Fr. Bernhard Udelhoven, SMA, gives this third talk in CWCIT's Spiritual Works of Mercy Series. He addresses the work of mercy commonly known as "comforting the afflicted" as it relates to his pastoral ministry in Zambia, where he has lived and worked for 24 years as a member of the Missionaries of Africa.
His ministry involves a support group called the "Fingers of Thomas" for those who have had occult experiences, feel afflicted by demons or witchcraft, identify with forms of Satanism as portrayed by Christian preaching, or who stand accused of being witches or Satanists. These individuals find themselves ostracized by their families and communities, often with threats to their lives.
Based on 8 years of research (2007-2015) he led into Satanism and occultism in Zambia, Fr. Udelhoven's pastoral approach through "Fingers of Thomas" is a culturally-sensitive one. It takes seriously people's fears while striving to "comfort the afflicted," without foregoing the struggle for justice for the victims of moral panics, witch hunts, and the demonization of minority groups.
About the Speaker
Originally from Germany, Fr. Udelhoven holds an MA in social anthropology from SOAS University of London (UK). During the 24 years he has been in Zambia, he has gained 20 years' experience in mediating witchcraft-related disputes. And the approach he developed for the "Fingers of Thomas" support group is outlined in his 2015 book, Unseen Worlds: Dealing with Spirits, Witchcraft, and Satanism, published in Lusaka by FENZA (Faith and Encounter Centre, Zambia), a Catholic resource center on faiths and cultures.
About the Photo
A "Fingers of Thomas" member, Kombe Kambole (aka "Dr. Koko") during a workshop on witchcraft and "witch-finding." Courtesy of Johanneke Kamps.
About the Spiritual Works of Mercy
Acts of compassion, the Spiritual Works of Mercy guide us to do as Jesus did and help our neighbors in their times of spiritual and emotional need. Though sometimes worded differently, the seven spiritual works of mercy are
Please contact CWCIT at email@example.com or 773.325.4158.
Parking at DePaul
Street parking (both free & metered) is sometimes available on campus, but there are also 2 parking garages available for visitors**:
**For a discounted rate, please ask for validation at the event's information table. Discounted rates are as follows:
Entrance before 4:00pm = $9.25
Entrance after 4:00pm = $7.25
Thursday, January 24 at 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Student Center (Lincoln Park), 314B
2250 N Sheffield Ave