, 19 November, 2019 / 11:59 PM
An African Church leader charged with the responsibility of coordinating devotion to the Divine Mercy in Africa has identified the prayerful search for peace on the continent as the agenda driving the weeklong fourth Congress on Divine Mercy officially launched in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou under the theme, “Divine Mercy a grace for our time.”
“The theme of the congress is significant, we should put all hands on deck to promote peace, to promote love, to promote justice so that peace may flow. The mercy of God is the only thing that can bring us this (peace),” Bishop Martin Igwe Uzuokwu of Minna diocese Nigeria, told ACI Africa on the sidelines of event of the official opening of Divine Mercy Congress Tuesday, November 19.
“Where there is peace, there will be progress,” the Prelate who coordinates Divine Mercy in Africa and Madagascar said and continued, “so, we train our people to promote Divine Mercy that will promote peace and justice to the people and peace will promote harmony and harmony will promote goodness and all of us will leave together as brothers and sisters.”
Outlining some of the ways the Divine Mercy is being encouraged to promote peace on the continent, the Nigerian Bishop said, “We have divine mercy academy in Nigeria where we train people to know that peace is the way, so we move around conscientizing our people.”
“I have established two Congregations, one for males, another for females in the diocese of Minna in Nigeria so that they can now go out to preach mercy,” Bishop Uzuokwu disclosed.
He noted the value of devotion to the Divine Mercy in the promotion of peace in various African countries saying, “Every country has (devotion to the) Divine Mercy. What we are doing now is to harmonize, to make sure that the different people come for the different Congresses. So, we are planting the seed in every heart, in every country (and) in every home so that there will be peace in the world.”
Reflecting on the theme of the ongoing congress in relation to the security challenges in some parts of Africa, Bishop Uzuokwu told ACI Africa, “Now the terrorists have come, we don’t know what their agenda is but they are bombarding us and in almost every part of Africa there is confusion, the worst thing is that they are fighting.”
He continued, “It is a time of grace for us, the grace of God to plant mercy in our lives. Let us know and let us recognize that we are brothers and sisters of the same father Africa, the African soil, so we should not be fighting.”
Asked if devotion to the Divine Mercy has challenges, Bishop Uzuokwu observed, “The challenges are many because where people are fighting you cannot put your head so you have to pacify the people not to fight but let there be peace so that you can move around.”
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.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa