Monday, September 12, 2016
The Comboni missionaries from seven provinces of English-speaking Africa and Mozambique (APDESAM) gathered from 5th to 10th September 2016 in Pretoria for a workshop on Urban Ministry. They were joined by four lay women from two urban parishes of the Comboni missionaries in South Africa. Fr. Mariano Tibaldo represented the Curia of Rome. “We all thank the facilitators as well as the community of Pretoria for making this workshop a success. God bless you all”, said the organizers of the meeting.
During the six days’ workshop, Bro. Alberto Parise, Comboni missionary and main facilitator, helped the participants to reflect and share on their urban ministry experiences. The goal of the workshop was to identify and develop together our Comboni ministerial approach to urban ministry in Africa.
During the workshop, the participants were exposed to some urban ministerial realities in the suburbs of Pretoria and Johannesburg. Inspired and guided by Pope Francis Evangelii Gaudium, they received some inputs on the trends of urban ministry in the context of South Africa as well as other provinces and Sub-Sahara Africa in general. They reflected on the trends of social and cultural urban transformation in Africa. They realized that the process of urbanization of Africa is fast developing and that new challenges of new cultures and subcultures are emergent. Pastoral responses to face these challenges are urgent.
The participants, once arrived to some workable goals and guiding principles of urban ministry, planned how to share and study their implementation in their own places of ministry.
It has been a wonderful experience of sharing and walking together, searching in fraternity for principles and guidelines to renew and reaffirm our ministerial missionary vocation in urban ministry in today’s Africa.