Saint Dominic’s Priory, “An African Convent”

From its foundation the order of preachers has been a fraternity with the mission to save souls through preaching of the Gospel and contemplation of the truth.  The Order is composed of provinces which, in turn, are comprised of priories and houses.  Following the constitutions of the Order these subdivisions help to maintain a democratic way of life that facilitates unity and fraternal sharing.

Though independent, the provinces collaborate with each other to carry out the universal mission of the Order.  Unfortunately this subdivision sometimes presents a challenge to unity manifested as “provincial individualism,” whereby the needs of some provinces are ignored.  While some provinces grow and overflow in numbers, others close convents and ministries for lack of friars.  While some provinces enjoy the benefit of renowned universities, others, for lack of resources, do not.   Such disparity creates a challenge to unity.

In order to avoid such discrepancies and create more unity among provinces, some African provinces have created the “Inter Africa Order of Preachers” (IAOP).  The purpose of the IAOP is to foster unity among the African provinces especially in the area of formation.  To this end, the IAOP hopes to establish an “African Studentate” and an “African Novitiate.”   The master of the Order spoke of this hope at the latest general assembly in Ibadan (2017).  There the master spoke about a united novitiate even as he advised the brothers to strengthen existing ones.  Unfortunately, there exists no legislation that would make it a reality, and so despite much effort, it has not yet become a reality.  Still, many strive to make it a reality.   Some African entities strive to put this idea into practice by sending students to other parts of Africa for formation.  These entities feel that a united formation would foster an authentic African identity.

Saint Dominic’s Priory in Nairobi is very open to the idea of shared formation.  Every year we welcome Dominican student brothers from outside of the vicariate.  Such cooperation facilitates unity among the different entities of the Dominican family.  For example, St Dominic’s hosts student brothers from 3 different IAOP entities (Eastern African Vicariate, Vicariate of Rwanda-Burundi and Vicariate of Angola) in 6 different countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Angola).  This diversity enriches Saint Dominic’s Priory and fosters the IAOP dream of common formation.

Fraternal unity remains an important aspect of the Dominican character.  The IAOP hopes to realize that unity in shared formation.   Such a sharing would benefit the Dominican Order in Africa by fostering an authentic African identity.  The hope is that Saint Dominic’s will serve as a model for future efforts to bring together various African Dominican entities.  Only then may we fulfill the dream of our founder Holy Father Dominic, who on his death bed bequeathed to his sons his wish that they might have charity for one another.    

By Bro. Feliciano, OP & Bro. Jordan, OP

Mary: A model of Hope for the Vicariate

Mary: A model of Hope for the Vicariate

Recently we have seen a number of changes in the vicariate of Eastern Africa.  For example the Master General raised St. Dominic’s in Karen from a house to a priory.  The community elected new leadership accordingly.   St. Martin de Porres priory in Kisumu elected a new prior.  The archdiocese of Kisumu erected a new parish, St. Dominic (Kianja), and placed it under the pastoral care of the Dominican friars.   The vicariate appointed a new priest to our parish in Nairobi, St. Catherine of Siena.  And the first African was elected as the vicar provincial of the vicariate.

These changes present both a challenge and an opportunity.  How should we respond to these changes?  The Blessed Mother Mary offers us a way to respond to these changes in a life-giving way.  I wish to reflect on her response as demonstrated by three mysteries recounted in canonical Scripture: The Annunciation, the Visitation and the Wedding at Cana.

First there is the Annunciation.  Mary lived an ordinary life.  Her daily chores were probably menial such as fetching water and collecting firewood.  All of a sudden she experienced a significant change in her life.  We can imagine Mary’s surprise at the archangel Gabriel’s announcement that she would be the mother of the Messiah.  Sacred Scripture tells us that she was perplexed by the angel’s greeting and wondered what kind of greeting it might be.  Gabriel reassures her that she has found favour with Lord. (Luke 1:26-38). The Annunciation brought significant change to Mary’s life.  

Many wonder how the changes in the vicariate will affect them.   Some may even feel anxiety.  The words of the angel Gabriel apply; “do not be afraid.”  Just as He did for Mary, the Lord will do “great things” for us.  When we examine how Mary responded to Gabriel we realize that we should remain confident in the face of change.   Our faith encourages us to respond to change as Mary did; “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

The recent changes in the vicariate invite us to imitate Mary, to trust that the Lord will accomplish great things for us.   He wants to give new life to the vicariate, just as He gave new life through Mary.  As with Mary we know that with the Lord all things are possible.  He can overcome whatever challenges we face, such as gaining economic independence, increasing vocations and finding self-sustaining ministries.  Mary presents a model of trust in the Lord even when things change significantly and the future is unclear.   If we trust in God’s providence, then we have every reason to hope for a better future. 

Mary’s yes to the message of the angel reflects the faith of Abraham who was asked by God to accept a radical change.  The Lord asked him to leave his home and settle in an unknown land. Reflecting on the happy result of Abraham’s trust in God’s promises gives us reason to trust that the Lord will guide us, as well.  As with Mary and Abraham, God will guide us to a better future.   It remains for us simply to embrace this new experience and accept the challenges.  We know that the Lord will use these changes to help us grow and become better preachers of the Gospel.

Second is the Visitation.  We should reflect on the response of Mary to her kinswoman, Elizabeth, who in her old age had conceived and was in her sixth month.  Mary does not take pride in her privileged position as mother of the Messiah but instead she immediately offers service to Elizabeth in her need.  Mary approaches her cousin with humility.  Elizabeth experiences great joy, and in return Mary ponders the great things that God has done (Luke 1:39-45).

The interaction between Mary and Elizabeth reminds us that having a privileged position in the Church means being a servant.   Those in leadership roles should take Mary as a model; identify the needs of the brothers and place themselves at their service.  Just as Mary humbly went in haste to Elizabeth, so leaders should make haste to help the brothers rather than use their authority to serve themselves.   The temptation is to view leadership in worldly terms.  Mary could have taken a worldly approach to her new position and expect others to come to her and praise her, after all she is the mother of the Messiah.  Instead she chose the path of humility.  She went to her cousin and served her needs.

But service is not only for leaders.  All brothers should look for opportunities to serve one another, to inquire as to their welfare, and to offer a helping hand.  Such humble service will go a long way to build up the vicariate.

Third is Mary’s role at the wedding of Cana. Though she was invited as a guest (John 2:1-12) she does not just come as a guest.  Rather, she demonstrates concern for the welfare of the couple.  She noticed that the wine ran out and so went to tell her son.  Turning to the attendants she said of Jesus, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)

The wedding at Cana offers a valuable lesson in problem solving; “Do whatever he tells you.”  Because of Jesus and Mary the wedding celebration was a success.   Our life, too, can be a success.  When something is lacking, all we need do is invite Jesus and Mary.  Inviting Jesus and Mary into our lives ensures a good outcome.  They are the best of guests.  They know our particular needs.  They especially help those brothers entrusted with leadership to fulfill their roles.  And we need the help of Jesus and Mary, for knowing all the needs of the vicariate and of each particular brother and how to respond to them is impossible by human resources alone. 

We need Jesus.  But Mary’s support is also essential.  She does not despise our petition, but in her clemency she hears and answers us.  She does so by directing us to Jesus, the one unique savior of the world.

Mary is a sign of hope shining in a world of cynicism.  She could have kept silent when the wine ran out, but she chose instead to bring the problem to Jesus.  In this way Mary was able to find a solution where the world could only find a problem.  Mary encourages us to ask Jesus for solutions.  If we do, then in the next few years we will achieve great things in the vicariate.

 Authored by:

 Dennis Wataka, O.P.

Story of Insight

Story of Insight

Eighty years ago, in August of 1938, the young Bernard Lonergan [BL] came to Rome to begin a two-year study and writing project that would bear fruit in a dissertation eventually published under the title, Grace and Freedom [GF] with the subtitle “Operative Grace in the Thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.”  The composition took less than two years, and was completed in May of 1940.  Unfortunately because of World War II, the results could not be defended in Rome as is usually the case.  In fact the writer was spirited out of Rome without delay and brought home to Canada for fear that, as a citizen of an enemy nation, he would effectively be imprisoned in Italy until the end of the war. 

Fifteen years later, in the Spring of 1953, BL completed the writing of Insight, a work for which he is much more noted.  It appears to have taken him about three years (1950 – 53).  On this occasion he also had to bring the work to closure in a hurry, not to escape violent hostilities, but in order to get ready for what would turn out to be a distinguished career at the Gregorianum (where he had written his dissertation) as professor of systematic theology. 

These fifteen years are the context for a question: what is the connection between GF (a theological dissertation where Lonergan uses modern historical method) and Insight (a comprehensive philosophical essay, also modern, that takes the human subject as its starting point)?  Notice in fact that both works are about the human subject, i.e., about you and me:  In the case of GF, freedom and the gift of divine love that is for us; In the case of Insight, human understanding, i.e., yours and mine!   The question itself can be put simply: what is it that gives continuity in Lonergan’s intellectual life? 

To provide a clue for a response to this question, there is the remark, on the very last page of Insight, where the author writes about himself as a human subject, that he “spent years reaching up to the mind of Aquinas” (768).  As a matter of fact these are the years that followed on the completion of GF.  What then was the motive for the reaching?  Was it that in the study and writing that resulted in GF Lonergan discovered in Aquinas something that he needed to understand for self-understanding?  Again in fact in the forties, as he reaches for the mind of Aquinas he turns from the affective component of the human being to the cognitive, a turn that makes GF and Insight complementary.  GF concerns love; Insight concerns knowledge. 

In his “reaching for [Aquinas’] mind” what did Lonergan achieve?  Perhaps insight itself?  And if so, what would this insight mean?  The book Insight arrives “at the end of the line,” so to speak.   The years of reaching helped Lonergan to discover two aspects of St. Thomas’ mind.  The first aspect relates to how Aquinas understood and heartily agreed with Aristotle concerning how insight occurs.   The second aspect relates to how Aquinas discovered that the act of understanding (insight) forms the heart of human coming to know.    

What does this insight mean for us?  Well, the book Insight itself.  A day may come when it becomes attractive to reach up to the mind of Lonergan!   It entails the personal challenge of knowing oneself as a knower (intellectual conversion).  Such insight does not depend on a book, nor does it occur without the intervention of someone who has had the experience.                                                                       Fr. Maury Schepers, OP

Saint Dominic’s Priory, “An African Convent”

From its foundation the order of preachers has been a fraternity with the mission to save souls through preaching of the Gospel and contemplation of the truth.  The Order is composed of provinces which, in turn, are comprised of priories and houses.  Following the constitutions of the Order these subdivisions help to maintain a democratic way of life that facilitates unity and fraternal sharing.

Though independent, the provinces collaborate with each other to carry out the universal mission of the Order.  Unfortunately this subdivision sometimes presents a challenge to unity manifested as “provincial individualism,” whereby the needs of some provinces are ignored.  While some provinces grow and overflow in numbers, others close convents and ministries for lack of friars.  While some provinces enjoy the benefit of renowned universities, others, for lack of resources, do not.   Such disparity creates a challenge to unity.

In order to avoid such discrepancies and create more unity among provinces, some African provinces have created the “Inter Africa Order of Preachers” (IAOP).  The purpose of the IAOP is to foster unity among the African provinces especially in the area of formation.  To this end, the IAOP hopes to establish an “African Studentate” and an “African Novitiate.”   The master of the Order spoke of this hope at the latest general assembly in Ibadan (2017).  There the master spoke about a united novitiate even as he advised the brothers to strengthen existing ones.  Unfortunately, there exists no legislation that would make it a reality, and so despite much effort, it has not yet become a reality.  Still, many strive to make it a reality.   Some African entities strive to put this idea into practice by sending students to other parts of Africa for formation.  These entities feel that a united formation would foster an authentic African identity.

Saint Dominic’s Priory in Nairobi is very open to the idea of shared formation.  Every year we welcome Dominican student brothers from outside of the vicariate.  Such cooperation facilitates unity among the different entities of the Dominican family.  For example, St Dominic’s hosts student brothers from 3 different IAOP entities (Eastern African Vicariate, Vicariate of Rwanda-Burundi and Vicariate of Angola) in 6 different countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Angola).  This diversity enriches Saint Dominic’s Priory and fosters the IAOP dream of common formation.

Fraternal unity remains an important aspect of the Dominican character.  The IAOP hopes to realize that unity in shared formation.   Such a sharing would benefit the Dominican Order in Africa by fostering an authentic African identity.  The hope is that Saint Dominic’s will serve as a model for future efforts to bring together various African Dominican entities.  Only then may we fulfill the dream of our founder Holy Father Dominic, who on his death bed bequeathed to his sons his wish that they might have charity for one another.    

By Bro. Feliciano, OP & Bro. Jordan, OP

Theology of Evangelical Poverty and the Economics of Self-sustenance

Theology of Evangelical Poverty and the Economics of Self-sustenance

Pope St John Paul II stated in his 1996 post-synodal apostolic exhortation Vita Consecrata; “evangelical poverty proclaims God as man’s only real treasure.”  This statement challenges every Christian to reflect on what he or she values. While this challenge applies in a special way to consecrated religious by virtue of their public profession of the evangelical counsels, the challenge also applies to all Christians (mutatis mutandis) in so far as they have to make choices concerning the goods of this world.  After all, many goods compete for our attention.

The theology of evangelical poverty concerns poverty as freely chosen detachment from the things of this world.  Such detachment stems from a subordination of earthly goods to those of heaven.  The goal of such poverty is greater knowledge and love of God as possessed and enjoyed.

Historically,religious life comes from eremitic monasticism, generally considered as beginning in Africa with St. Anthony of the desert.  Anthony took to heart the words of Jesus to the rich young man in the Gospel of Matthew; “if you wish to be perfect, sell all that you have and give to the poor, then come follow me” (Mt 19:21).  This Gospel passage presents a mutually exclusive choice; pursue material goods or be perfect in the sight of the Lord.  Monasticism and religious life developed as a response to this choice, a personal renunciation of worldly goods.

Self-sustenance involves an individual or community providing for its own material needs. It necessarily involves the accumulation of material goods. At first glance evangelical poverty seems to oppose self-sustenance.  However, this apparent opposition involves the difference between goods.  Evangelical poverty involves the sacrifice of lower goods in order to attain higher ones.  Over the years, this distinction became one of ownership, namely communal ownership for the good of the community versus private ownership for the good of the individual.

I contend that evangelical poverty and self-sustenance complement each other. While private accumulation of goods for personal gratification opposes evangelical poverty, communal accumulation of goods for the sake of the common good can facilitate it.  The key is love. Monasteries created much wealth because of assiduous work and creativity, while the individual monks survived on a bare minimum.  It is not a mystery that they accumulated great wealth.   When one produces more than one uses one naturally accumulates wealth.  Such wealth becomes available for works of charity, propagation of the Gospel, upkeep and care for the elderly, and the formation of new monks.

Sadly evangelical poverty does not guide the thinking of all religious men and women. After all, we are but frail human beings susceptible to worldly temptations and the fear of insecurity.  Such attitudes suffocate the spirit of evangelical poverty.  Consequently reforms in religious life have occurred throughout the history of the Church.  Recently pope Francis appointed the Australian Cardinal, George Pell, to the newly created dicastery of Vatican finances.  Credible allegations of serious financial malfeasance have arisen such as embezzlement of the Vatican bank (cf. zenith, 25th Feb 2014, Rachel Sanderson, FT, Dec 6, 2013).  Even here in Kenya we have such scandalsas witnessed by the financial mismanagement of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (Cf. Sunday Nation (NN) 4th Dec 2016).

When the spirit of evangelical poverty is suffocateda disordered desire for material goods naturally results.  Such a disordered desire inevitably leads to an attempt to amass worldly goods without the attendant hard work and living by the bare minimum.Though not immoral in itself, if the personal accumulation of material wealth takes precedence over the subordination of the individual to the good of the community, then this competition will quickly become tragic.  Such an attitude becomes a breeding ground for other vices such as theft.

Theft involves a disregard for the community and human relationship.   When one chooses theft as the means to obtain wealth, one not only damages one’s relationship with God, but also one’s relationship with others in the community.Theft reflects the fact that one values things more than relationships, and thus remains the antithesis of love.

The profession of evangelical poverty acts as an antidote to such disorder. It addresses the root of sin, namely lack of love. Evangelical poverty declares that God is the highest good, our greatest possession, and that our love of Him requires us to seek Him above all else.  As pope St John Paul II states in Vita Consecrata, evangelical poverty “challenges the sense of materialism which craves possessions, heedless of the needs and sufferings of the weakest, and lacking any concern for the balance of natural resources” (Cf. Vita Consecrata, 89).

Because of original sin human beings harbor inordinate desires for recognition, vainglory and power. In a materialistic society accumulation of wealth fulfills such disordered desires. The spirit of evangelical poverty moves one to seek the good of others as more important than one’s own.   It reflects“a preferential love for the poor shown especially by sharing the conditions of life of the most neglected.” Far from sacralizing material poverty, the spirit of evangelical poverty creates the condition for society to create sufficient wealth for all her members. It also remains an asset in the work of self-sustenance. The spirit of evangelical poverty shifts the basis of hope from material goods to the goods of relationship, from secular humanism to graced humanism offered by faith in Jesus.

Restoration of the spirit of evangelical poverty begins as a challenge to us religious to re-examine the thinking that underlies our actions. Do we think as the world thinks or have we put on the mind of Christ? The spirit of evangelical poverty requires us to think like Christ if we will bring about redemption to a fallen world.

Unfortunately secularism fails to recognize the ultimate goal of human life which is spiritual in nature, namely divine beatitude.  No amount of material possessions can attain that goal. When we implicitly make material things the source of happiness, we easily fall into greed and disregard for the needs of others.  “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did to me.” If we cannot help the poor and needy, then what good are our possessions?  We end up instead with a false religious life.

The spirit of evangelical poverty requires that we put to good use the many material and technological provisions available to us. Christian faith places those goods within the economy of salvation. Christian hope recognizes that bodily well-being, while necessary, is not sufficient for human happiness. Christian love moves us to put love of God above every other good (summum bonum).  Only then may those who publicly profess evangelical poverty effectively propagate the Gospel and attain self-sustenance.

  Fr. Leo S.I Mwenda, OP

Experts, Agents and Instruments

Experts, Agents and Instruments

We have been blessed with the writings of many popes, and despite the availability of their writings, many of us are unfamiliar with them.   Perhaps, we assume that their writings are too complicated.   On the contrary, many of their writings are simple and clear and applicable to our lives.   The three most recent popes have had a lot to say to us.  Their writings reflect common themes that we should understand and live by.

For example, in his apostolic letter at the close of the Jubilee Year 2000, Novo Millennio Ineunte, pope St. John Paul II described his vision of the Church as “the home and the school of communion.”[1]  The pope affirms that communion is both God’s plan and the deepest yearning of the world.           According to the pope, a spirituality of communion begins with “the heart’s contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling within us.”  When we have come to appreciate the Trinity within us, we begin to see the dwelling of the Trinity in the faces of our brothers and sisters.[2]  This indwelling makes us part of the mystical body of Christ, and only when we accept the reality of the mystical body may we come to understand that our brothers and sisters in faith are “part of me.”  This mystical connection in the body of Christ allows us to “share the joys and sufferings of others,” “sense their desires” and “attend to their needs.”  It allows us to offer them “deep and genuine friendship.”

Moreover, a spirituality of communion gives us the ability “to see what is positive in others, to welcome it and prize it as a gift from God: not only as a gift for the brother or sister who has received it, but also as a ‘gift for me’.”  The pope explains it this way:

A spirituality of communion means knowing how to “make room” for our brothers and sisters, bearing “each other’s burdens” (Gal 6:2) and resisting the selfish temptations which constantly beset us and provoke competition, careerism, distrust and jealousy.

The theme of “communion” continues in his 1996 apostolic exhortation Vita Consecrata where the pope writes: “Consecrated persons are asked to be true experts of communion and to practice the spirituality of communion…”[3]

Pope Benedict XVI continued this theme of communion in his 2011 post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Africae Munus, where he invites us to “live reconciliation between individuals and communities and to promote peace and justice in truth for all.”[4]  For the pope, reconciliation begins within each person: “all of us, as members of the Church, should be aware that peace and justice come first from the reconciliation of each human being with himself and with God.  Christ himself is the one true ‘Prince of Peace’.”  The pope continues; “this peace does not come from us but from God.   It is what the pope calls “the messianic gift par excellence.”[5]

Benedict asks that we make an effort to change the way that we respond to people and situations.  He explains that “Christ calls constantly for metanoia or conversion.”[6]  In this way the pope reminds us that reconciliation is intrinsic to the “spirituality of communion” about which John Paul II spoke.[7]   Pope Benedict urges all Christians to promote actively the work of reconciliation: “all Christians are admonished to be reconciled to God… to become agents of reconciliation within the ecclesial and social communities in which they live and work.”  The new evangelization presumes that “Christians are reconciled with God and with one another. “[8]

Consecrated persons in Africa are called especially to be agents of reconciliation and signs of reconciliation to others.  Thus the pope writes:

Community life shows us that it is possible to live as brothers and sisters and to be united even when coming from different ethnic or racial backgrounds.  It can and must enable people to see and believe that today in Africa, those men and women who follow Christ Jesus find in him the secret of living happily together: mutual love and fraternal communion, strengthened daily by the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. [9]

Finally, our current pope, Francis, in his announcement of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, stated: “Jesus asks us to forgive and to give, to be instruments of mercy, because it was we who first received mercy from God, to be generous with others, knowing that God showers His goodness upon us with immense generosity.”[10]  Believing that God has a plan for unity, Pope Francis explained in his apostolic letter addressed specifically to religious, Witnesses of Joy: “Living the present with passion means becoming ‘experts in communion.’… we are called to offer a concrete model of community which, by acknowledging the dignity of each person and sharing our respective gifts, makes it possible to live as brothers and sisters.”[11]

Pope Francis appeals to the ideal of community proposed by Saint John Paul:

Pope Francis taught that all consecrated persons are “experts in communion.”  He expressed his hope that a “spirituality of communion,” emphasized by John Paul II, “will become a reality and that religious will be in the forefront of responding to ‘the great challenge facing us’ in this new millennium, namely to make the Church the home and the school of communion.”[12]  The pope invites all of us to this communion when he writes: “No one contributes to the future in isolation, by his or her efforts alone, but by seeing himself or herself as part of a true communion which is constantly open to encounter, dialogue, attentive listening and mutual assistance.  Such a communion inoculates us from the disease of self-absorption.”[13]  Religious are especially called to promote communion: “Consecrated men and women are also called to true synergy with all other vocations in the Church, beginning with priests and the lay faithful, in order to ‘spread the spirituality of communion, first of all in their internal life and then in the ecclesial community, and even beyond its boundaries.”[14]   Such communion begins by seeking communion in our own houses: “Communion is lived first and foremost within the respective communities of each institute.  To this end, I would ask you to think about my frequent comments about criticism, gossip, envy, jealousy, hostility as ways of acting which have no place in our houses.”[15]  Even where there are problems Francis wants us to build up community:

Build friendship between yourselves, family life, love among you. May the monastery not be a Purgatory but a family. There are and there will be problems but like in a family, with love, search for a solution with love; do not destroy this to resolve that; do not enter competitions. Build community life, because in the life of a community it is this way, like a family, and it is the very Holy Spirit who is in the middle of the community. And community life always with a big heart. Let things go, do not brag, be patient with everything, smile from the heart. And a sign of this is joy.[16]

Pope Francis admits that being men and women of communion means being present in conflict.   For this reason, he exhorts us: “be men and women of communion! Have the courage to be present in the midst of conflict and tension, as a credible sign of the presence of the Spirit who inspires in human hearts a passion for all to be one (cf. Jn 17:21).”[17]

Denis Vincent Wiseman, O.P.

 

[1] John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 43, www.vatican.va/…/hf_jp-ii_apl_20010106_novomillennioineunte_en.

[2] John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 43, www.vatican.va/…/hf_jp-ii_apl_20010106_novomillennioineunte_en.

[3] John Paul II, Vita Consecrata, 46.

[4] Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 1.

[5] Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 99.

[6] Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 32.

[7] Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 34.

[8] Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 169.

[9] Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, 171.

[10] Pope Francis, “The Face of Mercy,” 14.

[11] Francis, Witnesses of Joy, 2.

[12] Francis, Witnesses of Joy, 3.

[13] Francis, Witnesses of Joy, 3.

[14] Francis, Witnesses of Joy, 3.

[15] Francis, Witnesses of Joy, 3.

[16] Francis, Address to the Cloistered Nuns, Assisi (Perugia), 4 October 2013.

[17] Francis, Witnesses of Joy, 3.