March 12, 2016.
It has been a while since we posted anything here. Not because there has been nothing to share. On the contrary, we have been experiencing an overabundance of gifts, happenings and events such that there has been little time to process the “too much”. Now, thanks to a dedicated and persistent research assistant, Fr Emmanuel is able to share some developments on the Bethany Land Institute http://emmanuelkatongole.com/pilgrim/kiumpa-bethany-greens/ . Three highlights over the last six months have brought much needed momentum to The Bethany Land Institute initiative as we prepare for take off:
The gift of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si
which provides the much needed and fresh pastoral/theological vision on care for our human home. See Fr Emmanuel’s reflection on the urgency of the ecological challenge in Africa, which reflects on Laudato Si and also casts a vision for the BLI, see ROOTING GOD’S MISSION IN THE AFRICAN SOIL .
Seed funding from two organizations allowed us to clear any remaining huddles on the land and to have the 78 acres of the future campus of the BLI surveyed and fenced off.
Fr Katongole planting a tree at BLI
Cornelius planting a tree at BLI
BLI successfully incorporated in Uganda (August); held first board meeting (Jan)
First BLI Board Meeting
and board site visit….
Board site visit
Some pictures of board meeting and of site visit.
I can honestly say, “I do not know what God is doing, but am glad to be part of it.”
Watch this space for more updates.
After two and half years of renting in South Bend, the gift of a new home: 3401 Creekwater Lane, just a little over two miles to the North of Notre Dame.
A bitter and cold winter in Chicago – but in its midst, a spring-full of gift, chief among them, 4 month residence and company of priest friends (Stan & Ken especially) at St. Clement Church Lincoln Park, while serving as a senior fellow at the De Paul Center for World Christianity and Intercultural Theology (thanks especially to Bill and Mike), working on a manuscript: Born of Lament: The Theology and Politics of Hope in Africa I am happy with the first draft, and will hopefully be ready to submit to publishers a revised manuscript in the Fall. For a preview of the Why, How and What of Born of Lament, watch here at vimeo
Complex economic, political, cultural and policy factors have contributed to the current ecological crisis. However, at the basis of these complex factors lies a fundamental theological problem which has to do with our failure to live as creatures who are fashioned out of the earth and have been given the vocation to till the land and take care of it.” (Gen 2:15). It is this vocation we have been running away from and the effects are disastrous especially in Africa……..
But since as the Congolese theologian Ka Mana has reminded us, “The goal of African theology must be to transform Africa rather than just explain it; to change it positively rather than just study it; to create history rather than just to interpret it,” what I wish to do is to present The Bethany Land Institute is one concrete experiment that reflects the invitation to “till the land and take care of it.” Keynote address at the 2015 HNGR symposium “The Hungry Shall be Filled“. Wheaton University. Feb 2–28, 2015. Listen to the lecture and other sessions at the symposium.