This report, published in the January-February 2014 NewsNotes, draws heavily on the November 19 testimony to the U.S. House Sub-Committee on Africa by Bishop Nestor-Desire Nongo Aziagbia of Bossangoa Diocese and vice chair of the Central African Catholic Bishops Conference.
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 Catholic bishops of Sudan and South Sudan met from January 21-31, 2014 in Juba, and issued this joint pastoral exhortation on their countries' recent violent conflict.
Intern Kelly Kundrat contributed the following piece, published in the January-February 2014 NewsNotes.
The South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms offers this action for January 1; Pax Christi International sent the following message of solidarity to the people of South Sudan on December 27, 2013.
The following article on the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) was prepared by Julie Sharples, an intern with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns in New York, and published in the November-December 2013 NewsNotes.
The following reflection was written by Fr. Dave Schwinghamer, a Maryknoll missioner who spent many years in East Africa; he recently joined the staff of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.
Since the food crises in 2008-2009, a number of programs have evolved to increase investments in African agriculture and rural development.
The Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN) joined other organizations in writing to Russ Feingold soon after his appointment as U.S. special envoy to the Great Lakes region in Africa.
President Barack Obama’s second safari ("travel" in Swahili) to Africa as head of state – scheduled June 27-July 2 – raises several interesting questions: Who will accompany him and his family to Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa? With whom will Obama meet while in Africa? What issues will be discussed in public and in private? These questions may be a guide to what to look for in the Obama visit.
A new statement by the Africa Advocacy Network (ADNA) -- which includes the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns -- calls for a new approach to the U.S.'s trade and investment, militarization, agriculture and land policies toward Africa.
Fr. Joe Healey, MM, wrote the following reflection on Kenya’s recent election for the May-June 2013 NewsNotes.
Though the date has not yet been announced, Zimbabwean voters are expected to go to the polls for parliamentary and presidential elections before August 29.
The following pastoral letter was published by the Zimbabwean Catholic bishops in March 2013 as the country prepares for a new round of national elections.
Marj Humphrey, who spent many years as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in East Africa, reflects on the well-known but still challenging Parable of the Prodigal Son.
Maryknoll Sister Teresa Hougnon in Kenya reflects on the transformation that happens when we enter into conversation with our enemies.
Maryknoll Father John Barth in Uganda reflects on Jesus' teachings on the framework for Christian living
Dr. Anne Berry, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Tanzania, reflects on the beauty in Tanzania of extending compassion and care beyond typical American cultural norms.
When asked, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus replied: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this,’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Mark 12: 29-31).
In this week's Gospel reading, Jesus uses actions more than words to teach us about love, respect, and compassion.
Maryknoll Sister Veronica Schweyen, 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.