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Northeast India Province > Missions in Southern African Region > ANAMULENGE

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ANAMULENGE

 

 

 

 

St. PETER CANISIUS CHURCH

Anamulenge, NAMIBIA

 

Anamulenge Pastoral Region | One More Tribe for Christ

 

 

Anamulenge Pastoral Region

(Report by Fr. Jose Thomas Mamalasseril msfs)

 

St. Peter Canisius Parish Anamulenge is situated in the northern most part of Namibia bordering Angola. It is about 900 km from the capital city, Windhoek. Strictly speaking it is not a parish, it is a pastoral region (District) consisting of 10 parishes with 42 communities under its pastoral care. There are almost 30,000 (thirty thousand) Catholics in this region under our care. The ten parishes have parish leaders who are either from the laity or married deacons. Once in two months we have the meeting of parish leaders and community leaders to discuss the problems and plan out the programmes of the pastoral region. This is one of the oldest missions in the northern most part of Namibia which is also called Owamboland, as this areas is inhabited by Owambo tribe, the biggest in Namibia.

 

This mission was started in 1927 by German missionaries and later on the OMI congregation took up the mission and worked here until 1999. From the year 2000 -2003 it was under the care of Ugandan and Rwandan priests appointed by the Archdiocese of Windhoek. In 2004 it was handed over to the MSFS with the appointment of Fr. Jose Mamalasseril msfs and Fr. Baiju Kurian msfs as parish priest and assistant respectively.

 

To mention a few good things that happened in the pastoral region since we took charge, 5 new stone churches were built and blessed, confirmation of 866 candidates in 2005, hundreds of baptisms at various age groups, many church marriages, rectification of many marriage cases, bringing back to the catholic fold many who were not in full communion with the church. The pastoral region also had the joy of thanking the Lord when one of its son’s was raised to the Sacerdotal Priesthood in the person of Fr. Wilhelm Eita. The Canisianum H. S School which under the mission coming out with a wonderful performance in its first batch of grade 10 learners is also note worthy.

 

A number of programmes were conducted in the mission centre and in the different parishes and communities for the faith formation and renewal of Christian life. There was a workshop on family laws in which more than 80 people from different parishes of the pastoral region took part, candidates from the pastoral region were send for the catechists training to Windhoek and Okatana. More than 138 candidates were trained to be communion and funeral service leaders. In the months of August and September 2005 we conducted six retreats for the Catholic AIDS Action Volunteers in different parishes of the region. In the month of September there was a fund raising drive for the renovation of the mission church through competitions, bazaars, lotteries etc. The response of the people to it was spontaneous and tremendous. In the first week of December the pastoral region witnessed gathering of more than 600 women delegates of NACAWA from the 4 different pastoral regions as they gathered in Anamulenge for the their annual conference which lasted for four days.

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One more Tribe for Christ

(Report by Fr. Baiju Kurian Mundackal msfs)

 

The ‘Ovahimba’ is one of the many Tribes in Namibia. The semi nomadic pastoralists people of this tribe live mainly in the North Western part of the country. They are an offshoot of Herero tribe. The Himba women rub their bodies with a mixture of red ochre and fat to protect them from the burning heat. Even today the women wear traditional body ornaments and garments and have their hair styles that correspond to their age, social and marital status.

 

 

Traditionally the people of this tribe are ancestral worshipers. Thus, though Christianity came to Namibia a few centuries ago, this tribe was not evangelized. However, slowly they began to show a keen interest in the Catholic faith. As a result the Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing at Ruacana (mainly Sr. Credula and Sr. Pelagia along with Mrs. Demettilie and Mrs. Patricia Mbundje) began to catechize them with the permission of the Tribal chief.

 

 

19th of August 2003, was a historic day for both the people of this tribe and for the Catholic Church, because after sufficient preparation, for the first time, eight children were baptized at Ruacana Roman Catholic Church by Fr. Baiju Kurian msfs. Later in the same year, during Christmas season, few more adults were baptized. As they began to increase in number they formed a community, Otjaandjamwenyo, under a Merulla tree. On 19th of December 2004, Fr. Baiju Kurian msfs celebrated the first Mass for them under this tree, where they usually come together for church Services and prayers. The Catholics of this tribe call God as ‘Tate Mukulu’, (one who was always).

 

The total strength of the Catholics from this tribe is 42 now. There are 21 catechumens waiting to receive their baptism this year.

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Southern African Region

Anamulenge
Grassy Park
Karasburg
Keetmanshoop
Luderitz
Matroosfontein
Okahandja
Ongha
Pilgersdorf
Soweto
Steenberg
Thornton
Vredendal