One of the greatest and indeed most outstanding ingredients of old age is wisdom. When wisdom is lacking, old aging becomes almost meaningless. When people are opportune to have an old man or woman around them, they are counted as blessed on account of what they will gain from the old person in their midst. In this edition, the roving camera of the Correspondent of RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA captures the First Cardinal in Angola. Here is a man known all over the country for “wisdom, the richness of life”. It becomes imperative therefore that our bishops in West Africa and the world over should pray seriously for the gift of wisdom as that may be the greatest heritage, and they will eventually be the younger generation.

History has it that Alexandre Cardinal do Nascimento, the Archbishop emeritus of Luanda Archdiocese has, on his 99th birth anniversary, been lauded for exercising much wisdom and richness of life in his ministry.

In his homily during a thanksgiving Mass to mark Cardinal do Nascimento’s birthday, Archbishop José Manuel Imbamba, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe (CEAST) appreciated the prayer life of Angola’s first Cardinal, whose centenary will be celebrated next year.

“May God continue to bless you so that by being in our midst, with this dense and noble cloud of wisdom and so much richness of life, we all learn never to waste a single moment of life and never forget the author of life itself, God,” Archbishop Imbamba said during the Eucharistic celebration that was held at Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral of Malanje Archdiocese on March 3.

The Local Ordinary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Saurimo in Angola highlighted Cardinal do Nascimento’s achievements as a “religious leader who worked for the development of the church, Angolan society, and the world in general.”

He said his humanist performance contributed to the progress, unity, and well-being of Angolans, noting that it was necessary to honor and respect the Cardinal’s 99th birthday, 72 of which were dedicated to the Priesthood.

Cardinal do Nascimento who was born in the province of Malanje, Angola, on 1 March 1925, was ordained a Priest in December 1952. In August 1975, he was appointed Bishop of Malanje and ordained the same year.  In February 1977, he was elevated to Metropolitan Archbishop of Lubango and was also Apostolic Administrator ad nutum Sanctæ Sedis of the Diocese of Ondjiva.

On 5 January 1983, his creation as a cardinal was announced by Pope John Paul II at the Consistory of February 2, when he received the red barrette and the title of Cardinal-Presbyter of San Marcos in Agro Laurentino.

He was transferred to the Archdiocese of Luanda in February 1986 and resigned from the pastoral government of the archdiocese in 2001.

The March 3 Holy Mass also marked the opening of the Year of Prayer to prepare for the 2025 Jubilee and the end of National Solidarity Week in Angola.

In his homily, Archbishop Imbamba invited Christians to reflect on their solidarity with the neediest, helping them to not only have the bread of survival but above all to find the right decision that leads to the celebration of life.

“I invite all the Christians of Angola and São Tomé to set our hearts on fire with charity, to set our hearts on fire with solidarity, to set our hearts on fire by participating in all the actions in which we are invited to give part of ourselves, to give what we have for the good of our brothers and sisters,” he said.

On the 2025 Jubilee Year, the Angolan Archbishop recalled that it is in prayer that one speaks to God and that this should happen not only in church but also in families, where fathers and mothers should take the lead in transforming homes into authentic domestic churches.

“As we know, prayer is talking to God about our origin and destination, which as pilgrims we hope to reach through love and work in this world, which we hope to perfect,” Archbishop Imbamba said.

“Every one of us in the Church in Angola and São Tomé is invited to intensify the quality and frequency of our prayer, to intensify prayer in the family,” he said, and continued, “Our sons and daughters must learn to pray with us, fathers, mothers, let’s make our homes authentic domestic churches.”