Dear brothers, greetings from Karen, Nairobi, Kenya, on behalf of all the Major Superiors of our Querida Congregacion.
Jambo, Asante Sana, Karibu – These are some of the beautiful words in the Swahili Language that one cannot ignore in this beautiful Jamhuri ya Kenya, the Swahili word for the Republic of Kenya.
The Culture of Kenya is very great and colourful. That is why on the first day of our meeting, the rhythmic singing and dancing patterns of the Kikuyu Christians from our Mission in Kerwa portrayed the welcoming character of Saint Charles Lwanga Delegation. Seeing their contagious smiles and hearing their beautiful voices, one could agree with the famous Kenyan Writer and Novelist― Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, that “Written words can also sing.” Dressed beautifully in the Masai loins, we all processed with the Bible to the meeting aula and officially started our encounter with the enthronement of the Word of God while meditating on the Gospel passage from John 15: 1-17. The day culminated in the opening mass and the introduction to our meeting.
DAY 2 of our meeting, which we termed: Hakuna Matata – No worries, was dedicated to the retreat presided over by the General Prefect of Spirituality, Carlos Sánchez, which revolved around the text of the Gospel of John 15: 1-17. The first-morning session focused on the first part of the text (Jn 15: 1-8) from the key of permanence-rootedness, while the afternoon focused on the second part of the text (Jn 15: 9-17) from the key of fruitfulness-boldness/audaciousness.
We could continue to term Day three as Asante Sana. In the first part of the morning, Fr. Joseph Mwaniki imc, shared with us a historical view of the Church in Africa and especially in East Africa; he also presented some challenges that we have today as missionaries in this part of the world. Our brother, Amos Moses Onyait cmf, gave us the history of the Claretian presence in East Africa, the organization of the Independent Delegation Charles Lwanga and the challenges of the different communities in the three countries that make up the Claretian presence in East Africa. In the afternoon, after the greetings of our Claretian brothers: Josep Abella cmf, Bishop of Fukuoka, Japan and of Cardinal Aquilino Bocos cmf, Pedro Belderrein cmf, general consultor and prefect of apostolate, invited us to dialogue on synodality, starting from the path that the Church has been following, bearing in mind the vademecum of the Synod’s secretariat on synodality.
The ubuntu philosophy reminds us that I am because we are. Since last night, we have witnessed the reception of novices into different novices in the congregation, renewal of vows, perpetual vows and first profession and anniversary of our profession. Today, through the facilitation of Father Henry Omonisaye, we all reflected on the dream of the Congregacion defined during our 26th General Chapter and meditated on it in syntony with the dreams defined in the 21 chapters and assemblies celebrated in our Congregation since the celebration of the last General Chapter. After Father General’s address, each superior officially received the Dream of the Congregation on behalf of the brothers in their organism.
Asante Sana, Karibu