15/Jan/2024 NIGERIA

Chapitre provincial du Nigeria

Les FrĂšres Maristes de la Province du Nigeria ont tenu le XIe Chapitre Provincial du 9 au 13 janvier 2024, sous le thĂšme « Maristes au service des enfants et des jeunes Â» et l’invitation Ă  « Regarder plus loin Â». Le slogan, inspirĂ© de la ConfĂ©rence gĂ©nĂ©rale de 2022, rĂ©pond au besoin qu’a la Province de « regarder au-delĂ  Â», et au dĂ©sir de demeurer fidĂšles aux racines maristes.

Durant le Chapitre, le F. Mark Omede Okolo a commencĂ© son mandat comme nouveau Provincial du Nigeria, en prĂ©sence du SupĂ©rieur gĂ©nĂ©ral, le F. Ernesto SĂĄnchez, et des deux Conseillers gĂ©nĂ©raux-liens du Gouvernement gĂ©nĂ©ral pour la RĂ©gion de l’Afrique, les frĂšres Óscar MartĂ­n et Ken McDonald. Lors de la prise des responsabilitĂ©s par le nouveau leader provincial, on a utilisĂ© deux symboles : le tablier et la serviette; ce sont deux signes distinctifs du leadership qui rappellent au Provincial que le mandat qui lui a Ă©tĂ© confiĂ© est un appel au service. Le F. Mark remplace le F. Vincent Adamom qui a dirigĂ© la Province au cours des six derniĂšres annĂ©es.

AprĂšs la transmission de la charge, le F. Mark a invitĂ© les participants Ă  ĂȘtre des « frĂšres Â» (essence de la fraternitĂ©) et Ă  ĂȘtre toujours disponibles Ă  sortir de leur zone de confort pour aider les autres.

Pour seconder le Provincial comme serviteur et leader prophétique, on a élu, comme Conseillers provinciaux, les frÚres Henry Uzor, Paul Angulu, Gregory Ekene Osuji, Nnodu Onwatlu et Okechukwu Anochie. Le Supérieur provincial a choisi le F. Okechukwi Anochie comme vice-provincial.

42 dĂ©lĂ©guĂ©s ont participĂ© au Chapitre. Le F. Francis Jumbe, de la Province d’Afrique Australe, fut le facilitateur. 9 observateurs se sont joints aux reprĂ©sentants du gouvernement gĂ©nĂ©ral : 3 frĂšres Maristes, 1 prĂȘtre spiritain, deux religieuses (une de la congrĂ©gation mariste Filles de JĂ©sus Bon Pasteur, et une de la congrĂ©gation du CƓur ImmaculĂ© de Marie), et 3 laĂŻcs maristes.

Message of the 11th Provincial Chapter of the Marist Province of Nigeria

9th – 13th January, 2024

Love one another as Jesus Christ has loved you. Be of one heart and one mind. Have the world say of the Little Brothers of Mary, what they said of the first Christians: ‘See how they love one another!’ (Spiritual Testament of the Founder)

We are brothers of Jesus Christ, brothers to one another and brothers to everyone, especially the poorest and those most in need; brothers for a greater brotherhood in the church and world. (Cons. 2)

Dear Marists of Champagnat,

In an atmosphere of prayer, joyful hope and love, the 11th Provincial Chapter, was celebrated at the Marist Formation Centre, Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria, under the theme “Looking Beyond: Marists at the Service of Children and young People”. The 42 Capitulants, including 9 Observers allowed themselves to be touched by the presence of the Holy Spirit, challenging our Province to look beyond our personal mentalities and egos and live in solidarity with our brothers, children and young people particularly, in solidarity with the most disadvantaged children and young people of our society.

Initially, Brothers had prayed for the success of the Chapter. Admittedly, Brothers followed keenly the proceedings of the Chapter as it unfolded under the counsel of the Divine Providence in the interest of and love for the Province.

Attentive to our Vow of Poverty

We are called to inculcate a love for poverty. We must value the vow of poverty to which we voluntarily committed ourselves as Brothers. Let us, therefore, be contented with the things that are needed for our way of life, shunning those unnecessary luxuries by which religious life is devitalised. We are enjoined and invited to always be willing to relinquish something for the common good and the service of young people we minister to.

Brotherhood (Let us be Brothers!)

Let everyone carryout a serious examination of his consecrated life, and recognise those areas where conversion and renewal are needed. This process requires having an intimate relationship with Christ, who touches and heals our personal and community wounds and strengthens our spiritual life, hence, making us available for the mission of serving children and young people. We are invited to prioritize being supportive Brother to one another; extending this fraternal spirit to all members of Marists of Champagnat.

“Unity with Diversity” a Great Strength for the Province

We may have different languages, different tribal backgrounds, but we all belong to one global family: Marists of Champagnat. We are, therefore, called to always celebrate our diversity and see it as a collective strength that can benefit all.

We have enormous capacity to awaken hope in our world, contributing to formation of young people who are just true global citizens, capable of generating dialogue and reconciliation among peoples and with cultures. Therefore, let us not allow ourselves to be tainted by polarisation and fear of our differences, ethnic fundamentalism, tribalism, cliques and any form of sectarianism. We are invited to be proactive participants in building a world where intercultural dialogue is tolerated and accommodated. We are to find God in people and cultures, while bringing the Gospel message of compassionate love to our students and people we encounter in our places of apostolate.

Embracing Solidarity as Marists

We extend the practice of solidarity to every facets of our lives as Marists:

  • Solidarity with the General Administration in sharing of human resources.
  • Solidarity with our communities by encouraging co-responsibility for common tasks and services and by taking on concrete commitment in favour of the most abandoned children.
  • Solidarity at personal level as each of us examines whether our lifestyles is in consonance with our state of life, and by carrying out concrete actions which shows preference to those who are poor (Cons. 32.1).

New Leadership for Mission (John 13:1-17)

In order to more effectively respond with a renewed zeal to serve children and young people, we have graciously assumed a leadership style that is prophetic and servant in nature, which accompanies Marist life and Mission for the next three years. The Province needs leaders in the style of Jesus Christ, communities and persons: who exercise leadership in mission, have a vision of the future like our Founder, are authentic and persons of integrity, who are capable of teamwork and above all, obedient to the mission.


We share this message in the spirit and vision of our dear founder, St. Marcellin Champagnat. As Marists, we strive to live today, the attitudes of Jesus, inspired by Mary, Our Good Mother. Let us always strive to look beyond in service of children and young people to which we have been invited. May Our Good Mother continue to lead us as we endeavour to live and exercise the values of prophetic and servant leadership.


Orlu, January, 13, 2024.


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