Forming African leaders


Leaving Nairobi, with its traffic-choked streets, swanky buildings and vast slums, one heads west on Lang'ata Road toward the town of Karen, once the expansive farm of Karen Blixen of Out of Africa fame. There in sight of the Ngong Hills is a "little Vatican": Some 40 religious communities have established residences in the surrounding countryside. Among them one finds a unique experiment in religious education, Tangaza, a constituent college of the nearby Catholic University of Eastern Africa. As Tangaza College's gate swings open, a large statue of Mary, depicted as an African woman, comes into view, symbol of both the Annunciation and the college's motto -- "Tangaza fumbo la imani," or "Proclaim the mystery of faith." In myriad ways Tangaza does exactly that.

Twenty-three years ago Tangaza began as a bold adventure, born of necessity. Three religious congregations pooled faculty and resources in order to take on the education of some 20 students. Today Tangaza has 21 religious congregations as corporate members and enrolls 1,200 students, men and women, religious and lay, mostly Catholics, but with other Christians and a few Muslims among them. This student population includes representatives of most of Kenya's 40-plus ethnic groups and others from Asia, Europe and the rest of the African continent.

New San Salvador archbishop says no to mining


SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR -- When the Vatican announced last December that José Luis Escobar Alas would be the new archbishop of San Salvador, perhaps the most frequently asked question here was, "What will he say on the mining issue?"

A Canadian company, Pacific Rim, has been pushing to get government permission to begin gold and silver mining. The Catholic church has opposed the plan, urging the government not to grant permission, and one of the leaders of the church opposition has been Fernando Sáenz Lacalle, the outgoing archbishop.

Beloved 'Asian John XXIII' laid to rest in Korea


Despite chilly weather, some 10,000 Mass people attended the funeral mass at Myeongdong Cathedral Friday. Most had to gather outside the church where large screens showed the liturgy. All national TV stations telecast the one-and-a-half-hour service.

Since Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan died Feb. 16 at the age of 86 more than 400,000 people have come to pay their last respects.


India's government honors Catholic religious


At a time when Christians have been under attack in India, the country’s government has honored two prominent Catholic religious, including naming the superior general of the Missionaries of Charity for India’s second-highest civilian award.

On Jan. 25, the eve of India’s Republic Day, the federal government named 133 people from various fields for three categories of civilian awards, all of which begin with the word padma (lotus), India’s national flower. Sr. Nirmala Joshi, head of the order founded by Mother Teresa, is among 10 people selected to receive the Padma Vibhushan (lotus-ornate) award this year for her social work.

This World Cup has one goal: end homelessness

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA -- The weeklong Homeless World Cup football competition came to a dramatic climax here last month, with Afghanistan and Zambia, respectively, winning the men’s and women’s competitions in what was the sixth edition of the annual tournament. The competition provides poor and homeless players with the opportunity to represent their country and gives spectators a chance to appreciate some exhilarating street soccer.

Gays to defend their right to be Catholic


MEXICO CITY -- Social activists and Catholics in gay, lesbian and transsexual unions are discussing public actions to be taken when Mexico hosts the Sixth World Meeting of Families organized by the Vatican Jan. 13-18.

The plans will be revealed in early January, according to Víctor Espíndola, director of the Mexican Sexual Diversity News Agency, a nongovernmental organization specializing in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual community-related issues.

Exiled Zimbabwean aids family left behind


CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA -- Packages of basic groceries sent from South Africa are a lifeline for many Zimbabweans, said a Catholic journalist exiled from Zimbabwe who now supports his extended family from Cape Town.

“All my free time is spent organizing packages for my elderly mother and father and other family,” said Clutton Patsika, 37, the youngest of seven, who fled to South Africa in late 2006 when he felt his life was in danger because he was a fierce critic of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Brazilian court acquits rancher accused of ordering U.S. nun's murder


SAO PAULO, Brazil (CNS) -- A Brazilian jury acquitted one of the ranchers accused of ordering the assassination of U.S. Sister Dorothy Stang in 2005.

Vitalmiro Bastos de Moura, known as Bida, was acquitted May 6 of ordering the killing of the nun, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.



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In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017