Meditating on Mission in Pluscarden Peace

The “Democratic Republic of Congo” is a far cry from Scotland’s Morayshire Vale of St Andrew – especially when the DRC’s hot and humid rain forest is remembered in a freezing winter at Pluscarden Abbey. But more striking than that is the contrast of atmosphere. Pluscarden is renowned deservedly for its Peace; the DRC, deservedly, is not! I am anxious to get back to my beloved troubled Congo. But I am revelling in the Benedictine Pax here; “In loco isto dabo pacem (In this place I will give Peace)” …. and I will get the monks’ powerful prayers for the DRC into the bargain too. In this Peace I am still grateful for the Mission I have been privileged to be sent on. I was encouraged here in Pluscarden many years ago to respond to that “foreign missionary” call, and have been supported ever since. What we have in common, in a contemplative life in northern Scotland or in an active ministry in ‘the Heart of Darkest Africa’, is that basic truth: ‘Nil carius Christo’ - Christ and His Love is more important than anything else.

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Cameroon: Youth Ministry
Patrick Lonkoy

Cameroon: Youth Ministry

After experiencing the life of young people in many different countries and situations - in DR Congo where I grew up, during my years of training for the missionary priesthood in East Africa (Entesekera/Kenya and Kotido/Uganda) and now as a theology student on 'mission experience' in the Catholic Mission of Ilung in NW Cameroon - I am deeply convinced that youth apostolate is not an optional extra but an integral part of the Church's ministry at every level.

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Impressions of the Catholic Church in China

I have just returned from staying for six months in Beijing with a community of Oblate Priests (OMI) who occupy two apartments in four story blocks. The community consists of an Italian - Giovanni, a Mauritian of Chinese parentage - Luc, and a young Madagascan - Johnnie. They made me very welcome.

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Working among the Disadvantaged in Pakistan

Fr Nico Schipper is a Mill Hill missionary in the diocese of Hyderabad, South-East Pakistan. He lives and works among the marginalised poor, those who are ranked lowest in the Hindu caste system. Even though Pakistan is an overwhelmingly Muslim country the Hindu caste mentality still largely governs social stratification. Most Christians belong to the lowest ranking category in the Hindu caste system. They are considered to be unclean and inferior. Traditionally more than 90% of these Christians find employment in the lowliest of occupations, as sweepers and cleaners of toilets, sewage etc. They are ranked at the very bottom of the social scale. Fortunately, through improved schooling, quite a number of Christians have found more dignified work. But the type of work you do has no influence on the social pecking order.

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How to catch a plane in DR Congo

Francis Hannaway, Mill Hill Lay Associate, travelled with Fr Stan Bondoko MHM on the river from Basankusu, where they work, to Mbandaka, to fly to Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The increasing decline of the country’s infrastructure has led to this being the only way to travel to the capital city. Things did not go according to plan.

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