During the last 3 years the Salesians have witnessed a vibrant growth of the first parish (St John Bosco in Rundu) assigned in perpetuity to the Salesians of Don Bosco by the former Bishop of the Rundu Apostolic Vicariate. With this important step, the “itinerant” period of history is over: after the first presence in Shambyu (until 2007) and then around the Rundu Cathedral of St Mary (until 2018). There are already 5 Namibian Salesians in initial formation and every year some new aspirants for the Salesian consecrated life.
The four SDB strong multi-cultural communities see Fr Louis Malama, parish priest and in-charge, include 3 priests and one deacon, plus one practical trainee with one ready-to-go aspirant; it is animating this new parish of 6 outstations with a youth centre, a Don Bosco primary school, and a school drop-out program with many committed and enthusiastic lay mission partners and youth leaders. Salesians heed from Zambia, Malawi, and Poland with one aspirant born in Angola and educated in Namibia. Exceling among the closest mission partners is also a strongly committed local centre of 27 Salesian Cooperators with numerous aspirants.
During the extraordinary visitation Fr Václav Klement held blessings of the new parish hall (St John Bosco) and one chapel of St Dominic Savio (Ngawngwa). He also held various encounters with the lay mission partners (parish council, youth council, Salesian Cooperators) and paid a courtesy visit to East Kavango Region Governor (Mr. Bonifatius Wakudumo), and the Apostolic Administrator of Rundu Vicariate, Fr Linus Ngenomesho, OMI.
The young country of Namibia witnesses a vibrant economic development, with a high portion of young people (50%), and a highly respected and committed Catholic community (30.1% of the total population, with 2 dioceses and one apostolic vicariate and many vocations to priesthood) thanks to their founding missionaries (German OMI).
There are also many youth challenges like early pregnancies, high unemployment, alcohol or drug addiction, and among the 14 Namibia regions, precisely East Kavango, with Rundu as capital, is the poorest.
Salesians in Namibia are glad to be there and blessed with the warm welcome and great involvement of lay people as Salesian mission partners.