30 years of Religious Profession

On 22.08.2014 - 30 years of Religious Profession of Fr Chris Rychcik

Fr Chris 1The Rector and Director of the Novices at Makeni Formation House, Fr Chris Rychcik, celebrated his 30th anniversary of religious profession as a Salesian of Don Bosco since his first profession on the 22nd of August 1984 at Czerwinsk n. Wisla in the Warsaw Province.

To make the day special, the community came together for the celebration of the Fr Chris 4Mass in the morning and marked the day around Fr Chris with their prayers and a barbecue in the evening. The novices prepared some songs and wishes to the jubilant, and around 21:30 all joyfully returned to their rooms.

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Vocation Promotion

21.08.2014 - Vocation Promotion to Altar Servants

On Thursday evening after the supper, the ZMB and AFM novices were invited by Fr Maciej Oparka to the Makeni parish of Christ the Redeemer to give talks and to share to altar servants who had their weekly meeting, combined with a retreat on their discovery and discernment of God’s call to follow Christ, the Lord. The novices went there with Fr Chris Rychcik. Three of them said their stories and the altar servants asked some questions about the Salesian religious style of life and requirements, chiefly relating to their faithfulness to the abstinence from sexual experiences - chastity or to the practice of poverty.

The novices clarified the young people’s perception of priestly and religious life vocation, and encouraged the young altar servants to pray and discern their vocation. They returned to the Novitiate Community at 21:00 hours.

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Novices’ Visit to Kasisi Cemetery on 19.08.2014

Kasisi 1The novices from both the ZMB and AFM Vice-Provinces together with their director, Fr Chris Rychcik paid a visit to the “Salesian hallowed land” – Kasisi burial ground of the ZMB Salesians, for the first time.

St. Paul tells us, “Whether we live or we die we belong to the Lord” as such we always feel close to the departed Salesians. Because we know we are one big family that belongs to the Lord or if put it in another Kasisi 2theologically term, we are in “the communion of saints.”

After arrival there, the novices quickly began cleaning up the tombstones and raking the premises, while Fr Chris was equally explaining the history of some of the Salesian missionaries like Fr. Kazimierz Cichecki, Fr Joseph Gotter, and Fr Joseph Ojczyk or like our 1st Zambian confrere Kasisi 3buried there, Br Clement Mutamba. After the cleanup, the novices lit up candles on each of the graves and gathered round to pray for our confreres and other departed missionaries buried there two decades of the Rosary, that is the Resurrection and the Ascension of the Lord.

After leaving the cemetery, they proceeded to Kasisi Children House (Orphanage of St Joseph) where they had a short tour around, but obviously for the novices the most important was the chapel and meeting some Don Bosco boys there. The novices were very much impressed by the Sisters’ service and dedication to the care of the children there and they are indeed very grateful for the experiences.

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Launching of the Bicentenary Year of Don Bosco’s Birth Celebration

Starting the Bicentenary Celebration of Don Bosco in ZMB

Bicentinary 01After an official invitation to the celebration marking the beginning of the bicentenary year of the birth of Don Bosco by Fr Louis Malama, the whole Novitiate Community went to the Provincial House.

The Salesians of Don Bosco, Salesian Sisters, the Salesian Co-operators, the newly professed Salesians and the novices were all present for this significant moment. Bicentinary 02The cerebration began at 18:15 hours with the opening explanation made by Fr Louis Malama who invited the Provincial Fr George Chalissery to lead the celebration. Then, all the present had a solemn Evening Prayer.

During the prayer, the Provincial said that “Don Bosco had a God’s gift that is the love for the young people, which led him and the Bicentinary 03youngsters to sanctity. He was able to tell the youngsters to be happy as they served God through their love for their friends and companions, and to obey God’s commands.” The Provincial also told that “this is the man we are called to celebrate” and later he called us “to be the servants of the young and not there masters and so live our vocation in full as we go to the poorest and abandoned young people, so we are all Bicentinary 04called to be Don Bosco in nowadays.”

After the Evening Prayer, all the participants went out of the chapel to plant a tree of the bicentenary by the Provincial Fr George Chalissery, Sr. Prisca Mwila and Mrs Jennifer Sikazwe, the Provincial Coordinator of the Salesians Co-operators in ZMB. After the planting of the tree, all had a delicious supper during which there were some entertainments, done by the newly professed SalesianBicentinary 05s who sang a song for their farewell as they were to live for Tanzania to study philosophy. The novices also presented some songs and later everyone was invited to sing a Marian hymn which concluded the celebration.

Fr Louis Malama later added his last observations giving thanks to all who helped in organizing this beautiful celebration. He calledBicentinary 06 the vicar, Fr Leszek Aksamit to give the closing words and the final blessing from Fr Vincent Tembo. Then, all the Novitiate Community members departed from the Provincial House.

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15.08.2014, the First Religious Profession of 10 Novices

The First Religious Profession

It was a sunny morning on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven when we witnessed the first religious profession of 10 of our novices: Chabu John, Galata Xolile, Lanjesi Joseph, Lukhele Hendrick Nkosinathi, Mbalame Paul, Nkandu Paul, Nonde Christopher, Phiri Alfred, Shabangu John-Paul Mpilo and Stener Philip. Eight of them have discerned their vocation to priesthood and two of them, Paul Mbalame and Alfred Phiri to brotherhood, so they are brothers – coadjutors. The above mentioned had begun their journey of formation in their respective Aspirantates and conProfes 01tinued in Pre-novitiates. They wish to follow the way of Don Bosco by helping the young people Profes 02to become good and responsible citizens of Profes 03their societies.

The ceremony was attended by the Salesians of Don Bosco, both Clerics and Brothers,  Sisters from different religious Congregations, including our very own the Salesians Sisters, the new ten Novices, the Salesian Co-operators, and the parents, relatives and friends to the candidates who were professing. Sr. Chanda Nsofwa FMA Profes 04explained the different stages of the liturgical celebration to the faithful.

The cerebrations started with the Holy Mass around 10:00 hours and the main celebrant was the ZMB Provincial, Fr. George Chalissery, and the co-celebrants were: the Vicar Fr. Leszek Aksamit, Fr Bonginkosi Nhleko from AFM, the Director of the Novices, Fr. Chris Rychcik and many other priests from ZMB Vice-Province. The Profes 05singing during the liturgy was done by the girls from the Salesian Sisters community of City of Hope, a places where the newly professed did go for their weekends’ apostolate during their novitiate. The procession was colourful and very joyful. The dancing girls – Stella brought a lot of keenness on the celebrations.

The first reading was taken by one of the Profes 06newly professed, while the second one was taken by one of the Salesian Sisters. After the Gospel, the Director of the Novices Fr. Chris Rychcik called each one of the to-be-professed novices by his name. Each one was to respond to this call personally and was accompanied by his parent or guardians, or another person to the front of the altar. In the homily, the Provincial called upon the to-be-professed Salesians to Profes 1be faithful and authentic to the Salesian mission and vocation. Then, the candidates made their temporal vows for one year and the Provincial welcomed them into the Salesians of Don Bosco Congregation. All the priests and everyone who attended the liturgical celebration greeted and congratulated the new Salesians of Don Bosco. It was a moment of joy and happiness. When the time came for thanksgiving, the newly professed Salesians come to dance to the songs of thanksgiving with the Stella girls in front of the altar and were later joined by some of the faithful.

Before the final blessing, Br Paul Mbalame gave a vote of thanks on behalf of all the newly professed Salesians and later Fr. Malama Lewis invited all the people there to the celebration at the Provincial House to begin the bicentenary celebrations of Don Bosco, which begins on the 16th of August 2014.

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The Canonical 2014-2015 Year of the Novitiate

The Beginning of the Canonical Year of the Novitiate

It is always an important and memorable time when one just realizes a new turn out of events in his live. Such was the moment at the official opening of the canonical year of the new novices of ZMB and AFM Vice-provinces, which took place at Makeni, Lusaka.

Profes 07This event was on the 8thof August 2014 at 18:00 hours. The occasion was presided over by the ZMB Superior of the Vice-province, Fr George Chalissery, in conjunction with the Director of the Novices, Fr Christopher Rychcik and Br Sylvester Makumba, the community Administrator. The ceremony started with benediction, which gave somewhat a solemn and calm time of personal and deep sense of recollection. After this, the Provincial called upon the ten candidates to line up in front of him as he questioned them to make known their collective intentions in joining the Salesian novitiate. The newly accepted novices then proceeded to have their hands clasped and enclosed in the palms of the Director of Novices, indicating their willingness to listen and obey the members of the formative team throughout this particular stage of their formation. Then, to each of them was a Jerusalem Bible given and the ceremony was concluded by a final blessing, given by the Provincial.

The new intake comprises of seven novices belonging to ZMB: Clement Thanda (Malawi), Constantine Sibanda (Zimbabwe) and the Zambians are: Oliver Katongo, Andrew Phiri, Ernest Musonda, Adrian Matebesi, Godfrey Likumbi. Those of the AFM Vice-province are: Malibongwe Zikalala (Swaziland), Thabo Molala (South Africa) and Nhlanhla Nxumalo (Swaziland).

 

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