A Countless Number of Pastoral Activities

The Church of Mozambique, like many other regions in the world, is experiencing a shortage of priests and missionaries to serve the entire population. Added to this are the difficulties implied by the country being made up of many communities dispersed throughout regions of difficult access, at risk of going months without the assistance of the Sacraments.

This shortfall weighs heavily on the priestly heart of Fr. Arão Mazive, director of Pierre Toussaint House, as well as on the other Herald priests who work in Maputo or who visit the community, urging them to amplify the extension of their pastoral outreach.

Commitment with parishes and shrines

In the Parish of Holy Mary Mother of God, of Khongolote, where the Heralds’ house in Maputo is located, the priests of the institution help Friar Sérgio Estefane, OCarm, in his pastoral work. But they also regularly celebrate Masses in other remote communities, such as that of St. Anthony of Muchisso, part of Holy Family Parish, in Machava, and are involved in the catechetical formation of new converts to Catholicism, mostly young people of diverse backgrounds and religious beliefs.

At the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, in Namaacha, located seventytwo kilometres from Maputo, the assistance of the Heralds has become a tradition during the country’s major religious event, which is a national pilgrimage to the shrine on May 13 and October 13, feasts of the Blessed Virgin of Fatima. Thousands of pil-
grims participate, coming from all over Mozambique and neighbouring areas. On these occasions, the Heralds’ brass band embellishes the event and the mobile sound system of the institution is employed for the duration of the candlelit procession.

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Encouraging devotion to Our Lady

To promote devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Heralds of the Gospel conduct courses on consecration to Our Lady, according to the method of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, in parishes, chapels, at their centre, and via the Marian Hour radio program which reaches several provinces in Mozambique. These courses have attracted numerous participants, and are yielding surprising results.

Along with this Marian activity, they promote the Shrine Apostolate. Numerous homes across the country receive the Shrine once a month, an occasion for the family to pray the Rosary and other devotions together. There are also Shrines circulating in Cameroon, South Africa, Rwanda and Angola, thanks to the evangelizing zeal of Mozambicans.

Additionally, the Heralds visit families with the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima, inviting all neighbours for a period of reflection and prayer before the Mother of God. Immense benefits have been received from Heaven through these apostolic endeavours. Among them can be mentioned the rekindling of the Catholic Faith in people fallen away from parish life, and the return to the Father’s house of those who, for many years, have been distanced from the True Religion. These visits frequently result in resolutions to abandon bad habits and return to the Sacraments, especially that of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Finally, a considerable growth in spiritual fervour is noted after the visit of the statue of Our Lady to homes.

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Cultural and vocational promotion

To promote cultural growth among the juvenile public, the Heralds of the Gospel also visit both public and private schools, where they reach out to young people, in such need of spiritual guidance. Through the cultural-religious initiative of the Heralds called the Future and Life Project, music courses are provided, as well as classes of moral and religious instruction, both in schools and at parishes, to help form the “new man” (Eph 4:24), in the footsteps of the Apostle to the Nations.

But the best results of this initiative are felt by convents and seminaries, who reap the finest fruits of this labour: the flourishing of new and authentic vocations.

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