview of our missions in the African Continent. The second part, instead, the historical development of our missions in the Continent. And the third part shows the work of the different continental Commissions and of the Circumscriptions highlighting the priorities of their work, coming from the reflection of all missionaries of the Continent”

Such topics and so many others regarding the programs of the Congregation in the next six years are to be found in the Final Document of the Continental Assembly that should be read by all missionaries wherever they are in in the different Circumscriptions of Africa.

Participants at the 12th Regional Conference in Tanzania. Photo: Paulino Madeje

On Behalf of the General Government, Father Erasto Mgalama, invites all missionaries to read and study the Document in the different Assembly of the Circumscriptions and the local communities. “Our main commitment is that of contextualizing the decisions of the XIV General Chapter in the different missionary contexts of Africa”.

* Fr Jaime C. Patias and Br Adolphe Mulengezi, IMC, Secretariat for Communication.

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