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Visit of the Secretarait of Laity to Kisangani


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16/06/2016: Dem. Rep. of the Congo


The delegation of the secretariat of laity: Mr Pep Buetas and Brothers Javier Espinosa and Sylvain Rama., arrived in Kisangani at 16:00 on the 1st June 2016 as expected due to the delay of the plane from Kinshasa. It was still an excited experience of welcoming them to Kisangani. A delegation of brothers and lay went to welcome them at the airport. Immediately a meal was taken by brothers and lay in the community of brothers as a sign of unity.

After the meal as the delegation met the fraternity undertaking the novena to Father Champagnat, they were invited to be part of this. The main intention of this novena is to present to father Champagnat the reality of our Province and the materialization of the call to unity as a Province. The delegation therefore participated in the novena at a house of a lay mariste, Mr. Esenze. The first day was concluded by this activity.

The second day of the visit, the delegation did a tour of specific places of Kisangani town. They went to Wagenia falls, to Tshopo River as well as places were brothers arrived first in DR Congo. At 11:00 the delegation came back and the first session: meeting teachers of the Groupe Scolaire Sainte Marie. The goal of this was to tell teachers what the secretariat is all about but also to reflect together who is a lay marist. Teachers were informed that foremost we are all Marist and that no Marist is better than the other. However, it was pointed out that within the Marists there is a specific group searching for God’s will in Mary’s way and as Father Champagnat did. These are lay Marists. The audience welcomed this message and was happy to be informed.

Later in the afternoon the delegation went to visit the Mariste University of Congo and gave the same message to the personnel. They stressed on the importance of understanding one’s vocation. Questions were raised one of which being how one can become a lay Marist.

After meeting the staff members of UMC, the delegation now met the fraternity of lay marists to exchange experiences. They started by encouraging the fraternity and later on checked the joys and challenges they were meeting. The first and the foremost was that related to the formation.

There is a need of a provincial plan in the formation of lay marist. The documentation was equally pointed out part of which the delegation availed. Of the question of financial problem, the delegation stressed on the first motivation of being a lay Marist that of sharing the charism of Father Champagnat. Each place is called to creatively find the means of raising funds. We are called to learn from what others are doing without necessarily copying them.

This exchange ended by the prayer of novena at the house of another lay Marist, Mr. Usuku.

Though the visit was short, activities were intense. We thank the General Administration and the Secretariat of Laity in particular for the attention given to us and for the new spirit they had injected in us.

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