Zambia – ZMB Vice Province Visitation concludes with joy and thanks

01 June 2021

(ANS – Lusaka) – For 80 days (February 17 - May 11), from Lilongwe in Malawi up to Hwange in Zimbabwe, the Extraordinary Visitor Fr Václav Klement traveled some 8,000 km on the roads of Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia to reach 86 Salesian confreres, hundreds of lay mission partners, and thousands of young people in the 14 local communities of the “Mary Help of Christians” Vice Province, headed by Fr Chris Rychcik as Provincial. Fr Klement had ample time in each community to listen to everyone, including missionary volunteers and aspirants. Joy, thanks and communion were the three characteristics of the ZMB visitation.


Thanks due for the strong signs of charismatic growth of this 115-SDB-strong vice province (50 confreres more than during the first ZMB visitation in 2004 by the late Fr Valentin De Pablo) with 3 Namibian, 23 Malawian, 10 Zimbabwean, and 15 Zambian professed SDBs who live in multi-cultural communities, thanks also to 30 missionaries coming from another 10 countries. The average age of the confreres is 38 years.

Also, the Salesian mission is growing in many ways: a first street children project in Zambia, six new secondary schools (2 of them started in 2021), the relaunching of the SYM in each of 14 Oratories and the fast-growing Association of Salesian Cooperators (11 centers with 265 promised members). Also, 8 of the 14 Rectors are already local Salesians.


During last 10 years, the vice province has grown also in the quality of Salesian life with 4 missionary ad gentes sent by the Rector Major out of ZMB and one practical trainee who applied for the missions during the visitation. As in many African provinces, ZMB is also blessed by many vocations: during the past six years, 69 novices have joined and 42 have made their first professions. Thanks to a few model coadjutor brothers, there is also a growing number of 7 Lay Consecrated Salesians in temporary vows. But the youthful enthusiasm and Salesian joy is expressed especially in the daily hard work amidst the young people of the ZMB four countries. During 50 encounters with our lay people, whom he called “lay mission partners”, Fr Klement was able to listen to hundreds of impact stories in their life, thanks to Don Bosco and his Salesians: family spirit, humble animating presence in journeying together, uplifting and empowering the youth and, especially, sharing the Salesian vocation also with the lay people.


Surely, each Extraordinary visitation has as its main goal to strengthen the communion with the Rector Major and within the whole “Salesian world community” spread in 132 countries. And the 26 ZMB Salesians who are out of their province for their studies - in Tanzania, Kenya, the Holy Land, Poland or Italy - were involved in online dialogues with the Visitor.

The Extraordinary Visitation concluded during the Provincial Council Meeting in the Lusaka Provincial House (May 6-8) and now is the time to harvest some durable charismatic fruits. “We pray that Thanks - Joy - Communion with the whole Congregation will foster more vibrant Salesian life and mission also in this part of the Salesian World,” Fr Klement concludes.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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