Angola’s Lwena Diocese Launches Bible-Missal Mobile App in Four Native Languages

A presentation on the application during its launch on August 4.
Credit: Vatican News

The leadership of the Catholic Diocese of Lwena in Angola has launched a mobile application containing the Holy Bible and the Catholic Missal in four national languages spoken in the Eastern region of the Southern African nation.

Under the project “Catitablet,” which is abbreviated from “Catholic teaching (catechesis) on the tablet,” the initiative has seen the Bible and Missal translated into Tchokwe, Luchazes, Lunda-Ndembo and Luvale languages. These are the languages predominantly spoken in the Eastern part of Angola.

Speaking during the launch of the application August 4, the Bishop of Lwena diocese, Jesús Tirso Blanco noted that the digital format of the two Liturgical Books “will serve as a primary tool in the preaching of the gospel in different tribes and peoples” of the region.

“There is a great need for Christian evangelists to have more and more mastery of national languages, so that the spread of the Gospel is more comprehensive within communities,” Bishop Blanco, a members of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) has been quoted as saying during the August 4 launch.

According to the Argentinian-born Bishop, the production of the digital Bible and Missal, a project undertaken by the faithful during the COVID-19 pandemic, is “evidence that the Diocese is fulfilling its role in expanding the word of God.”

To the Diocesan community, the application is “a valuable tool that appears to complement the process of evangelization” in the region inhabited by diverse ethnic groups, the Bishops said.

Abel Xavier, a faithful of the diocese, expressed his appreciation for the “Catitablet” project team for their effort in digitizing the Bible and the Missal as “they will help, above all, catechists in preaching in remote areas of the province.”

Falling under Angola’s largest administrative Province of Moxico, the Eastern region has an estimated population of 700,500 inhabitants of the ethnic groups of Tchokwe (which is the largest), Luvale, Bundas, Luchazes, Lunda-Ndembo, and Umbundu, among other smaller ethnicities.

In 2019, the leadership of the Catholic Church in the country translated the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” into Umbundu, the second most widely spoken languages after Portuguese.

Angola, bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia, Congo Brazzaville, Zambia and the Atlantic Ocean has a population of 17.35 million people. 56.4 percent of the population is Catholic, spread across five Archdioceses and 14 Dioceses.

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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

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