'If it is a boy child, offer it to God'.
The story of Duncan MacGilvray, Mill Hill Missionary Brother.
The Catholic community in the remote village of Fonfuka, NW Province, Cameroon, has a distinguished pedigree. Masonry of old church It was founded nearly one hundred years ago, in 1919 to be precise, by a returnee soldier from the island of Fernando Po situated off the coast of Cameroon. Many Cameroonian soldiers serving in the German colonial army in different capacities were interned there after the German defeat in WWI. A significant number of them became Christians and turned into active apostles when they returned to their regions of origin after the war. The little church built by this fervent lay missionary in Fonfuka still stands. However, the seed sown in those distant days took a while to come to fruition.
At the end of a month long visit to the Mill Hill missionaries active in the NW province of anglophone Cameroon I feel an urgent need for some personal space, a quiet day, to allow the multitude of impressions I have gathered to sink in - so that 'my soul can catch up with my body'. Duncan McGilvray mhm who has been my traveling companion over the past several days does not need much persuading. And so we set off for a day's visit to the Cistercian monastery of Mbengwi located not far from Bamenda.
Return to Vietnam, my native land.
Greetings from Basankusu, DR Congo. I got here on Friday. After a very trying boat journey from Mbandaka! The first of its nature I ever had. I was able to stop on the way at Mampoko and Bokakata. Yesterday went to Waka and today. The people have been very welcoming and I was well received by our members. The Bishop too. Will write an article some time. On Sunday Mass was held in which we commemorated 150 years of MHM. The Mass was presided over by Bishop Joseph Mokobe and attended by priests, religious and many faithfull. the choir was very poweful and the Congolese litturgy very alive and thourougly enjoyable. Stan Bondokos band played the instruments. Later a reception was held.
Except for occasional reports in the Dutch press on the colourful life of its leader and president , Desie Bouterse, the country of Surinam (former Dutch Guyana) is rarely in the news.
The people of Curaçao were celebrating their ‘Dia di Bandera’ (Flag Day), the first day I set foot on this small Caribbean island (60 km long, with a breadth varying from 6 – 12 km; population 150.000) just off the coast of Venezuela. Proud to be an independent entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Curaçaoans still cherish the connection. And that connection goes back a long way, to 1634 in fact, when the Dutch took over the island from the Spanish. Sadly, soon after, Curaçao became an important port of transit (and destination) for the slave trade, like other islands in the Caribbean. Slavery was abolished here in 1863.
Recently Fr Andrew Mukulu mhm, Councillor for Africa, returned to a familiar territory where he once served as a missionary some years ago. He visited many mission areas: Kroonstad, Vijeonsroon, Parys, Kopies, Vredefort, Heilbron, and Sasolburg. He met with people and celebrated Mass with them. People were surprised as he had a very good memory of Sesotho, the local language.