THE 6TH OF OCTOBER, 2019 goes down in Ndanda’s chronicle as one of the most memorable days in our community. People would argue that mothers would not give birth after – is it 70 years? Perhaps they are right. But with “Mama Ndanda” things worked quite the contrary. Even at the age of over 80 years as an Abbey, this noble mother was able to bring into the world her first born ever.  ST. PACHOMIUS MONASTERY, N’NANGO in Mozambique is the name of her first born…

The “birth” of this monastery is to be understood as its inauguration.  It took Ndanda almost five years to come to this happy event. In the year 2014 the community decided  to open up a new mission in the northern part of Mozambique. Four brothers were set aside for this work: Fr. Valentine Kaniki, Fr. Jorge Bianco, Bro. Theobald Bayyo and Bro Bosco Bainit. After a short preparation they set out to the this Portuguese speaking country. Their first task, therefore, was to master the language, which they did after reasonably a short time. They settled down in a small parish in Mocimboa da Praia where – while doing pastoral work in the parish – started to prepare the site where the would-be monastery would stand. In close collaboration with the community in Ndanda the mutual efforts have clearly produced fruits: in the middle of the bush, about 2km from the nearest village a missionary-monastery has emerged!

The completion of this monastery at N’nango marks a new chapter in the history of our Congregation. It is actually the first monastery of our congregation in a Portuguese speaking country. As the monastery grows and expands we believe that it will bring new missionary insights and understanding into our congregation. By setting up this mission foundation, Ndanda intends to practically implement the missionary spirit of our congregation, that:

  • we are called to serve though the life of witnessing the gospel values.
  • our monastic-missionary call is there to be shared – or even spread to other countries,
  • our vocation as missionaries consist of participating fully in tackling the challenges which face the society we live in. It is for this reason together with the witnessing the Gospel values, social activities like health and education services are at the top of our missionary agenda.

Mothers need “midwives” all the time. Mama Ndanda could hardly bring forth her first born without the support of so many mission friends, will-wishers and benefactors. For this we will always remain thankful.

It was a big celebration  at N’nango on the inauguration day. By 17.00 Hours, however, all the guests had left and the small community of monks from Ndanda found themselves alone. A realisation hit us all: the feast is over. Now it it time for work…

May God bring this good start to a fruitful end!

Reporting from N’nango, Mozambique – Fr. Christian OSB – for Ndanda Mission Office