p-webTo empower people means to help them have more confidence, to increase their control over situations in life, consequently, to realize that, they can do right things in the proper manner, for their growth and success. Just as many use this expression so must it make sense “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” The experience with the youths and the patron of Kanyanga Parish, for two months; December 2016 and January 2017 proved the second part of these phrase, it was imperative for us, it was educative, enriching and empowering.yu-webs In a nutshell we were impressed to see youths who are ready to facilitate seminars on their own, concretely investing their energy in digging and weeding, animating mass, visiting the sick and consoling the sorrowful, not entirely because of the presence of their patron but because of the good leadership, empowerment from the patron and the trust he has in them. Sharing with the patron his aim is to continue empowering them and help them to be independent such that when he is not around they know what they are doing.for-web-4

Many times we think that leadership is all about compelling, instructing and imposing, this is not the case. Our experience with the youths of Kanyanga Parish was a vivid manifestation of the contrary. First, a profound gratitude to the patron who is always with them, participating in their different activities and programmes. In addition, he has played a key role in their manifestation of a sense of

youth-web responsibility, such that in his absence activities run as usual. In other words, his is just to direct, theirs is to plan and accomplish. Secondly, the youths are creative in composing and reciting poems. They are available when needed for assistance. They are ready to work, to keep themselves occupied, they also organize charitable activities.for-web-dd

For youths to realize and have a promising future there is need to help them, this is not easy amidst  advanced technology and exploitative realities that make others feel they can direct themselves in life. To find a person who has perseverance and trust in them is the first key to prosperity in life. Leadership is participatory; it is being a player in the game, just like a captain of a football team.youths-webs

By Obwaya Justus Oseko 

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Children are a source of joy and happiness wherever they are; keenly observing them, playing and joking, one webs-girklrealizes how easily they mingle with each other.They are the source of happiness although at times can be troublesome. Their innocence, ignorance and curiosity can be edified through constant love and motherly care. The parishes of Lundazi deanery organized a beautiful occasion, from 6th-8th January 2017 to foster joy among children under the theme “let us help children share their joy with other children.” It was not only a moment to share their joy but to evangelize to the whole deanery and the diocese, as these activities were broadcasted through radio Maria zambia.

The programme was orgwatoi-for-websanized in a way that all were at home with each activity. The activities ranged from choir competition, poem recitation, Bible reading, Bible drilling, Bible quiz, Bible boxing, Drinking competition, career sharing, sweat pulling, pan picking, bottle filling, sack race and modeling just to name but a few; the aim of this  occasion was sharing of the different gifts that the children have; consequently, bringing joy and happiness among them. Secondly, the activities meant that children have their role in the liturgical celebration; they are not just there to observe but to participate. The apex of this event was the Eucharistic nourishment of the epiphany which these children animated. It was relevant for them, as source of joy, just as Christ born to bring joy among people.

for-web-asisIn addition, Sr. Victoria gave a spiritual talk on the same topic challenging all the people in-charge of children to combat child trafficking an aspect which forms part of dissociation of children from the parents. She encouraged parents to take care of their children and be vigilant of child traffickers. Child abuse being common in the societies,  the deanery organised and openly shared about it, to enlighten the children of the dangers of being abused, the false and empty promises that the abusers chisa-for-webuse to lure them. In addition,Mrs. Musebo, the Matron Kanyanga parish, clearly pointed out that, parents contribute to child abuse through the types of clothes they buy for their daughters. She further said, ‘some children work around their parents almost half naked without any respect.’ Furthermore, she stressed that both parents and children must be well informed about these facts, so as to abrogate these obstacles, such that children share their joys freely.

Finally, I was so impressed by the commitment of the patrons and Matrons whose aim is to empower  children to be visionary; career oriented above all good Christians.

By Sch.  Justus Oseko 

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My pastoral experience helped me to have a great joy of going out to meet people and to share with them my  faith and spiritual experiences. My sharing is based on our summer exposure of December 2016 to  January 2017 at Queenship of Mary Kanyanga Parish in Zambia. In the midst of many nourishing
experiences we had, my focus will be on the experience of visiting people in the villages.

hchma-webExperience teaches that in order to know people with their struggles, we have to go out and meet them, because sometimes people are afraid to come and see us in our communities, due to our protocols and religious structures. Being sent to Kanyanga for our pastoral experience, one of our motivations was to go out visiting Christians, to share with them our faith and to see how they express and live
their faith. One of the bro-for-websthings which struck my attention was to realize how people are thirsty for the word, body of Christ, and a spiritual figure.  In order to respond to this concrete pastoral need, we would go; the first day just to visit families, share with them and the second day, we would go for the Eucharistic celebration.for-webs-17 Due to the nature of the parish and the availability of the priests, most of the people in the villages remain thirsty of the Eucharist. From this experience, I have really seen that people need more priests. That is why Jesus’ words come into my mind: “therefore asks the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” Mathew 9: 38.scc-web

Moreover, it was a great moment of joy for me to share my faith with people and to see the way they express their faith. When it comes to any spiritual gatherings, people respond positively by their attendance. For me this is a sign of great faith and readiness to respond to our Christian vocation. Such experience remains touching, motivating and challenging because as priests, brothers, we have to respond to people’s spiritual need. It is surprising, when in some places there is abundance of priests and religious people without any pastoral work, other places there are Christians in need of more priests at their service. a-sister-websThe risk of such experience in the villages whereby people lack enough priests is the temptation to go to consult traditional priests to deal with their spiritual problems and struggles. It is the situation in which many of our Christians are struggling. Sometimes they become hopeless and are really in need of a priest, but no one is there for them.
Above all, it was easy to see the joy of people as they welcomed us and especially expressing it through partaking in the Eucharistic celebration. They couew-webld move from different villages and gather together for the Eucharist. Seeing the devotion that people have for the Eucharist and the word of God, the main questions coming into my mind are: how do we, as religious respond to people’s thirst for Christ? What is the impact of the Eucharistic celebration in our lives, we who have the scc-webschance to partake everyday? Are we ready to go out to meet people and share with them our faith? Sometimes, although people are materially poor, they mostly need spiritual consolation and a person to direct them not to lose hope in Christ.



Sch. Pascal Adrupiako Akuma


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The for-webfire began immediately after a colourful Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr Vicente with the help of Dc Herbert CMM. A group of six youths from the neighbouring church busted into the church while some of the parishioners were still settling from the effects of the electric Eucharistic celebration. Their shrilling musical high toned voices silenced the whole room and no one could resist giving them attention.

They took the podium and immediately the firebegun. It appeared that they were unstoppable and the fire grew each time they intonmaq-websed another song. Within five ten minutes, the audience was left yearning for more. I kept on musing amidst standing ovation, “they must have taken months to prepare those acapella songs and dances”. I could see our young people almost disintegrating in the face of such a performance.

Yet having had rehearsals for almost a month, the youths of st Agnes were determined to extinguish the fire set ablaze by their neighbours. They marched to the podium dressed in the traditional Zulu attires. Their parents tried to cheer them on and so another broke out. Within ten minutes they were done and the whole room was clouded with applause and ululation.

The ember were still fading away when the youths of st Joan of arch more determined to fan the flames, drew the attention of all by their vibrant performance outside the church.

They were beautifully dressed in traditional webs-heartly-gif666attires and left the grass dry after ten minutes of Zulu war dance. This set the pace for more action. More girls, women and boys came in kicking the ground and displaying their flexibility in the Zulu way. It is interesting that even little girls got animated and could not shy off from displaying their talents in kicking the innocent ground and crushing the hospitable green grass. After about two hours, the fire went off and there was no more energy to bring it back.


By  Robert Kinena Ndung’u MCCJ

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I am the Way, the Truth and Life! I am the resurrection. Anyone who believes in me, even though that person dies, will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this? (John 11:26)

2017webMillicent Cebekhulu started working in the Scholasticate of Comboni Missionaries of Pietermaritzburg in 2009. She was for us not just a mere worker or cook, but a sister, a mother and a teacher. She played a very direct role in our formation to priestly and missionary life. She, through her skillful work, has formed so many Comboni Missionaries working around the world. And until some months ago, when she fell sick, she was doing so.

My brothers, those here present and far, and I personally want to convey our special ‘Siyabonga Kakhuku’ to Millicent, our sister and mother, for having contributed positively towards our priestly and missionary formation. Each Comboni Missionary who stayed here in Kwasikujana can say something special about Millicent. My brothers and I, here present, greatly acknowledge her goodness and love, her dedication and commitment to our community, and also to the Parish, especially in the area of catechesis. Millicent was for us a teacher and a catechist as she was the first person to teach us a few words in Zulu, like ‘Sawubona…Unjani…Ngiyaphila…Siyabonga…Uvelaphi…’, and how to say few prayers in Zulu, like ‘Udumo…Baba Wethu….Yethi  Maria…’.

She also taught us how to cook and bake. mill-2017-weI was one of her pupils, and today I can surely say I am a quite good cook. Moreover, some of my brothers here present have become chefs and good bakers after so many good lessons given by her.We no longer buy cakes to celebrate our birthdays as we have great bakers amongst us in the community. Is not this great?

She also worked with Fr. Vicente in the prison as catechist, interpreter and preacher. Actually, she is the one who taught Fr. Vicente, in his old age, to read IsiZulu so that he could celebrate the Mass in prison and also here in the Church. Is not this great? If any of you, my brothers and sisters, present here in this Church, ask any of my brothers here present and those far, what they have to say about Millicent…ah, my God! We can only rejoice and thank God for giving us such a great mother here in South Africa.

millicente-wedOnce I asked Millicent, how can I be a good cook? She told me that the only ingredient for your food to be good is ‘Uthando…Love’, Love for the people for whom you are cooking. And that is what made her well-cooked meals taste and appetizing, and that is what made her so special to us and to so many Comboni Missionaries who she formed and met. She loved us as her sons and brothers. She was part and parcel of our community and of the Comboni family in South Africa. She was a great catechist and an active Catholic.  She was a woman of faith, a woman of Christ. She lived here on earth doing good and spreading love and the Good news of the Kingdom of God, and so we are sure that she is now in the presence of the one she served and loved while she was amongst us.

Mama Millicent, we the Comboni Missionaries here present and far want to express our heartfelt millicente-2017-webgratitude for what you did for us and especially for your big heart, for your goodness, love, dedication and commitment to our community. We thank you for your commitment to our Parish and to your brothers and Sisters, sons and daughters, preparing for the Sacraments of Initiation. We thank you for your dedication and commitment to the prison ministry with Fr. Vicente, Mama Magagula and the Brothers. I am sure most of the inmate will remember your good deeds and words.

We also ask you to forgive us the times we wronged you, the times we never responded positively to your great goodness, love and commitment. As we also forgive you the times your human limits blared your goodness and love for us.

To your Sons and daughters, here present and to your entire family and relatives and friends, we say: Your greatness, goodness and Love will be always cherished and remembered amongst the Comboni 2017-webMissionaries. May the Lord bless and strengthen, with his Holy Spirit, each one of them, and make them cherish and embrace, as you did, what is good and loving for the sake of their faith in Jesus Christ, our living Lord. Millicent, in bodily we shall not see you again, but you live, because your God is a God of life, and life eternal. In God, with God and through God we all live forever and ever.

Millicents, we now wish you a peaceful rest. May the God, whom you faithfully served here on earth, give you that place prepared especially for you in his eternal banquet together with Mary, Joseph, the Apostles, and the Angels and the Saints of the Church.

Uhambe Kahle uMama wethu.

Pietermaritzburg, 26th November 2016

Priests and Scholastics of the Scholasticate of Pietermaritzburg

for-we-millFr. Joseph Lelo, Fr. Manuel Casillas, Fr. Paul Kambo, Fr. Vicente Reigh Sch. Mario Pellegrino, Sch. Esseh Kossi, Sch. Robert Kinena, Sch. Hippolyte Apedovi Sch. Maurice Malema,Sch. Achile Dansou, Sch. Matthews Kutsaile, Sch. Ronald, Sch. KellySch. Charlemagne Dossavi, Sch. Pascal Adrupiako, Sch. Michael Sebutinde and Sch.  Justus Oseko

By Raissone Farnela

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img_1609-ag-for-webA newly born child is always a joy in a society and so is the gift of a new member of the community as all others rejoice having received some more members of the community. This was the feeling on 17th September, 2016 in the community of St Daniel Comboni Scholasticate, Pietermaritzburg. On this day, three of us were officially welcomed and initiated to the community. These are: Mathews Kutsaile from Malawi-Zambia province, Kelly Mikisi Juma from Kenya, and Ronald Alionzi from Uganda, who are a gift from God to our community. Usually new scholastics are welcomed and initiated during the feast of the Exaltation of The Cross, but this year because of many activities, the 17th was the convenient date for this initiation.

Comboni valued the cross so much and it is with this in mind that we contemplate Jesus on the cross. The founder said “The works of God are born at the foot of the cross.” Indeed the Cross is our source of courage, we look to the Cross to get our strength and courage for the mission. The Cross, the dry wood that was associated with suffering, punishment, and shame became the tree of life, and bore abundant fruit that will last forever. Therefore, we as new scholastics feel welcome with the image of cross in this life because this journey will not be a bed or roses but also thorn. Yet by looking on the Cross we get courage to face the challenges that are ahead of us.img_1591-save-for-web

The main message from the homily of the presider Fr. Vicente indicated that in this life there are always fears; fear of the unknown, fear of what others think of me. But these fears should not prevent one from living their lives and expressing themselves in the community. We should learn to face the future with courage and put everything in the hands of the Lord because by ourselves we can do nothing.

The community welcomed Mathews, Kelly and Ronald as full members in a special way with the words of Tertio Millenio Inuente 1 ‘remember the past with gratitude, live the present with enthusiasm and look forward to the future with img_1601-for-webssconfidence.’ According to the custom, we received the Breviary, the Bible, the educative charter and the community year plan. After this the Superior, Fr. Ngumba Lelo invited us to remain faithful to the rule of life, the type of life to which the Lord called us and which we accepted to follow in concreteness of the circumstances where the Lord places us. Then the whole community had an opportunity to welcome us by a fraternal embrace after a hymn to our Mother Mary.

img_1599-wbwaThe day concluded by a social evening where the new scholastics shared stories of their lives amid other img_1596-for-websforms of recreation and entertainment. Indeed it was really a nice experience to be welcomed in a special way in the community. We the new scholastics would like to thank this community for all the love they have shown us. We are not perfect beings; all we ask from you is your patience and understanding towards us. You have already shown this in past few weeks and we are appreciative of that. Through our strengths and weakness we want to commit our lives to this scholasticate for the wellbeing of all and we hope by the grace of God to give our best to foster the spirit of the cenacle of apostles.

May God continue to bless us all.

By Ronald Alionzi

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On the 27th of August 2016, eight of our confreres received the ministry of Readers and Acolyte. This happened during a beautiful Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Vicente and concelebrated by Fr. Ngumba Lelo.  The celebration took place in the Scholasticate from 11:00 am.



The whole community was prepared for this celebration by a recollection which stated on the evening of 26th of August and concluded with the celebration for the ministries. Achille, Maurice, Raissone and Robert were installed as acolytes, whereas Charlemagne, Hippolyte, Mario and Pascal were installed as lectors. The installation was done by Fr Ngumba Lelo. img_1490-for-web

In his homily, Fr. Vicente underlined certain points of the Apostolic Letter, Ministeria Quaedam of Pope Paul VI regarding the roles and functions of acolytes and lectors in relation with the Eucharistic celebration. He also commented on the liturgical text of the day, especially the Gospel on the Parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). He invited the installed lectors and acolytes to make use of their talents for the good of the people of God.web

The Eucharistic celebration ended around half past twelve and was followed by a fraternal ‘Agape’ in the ambience of joy and thanksgiving to the Lord.img_1519-for-web

By Charlemagne Dossavi Sitou

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The Comboni Missionaries winter vocation workshop took place in Pretoria from 7th to 11th July 2016, at Comboni centre. It was organized by the new vocation promoter Scholastic Prosper Tehou in collaboration with three scholastics  from Pietermaritzburg.  Eight aspirants were present for this workshop: one candidate came from Lesotho, one from the diocese of Kokstad and others from the Archdiocese of Johannesburg. The workshop started with the evening prayer on Thursday. Then, after supper there was moment of introduction and welcoming in order to get to know each other. The workshop focused on the theme taken from John’s Gospel: Jesus said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day (John 1:39). Around this theme different speakers tried to help the  aspirants to understand deeply what religious life is about in general, especially in the line of Comboni  charism.  The morning sessions were followed by group discussions.

SAVE-FOR-WEBSMoreover, on Friday and Saturday there were two sessions per day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. The first session in the morning was presented by Fr. Evans whose sharing was based on ‘With the Lord to be transformed and sent to witness.’ In his sharing, Fr. Evans insisted on the fact that vocation is based on testimony.  When we meet Jesus, we are called and commissioned to bring Christ to other people through our testimony. After his presentation, the group was divided into two for group work. It was time for the aspirants to reflect on the first presentation. In the afternoon, Fr.  Donald Magoma shared on ‘If I SAVE-FOR-WEBlived a thousand lives: Comboni Charism’ and on his missionary experience  in Chad. On Saturday, during the first session, the Scholastic Prosper Tehou spoke about ‘The Youth are asking about Religious life’ and in the afternoon session, Br. Erich and Sr. Clara, Comboni missionaries shared not only about their vocations, but also about their missionary experiences. After the second session in the afternoon, there was a moment of sport for relaxation during which the young men enjoyed themselves with football on Friday and basketball on Saturday. On Sunday, all were invited at St. Daniel Comboni Parish Mahube valley in Mamelodi for the Eucharistic celebration, which was followed by lunch. It was a good experience for everybody to see how our confreres do their mission with zeal at the Parish.

IMG-20160725-WA0014-FOR-WEBThe workshop ended with Eucharist on Monday as a thanksgiving.  Around 10:30hours, it was time for departure. In general, it was good to see eight young people responding positively by their presence for this winter workshop. It was amazing to see how these aspirants were really interested in knowing about religious life and Comboni Missionaries way of life.  Despite the  challenges of  this office of vocation promotion, the response seems to be positive and motivating with the new generation of these eight candidates who participated in this workshop. SAVED-FOR-WEB

By  sch. Pascal Adrupiako  Akuma

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images-FOR-WEB-SNelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010. Therefore, 18TH of July reminds many South Africans and the world of the man and hero that made a big stride to unite and bring change in South African, a man who lived by his words, a man who influenced and touched people in the whole world.mandela-day-SPECIA-WEB

In South Africa the day is important and is promoted by Nelson Mandela Foundation; #for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Mandela day images-(1)-FOR-WEBactions, no matter how big or small, should consistently focus on the realization or restoration of dignity and empowerment through contributions.” No matter how small the action, aim to make the difference, touch someone vulnerable, be fulfilled and express true love.

server-2-SPECIAL-FOR-WEBIn one of his speeches Nelson Mandela once said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Further he made it clear to the comrades and fellow South Africans saying; ‘I stand before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you’ I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.” The words meant actions; he communicated and acted as a servant leader. He was a servant of the people.

blankets-for-day-SPECIALCan this day teach us a lesson? Can these words have an impact on us? Are we ready to make the poor smile? The lonely at home? Can we change lives? I think we can, that is; if we really respect and value life. This day is not only meant for South Africans but for every one, for you and me; furthermore, to serve every day. I think these words reflect what our Lord invites us to do.  Simply to serve. It is fortunate that Nelson Mandela as a president lived them. He set an example for us to follow. The same words lived by Jesus as a servant are expressed in Gospel of Mark 10:45 as; “for even the son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  I believe this is the best way to render our services, this is what Mandela did and invited all to do.SPECIAL-FOR-MADE-WEB

The call and invitation to serve is expressed in Mandela’s words to all people as ‘free yourself, free others and serve every day.’ what is our call? Our challenge on this day? Simple answer I would give is, we are called and challenged to promote human dignity based on values in all aspects of life.IMG_20160718_091143-FOR-WEB

FOR-WED-SPECIALOn this day the Christians of St. John of Ark Parish organized a charity work to make the day meaningful. The same day, with curiosity and enthusiasm to have an idea about what ‘Mandela day means’ one of the  Scholastics working in the Parish took a step to join this group of Christians at Sobantu in this act of charity to one old man Lawrence Siphiwe {Cleaning his compound}.  At the end of the day he was fulfilled with this simple act of charity, challenged and inspired by this invitation ‘take action {serve others}, inspire change and make the difference.’ He wished that this could be the spirit in serving others every day reiterating the words of Nelson Mandela.







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SAVE-FOR-WES 3The feast of the Sacred Heart reminds us of our duty to spread the message of God’s love. It is one of the essential feasts of the Church and, it draws our attention to Christ as our ultimate source of love. On 17th /06/ 2016, here in Pietermaritzburg three communities; Sacred Heart, Sisters of Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus gathered together to celebrate this crucial feast. For the three communities the feast is essential because of the selfless love manifested by Jesus. Christ who inspires us to find in Him genuine love which generates life and unites all people to Him. The day began with the Eucharistic celebration at 10:00am.

_DSC0548-FOR-WEB 1During the homily, Deacon Blaise Bokondi clearly pointed out how Christ is the source of true love, uniting the Church and people of all walks of life to God. Consequently, animates these three communities in their ministries. In this regard he pointed many ways of how we are blessings to God’s people . On the other hand, he stressed how we proclaim the word love with our lips but deep down our hearts, we have sown seeds of hatred, jealousy, envy, self-centeredness e.tc.  _DSC0545-SAVE-FOR-WEB

He therefore, invited us to live out what we communicate to others. In addition, he insisted that, to truly live the life of Christ who is the way, the truth and the life our focus must be on His generous Heart. He stressed the need for constant reflection of this love in serving our brothers and sisters in dire need. Further, his reflection, centred on Christ’s love reaching out to the needy without discrimination invited us to reflect and so  intervene in the plight of the poor and all people who need our attention.  In a practical way he highlighted examples of Christ the good shepherd searching us always when we go astray, Ezekiel 3:11-16 (the lost I will seek out), and brings us back to the Him, in His unconditional love. He invited us to continue to emulate Christ’s example in our ministry. _DSC0550-FOR-WEB-2016He emphasized that we are called to search for God’s people in need of His mercy and bring them back to Him, this is affirmed by the words of St. Josemaria Escriva integrated with the Word of God which summarize and invite us to love.  “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled.” (Luke 12:29) We have approached the fire of the love of God. Let us allow that fire to burn our lives. Let us feed the desire to spread that divine fire throughout the world, making it known to all the people around us. They too can experience the peace of Christ and find happiness there. A Christian who lives united to Christ’s heart can have no goals but these: peace in society, peace in the Church, peace in his soul, the peace of God which will reach its climax when his kingdom comes.”  Finally, he pointed out  with examples the image of the Good Shepherded in us though limited in our different ways, he said, ‘our founders were and will ever be the role models of this true love that is explicit from Christ as the Good shepherded.’DSC_0419-SAVE-WEB 2_DSC0557-SACRED-FOR-WEB

After the beautiful Eucharistic celebration we shared Lunch together; then, the floor was open for those who willingly had either a presentation, song or a dance. Brothers and sisters freely volunteered to take part in these activities through which we witnessed a true family of brothers and sisters. We also participated in sports organized by the communities that is; volleyball and football. Later in evening the celebration continued with the Braai transferred to the Sacred Heart community.  After the Braai brothers and sisters left at their own pleasure. It was a good opportunity and a Great day for all of us. Well done brothers and sisters.


 By Justus Oseko.

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