2017-01-09 KENYA

To deepen, share and celebrate

The General Council met on December 26 to 30, 2016 in the house of the Little Sisters of Saint Joseph in Nairobi, with the Provincials and Provincial Councils from all the Administrative Units of the African continent (Southern Africa, Eastern Central Africa, Nigeria, Western District Africa and Madagascar). 

This encounter  just as the other encounters of the Enlarged General Council held during the year, had three fundamental objectives: 1) to deepen on the sense of the new beginning for our vocation of Brothers called to be prophets and mystics in communion; 2) to share on the processes that the General Council promotes for the whole Institute in preparation for the XXII General Chapter; 3) with a grateful heart celebrate together the Bicentenary of the Institute and the beginning of the third centenary.  In order to obtain these objectives we worked on the document regarding the “Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church” as the conducting thread of the encounter.  

On the first day we reflected considering fraternity, a gift which we give (the mission).  For this we worked on the theme of the mission, becoming aware of our history and of our dreams.  The theme of the New Models of Animation, governance and management of the Marist Mission was also presented, as well as the theme of the international communities in the Institute.   

On the second day the theme of fraternity, a gift which we share (communion) was deepened.  For this we worked on a dynamic on the different gifts which we have and place at the service of our communities, as well as in the service of leadership that we exercise in our Provinces and in the Institute.  The theme of the Laity was also deepened concerning giving new energy to the life and Marist mission, especially what was done in the last encounter of the Regional Commissions held during the month of October in l’Hermitage.  Finally, the process of the revision of the Constitutions was presented.  

For the third day the chapter on Fraternity, a gift which we receive (Mystery) served as the basis. Here we worked on the theme of the interiority of our life, as well as the colloquy on initial formation which was held in l’Hermitage during the month of October 2015.  In the afternoon, we had the celebration of the 200 years of the Institute in the Aula Magna of the MIUC (Marist International University College).  There Brother Emili presented his video – the message on the occasion of the celebration of the new beginning of the Marist life.  Then the Brothers of the Marist International Center (MIC) entertained the celebration with some African dances and we ended with a festive supper.    

On the fourth day the theme proposed was how to be Brothers today in our Region.   During some time in the morning, there was time to listen to Brothers Cyprian Gandeebo (Rector of the University) and Théoneste Kalisa (Provincial of Eastern Central Africa) regarding the present situation of the Marist University Center (MIUC).   At the end, after a time of exchange of ideas and concerns concerning the Institute and the reality of Africa, Brother Emili concluded the meeting inviting to continue to deepen on the content of three words: sustainability, care and facing the risk.  

The encounter allowed having a greater contact and closeness between the General Council and the Provinces, as well as among the Administrative Units.  It also allowed us to confirm the great Marist vitality that exists in the African continent, statistically expressed in the number of young in formation for the Marist life: Scholastics (61) in Nairobi (MIC); 3 Novitiates (56 Novices) and 65 Postulants.   

On December 30th in the afternoon and 31st in the morning, the Provincial Councils continued meeting in order to work on the theme of the New Models for the Region of Africa, coordinated  by Brother Mark Omede and Luca Olivari, with the support and the important previous work of the African Commission of the Mission. 

Then there was the expression of gratitude and thanksgiving to all the Brothers in Nairobi for their welcome and availability in helping with the logistics of the encounter. 


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