Africa - Botswana and Nairobi, Kenya
13th February Elias Matanji became our
seventh professed student on completion of his
novitiate year under the guidance of Bernard
Lowe. Elias is from Zambia and has now been
with us for a period of four years: one year
postulancy in Molepolole, two years studying
Philosophy at Irene in South Africa and one year
Novitiate at Forest Hill, Gaborone. He will now
recommence his studies for the priesthood at our Theologate
in Nairobi, Kenya.
O'Carroll celebrated his Golden Jubilee of Ordination
at Forest Hill on the 7th May with a celebratory Mass followed
by a sumptuous meal organised by Brendan Gallagher.
Dermot, of course, was chief celebrant at the Mass at which
Bishop Boniface Setlalekgosi presided and which was
attended by many priests and religious of the diocese. Ignatius
Waters - one of a number of Dermot's former students who
were present - gave a very amusing an insightful homily based
on his years of knowing Dermot from his time in Wheatfield
right up till the present day.
the end of the Mass Dermot gave an equally amusing talk in
his own inimitable style. Bishop Boniface paid Dermot the
highest of compliments when he related that on the previous
Sunday he had celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation in
Naledi Parish and during the homily, given by Dermot, one
would have sworn that the person speaking was a born
Motswana. Such was his competency
in Setswana. Dermot is
also the first Passionist in Botswana to have reached the
venerable age of 75 years. I believe I truly speak for all of us
working and living here in Botswana - Passionist and non-
Passionist alike - when I say, ad multos annus Dermot!
Gathering, Forest Hill, Gaborone
SOME NEWS FROM RALPH IN 'KISIMA'
was July 19th and there I was, a member of St Gabriel's
Passionist Community in Prestonpans on the East Coast of
Scotland, when the telephone rang! And less than a month
later found myself a member of a very different St Gabriel's
community at "Kisima".
Ralph in Africa - L-R Fr. Vital C.P., Fr. Willy C.P., Fr. Ralph C.P.,
Fr. John C.P. and Fr. Anthony
three of us at
were all Irish!
Here in Kisima
Democratic Republic of Congo; Malawi, Zambia and the
Republic of South Africa and, now, one from Ireland.
Prestonpans, I used to wonder if I would be the first to be
Vicariate and Willy Okey of the Congo Regional
buried in the Passionist plot in the local graveyard. There is
little time to think of death in Kisima because the community
here is so young and enthusiastic. There are 29 of us, (well 28
young ones!); Fathers Anthony Mdhluli, whom many of you will
have met when he visited Ireland and Scotland some years
ago; John Muthengi of Kenya
Vicariate and 24 students. They are at the post-novitiate part of
their formation and attend Tangaza College every day,
Monday to Friday.
Vital, the General Consultor with responsibility for
Africa, introduced me to the community. The brethren have
made me feel very welcome.
weather has been so kind since I came. I love the
mornings. But I am warned that it will get much hotter.
Silver Jubilee of Profession and 10th of Episcopal
of Archbishop Piergiorgio Nesti C.P. with L-R Fr. Ralph, Fr.
Filippo C.P. (Regional Vicar, Kenya) Fr. Antomio C.P., Fr. John
C.P. (Bursar), Archbishop Nesti C.P., Fr. Anthony C.P. (Director)
and Fr. Willy C.P.
is over 30 years since I lived with such a young community.
And I certainly am not accustomed to attending an Opening
Mass for the beginning of the Academic Year at Tangaza
College, attending the ordination to the Diaconate of 5
students in a ceremony that lasted 3 hours (not counting the
celebrations afterwards), a party to introduce the new students
at Tangaza College, celebrating the birthdays of 4 of our
students and, last Monday, celebrating the Golden Jubilee of
Profession and the 10th Anniversary of the Episcopal
ordination of Archbishop Piergiorgio Silvano Nesti, CP. He had
arrived the evening before to visit the missions in honour of his
anniversary. (The community really excelled itself in
welcoming and celebrating that evening. Such singing and
dancing! I don't know what the Archbishop will say when he
returns to the calmer corridors of the Vatican. But he seemed
to enjoy himself.) And I'm only here three weeks.
Archbishop Nesti distributes momentos to the students.
you want any information about any of the above names or
places, just ask our Provincial! The name Martin Coffey comes
up often in conversation. I cannot remember the Italian word
that Archbishop Nesti (who was Rector in Ss. John and Paul's
when Martin studied there) used of him. Some might be
interested to know that he was the Superior in Bethany when
Ninian lived there in 1968.
is a little gnome
inside me that hears the
phrase "honeymoon period".
I hope it lasts.
the meantime, greetings to
all, but especially to Marius,
Ailbe and Martin in the Pans.
May our mutual patron, St
Gabriel, pray for us.
Right - Fr. Ralph's bed
complete with mosquito net!