On 28 January 2021 Father Humberto Kuijpers, sss launched the publication of his book entitled Widows in our communities – Movement of hope and life.
But who is Father Humberto?
He is a religious and priest of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament of the St Peter-Julian Eymard Province in the Community of Maputo. He was born in Holland in 1942 during the Second World War. He came to Mozambique in 1986 at the time of the civil war. He has been the parish priest of St Joachim’s parish and has fulfilled various responsibilities in the archdiocese of Maputo, such as teaching in the major theological seminary of Pius X. Bishop Francisco Chimoio appointed him in 2015 as spiritual director of elderly persons, and in 2018-2019 as responsible for the pastoral care of widows and treasurer of the archdiocese. On 17 May 2020 Father Humberto celebrated the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination.
The launching of his book was celebrated in the parish of St Ann of Munhuana of Maputo in two parts: The morning for widows and the afternoon for other persons, respecting carefully a social distancing of 1.5 m. because we are living in this difficult period of the pandemic of Coronavirus (COVID 19).
Those present at this event were as follows: Bishop Francisco Chimoio accompanied by two priests of the archdiocese, the Abbé Fumo and Abbé Fernando; Blessed Sacrament religious, Father Gerald Uaiare, episcopal vicar and representative of the Provincial Superior at Mozambique, Fathers Silvério Ernesto, Vasco Sitoe, Félix Tupasso and, of course, Father Humberto Kuijpers himself. There was also a small group of the faithful and a group of widows.
The launching was published live on Facebook by means of which several persons followed this event, for example Father Théobald from the Netherlands, and others from other parts of the world. It was very interesting.
From the introductory part of the book, what Father Humberto wants to convey is easily understood.
He explains that in the course of several years of pastoral work with many active widows in the parish of St Joachim in Maputo, he felt that a pastoral instrument was missing to assist them as regards providing comfort, encouragement and sense of direction for their lives.
According to Father Humberto, they had to free themselves from tradition and cultural attitudes, which often oppress, isolate, and humiliate. A word of evangelization and closeness to God was needed, a word that would enable them to comfort their sisters, defend their rights, help them live with more freedom, charity, and facilitate the education of their children and grandchildren.
The principal objective of this ‘Movement: Hope and Life’ is to assist widows to:
- Emerge from their isolation and rediscover a certain human and spiritual equilibrium;
- Reflect on their new problems in life in order to be able to face them in the light of faith, for example, loneliness, education of children, professional work and integration into society;
- Share experiences in order to overcome barriers imposed by culture, traditional rites, etc.
Inspired by the founders, this movement at Maputo has adopted the following lines of action:
- organise meetings of reflection;
- organise retreats;
- collect funds to undertake visits to orphanages, prisons, hospitals and homes.
Enjoy reading this book! Fraternally,
Father Félix Florindo Tupasso, sss