Amid a humanitarian catastrophe the parties to the internecine conflict in South Sudan surprised many international observers when they signed a permanent ceasefire agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on June 27. Whether this ceasefire will hold is anyone’s guess. What we do know is the humanitarian crisis continues.
Our concern for Africa is shaped by long term relationsips between Maryknoll missioners and the people of Sudan and South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Namibia. We honor their strength and wisdom and believe that African cultures and traditions often suggest solutions to seemingly intractable local and global problems.
In Africa our Global Concerns work is at times country-specific, focussing, for example, on the slow process toward peace between Sudan and South Sudan, or the genocide in Darfur; the political and economic collapse of Zimbabwe; the introduction of genetically modified seeds or the political situation in Tanzania; efforts to stop corruption in Kenya, among other issues. We also address transnational issues of great concern to all people in Africa: deep and endemic poverty; the HIV and AIDS pandemic; the call for the cancellation of illegitimate and overwhelming debt without conditions that worsen poverty; just trade agreements; the rights of women and children; and environmental degradation.
Articles, alerts, events
The following article is adapted from a report by CIDSE, an international alliance of Catholic social justice organizations based in Brussels. The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns is a member of CIDSE.
Pope Francis designated the First Friday of Lent, February 23, to be a day of prayer and fasting for peace for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Maryknoll Sister Elizabeth “Claris” Zwareva writes about her homeland of Zimbabwe. Sr. Claris serves as Maryknoll’s representative at the United Nations where the Maryknoll Sisters and the Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers have consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
There are numerous influences in Africa pushing and pulling people to migrate either within their country, or across, away from, or into the continent, spreading new ideas and changes in culture.
A new Pan-African movement is gaining momentum in an effort to build strength by joining forces to work for peace, justice and dignity across the continent.
In advance of the general election in 2018, the Zimbabwe Catholic bishops issued a pastoral letter calling on the government and citizens to respect the Constitution and reject the use of violence and coercion.
For the first time in six years, the United Nations has declared that a situation of famine exists on the continent of Africa.
On January 31 several news organizations reported the African Union (AU) had agreed to a strategy of mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.
Maryknoll Father Dave Schwinghamer writes that, as Donald Trump begins his U.S. presidency, many in Washington, Dar es Salaam, and Harare can only speculate on what direction the new president will take in regard to Africa.
The following reflection on the growing protest demonstrations in Zimbabwe was written by Maryknoll Sister Janice McLaughlin, former president of the Maryknoll Sisters and a longtime missioner in Zimbabwe.
Sr. Veronica Schweyen, MM, who served in Tanzania, reflects on the power of forgiveness.
Maryknoll Fr. David Schwinghamer, currently working at the Palabek Refugee Camp in Uganda, home to many refugees from South Sudan, reflects on the great faith of the people of Africa.
Maryknoll Father Tom Tiscornia in South Sudan reflects on the need to engage in new beginnings and challenges as one community and with trust in God's goodness.
Maryknoll Father John Barth reflects on the light of Jesus shining in all corners of the world, even in refugee settlement camps for South Sudanese people.
Maryknoll Sr. Mary Frances Kobets in Zimbabwe reflects on Jesus' example of letting one's clean heart beat for others.
Maryknoll Father Michael Snyder asks, as followers of Christ, how will we respond to the challenges life, knowing that God resides within us here and now?
Maryknoll Sister Jareen Aquino applies Jesus' call to the Apostles to "come and see" to the girls and young women in need of education and empowerment in Tanzania.
Father Frank Breen reflects on the everlasting promise of the Good News of the coming of the Kingdom of God.
Liz Mach, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Tanzania, reflects on the challenge of following Jesus' teachings in our daily lives.
The life story of South African Anglican priest Michael Lapsley, a friend to many Maryknoll missioners, is an inspiration for forgiveness.
Coralis Salvador, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Kenya, reflects on the presence of the Holy Spirit during her regular visits to the homes of families affected by HIV and AIDS.
Maryknoll Father David Schwinghamer recalls a chance encounter with someone who, like the Samaritan woman at the well, demonstrates that even ordinary folk, once baptized, are meant to be messengers of the good news.
Michael Leen, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner tells the story of a friend in Mwanza, Tanzania who did what can seem impossible – offer love and mercy to his enemies.
Maryknoll Sister Theresa Baldini, who was on mission in South Sudan, reflects on the biblical call to forgiveness and reconciliation for justice to be restored in our relationships.