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Meet a La Salette – Fr. Messias de Nazaré Malanga, M.S.

By Fr. Messias de Nazaré Malanga, M.S.


What is your family background?


I am the son of João Malanga and Madalena Nimba Malanga, both Grammar School teachers. I was born in the small village of Chissoca on September 26, 1977, in Caluquembe Municipality of Huila Province in Southern Angola. I am the second oldest of thirteen children, of which we had two sets of twins. I was baptized on October 6, 1977, made my First Communion on June 21, 1987, and my Confirmation on August 25, 1991. I unexpectedly lost my younger brother, Bastos Marcolino Malanga, a La Salette priest ministering in Namibe, southwestern Angola, near the Atlantic Ocean.


What are your educational background and your contact with La Salette?


I attended the La Salette Mission Primary School in Santiago, in Caluquembe, in the Huila Province, Angola. Then I went to nearby Fadário Faustino Muteca Secondary School. As a young boy, I was initially interested in becoming a journalist. But one day, Fr. Juaquin Tchingelesi, a La Salette Missionary, met with us young men and introduced the possibility of going to the La Salette Seminary in Benguela, a day’s journey from our home. Three of us accepted his invitation and attended the seminary the following year.


What has been your seminary education experience?


I finished my last two years of High School Seminary at Bom Pastor, completed my High Philosophy Course for three years, and then finished my college studies. I applied and entered the La Salette Novitiate in the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Lubango, Angola.


After taking my first vows, I went to Bom Pastor High Seminary of Theology in Benguela, linked to the theology department at Matritensis Sancti Damasi Arquidiocese in Madrid, Spain. Having completed my studies, I received my Theology Licence. I went to a particular preparation program for my perpetual vows at the La Salette National Shrine in Attleboro, Massachusetts, USA, with twelve others.


What has been your experience of priestly ministry?


I was ordained to the Priesthood on February 20, 2011, in Our Lady of Grace Church in Banguela. I ministered in two parishes, in our Banguela Seminary, and as an English Teacher Coordinator in the High School of Huambo Province in Angola. I was also a part-time lecturer at Sol Nascente (secular) University for eight years in Huambo Province in Angola. I also taught English at a Catholic University.


What inspires you about the La Salette Apparition?


Her compassion most inspires me, and how she invited the two children to “Come nearer... (and) don’t be afraid.” Then she shared her “good news” with these two witnesses. I can imitate her words and actions by inviting other young men to become La Salette Missionaries and spreading her message about hospitality, reconciliation, peace, and love to the world.


What are your hopes for serving at the Attleboro Shrine?


I hope to be a gift of God to all those people who come to this beautiful Shrine. I hope to learn more about my inculturation into this community and my relationship with Mary’s people. Also, I want to be helpful to all the pilgrims as well as my fellow Portuguese people in this area by celebrating with them in our official language, getting to know them and their needs, and celebrating many sacraments with them. And lastly, I feel privileged to be able to share Mary’s message with them.