In early September, faith-based organizations issued a statement citing the “recent surge in violence in eastern Congo with the mutiny and rise of the March 23 movement, or M23,” and their alarm at UN reports revealing Rwanda’s role in supporting and perpetuating violence by orchestrating and bolstering M23 with both military and financial support. The following article was published in the September-October 2012 NewsNotes.
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.
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In late June, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns joined with other colleagues in signing the letter below to the U.S. Senate; it asks the Senate to reconsider the increasingly militarized relationship the U.S. has been fostering with African nations. In the next few weeks we might learn more about the recent resignation of Scott Gration from his position as U.S. ambassador to Kenya; initial analysis points to Gration's preference for a more conciliatory tone led to disagreements with the administration's larger plan for the region.
Learn more about the ongoing conflict in the DRC and sign a petition at Change.org to urge Sec. Clinton's response.
Fr. John Sivalon, MM, who served in Tanzania, wrote the following reflection. It is also published in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
The following reflection was prepared by Sr. Patricia Gallogly, who served many years in Tanzania. Her reflection can also be found in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year: Reflections on the Readings for Year B, available from Orbis Books.
The following reflection was prepared by Fr. Dave Schwinghamer, who spent much of his mission life in Tanzania. He currently serves with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.
Former lay missioner Marj Humphrey writes about an experience when she worked in Kenya.
Marj Humphrey is a former Maryknoll lay missioner who served in Kenya for many years.
Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International, is a Maryknoll Affiliate, and served as the director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns from 1997-2012.
Sr. Janice McLaughlin spent much of her mission life in Zimbabwe; in 2008 she was elected to a six-year term as president of the Maryknoll Sisters.
Sr. Theresa Baldini, MM, who writes this week's reflection, was a member of the Maryknoll Contemplative Community in South Sudan.