" Not by chance, nor in vain, do the servants of Mary call her mother "
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Fr Guri from Zimbabwe writes...

Below, there is an extract from a letter written recently by Fr Guri, detailing some of the work he and the confreres are involved in...

 

"December 2011


Greetings from Harare. I hope this finds you well. 

 


Here is a bit of news from my side:

 

I attended the Assembly of the Conference of Redemptorists of Africa and Madagascar (COREAM) from the 20th to the 30th of August in Nairobi, Kenya. Br Benjamin, who represents the Redemptorist brothers of COREAM attended with me. We had time to visit the Redemptorists in Kenya and reconnect with those confreres who studied in Harare.

 

We had the ordination of Fr Victor Bushu on the 1st of October in Mabvuku, which was a very memorable event. I assisted Fr Victor at his first Mass in Mabvuku and  Thanksgiving Mass in Tafara. I was unable to accompany him to his rural home in Mutoko for celebrations the following weeked due to a bad cold. But I am told that the celebrations were wonderful at the Bushu homestead and at All Souls Mission.

 

I visited the Novitiate in Merrivale for the clothing of the novices on the feast of St Gerard. We had a great time and wonderful celebrations with Fr Tryvis and brothers Brian and Kenneth and their South Africa counterparts, Fr Sizwe Zungu and novices Dominic and Deon. Fr Kaufmann was also present, together with Fr Scott and the students from Howick.  Before going to the novitiate I had been a week in Botswana participating in  a World Council of Churches workshop on gender issues and HIV/Aids.

 

On the 29th of October I preached at the 10th Anniversary Celebrations of the women’s guild of Our Lady Queen of Heaven (Maria Hosi Yendenga) in Mutare Diocese. The weekend celebrations were held at St Barbara’s Mission in Manyika. I was happy to be able to do some work in my home diocese and to be at St Barbara’s where my dad became a Catholic. The current parish priest at St Barbara, is Fr Norman Nyatondo, who was in our formation programme for the greater part of his priestly training.

 

I attended the formation conference for English speaking Redemptorists Superiors in Rome from 10 to 20 November. Fr Provincial was also present. We had a meeting on the sidelines of the conference attend by Fr McAinsh (London Province), Fr Arul (Bangalore Province) Fr Larry Kaufmann (South African Province) and myself, to discuss our common formation projects, namely the novitiate and the theologate. It was a very positive meeting, especially that we managed to have three provincials together representing the three units. Often, we meet in Africa as a provincial, a regional and a mission superior, and it’s difficult to make firm resolutions, since regional and mission  superiors have limited powers.

 

I preached a retreat to the clergy of the Vicariate of Francistown in neighbouring Botswana from the 3rd to the 11th of December. It was a very good experience. The Vicariate is a very small local church with only 15 parishes and 17 priests. There are only 5 natives of Botswana and the rest of the priests are SVDs from India and Poland and Donum Dei from Ghana and Tanzania. My retreat group had 12 men altogether comprising a religious brother (SVD) from Ghana, the bishop also from Ghana, four of the Tswana priests, one Tanzanian, one Mozambican, and the rest Ghanaian priests – so it was quite a pan-African mix if you through in the one Zimbabwean retreat giver.

 

Going to Botswana and coming back, I stopped in Bulawayo and preached in St Mary’s Cathedral. This is where Frs Raymond, Mark , Joseph and I preached a mission earlier on in Lent. It was nice to reconnect with the people of Bulawayo. They are still begging us to come back and preach another mission. We are planning to preach a triduum in Lent 2012 for them. We won’t be able to preach a mission there again soon. We are already booked to preach a mission in neighbouring Christ the King parish.

 

In the next few days I will be having council meetings  with the ORC and with the ERC. I will also be meeting with the members of the new community that we are setting up in St Joseph’s House in New Alexandra Park in the new year. Apart from that, it is year-end business as usual. I will be helping out with weddings and the Christmas celebrations at St Gerard’s. On the 27th of December to the 3rd of January, I will be giving a retreat to the LCBL novices in preparation of their first profession on the  6th/7th of January.


I wish you peace and every blessing this Christmas.


Fr William Guri C.Ss.R."