Having a Holy Mass celebrated for a particular intention is a long and venerable tradition. The gift, or “stipend,” given to the priest by the person concerned is in no sense a “payment” but rather a gesture of love and gratitude and also of financial support for the individual priest who in the words of …
“You are the hope of this 2000-year-old Church of ours: being young in faith, you must be like the first Christians and radiate enthusiasm and courage…You will also be a leaven of missionary spirit for the older Churches.” Saint John Paul II
In Africa, the number of Catholics is growing faster than the Muslim population. The Catholic Church is also growing at a faster rate than other Christian denominations: since 1980 Africa’s Catholic population has more than tripled to 200 million. But, above all, the growth and enthusiasm of the faith in Africa is a beacon of hope for the continent and the world at large.
ather Kebede Deju is very happy to see the faithful so actively involved in Church life and showing their great love of God. Above all, he is delighted at the 200 or so children who regularly come to church. At the same time, these children are a particular cause of concern to him, since during school holidays there is usually very little for them to do and so they often spend their time hanging out in the streets.
Many Catholic priests and religious have risked their lives trying to protect the defenseless civilian population of the Central African Republic, a country which, sadly, has never truly known peace. In the 57 years since it gained independence, this country – one of the poorest in the world – has suffered one military coup after another.
Zambia, a landlocked country in southern Africa, is fortunate in enjoying a degree of stability – unlike many other African countries. Nevertheless, the country still faces serious challenges, including poverty, poor infrastructure and an alarmingly high rate—12 percent—of HIV/AIDS, which has resulted in numerous children becoming orphans.
Ethiopia is an ancient Christian country. “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” So says the Ethiopian to Philip in the Acts of the Apostles (8:36). This spontaneous decision, just a few years after the death of Jesus, marks the beginning of Christianity in Africa, and Ethiopia is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa in which Christianity put down permanent roots.