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2021.03.08 12:51

5579(I)_African Missionary in Europe

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Deep inside Project Europe

By Cl. Ernest Musonda

       Kiev- Ukraine (UKR Vice-province), 8 March 2021 -- We are grateful for this missionary interview that offers a deep insight in the dynamics of faith, vocation and mission. A young missionary from the ZMB province (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Malawi) shares from the capital of Ukraine. The UKR is among the smallest and youngest vice-provinces around the world and recently welcomed 4 young missionaries from different countries. Cl. Ernest is now a practical trainee, living in a small community of two SDBs. He is one of the 4 young missionaries from ZMB vice-province who are were sent by the Rector Major to Syria, South Sudan, Kosovo and Ukraine.


       Well! Primarily, God has been close to me and I always testify to this. As far as I can recall, it was in the period when I was in my high school that my faith took a good shape. This feeling and desire was being nurtured by payers, self-introspection and openness to the Holy Spirit. Then I took a step through all legal formation processes until I became a Salesian on 15 August 2015.


       Let me acknowledge the fact that this question is very special. Why is it special? Yes, it is special because meanwhile it defines my Salesian status and identity. My Salesian missionary vocation started in my first year of post-novitiate in Tanzania. I found a missionary group already active, which I later joined. I was part of this group the entire period of my post-novitiate. We had systematic programs and activities in the community, such as animating prayers on every 11th of the month, watching and discussing various missionary documentaries, doing charity works in our neighbourhood and meeting more often with the Rector. Through all these activities and prayers, I recognized this call to serve as a missionary.


       Am privileged to be part of the newly created community where everything is just starting. We are in the place where Catholics are in the minority. Though we are trying to find our place and make a real Salesian presence, we can already say that there is a positive acceptance by the people. My presence as a practical trainee here is very useful. I have been consistent in my role as an assistant; the youth are always around me with the sense of wanting to learn. I have brought quite a number of youth to the oratory. Meanwhile, this is what makes me a happy.


       Perhaps, you may already know some common challenges that I may be likely to face. However, allow me to state that there only a few challenges but hard in their impact on my life. First, it is a fact that I am an African and the first one to be part of this Rite (liturgical tradition), so you can imagine how hard it was and is for me. Many people just wonder why I came here to do what I do. Their questions of wonder however, sometimes makes me feel that I am in the wrong place even though they do not literally say it to me. (Racial sentiments which may not be directed at me but hearing any of which I feel sometimes hurt). Difficulties in the liturgy and the limited in the language though I have made good progress in learning the language. I normally overcome daily problems through resilience and prayers.


       Well! I have learnt a lot from the young people of this city, to number them I may make mistakes. In brief, I have been close to almost all of them I mean those who come to our community. I have learnt to be creative, to keep time, to think in concrete terms and to be authentic, that is, to be real.








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