2014-11-07 SOUTH SUDAN

International Communities for a New Beginning

In July Br Emili sent a letter to all provincials and district leaders outlining plans for the years leading up to the bicentenary of the Institute and our entry into the third century of Marist life and mission. There was information concerning itinerary for marking the 200 years; the process of the revision of the constitutions and an annexe, which announced a major Marist project “International Communities for a New Beginning”.

In a previous communication Cmi reported on the Juan Diego Community in New York and the appointment of Brother Pedro Chimeno as a ‘collaborator’ for the Secretariat. In this communication we announce the expansion of Marist presence in the newest country of the world, South Sudan. 


CmiFor the last two years Br Christian Mbam from the province of Nigeria has been our Marist representative in a mission to South Sudan sponsored by the two Unions of Superiors General. Thirty three volunteers belonging to, or associated with, twenty three congregations form four communities of mission in a collaborative arrangement which is probably unique. Br Christian was originally appointed to Malakal in the north of the country but the teachers’ college there suspended activities during the upscaling of the conflict of 2014. He is now the administrator of a community agricultural project in Riimenze – a project that relies more on bullocks than tractors. He has finally found an opportunity to use his degree in zoology! Christian is the community coordinator of a mixed community of four – three women and one man – representing three congregations from India, Canada and Nigeria. 

In 2015 the Marist presence in South Sudan will be increased by 200%. The province of Nigeria studied and discerned a commitment to the project, Solidarity with South Sudan in solidarity with Br Christian the Marist trail blazer. The province actively ‘scouted’ for volunteers and through the secretariat Collaboration for mission, international (Cmi) offered their services to the Superior General. Perhaps the brothers in Nigeria prophetically foresaw the July letter coming. They certainly responded to the call of the XXIst Chapter reinforced by the General Conference to “… go in haste to new lands”


In 2015 Brothers Longinus Dimgba and Matthew-Mary Ogudu will join Christian in Yambio and Riimenze in South Sudan. Br Matthew-Mary has been the province econome for the last six years. He has a degree in accountancy and will be of great assistance in the administration of the agriculture project, which relies for support on many overseas NGOs. Br Longinus has degrees in Mathematics and is an experienced classroom teacher and school principal. He will enhance the quality of teacher education at the Catholic Teachers College with his professionalism and experience. 


Br Chris Wills – Director Cmi


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