LUSAKA, JULY 16, 2019 (CISA) – The President of Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), Bishop George Zumaile Lungu has said it is time Zambia became a fully-fledged missionary Church in realization of Pope St Paul VI’s vision of a missionary African Church.
“(Pope) St Paul VI, visiting Africa after the canonization of the Uganda Martyrs (in Rome), challenged the Church in Africa: “Be Missionaries to yourselves.” That challenge is still valid today,” Bishop Lungu said at the Cathedral of Child Jesus in Lusaka, during the launch of activities towards the marking of the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019.
Recalling the statement of Pope St Paul VI during his visit Uganda in 1969, Bishop Lungu said his dream was of a Zambian Church that gave openhandedly of its priests, religious sisters and even of the laity for the Mission of the Church both within the country and elsewhere.
The July 13 launch was in response to Pope Francis announcement calling on the Church to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter, Maximum Illud (November 30, 1919) on the activity of missionaries in the world, during the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019.
In his homily during the launch, Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia and Malawi, His Excellency Gianfranco Gallone urged the clergy to be authentic in order to make the Gospel more genuine in people’s lives.
“We are all disciples of Jesus, we are urged not to consider ourselves the owners, dominators of the faith of others. We are servants for the sake of Jesus,” he said.
“We must not dominate with power but serving charity knowing that Jesus did not come to be saved but to save and give life to others,” he added.
The activities lined up for the celebration of Extra Ordinary Missionary under the theme; “Baptised and Sent,” shall be organised at the Diocesan level before the final National event in October.