Vatican City (Agenzia Fides)- Archbishop Rugambwa Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples will make a pastoral visit to Namibia and Botswana, from 1 – 12 May 2018.
The main hopes of the visit are: to learn more about the life and mission of the local Church, to acknowledge achievements and to encourage local missionary agents in the great work of evangelization which still lies ahead. Moreover, in the course of the visit Archbishop Rugambwa will preside at the Episcopal Ordination of His Excellency Willem Christiaans, Bishop-Elect of Keetmanshoop and former National Director of the Pontifical Missionary Societies in Namibia.
The first part of the journey involves a stop in Pretoria (South Africa), the seat of the Apostolic Nunciature to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. On Wednesday, May 2nd, Archbishop Rugambwa will travel from Pretoria to Namibia, where he will make an afternoon visit to the Catholic Hospital of the Archdiocese of Windhoek. On Thursday, May 3rd, he will hold a meeting with Religious Superiors, visit the Poor Clares and the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing, and, in the afternoon, preside over the Eucharistic celebration at St. Mary’s Cathedral. He will then travel to the Diocese of Keetmanshoop, located in the southern part of Namibia, where, on Saturday, May 5th, he will preside at the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-Elect Willem Christiaans. In the afternoon of the same day, the Archbishop will meet with Priests and visit some local Religious houses. After returning to Windhoek, on Monday, May 7th, there will be a visit to the National Major Seminary, St. Charles Lwanga, which will include the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. In the afternoon he will return to Pretoria, where he will meet with the Administrative Board of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
On Tuesday, May 8th, His Excellency will travel to Botswana, where, upon his arrival in the Diocese of Gaborone, he will hold a meeting with Religious Superiors. On the following day, Wednesday, May 9th, there will be separate meetings with catechists and the College of Consultors of the vacant Diocese of Gaborone. In the afternoon, the Archbishop will visit St. Joseph’s College, Kgale, and then celebrate Holy Mass at Christ the King Cathedral.
On Thursday, May10th, Archbishop Rugambwa will travel to Maun, in the Diocese of Francistown, an area of primary evangelization located in the northern part of Botswana. Various missions will be visited and Holy Mass for the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord will be celebrated.
On Saturday, May 12th, His Excellency will return to Rome.
Even though the majority of the population of Namibia and Botswana is Christian, Catholics in both countries still constitute a minority. In Namibia, Catholics represent about 17% of the total population while in Botswana the Catholic Church makes up only 5-6% of the entire population.
(SL) (Agenzia Fides 27/04/2018)