When Zambian Friar Fr. Andrew Mukosa, OFM Conv., arrived in Columbus, Ohio, on his first trip out of Africa, he felt right at home. There to meet him was Br. Bryan Hoban, OFM Conv., who had spent many years as a missionary in Zambia. Even though the two had never met, there was a connection.
“I felt like I’ve known him for years,” Fr. Andrew said. “I already know his works. So many things in Zambia have his imprint.”
Br. Bryan drove Fr. Andrew to Carey, Ohio, where he stayed with the Conventual Franciscan Friars at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation. Over three days, Fr. Andrew began his American experience, celebrating Mass and preaching to the children of OLC School, visiting the school’s classrooms, and meeting with the teachers and administrators.
As part of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation’s intercultural outreach with Provinces from around the world, Fr. Andrew has come to the United States to learn more about Catholic education. He is the administrator of St. Francis Secondary School in Kitwe, Zambia.
“I am very interested in the schools here,” he said. “My journey here is very important, to be mingling with people and learning more.”
In addition to learning, Fr. Andrew is here to say thank you to those who have supported the Friars in Zambia.
“OLC School has a festival each year to support St. Francis,” he said. “I also came to thank many others who give to the missions.”
After a trip to Angola and time with the Friars there, Fr. Andrew spent several days at Mount St. Francis in southern Indiana. During that time he visited Providence High School, near St. Anthony Parish in Clarksville, Indiana.
“They were very excited about the possibility of cultural exchange, how we can communicate more,” he said. “Perhaps we can have our children in Zambia Skype with children here. Communication is very important. We can get rid of so many prejudices.”
After spending the time at Mount St. Francis, Fr. Andrew was off to stay with the Friars in Terre Haute, Indiana. He will continue to visit other Friaries around the country before leaving in early May.
To learn more about St. Francis Secondary School in Zambia, visit saintfrancisschoolzambia.org