In July, the MSC community in Mozambique celebrated their first retreat together, with the community of Our Lady of Fatima in Meluco.
The Mozambique mission began in March 2018, when MSC missionaries from Brazil began ministering in the Pemba diocese, an extremely poor part of the country with no church infrastructure or functioning pastoral ministry. Here, they initiated construction of a community house from which they could undertake their ministry and parish outreach, and they immediately began working to bring positive change to the district.
A year after the mission began, in March and April 2019, two cyclones hit north-eastern Mozambique over the space of six weeks, killing hundreds and rendering over 21,000 people homeless. With many houses in the area built of mud, bamboo, and wood, floods and mudslides destroyed homes, crops, and livestock, with no means of recovery. “We have lost everything,” said one survivor. “Our house and most of our belongings were taken by the wind and the waves.”
MSC missionaries had already been working to rebuild struggling communities in the area, and in the wake of these disasters, they have been helping devastated families to restore the shattered pieces of their lives.
July’s retreat was a wonderful opportunity for the MSC community and their parishioners in Meluco and beyond to join together in prayer, reflection, and unity. The MSC Mozambique Facebook page posted about the experience, saying that it was a special “moment to withdraw and pray, deepening our experience of God”.
With blessings and best wishes to our MSC brothers and the communities they serve in Mozambique – may this be the first of many powerful and positive retreats for you all.