23 May 2012

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Today’s Eucharistic Celebration, presided over by Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba and animated by our sisters from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, featured a bilingual sermon (English and Italian) and hymns in French, Kikongo and Italian. The Liturgy was a true symphony of voices and hearts that reflected everyone’s burning desire to fulfill the prayer of Jesus to his Father: “That they may be one as we are one.”

The opening prayer of our work day invited us to enter into the climate of communion characteristic of the Upper Room, in which, together with the Queen of Apostles, we asked the Holy Spirit, the Love of the Father and Son, the Renewer of the apostles, to descend upon us with his seven gifts.

It was in this atmosphere that we readied ourselves to listen to the talk by Bishop Makumba, who cast further light on the needs of Africa, on which we reflected yesterday. After receiving a Doctorate in Philosophy from Holy Cross University in Rome, Bishop Makumba taught this subject at Tindinyo National Seminary and was later appointed Rector of the Major Seminary in Nairobi. He was consecrated Bishop of the Nakuru Diocese two years ago, at the age of 40. Bishop Makumba is a long-standing collaborator of Pauline Editions East Africa, which has published three books by him.

Thanks to His Excellency’s profound knowledge of the cultural and religious roots of the African people, we were able to see the continent’s problems more clearly, tracing them back to their sources so as to identify the values that need to be reinvigorated and the elements that must be rejected because they do not help people to integrate their own cultures with other cultures.

The challenge of evangelization in Africa today is to help bring about the birth of a culture that is both African and Christian: African so that the faith will reach the hearts of the people, and Christian, so as to discern, in the light of the truth, genuine cultural values.

As a consequence of the new lights we received thanks to Bishop Makumba’s expert input, we were able to refine our diagram, which is beginning to clearly reveal the continent’s key problem. We will continue this work in the coming days, reflecting on how the Church can respond to the needs of Africa.

Sisters, we continue to receive many messages from you via our website and would like to reply to each of you personally but this is not possible. All we can do is send you our heartfelt thanks for your affectionate and prayerful support.

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