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.
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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.
Curt Klueg writes this week's scripture reflection on the great gift of forgiveness.
This week's reflection was prepared by Marj Humphrey who spent many years as a missioner in East Africa.
Fr. Jim Noonan, who spent much of his missionary life in Asia, now serves God's people in South Sudan.
This week's reflection was prepared by Fr. Tom Tiscornia, who has served the people of Sudan/South Sudan for many years.
This week's scripture reflection was prepared by Chris Bodewes, who served as a lay missioner in Kenya.
In this reflection, Sr. Theresa Baldini remembers women she encountered in South Sudan.
This week's scripture reflection is written by Fr. Joe Healey, who has lived and worked in East Africa for many years.
Fr. John Sivalon, who worked as a missioner in East Africa, writes the reflection for Ash Wednesday.
Sr. Connie Krautkremer, who lives and works in Dodoma, Tanzania, writes this week's reflection.
This week's scripture reflection is written by Maryknoll Fr. Mike Snyder, who lives and works in Tanzania.
Lay missioner Liz Mach, who has lived and worked in Africa, writes today's reflection.
The scripture reflection for July 22 is written by Sr. Rebecca Macugay, who writes of her native Philippines and her mission home in Namibia: "How do we shepherd each other in the paths of justice, in our communities and in our home, planet earth?"
Sr. Roni Schweyen writes this week's reflection, drawing on her years of mission work in Tanzania.