Welcome to Zambia
My name is Br Martin. I am a Capuchin Franciscan Student from Ireland and have just embarked on a four month mission experience in our Vice Province of Zambia. I will be keeping log of my progress and experiences on this blog over the next four months...you are most welcome to keep me company along the way
Saturday, January 21, 2012
St Bonaventure's College, Lusaka
Some Photos attached: Click Here!!
St Bonaventure's College is a joint venture between the OFM, Conventual and Capuchin Friars and is supported by the FMDM sisters who live and work here also, so there is truly a Franciscan feel to the place.The college is advertised as a Franciscan Formation Centre and specialises in Philosophical Studies. From here, the brothers, go on to Theological or vocation training elsewhere in Africa. The are over 130 students (including some external students) at present and the smooth running of the place is down to Br Mark (OFM Cap) who is the College Rector.
Our Capuchin community is based at La Verna Friary and numbers in excess of 30 friars, including the Guardian and Formators and is spread over two main buildings. Life here is quite regulated and reminds me very much of my days in Novitiate. The day begins with morning prayer and meditation at 6am, this is followed by Mass. Prayer and Mass are mostly celebrated in the Friary Chapel except for a couple of occasions during the week and at weekends when the whole college comes together in the main College Chapel.
Breakfast follows the morning prayer: it is a quick and simple affair (tea / coffee, bread and marmalade) then off to prepare for class which begins at 8am. The afternoons are taken up, for the students, with various activities: study, manual work in the maize field or coffee plantation, cleaning or sports twice a week. The Friars gather again at 18.15 for meditation, evening prayer and the supper. Evenings are very quite, often spent reading, revising or working on course assignments. Although, some brothers have a certain penchant for an African soap, similar, in various ways, to our own Fair City!!
There are 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students studying a mix of Philosophy, English as well as introduction classes to Theology, Psychology, Sociology and Franciscan Studies. The college has a well structured and equipped Library, with over 30,000 volumes and a very impressive electronic catalogue, all over seen by Sr Eileen, who has done, by all accounts, fantastic work getting it into shop and keeping it that way.
The meals are usually, in typical Capuchin fashion, noisy affairs, as brothers catch up on the day and talk shop! The food is to an African palate: Maize, rice, relish (soup like sauce for the maize / rice) and some meat, fish or beans. We have pasta on a Thursday evening....I need say no more (my calendar is circled!).
I have been welcomed and well received by the brothers here and am slowly trying to remember all the names. Coming from a small community ,in comparison, the numbers do take some getting used to but it does lend itself to some rousing singing, even at 6am!!
So this will be my home until I leave for Ireland at the end of April and I hope you enjoy the attached pictures of it.
From Zambia, until next time, Good night and God bless!