Novices’ Apostolate to be with the Youngsters from the Salvation House
Four of the novices go to the Salvation House for apostolate on each Sunday to be with the boys who have come from the streets of Lusaka to be taken care of their physical, intellectual, affective, and spiritual needs.
Salvation House is a home especially dedicated to poor boys or children at risk who did have some traumatic experiences from their own family members or the society at large. The novices give them some classes on catechesis in St. Joseph Mukasa Makeni Parish Outstation or on some subjects from primary school level. Sometimes, they teach them also some songs. Most of the time, they spend on a sharing of life experiences and giving them courage, so that they can still be good Christians and honest citizens despite their past painful events.
In showing solidarity and friendships, here are various things that they do together with the children there. To name a few, they prepare food and eat together, play some indoor-games or football, perform cultural dances or pray on some instruments. Together with the youngsters through these activities, they create family spirit and awake in the children the aspiration for better life and achievement of greater values or ideals.
(Fr. Christopher Rychcik, SDB and the Novices)
5th of March - The Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine
The new season of Lent, which starts with Ash Wednesday on the 5th of March, marked another important spiritual experience, especially to the novices. The Rector together with the whole community went to the Marian Shrine in the outskirts of Lusaka where all of them had their quarterly recollection day.
The community thought it was better to have their recollection day at the place where they wanted to recommit themselves to the service of the Church and the young people, and to be in the presence of the Mother of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary. They left the Community around 8:00 am. They passed quite well through the traffic-jam and arrived at the shrine at 9:00 am. The serenity of the place made everyone to feel the presence of the Lord and to pray and reflect.
They started with the reflection on the theme of the novena in the preparation of the bicentenary of Don Bosco, which was prepared by Sr. Evelyn Saludares, FMA. The community members were taken by the spiritual input and what was underlined there: “how to live Don Bosco’s dream today?” Afterwards, they had private time for reflection and prayer. They met again together at 11:00 for adoration followed by a very simple Lunch, because it was the day of penance and fasting. Mass was celebrated at 14:30 by the rector of the community, Fr Christopher Rychcik as the main celebrant. Really, the time was too short because at 17:00 hours, they returned to the community. The Novices appreciated the staff members for organizing such the pilgrimage. They have regenerated themselves to carry on Don Bosco’s mission and to be better sons of Don Bosco.
Social Evening and Birthday of n. Paul Mbalame
On the 22nd of February, the novitiate community joined novice Paul Mbalame in his celebration of 23rd birthday.
It was a beautiful day, since that very same day, was the last Saturday of the month, which was also marked as the “Community Evening.”
They had the presentation of the cake during the supper, and afterwards they gathered together at 20 hours for varieties of indoor games, which started with a sort prayer.
They also sang some songs during their gathering. In addition, they had some snacks, biscuits and soft drinks.
Moreover, there was music, for it is known that the house without the music is like a body without the soul.
A brotherly atmosphere and a lot of expressions of joy permeated the evening.
10-12 February: The Inter-Novitiate Classes
Novitiate formation is basically marked as a period of prayer and spiritual experience. The Salesian Novices together with other Novices from different congregations and religious communities had this experience of looking at their prayer not as a routine practice, but as an intimate relationship and dialogue that one makes with the Lord Jesus.
It was three days programme that took place at Kalemba Hallin Lusaka, from 10th to 12th February. There were two presenters who prepared themselves to share their way of praying as religious who are matured in the field of prayer, a Jesuit priest, Fr. Joseph and Franciscan Sister N Kellie. The Jesuit priest took the first day and in his presentation he tried to give an answer to the novices on a question “why to pray?” He also highlighted that prayer is not only just that of “asking” God, but he encouraged them to grow well in their prayer life as people who are undergoing formation, growth in their relationship with God and others, and in this way they can become better religious.
The last two days, Sr. Kellie presented the practical way of praying and understanding the prayer life and how some great saints in the church were praying. She also encouraged the Novices that: “there is another good way of praying and it is that of praying with the scripture,” she said, “this way is very important.” The Novices were really touched with this experience and looking at how these devout religious were presenting their vision on prayer. It was a good time and it gave them an impetus in their own prayer life. At last, they paid some gratitude to their good presenters and also to their formators for giving them such an opportunity to learn more about the importance of prayer.
Don Bosco’s Novena
On the 22nd of January, dedicated to Bl. Laura Vicuna, the community started the novena to Don Bosco. The novena was integrated into the Evening Prayers, which were made from the altar and the main celebrant gave some input on the particular topic of the day.
17 January – visit to Salesian Sisters in Thorn-park
The novitiate community was invited to the Salesian Sisters in Thornpark for fraternal encounter. The novices prepared some cultural programs and did help in the preparation of meal.
Br Sylvester Makumba was also honoured as he celebrated his Silver Jubilee of religious profession. There were many songs and jokes made in Salesian family spirit. The Sisters expressed a lot of care for us as would ‘mothers’ do. The community was very grateful to the Sisters for their hospitality and wonderful atmosphere of friendship.