Congratulations to the Redemptorists in Mozambique!
REPORT FROM FR. SANTIAGO LAVIGNE C.Ss.R.
In a climate of joy and missionary communion we celebrated in the Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary of Muvamba the first ten years of presence of the Redemptorists in Mozambique.
We celebrated as part of the diocesan and parish jubilee (50 years in both cases), in a celebration that closed the parish missionary year (October 2011 to November 2012).
Understanding that our way of celebrating is missionary in its essence, the main celebrations took place between February and November 4th, involving representatives of the 50 small communities that make up the fabric of our Mission.
Focused on the Dynamism of Faith
On November 2nd, the commemoration of All Souls, we gathered in four different places for the celebration of the Eucharist with which we began the festivities. We thanked God for the lives of those who initiated us into faith and who are no longer with us. After these celebration various groups were organized for the short journey from their place to centre of the parish (between 8 and 20 km). In the pilgrimage we had three stops to ponder the dynamism of faith; (1) That is the first encounter with Christ that illuminates the path of life (Bartimeus text; (2) The encounter that delves into the lives and community expressing communion with God and siblings (the text of Acts ,2,42-47), and finally (3) the final text, which is part of our mission motivation (the text of the Gospel of Matthew “Id. 28:16-20).
Arriving at Dusk
At dusk groups began to arrive and they headed for the ruin of the old parish church, destroyed during the civil war. The place was recycled through the art of Sister Silvia, with a drawing of the Risen Christ. Next to the ruins, we placed a large cross. There each group was welcomed with songs and prayers. Once the reception of pilgrims was complete they were escorted to places to rest. In total about 200 people came the first night.
That night came two special groups, which gave our missionary celebration joy beyond expectation; first, the laity from our parish in the capital Maputo Xipamanine who rented a van and second our Irish Redemptorist brothers who started last August a new mission Mozambique land in the province of Tete.
From vows to conversation
Saturday November 3rd began with Mass, where the Redemptorist missionaries renewed our vows. At the time of Thanksgiving, we went to the place of ruin for a prayer and blessing.
Then we divided into four different groups: women, men, youth and children, to reflect on “The Christian mission,” highlighting the following mission areas: family, one’s own Christian community, society and the reality of cultural tradition not always in tune with the gospel. In all groups there was much participation.
After the lunch break, we gathered under the leafy trees to see the various representations and hear the different songs that areas had been prepared on the issues relating to the Christian mission. Here also the scheduled time was not long enough, due to the versatility and creativity of the different groups, who knew how to arouse attention and offer the most diverse feed-back of enthusiastic spectators. There is no doubt that both theatre and music are privileged means for transmitting the faith.
On Sunday 4th , was the party. The church was too small to accommodate the people who joined that day. The Eucharist was concelebrated by the 9 Redemptorist priests who work in Mozambique. As the occasion deserved, a solemn liturgy and colorful events was the appropriate framework to thank God for the many gifts received during these years of mission. After the opening procession, our brothers from Xipamanine gave a present to the parish of Muvamba, a beautiful image of the Virgin Mary. After preaching, we renewed our baptismal promises and then repeated the gesture that opened the year of faith at parish. At the finish of the Mass, it was time for the speeches. There was a farewell speech for Father Tiago and a warm welcome for father Ernesto, the laity also made speeches
For us, the celebration continued in a fraternal meeting, the third of the year with our Irish brothers, which is a sign that this celebration is only a first step. With the renewed spirit of this celebration, and opening new horizons in Mozambican land, we said goodbye until next time. As they say here: We are together, yes we are together following Jesus Redeemer, in the announcement of the Good News!