Mission in Africa

07 July 2021
Africa Day at the St. Stephen Basilica on September 6, 2021. There will be movies, performances and musical programs. You can meet Afréka, András Csókay, as well as Archbishop Okeke, Fr. Izunna Okonkwo and Fr. Basil Ekwunife from Onitsha, Nigeria.

A deep bond has been developed between the Hungarian Catholic community and the faithful of Onitsha, Nigeria, thanks to the Hungarian medical missions of the recent years. At first a medical, while later a humanitarian aid connected the two parties. By now, the mutual interest and the desire to get familiar with each other’s life and culture have enlarged the communities’ openness towards each other.

Cardinal Péter Erdő has initiated a relationship between the Hungarian and Nigerian Catholics that is not based on a simple give-and-take bond. He has heard about Nigerian people’s enormous faith and made a suggestion to familiarise the Nigerian Catholics, also heavily persecuted for their faith, with Cardinal József Mindszenty’s life and struggles. Moreover, Nigerian faithful could join in the prayers for the late Cardinal’s beatification, as well as for his intercession for healings. Upon Archbishop Okeke’s request four parishes have engaged themselves in the Mindszenty prayers, one of them is the Chapel of the St. Borromeo Hospital, where each morning at 6.00 a.m. some four hundred staff members are praying.

In September last year, an online pre-meeting was held in the spirit of the Eucharist, for which Valerian Okeke, Archbishop of the Onitsha Archdiocese sent a video message expressing his hope to meet in person in 2021 at the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress. As to the plans this hope is to become a reality. For the day of September 6, 2021 an evening is going to be organised at the St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Hostess of which will be dr. Réka Fodor, also known as “Afréka”, a missionary doctor, the founder of the Afréka Foundation. The evening program, starting from 18.00, also includes a lecture, titled “The Eucharist, our strength” that is to be given by Valerian Okeke, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria.

During the program we can also meet Reverend Father dr. Izunna Okonkwo, CEO of the St. Charles Borromeo Hospital in Onitsha, Nigeria. He will share his thoughts on “The Eucharist and World Hunger”. His book, bearing the same title, has been published on his social-theological explorations.

The evening program goes on with the presentation “The Eucharist, as the source of the Humanitarian Aid” of Reverend Father Basil Ekwunife, Vice Chancellor to the Onitsha Archdiocese. It is more than natural that the father of the Nigerian medical missionary service, András Csókay, neurosurgeon also attends the event, giving a lecture titled “Medical missions with Jesus prayers” on the adventures and experiences on his Nigerian mission. The evening is enriched with the fantastic Ghanaian origin singer, musical artist, Sena Dagadu, also acting as one of the Congress’ messengers.

Event admission is free! However, should you intend to support the coming mission of the Afréka Foundation, you can do so in the form of a book purchase. The Afréka-volumes, summarizing the Nigerian medical missionary services, as well as the book of Father Izunna are available during the “Week of the Book”, held in front of the St. Stephen Basilica all along the week of the Congress. Interpretation service is provided!

Participation is subject to registration, please mail your intention of attendance to the email: hello@iec2020.hu