Thursday, February 24, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Saints are not supposed to rest in peace; they're expected to keep busy: to perform miracles, to intercede. Being in jail or dead is no excuse for non-performance of the supernatural. One legend says, while awaiting his execution, Valentinus restored the sight of his jailer's blind daughter. Another legend says, on the eve of his death, he penned a farewell note to the jailer's daughter, signing it, "From your Valentine."
St. Valentine was a Priest, martyred in 269 at Rome and was buried on the Flaminian Way. He is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Dear Friends and family,
Greetings in the Name of Christ. We have made it through our first full week of classes for Bishop Kwangu. We have completed two courses so far. "The Beliefs, Teachings, and Practices of the Historic Christian Church", What has been believed by all Christians, everywhere, for all time. And, "Introduction to Apostolic Ordained Ministry", a course that examines the qualifications and duties of ordained ministry along with the Ethos and Ethics of Christian Ministry. I am averaging about 25 students in class eah day.
The ones who live farther away are staying in a simple dormitory on the compound, while others come by bus from their homes. As you know, Fr. Francis is teaching in Geita, about 2 1/2 hours away. The weather has been pleasant and sunny. About 80 at night and about 90 during the day. It has rained twice since we are here. This is the "rainy season" which means everything is green and growing well. I see many gardens throughout the city wherever people can find a spot of ground to grow something. I am told that later in the year everything will be brown from the heat.
There does not seem to be any traffic rules to follow except drive on the left side of the road and avoid getting hit. Other than that, do as you wish! The African people seem to be very patient with this system of traffic and I have not seen any accidents.
The students of my class are very involved, listening carefully and asking many questions. Their questions cover a broad variety of subjects pertaining to Christian doctrines and ethics. I have to rely on the Holy Spirit's guidance to give them the best answers and advice. Sometimes progress is slow because of the many discussions, but this is good. It shows that they are thinking and leaning well. As they say here in Tanzania, "the students are coming with the teacher".
The people have been so kind to me. I am humbled by their attitudes. What they lack in knowledge or possessions, they make up for in enthusiasm. They are ordinary people doing the best they can with what they have to care for their families and to do God's work. The African people work very hard and are very industrious.
The average person makes less than one dollar a day. As anywhere in the world, there are problems to deal with in the churches and in society. But God is at work here and the Gospel is being spread by these evangelists. We are here to help equip them to do their work better -- and they are grateful. May the peace of Christ be with you.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Forward in Faith/North America – at the Council Meeting, 1 – 2 February, at the Bethany Retreat Center in Lutz (Tampa) Florida, we contended with snow and ice storms and delays from northern and western parts of the Country. But we pulled together and worked on Council membership, preparations for the June Assembly in Belleville, IL. and the need for FiF/NA and FiF/UK, the Federation, and the ACNA, to “travel in convoy.” Forward in Faith, as an organism in the Church to live, teach and witness to the fullness of the Catholic Faith, aims at being a new Oxford Movement. The Rev. Dr. Kevin Donlon was elected to the Council as an adjunct and advisor for theology and ecclesiology. He and his parish, the Church of the Resurrection, in nearby Odessa, hosted a supper for us, and an Evensong and Benediction for the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord.
Bishop Paul Hewitt, Diocese of the Holy Cross, reporting.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Dispatch One: Mission Station City of,
on the shore of Lake Victoria
Feb 03 2011
Our journey to Mwanza. First, , the city of peace, welcomed two missionary teachers from the MSJ. The temperature was hot, upper eighties and nineties. The city was crowded. The traffic was slow. But, like Paul in the Mediterranean, we traveled on. No shipwreck, no chains, no tossing things out of the plane. Nine thousand miles traveled at 35,000 feet in the air. Safe arrival in the mega-city of Dar es Salaam, on the coast of the Indian Ocean.
On the journey. Lines to wait in. People to watch. Many languages. Different styles of dress. Made friends with some folks from Chile – they did not understand our English and we did not understand their Espanol, but we communicated. Prayed with some Nigerian Catholics, Ibo Tribe, for safe travel back to their homeland. They made the sign of the cross in the same way as we do.
Brother Nathan and I, talked much on what and how and why and where and who and what if. Western, Eastern, Anglican theology, authors, spirituality. Put away the clothes for the cold weather – short sleeves are the uniform of the day. Got long sleeved shirt back out again as the planes were well air conditioned.
Nathan met our taxi driver in Dar es Salaam who has served us for six years, Edison. Edison and Nathan exchanged contact information for future ministry trips.
Flight to Mwanza. was hot. Mwanza was cooler. It is rainy season – low temperatures in the seventies, maybe even high sixties. Nathan and I met with diocesan bishop, Rt Rev Boniface Kwangu. His plan, Nathan teach in Mwanza, at Nyakato Bible School, all new students, teaching lesson plans starting with Course 101. Fr Francis travel to Geita, several hours away, and teach former students, advanced lesson plans. Fr Francis will rejoin Nathan for closing meeting with the bishop and journey back to the USA.
Nathan made arrangements for interpreters, for housing, for financing, and for sustenance. He learns well. Bishop Kwangu recognized the future and acted accordingly.
We rested in Dubai. We rested in Dar es Salaam. It was good to arrive rested in Mwanza because we start teaching !
So, the work has started. Teaching simultaneously in two locations. Your prayers and financial support has birthed classes in two areas, concurrently. The OFM ministry grows. Thank you God. Thank you God's people.
Fr Francis Wardega
Br Nathan Dunlap