CJP Lunch Forum with Fr. Richard K. Baawobr

Where Northlawn, West Dining Room

Duration 1 hour

In 1888, Charles Martial Lavigerie, first elected Cardinal in the African continent and founder of the Missionaries of Africa, played a crucial role in the beginning of the Catholic Church’s involvement in the movement for the abolition of the Slave Trade. He did not limit his audience and appeal to Catholics and believers only, but he extended it to all people of good will: “Slavery, as it is practiced in Africa, is not only, indeed, contrary to the Gospel, it is contrary to natural law. Natural laws do not concern Christians only, they involve all humanity. That is why I am appealing to everyone, without distinction of nationality, party or religious creed. I do not address myself simply to faith, but to reason, to justice, to respect, to love of liberty.”

This year, 2013, we celebrate the 125th Anniversary of this Anti-Slavery campaign. But we also use this year’s celebration to raise awareness of today’s forms of slavery: human rights violations, poverty, land grabbing, human trafficking and child labor. Knowing what is happening to so many of our fellow human beings leads us to become indignant and to decide on some concrete action in order to fight today’s unjust systems.

Born in Ghana in 1959, Richard Baawobr is a priest member of the Society of Missionaries of Africa. He studied Philosophy in Ghana, Spirituality in Switzerland, Theology at the Missionary Institute of London.

After his priestly ordination, he worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo then studied Bible at the Pontifical Biblical Institute (Rome) before teaching in Tanzania and in the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic Institute of Toulouse (France). He obtained a Doctorate in Biblical Theology from the latter with a Thesis entitled “Quand Jésus prend la parole. Identité du Maître et naissance du disciple en Luc 4,16-30” (2004). He has published commentaries on the Sunday Gospels and on the Second Reading of Sundays for Christian Communities. He has also published articles in other scientific journals.

Since 2004 he has been serving on the general Council of the Missionaries of Africa, first as Vicar General and since 2010 as Superior General.

Today there are 1,450 men from 37 different nationalities, serving as Missionaries of Africa in 23 countries throughout the African Continent.

The Missionaries of Africa were founded by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie when he was Archbishop of Algiers, Algeria, over 145 years ago for the Evangelization of Africa. They continue today to remain faithful to their call to share the life and mission of Jesus, and to give witness to the Gospel in Africa and among Africans wherever they may be. In a spirit of solidarity and co-responsibility with the African churches, the Missionaries of Africa are committed to:

  • Helping to alleviate the poverty and deprivation that are still widespread in Africa by funding projects that foster self-reliance.
  • Raising the awareness of the plight of the African people through Mission education and various publications.
  • Providing up-to-date information relating to justice and peace issues that concern the countries in Africa where we live and work.
  • Working with Africans on structural changes that will help build the Reign of God and thereby helping them to become agents of their own liberation.
  • Helping to bring about healing and reconciliation.
  • Being bridge-builders to help promote inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue.

Intended Audience General Public

Tags CJP

Contact Information

Name CJP - Center for Justice & Peacebuilding

Phone # 540.432.4490