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A new superior, a new council and new priorities

 

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The fifth Chapter of the Marist District of West Africa

01/09/2012: Ghana - Photo gallery

The fifth Chapter of the Marist District of West Africa brought together 17 Capitulants and 3 invited members for five days running from the 10th to the 15th of August 2012 in the District House in Accra, Ghana. This came after months of preparation that included consultations for the election of a New District Superior. The invaluable contributions of the Brothers as individuals and as communities in faithfully electing the delegates and answering the survey suggested to them by the Preparatory Commission. Another level of collaboration included the preparation of reports in all spheres of life of the District and its members which constituted excellent working documents for the Chapter. The final phase of the preparation was an intensive novena by all the Brothers from the 1st to the 9th of August.

During the Chapter the Brothers shared their concerns and hopes for the District in an atmosphere of prayer and trust in Jesus, Mary and Champagnat. For the first time in the history of this young District, the Lay Marist branch was represented by Mr. Num Timothy, an invited participant from Ghana. This is an important milestone towards greater union or collaboration with our lay partners.

Together, the Capitulants entered into a process of discernment in a bid to chart the way forward for the District over the next three years. At the end of it all the Brothers came up with the following three priorities and mandated the District Superior and his Council to work towards their realisation:

Formation: to adequately form Brothers and lay people in different areas of need and provide forums for spiritual renewal for the Brothers and lay collaborators, Community Life – Communities’ Financial Autonomy in which the Brotherswill work at building prophetic, healthy and self – reliant Marist Communities that witness the message of the Gospel and that promote the wellbeing of its members, ensuring that they live by what they earn and finally Vocations Ministry in which they will work at creating awareness of Marist vocations, also devoting special attention to those who want to consecrate themselves to the Lord in Marist Religious Life.

Noting that the above priorities had been discussed or addressed by previous Chapters, the capitulants observed a lack of practical implementation of the priorities and therefore suggested a clause of implementation for the priorities to be followed up by the District Council. Hence, the District Council will see to it that a plan is drawn up to facilitate the implementation of these priorities and equally make sure that the objectives are evaluated at the end of every year.

Some of the inspiring moments of the Chapter were the installation of the new District Superior, Br. Francis Yufenyuy Lukong by the Provincial of the Mediterranean Province and the election of the District Councillors. In a spirit of faith, trust and transparency, the following Brothers were elected as District Councillors: Br. John Kusi Mensah (Ghana), Br. Daniel Taylor (Liberia), Br. Vincent de Paul Kouassi (Cote d’Ivoire) and Br. Kwame Frimpong Isaac (Ghana, working in Cameroon). 

The Provincial of the Mediterranean Province, Bro. Antonio Giménez de Bagüés Gaudó, had also the opportunity to thank Bro. Sylvain Yao Kouassi Kan for the six years that he served the Institute as District Superior. 

Another key personality present at this Chapter was Brother Ernesto Sánchez, General Councillor, whose encouragement, accompaniment as well as invaluable insights and enriching experiences were very highly appreciated.

It was coincidental and fitting that this chapter ended on the Solemnity of the Assumption which is the Patronal Feast of our Congregation. On this day the Capitulants joined to pray for and to celebrate with Br. David Cooney who is celebrating his fiftieth anniversary of Religious Profession. Br. David is one of the Brothers from the United States who worked for some years in Liberia and is currently in that Country to celebrate this anniversary with the Liberian Brothers.

This District Chapter was accompanied and enriched by very rich prayer ceremonies and Eucharistic celebrations that left the Capitulants very satisfied at the end, affirming strongly that Mary Our Good Mother had guided them safely and wisely through it all and hopeful that she will continue to inspire them with her spirit. In fact, the Capitulants left this Chapter inspired, renewed and determined to contribute their quota as individuals and as communities towards the progress of the District and the Institute as a whole.

The twelve years – old District of West Africa has a membership of 75 Brothers amongst whom are two expatriates and three on Mission Ad Gentes. 

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