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African Challenges

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

A Message from the Editor

Many years ago I worked in Africa on reducing mother to child transmission of HIV. South Africa was a major challenge. I was trying to get the South Africa government to allow antiviral drugs to prevent mother and child transmission of HIV. I was invited by the Vatican to attend a healthcare conference and had an unexpected audience with Pope St, John II, and made some helpful contacts at the Vatican. Thanks to the Vatican and others, this advocacy eventually proved successful.

In this issue we address African Challenges which are complex and diverse.

Please read To Honor God, We Must Take Care Of Others by Henry Karlson. As someone who worked many years on addressing the challenges of the AIDS pandemic, I ask our readers to consider sending a donation to help support the work of my friend Francis Otieno whose work continues to save lives.

Africa has faced a series on what often appeared to be insurmountable challenges. War and terrorism often appear to be endemic. I ask all of our readers to pray daily for the protection of all Africans.

Martha Hennessy has been sentenced to jail for her activism by breaking into Kings Bay Naval Base in Georgia two years ago to protest its stockpile of nuclear weapons. Please pray for her.

We continue to address the challenges of clerical sexual abuse and thank

Sara Larson for her courageous interview.

Our December 15 issue will address the Jesuits and include several interviews recommended by Father Hans Zollner, S.J.

We rely on our readers to support our work by making a donation

A Prayer for Africa

Lord, rightful advocate of peace.

God of power and mercy, please destroy war, which results in a spiral of human suffering and the destruction of your bountiful creation.

Eliminate violence from our midst and wipe away the tears.

Hear the cries of many African people afflicted through the death of their loved ones. Hear the sighs of those who live in constant fear,

Hear the cries of many African mothers who suffer with hunger pains but still break their backs to feed their families,

Hear the cries of those who have been displaced and are facing hunger and scarcity.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour we pray.” by Aneth Lwakatare World Council of Churches

A prayer for all those beheaded in Mozambique

Mercy is Your Name”

Lord, Our Redeemer:

You know the terrible path to an untimely death:

The inner turmoil and suffering, the agony of parting,

The struggle to accept what is happening, the meaning,

The need to forgive before departing –

Let your Holy Spirit descend into the hearts of all

Who were so violently taken and let their departure

Be a new moment of mercy for those who remain.

Lord, Our Savior:

You know what your mother went through at the cross:

The silent sharing in the darkness of faith, the helpless

Aloneness and, at the same time, hoping against hope

For fruit to be born of your afflictions and pains –

Let your Holy Spirit announce your Love at this time, to all who are driven from their homeland, fractured in their families and faith Communities increasingly in need of help upon help.

Lord, Mercy is your name:

You know how little by little your disciples spread the Word,

Your Holy Word of reconciliation with the Father and each other,

Overcoming distances, permeating cultures, reconciling arguments

And bringing a new awareness of the gift and beauty of human life –

Let your Holy Spirit announce the Good News afresh through

The plight of so many people, that a spirit of communion may

Rise up and turn enemies into friends, causing them to

Wonder at the mystery of your Father’s merciful love of us.

by Francis Etheredge Profiles in Catholicism

A Prayer for a Murdered Mother and Son

Dear Jesus and Mother Mary,

As a Mother, I bring before you Usman Masih, 25, who was shot dead along with his mother on Nov. 9 outside his home in Hasan Kathore, a village in Punjab province. Both Usman and his Mother died on the spot. His father, a laborer, has filed a police case against neighbors Atrat Bibi and her son Hasan Shakoor. We beg you Jesus and Mother Mary to help people heal and to realize that the drain that caused the grudge to deepen when it wasn't attended to, was not at all worthy of this terrible interaction. Please help the families to realize that life is to be shared with each other by assisting all that is needed in life. Hasan Kathore is home to 250 families, all of them Muslims. by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism

Prayer for Health Care Workers

Almighty God, whose beloved Son Jesus Christ, went about doing good, and healing all manner of illness and disease: continue, we beseech you, his gracious work among us especially in… (Insert Name of Your Facility or Department). Grant to physicians, nurses and all health care professionals wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience; keep them safe and preserve them from all contagion. Cheer, heal and sanctify the sick, and send down your blessing on all who care for them healer, Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

by Catholic Health Association of the United States

Let us gather together and pray for the victims of the typhoons and flooding in the Philippines.

Father, we pray for the victims of the typhoons in the Philippines that you give them comfort in their dealings with their losses and provide them with all their needs. Provide them food, shelter and all their necessities. Give them healing and take away their fears. Give them the courage to face their losses and give them strength to care for their injured loved ones. Heal the hearts of those who lost their loved ones.

Father, we intercede on behalf of everyone affected by these storms. Bless, keep, protect, and comfort each and every one of them. Father, meet every need, and I pray for the safety of every missing person.

Let every grieving family know of your love in a special way. Bind the hand and voice of the enemy so they can hear you clearly.

Help and strengthen every person helping in the search, support, treatment, and cleanup effort.

Lord Jesus, our Prince of peace, bring peace to the victims and their family and friends. Perform miracles on their behalf that they may find financial aid and all types of relief they need to survive from these natural disasters.

We thank you Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit for hearing our prayers. by St. Mary’s Parish Winnipeg, Canada

Prayer for Martha Hennessy

Oh Lord, as Catholics we offer our gratitude

to Martha Hennessy, granddaughter of Dorothy Day, for continuing the work of the Plowshares 7 and the Catholic Worker, opposing nuclear arms and warfare,

which have been condemned by our Church,

and helping feed the hungry and serve those in need.

She will now be serving ten months in prison

for entering a nuclear arsenal

and painting peace signs and messages on its walls.

She caused very little actual damage.

Oh Lord, we pray for you to be with her

with your love and support,

helping her to endure and survive her imprisonment.

She is being punished for serving humanity

and working to save the lives of all of us,

by witnessing to the evil of nuclear arms and nuclear war.

May she emerge healthy and well

and return to those she loves

and who love her,

as do we all.

We pray for peace, shalom for all humanity.


by Dr. Eugene Fisher Profiles in Catholicism

Prayer for People With HIV/AIDS

Upon reflection of National AIDS Awareness Day – take time to pray for healing –

Hear our prayer, O God of mercy and love,

for all who suffer with AIDS.

Grant unto them tender and loving companions

who will support them in the midst of fear.

Give them hope for each day to come

that every day may be lived with courage and faith.

Bless them with an abundance of your love

that they may live with concern for others

and not be obsessed with their own illness.

Pout upon them the peace and wholeness

which you alone can give.


Source: Adapted from “Prayers of Our Hearts” © 1991 Vienna Cobb Anderson. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

A Quote to Remember

The splendid growth and achievements of the church in Africa are due largely to the heroic and selfless dedication of generations of missionaries. Pope John Paul II Ecclesia in Africa


African Articles/Commentaries

General Articles/Commentaries

Featured Report

Featured Report

Featured Report

Featured Report

Book Reviews/Commentaries

Film Reviews/Commentaries

Television Reviews/Commentaries

Please support one of our organizations, colleagues, and friends who need help Please read To Honor God, We Must Take Care Of Others by Henry Karlson Patheos

  • Please send a donation to help save the life of my close friend AlwinRex in India. Please read the article How do we love our neighbor as ourselves? and send a donation of $10.00 or more to help cover his healthcare costs to PayPal link: Thank you Gordon Nary Editor, Profiles in Catholicism

  • Please help Francis Otieno care for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa who are also starving. He desperately needs your donations. Thank you Gordon Nary Editor, Profiles in Catholicism

  • Donation request for mentally retarded children in India When Children are Set Free by Father Shay Cullen Preda Foundation Father Shay Cullen established The Preda Foundation in Olongapo City in 1974 and has been rescuing enslaved children and women from sex slavery and children from jails. He has been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize and received other human rights awards.

  • Saikou Kambi, a 7-year-old boy in The Gambia who fell from a mango tree, was seriously injured and later died. We hope that some of our readers will make a donation to cover his medical expense. Donations should be sent to Heidi Troyer via PayPal to her email address She will foreword it on it on to Saikou’s pastor, and funds donated that exceed his medical expenses will go to help support his family

Remembering Those Who Have Passed

Feasting with the Saints


The Schools Under Siege in South Africa | Unreported World

The Dancing Church of Africa | Sacred Heart Parish, Mombasa

Hillsong Kids Africa (Ages 6-12) | 1 November

White-only South African town nostalgic for apartheid

The blessing of Down syndrome (My Perfect Family: Taonga)

Living with Fragile X (My Perfect Family: Fragile X)

Neo-Nazis explain why they like Donald Trump

The kidnapping campaign of Nazi Germany | DW Documentary

Fr Hans Zollner SJ from the Pontifical Gregorian University in JESAM

African Credo - Thanksgiving

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