2023-02-02 KENYA

African Assembly of Marist Provincials and their Councils

The African Assembly of Marist Provincials and their Councils was held from 19th to 24th January in Nairobi, Kenya, under the motto ‘Marist fraternity in communion, walking together in mission”. The meeting had the participation of the 5 Provincials and their councillors for the Region: Br. Michel Mami (Madagascar), Br. Vincent Abadom (Nigeria), Br. Emmanuel Mwanalirenji (Southern Africa), Br. Venceslas Baindekeli Beimoyato (East Central Africa), and Br. Cyprian Gandebo (West Africa). Present from the General Administration were Brothers Ernesto, Superior General, the link councillors for the region, Brothers Ken and Óscar, Brother Jorge, Econome General, and Brother Gregorio, assistant to the Econome General and Project Manager of the Strategic Plan of the General Administration.

“It is the first Assembly of Provincial Councils, convoked by the Conference of Provincials of the Region of Africa”, highlighted Br. Ernesto. And he adds: “It has been lived in an atmosphere of fraternal dialogue and listening to the Spirit, looking for those points and areas in which they can create synergy as a Region to support each other. The desire and interest in caring for the life of the young confreres is evident in a Region that currently has half of the confreres in temporary vows in the Institute”.

According to Br. Oscar, the meeting “has been a time of shared reflection, deepening and discernment. Africa is growing in number of Brothers and, little by little, is growing as a region. It has been a time for dreaming and planning, for making progress on important regionalization issues, and for thinking a lot about the Marist future, especially in the areas of initial formation and mission.”

For his part, Br. Vincent Abadom, Provincial of Nigeria and President of the Conference of Superiors of the African Continent, wished that the African Marist region could journey together as Marist Africa.

The participants of the Assembly worked as a team using the “U Theory” methodology. This process generated eight themes, four of which were taken as main priorities for the African region.

The Four Main Priority Areas:
  • Review current administrative structures so that they better facilitate (a) future Marist mission and collaboration, and (b) sharing human resources across the region.
  • Re-imagine MIC (the formation community) so that the formation experiences for young brothers respond more effectively to the realities and dreams of young brothers and better ensures joyful human formation and mission focused religious life formation.
  • Develop a variety of programs and pathways (including MIUC) that better facilitate engagement of young brothers in Marist Ministry with a strong mission spirit across the different ministry realities of the region.
  • Investigate and implement a shared common project.

For Br. Ken, General councillor, the meeting “was a wonderful experience of joint discernment. In an atmosphere of engaging with God’s Spirit and listening to each other the assembly established the priorities that will move the Region of Africa forward into the future. It was an experience of working together for the benefit of the future viability and vitality of Marist Life and Mission in Africa.”

Brother Graham Neist, from Australia, was the facilitator of the Assembly.


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