Healey, Joseph G. 1938–

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Healey, Joseph G. 1938–

(Joseph Graham Healey)


Born April 29, 1938, in Detroit, MI; son of Anthony John (a horse trainer) and Virginia (a homemaker) Healey. Education: Attended Princeton University, 1956-59; Maryknoll Seminary (now School of Theology), B.A., 1961, M.Th., 1966; University of Missouri—Columbia, M.A., 1967; Creighton University, M.Ch.Sp., 1981. Politics: Democrat.


Home and office—Maryknoll Society, P.O. Box 43058, Nairobi 00100, Kenya. E-mail—[email protected]


Entered Catholic Foreign Mission Society (Maryknoll Missionaries), 1959, ordained Roman Catholic priest, 1966; Maryknoll, Maryknoll, NY, writer, 1967-68; Association of the Catholic Bishops Conferences in East Africa, founder of Social Communications Office, 1968, social communications secretary, 1969-74; animator of small Christian communities in Nyabihanga Village, Rulenge, Tanzania, 1976-78; Maryknoll School of Theology, Maryknoll, spiritual director and teacher, 1979-82; Iramba Parish, Musoma, Tanzania, pastor and writer, 1982-86; Maryknoll Language School, Musoma, social communications secretary and writer in residence, 1987; Maryknoll Missionaries, social communications coordinator of Africa region based in Makoko, Musoma, 1987; moved to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 1994, and to Nairobi, Kenya, 2007. Press officer of the Catholic Church for the pope's stay in Uganda, 1969; served as local superior of Maryknoll Society House, Masaki, Msasani, Tanzania. Orbis Books, member of advisory board as representative of Maryknoll Africa Region; African Proverbs, Sayings, and Stories Web site, moderator; Small Christian Communities Global Collaborative Web site, networking coordinator.


Religious Superiors' Association of Tanzania (chair and coordinator of Mission Awareness Committee).


Pro Ecclesia Papal Medal of the Vatican, 1969.


(Editor, with Christopher Mwoleka) Ujamaa and Christian Communities, Gaba Publications (Eldoret, Kenya), 1976.

A Fifth Gospel: The Experience of Black Christian Values, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 1981.

What Language Does God Speak? African Stories about Christmas and Easter, St. Paul Publications—Africa (Nairobi, Kenya), 1990.

(With Donald Sybertz) Toward an African Narrative Theology, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 1996.

(Compiler) Once upon a Time in Africa: Stories of Wisdom and Joy, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 2004.

(Editor, with Jeanne Hinton) Small Christian Communities Today: Capturing the New Moment, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 2005.

(Compiler) African Stories for Preachers and Teachers, Paulines Publications Africa (Nairobi, Kenya), 2005.

Contributor to magazines, including Afer, New People, Omnis Terra, and Missiology. Editor, AMECEA Information, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region Newsletter, and Maryknoll Formation Journal.


Kuishi Injili (title means "Living the Gospel"), Benedictine Publications Ndanda (Peramiho, Tanzania), 1982.

(With Donald Sybertz) Kueneza Injili Kwa Methali (title means "Preaching the Gospel through Proverbs"), Benedictine Publications Ndanda (Peramiho, Tanzania), 1984.

(With Colette Ackerman) Kumtafsiri Upya Theresia Wa Lizee, 1991.

Kueneza Injili Kwa Methali, Kitabu Cha 2: Familia (title means "Preaching the Gospel through Proverbs, Book II: Family"), Benedictine Publications Ndanda (Peramiho, Tanzania), 1993.

Je, Mungu Anasema Lugha Gani?, Benedictine Publications Ndanda (Peramiho, Tanzania), 1993.


Joseph G. Healey once wrote: "As a Roman Catholic missionary priest who has worked in East Africa for many years, I am very interested in writing about the development of African Christianity, especially small Christian communities, the integration of African culture and Christian faith, missionary spirituality, missiological questions, and African proverbs. I have traveled to eighty-one countries, including thirty in Africa.

"During the years that I have spent in East Africa I have experienced again and again the African value that sharing is a way of life. As the African people share so deeply with me, I feel compelled to share my experience in Africa with people in other parts of the world. In my books and articles I have tried to let the African people and values speak for themselves, especially through small Christian communities' experiences, proverbs, sayings, riddles, and stories.

"I deeply feel that God is revealing himself today through the African people within their local situation and everyday life experiences. This I call ‘Africa's Fifth Gospel.’ Jesus is revealing himself in people's lives everywhere in contemporary human experience. So each person, each community, each nation, each continent has its own unique Fifth Gospel."



Maryknoll Africa: Joseph G. Healey Home Page,http://www.maryknollafrica.org/BioHealey.htm (July 1, 2008).

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Healey, Joseph G. 1938–