Fr. Joseph Mutemena, OFM Conv., talks to Sandra Bradford’s English class about his book and becoming a priest.

When missioner Sandra Bradford taught the creative writing unit to her St. Francis Secondary School’s 11th grade English class in Zambia, she decided to use an example from the community. 

“The Beasts of Ghosts Town” is about a gang of young adults that is terrorizing the community of Luansha with the hero being the local police chief. The short novel written and published by newly-ordained Fr. Joseph Mutemena, OFM Conv., the assistant novice master for the local friars.

Sandra used the story in class and then encouraged her 59 students to read it.

To motivate her students further, Sandra invited Fr. Joseph to visit her class to sign books and talk to the students about how he became a writer and a priest. 

“My students were unbelievably excited — a ‘famous’ person was coming to our class!” Sandra said.

“They prepared questions to ask Fr. Joseph and brushed up on the vocabulary of creative writing so ‘he won’t think we’re dumb.’ Fr. Joseph was equally excited as it was his first book signing opportunity. The whole thing was really successful and fun for all of us.”

Sandra also runs the school’s library and teaches 18 postulates college-level English literature and psychology at the St. Joseph Mission.

This Teacher Appreciation Week, we are grateful for all of our current and returned missioners who have served as educators abroad!