He said that many people across Africa have manifested trauma especially with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In this time of COVID-19, many people are traumatized and they need us as pastors to journey with them and to enter into spaces of the people who are suffering,” he said, and underlined the need for the Religious people in Africa to ensure that they are fully armed with knowledge when they go out to serve the people.
“There is need for the Religious to be competent even as they seek to strengthen the faith of the people,” Fr. Benedict said, noting that the people today are knowledgeable about issues affecting society and sometimes do their own research ahead on matters of the Church.
His intention, he said, is to bring awareness to the Church especially to the Clergy and women and men Religious that they need to be involved in contemporary issues so that the Church in Africa can be trusted handling the issues affecting the society.
In Lesotho, the Priest who is a lecturer has started a Consultancy under the Stigmatine Social Welfare where he takes people with various traumatic experiences through counselling.
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His varied responsibilities, he says, inspire young people in formation to understand that a Priest can also be a lecturer and a professional counsellor.
“Young Religious in Africa are motivated that they can still reach their ambition. That even though they are called to be Priests, they can still excel in other ministries that support the Church,” he says.
The widely published Priest says that he hopes to write more on practical theology “that will bring theology into practice.”
Meanwhile, Fr. Benedict has urged Priests and those Religious Life who have gone through traumatic experiences in their communities to seek consolation and strength from Jesus who he describes as “the wounded healer.”
“I encourage my brothers and sisters in Congregations who feel that they don’t belong to those Congregations, those who have been traumatized spiritually, psychologically or even physically to understand that sometimes experience is the best teacher; that sometimes, we have to look at Jesus who is the model of our lives, the wounded healer, the one who understands the meaning of wounds,” the Priest says.
Sharing his past experience, Fr. Benedict adds, “I was traumatized before but I learnt to take the trauma positively.”
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.