AFRICA-MADAGASCARZAMBIA - Radio Liseli as light of truth
Mongu Diocese Bishop Paul Duffy has urged the Roman Catholic Church-run Oblate Radio Liseli never to veer from its special responsibility of radiating the light of truth to the people of Western Province.
And Western Province minister Sikwibele Mwapela has acknowledged that it is only a well-informed community that makes good decisions.
During celebrations to mark five years of Oblate Radio Liseli’s existence, held at Mongu’s Ngulu Hotel on June 26, Bishop Duffy said the radio station was a part and parcel of the uplifting of the people of the Province to a more informed, educated citizenry.
“Yours is a special responsibility of radiating the light of truth. Don’t ever veer from that obligation. Yours is not a job. It’s a true vocation of sharing faith with others by your service to upholding Christian values in all phases of our being. You are God’s instrument,” Bishop Duffy said. “During these past five years, our people have benefited so much from the wide scope of programming aired. The Good News of the Gospel with its practical application to daily living is much appreciated by so many listeners.”
Bishop Duffy, who has just returned from Kaoma’s Mangango Constituency, said when visiting the Province’s remote villages, it was gratifying to hear Oblate Radio Liseli being tuned in.
“The people tell me ‘we now feel connected. We are able to know what’s going on, especially in our own part of the country. We no longer feel so isolated’,” said Bishop Duffy. “Oblate Radio Liseli is a true light for the people of the Western Province.”
And Mwapela said it was common knowledge that the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) signal could not reach the Province’s rural areas and as such, community radio stations became significant. Mwapela said community radio stations took communication closer to the people and made them part of the decision-making process.
“Because it is only a well-informed community that makes good decisions,” Mwapela said. “When Oblate Radio Liseli started airing different programmes in 2005, the community, including some government departments and non-governmental organisations, were reluctant to give out information but as time went by, people began to appreciate Oblate Radio Liseli’s vision and mission.”
Mwapela said Oblate Radio Liseli had played a vital role in the province’s development prospects over the last half decade.
However, Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) Zambia delegation superior Fr Evans Chinyemba asked the government to listen to appeals by the radio station to expand its coverage area in the Province.
Fr Chinyemba said it was inspiring that what had started just as a mere item on the agenda was now an institution that reached out to people in their quest for God, news and development.
Oblate Radio Liseli director Fr Freeborn Kibombwe said the realisation of the dream of Radio Liseli had not been without its trials and difficulties but that the vision, passion and courage had left nothing unchallenged in realising the noble purpose.
Several Mongu residents attended the anniversary celebration and awards were given to deserving radio staff and members of the community, including the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE). (Mwala Kalaluka in The Post on line: www.postzambia.com, 1 July 2010)
During 2010, the Natal Province will have given three missionaries to countries beyond our borders. Fr. Claude LUKUBA recently received an obedience to the Province of Congo. Fr. Paul HORROCKS is currently in a two year transition between Natal and the Anglo-Irish Province. Fr. Merlin INCE has received an obedience from the Superior General for the Mission of Colombia, a mission of the Province of Haiti. The obedience will take effect in January 2011.
At first sight, some may say that it is a pity that we have lost these three good men who were such great missionaries in our province. But a moment’s reflection will help us to see that three missionary journeys to three different continents is a stamp of our own missionary maturity as we in Natal send missionaries Ad Gentes.
Indeed it is an essential part of our missionary journey as Pope John Paul II reminds us in Redemptoris Missio no. 33, when he says: “there is a diversity of activities in the Church’s one mission… First, there is the situation where the Church’s missionary activity addresses: peoples, groups, and socio-cultural contexts in which Christ and his Gospel are not known. This is mission ad Gentes in the proper sense of the term. Secondly, there are Christian communities with adequate and solid ecclesial structures. In these communities the Church carries out her activity and pastoral care. Thirdly, there is an intermediate situation, particularly in countries with ancient Christian roots, and occasionally in the younger Churches as well, where entire groups of the baptized have lost a living sense of the faith, or even no longer consider themselves members of the Church, and live a life far removed from Christ and his Gospel. In this case what is needed is a ‘new evangelization’ or a ‘reevangelization’.”
In fact, the Natal Province has its own strong history of sending missionaries elsewhere. Already in 1934, Fr. Claude LAWRENCE was sent from here as a missionary to Sri Lanka and worked there all his life. He is much revered there and was indeed instrumental in the establishment of the National Basilica. (http://tewattanationalbasilica.com/history.html ).
Other more recent Natal missionaries include Fr. Zdenek CIZKOVSKY who re-founded the Czech OMI Mission after the fall of communism, Fr. Bevel BRAMWELL who was sent to Tahiti, Fr. Vaughn FAYLE who went to the USA and Fr. John POOLE who also went to the Anglo Irish province. In addition, since 1983 this province has been involved in establishing the mission to Zimbabwe and 10 Oblates from here have missioned or are currently missioning there. For the first 15 years the mission was shared with Transvaal province but since 1998 it is wholly confided to us. (OMI Natal Update, July-August 2010)