Dear Confreres in the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Greetings from Lagos, Nigeria.
We, the Major Superiors and Mission coordinators serving in the Major Organism of Saint Charles Lwanga, Father Xifre, Mother of Africa, West Nigeria, East Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo and the Mission of Zimbabwe, met in Lagos from February 26 to March 4, 2019, for our annual ACLA meeting. Despite the election tensions, our Claretian Confreres from the West of Nigeria with warm Ẹ ku abọ welcomed us with animated hearts.
We felt the oneness with the entire congregation through the paternal letter coming from Father General with the beautiful opening words: “Through this letter, I want to express my spiritual closeness during your meeting.” We also had a letter from Father Rohan Dominic on the SOMI in Africa and from the General Prefect of Spirituality. Stemming from these letters, we discerned together greater collaboration in the area of formation, TICLA and social issues of JPIC especially on building peace and reconciliation, which was an essential theme of the African Synod.
Having reflected on the concluding message of the pope on the protection of Minors we discussed on ways to address these issues to prevent them in our Claretian environment in Africa. We call on our brothers to be a light to the nations, appreciate our vocation as a gift from God and create a safe environment for the protection of minors and vulnerable persons in our communities and in our institutes.
We opt and resolve to discern and accompany our candidates in international and intercultural centres. We shall form Claretians and not individuals from different countries. On this note, we opt for the exchange of personnel and students in all these centres. The Noviciate in Equatorial Guinea is set for kick off on August 14, 2019. We visited two formation houses and had time to dialogue with the students: the Postulate in Ibefun and the Theologate in Ibadan. We made the students understand that they are the future of the Church.
As a congregation going forth, we are concerned with the social and political situations in the countries and missions in which we serve. The torture of our brothers in Cameroon was of major concern to us. We encourage all of us to be messengers of unity and peace in the context of social division and conflict and let the light of the Gospel illumine and guide our hearts.
The solidarity and mission training that took place in Kenya last September 2018 and that is taking place in Yaoundé on June 10 -14, 2019 serve as platforms to discuss and implement concerns of sustainable development in our continent. We are appointing Bro Robert Omondi to coordinate the SOMI at the level of our continent.
We will continue serving the faithful in our peripheries through the Biblical Pastoral Ministry. The seminars organized in Nigeria and Kenya last year have equipped some of our evangelizers in this ministry. In the month of April 2020, we will be organizing the Biblical Congress for Africa in Owerri.
The young people are the future of our church and world. On this note, the youth and vocation animators for Africa will be coordinated by Fr. Daniel Mary, Major Superior of West Nigeria. With the team they will draw up a plan for this great apostolate in our continent. Our continent is blessed to be hosting next year the Congress for Claretian educators in Equatorial Guinea. Preparations are ongoing.
We visited TICLA site and had a full day working session at the building site. The Land has been fenced, and the academic block is being built. We had time with the Engineer and the site managers as regards the gigantic project. TICLA is a Claretian project, and we encourage all our organism and mission to prepare personnel for its functioning.
We appreciate all our confreres for the services to the church. We are grateful for the concerns of the entire Congregation for our continent. We will continue being the light to the nations through our simple lifestyle, consolidating our sharing of goods and personnel. We keep requesting the prayers of the entire Congregation as we work to spread the charism of our Founder in this beautiful continent of Africa.
Major Superiors and Mission Coordinators of ACLA