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The Daughters of Jesus in Africa – Mozambique

May 25, 2024

The Congregation’s desire to be present in Africa dates back to the time of Mother Candida. But it only became a reality in 2000 with a two-year inter-congregational presence in Mozambique. We have been in Mozambique on a stable basis since January 18, 2004.

Since colonial times, Africa has been Europe’s pantry. Without wishing to hurt sensibilities, let us remember that in 1885 the so-called Berlin Conference was held where the European countries distributed the lands of Africa for their exploitation without counting on the AfricansToday the same “plundering” of the riches of Africa continues, increasing the countries that distribute it to each other. The coltan and lithium needed for the batteries of electric cars and smartphones are from Africa; the graffiti on computers is African… Africa may not know AI, but there would be no robots serving in Western restaurants without Africa.

Africa is rich: rich in agriculture and livestock, rich in land and timber, rich in water, rich in minerals and precious stones, rich in fauna and flora… But its greatest wealth is found on the land: it is the people and, especially, the youth; their culture and values. As Pope Benedict XVI said:

“Africa has great problems and difficulties, like the whole world. However, in Africa we find a fresh humanism and the continent shows a reserve of life and vitality for the future that we can count on. Africa is the spiritual lung of the world”.

While the media portray a biased, poor and violent image of Africa, the truth is that Africa has given to mankind men like Julius Nyererethe first president of Tanzania and today in the process of beatification; Nelson Mandelathe first black president of South Africa who, pardoning those who held him for 20 years in prison, wanted to rebuild his country based on reconciliation and inclusion of all; Wangari Muta Maathai first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace… And so many others who are not known, but who make humanity from the values of hospitality and fraternity.

It is in the midst of this natural, human and spiritual wealth that Mozambique is found, where the Daughters of Jesus have been for 20 years. The Daughters of Jesus in Mozambique do not have our own works; we work with others and “for others” or, better said, for the Kingdom of God and the Church: “we are on the way out”.

We have, at the moment, a community with three presences: Metoro and Pemba in the Province of Cabo Delgado, in the north of the country (border with Tanzania) and Maputo, capital of the country, in the south (border with South Africa).

From the beginning, the Daughters of Jesus have stood out for their solid human and spiritual formation, responsibility and seriousness in their work, and we have been asked to work in formation and collaboration in the consolidation of the local Church, whether at the parish, diocesan, Episcopal Conference or Religious Life level.

In Metoro we have taken over a school, a children’s center and a natural medicine center from the parish and we have collaborated with the pastoral care of the parish, from the formation of women and those responsible for the more than 50 Christian communities.

Pemba ‘s presence was, from the beginning, oriented to support the Diocesan Pastoral Secretariat by organizing the formation of pastoral agents, work at the Catholic University and the organization of a Higher School of Ethics Studies, as well as a Social Observatory of the Cabo Delgado Province.

In a particular way, both in Metoro and in Pemba, in recent years the Daughters of Jesus have been able to practice the ministry of consolation and to be a balm, accompanying and seeking means of subsistence for the victims of the armed conflict that has been going on in the province for some years.

In Maputo we have collaborated with the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education and theEpiscopal Commission for Justice and Peace. We have been able to be present in the Theology Seminary giving classes and it has been important to work with the Religious Life, especially with novices and juniors.

At this time, the Congregation is asking us to think of something new that can consolidate the Congregation’ s presence in Africa and we hope to be able to collaborate in this as well. We place in the Lord’s hands the future of our charism on this continent. If it is His will, may He bless us with native vocations that will help us to “put down roots” and may the charism spread throughout the continent.

Africa, Mozambique, congratulations! Thank you so much for what you have given us and for how you are shaping us.

Daughters of Jesus in Mozambique