Bata, Equatorial Guinea. Padre Xifré Novitiate celebrated its Claretian Week for the Academic Year 2019-2020 on February 10 to 15, 2020. Claretian Week is celebrated in this house for years to deepen more the knowledge of the novices on our charism and mission. Normally it is celebrated within the commemoration day (February 11) of the inauguration of the “first formation house” established in Africa in Concepción-Riabba in 1956. What is particular of this year’s celebration is that it is the first to be celebrated in this house since the day of its transformation as an international novitiate house.
“The Claretian Mission in Africa” was this year’s theme aimed at making the formandi see how to make the missionary spirit of Claret present in Africa today and evangelize better through the missionary service of the Word by all possible means possible while considering the present challenges of the continent.
They talked on the topic of the 1883 first mission in Equatorial Guinea up to the present ACLA coordination of the missions in Africa. It is for a fact that from this 1883 mission, other missions emerged and founded: Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon. It is an eye-opener to the fact that there is a need to imitate the apostolic zeal of our then brothers who knew how to combine the proclamation of the Word of God with human promotion.
The new challenges of the African mission today – religious syncretism, vocation promotion, social inequalities, poverty, injustices, violation of human rights, the little exercise of the prophetic mission, the interplay of certain governments with the local Church, the little involvement in the mission, self-financing and sustainability of the missions, etc. – need a joint response on both ACLA level and a personal awareness to live our charism today knowing that “without heart, without tenderness, without love, there is no credible prophecy“.