Archbishop Calls for Community Input

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By William J. Mbangula

Okakekete

Catholic Archbishop Liborius Ndumbukuti Nashenda says that the infrastructural and spiritual development of the country can only be realised through the collective leadership and active participation of communities.

Speaking at the inauguration of the newly constructed Catholic Church building at Okakekete in Anamulenge constituency over the weekend, Nashenda lauded the community of Okakekete for initiating their own development through fundraising campaigns, which resulted in the construction of the church and a school.

The community here raised about N$20 000 as initial start-up capital for the construction of the church. With assistance of donor agencies through the Church’s charity organisations, the building was completed at a cost of N$150 000.

Said Nashenda: “I wish to emphasise that development is a shared responsibility in which every able-bodied person should partake. We have the responsibility to develop and keep our infrastructure in a good condition.

“These should include the churches, the school and other properties that belong to the community. You are therefore advised to treat such facilities with much care and responsibility in order to protect them against theft and vandalism.”

According to Archbishop Nashenda, development is a shared responsibility. He said every person has a talent which he/she can use to promote and encourage development.

God divided those talents among his people in order to make everybody an active participant in development in his or her own way. This was done to avoid some people becoming too proud and selfish if they become blessed with too may skills at the expense of others.

In his view, all infrastructure whether they belong to the Government or the Church should be protected because they are there for the benefit of the people.

The church building, he said, should be considered a holy place of prayer where the faithful should come together and offer prayers against evils in society such as rape, abortions, baby dumping, theft, suicides and murder.

Archbishop Nashenda, who became the first Catholic priest from the North in 1988, ordained the 11th priest from the local community on Saturday, Mathias Ndemutshuwa Tshitigona. This is after more than 80 years since the first Catholic missionaries settled at Otshikuku in the Omusati Region.
The new priest, who is originally from Omusimboti synagogue of Okatana parish, is the second to be ordained this year. It is a rare occurrence in the Catholic Church’s history, more especially here, in which two priests have been ordained from the same parish in a year. Only recently another priest, Veranus Tshiimi was ordained.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony at Okatana, the Vicar General Fr Werner Afunde, who is also originally from Omusimboti, suggested that the parish which is producing more priests, nuns and other religious people should get preferential treatment such as being upgraded to the level of a mission station on its own.

Afunde, who is also the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) chaplain based at Okahandja, said Omusimboti is contributing a lot to the vocational call of the young people and needs to be treated in a manner befitting its activities towards the promotion and advancement of the spiritual and infrastructural development of the church.

The ordination ceremony was attended by among others the spiritual director Paul de Kock of the Catholic Seminary at Cedara, Kwazulu Natal, SA, and the Provincial Superior of the Oblate of Mary Immaculate (OMI) Fr Alois Kapp, who is based at Dobra, as well as the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Theopolina Mushelenga.

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