More Training to Serve Better: Discerning Leadership Workshop in Equatorial Guinea

Feb 14, 2024 | Discerning Leadership Workshop, Padre Xifre

Nzang-Ayong, Equatorial Guinea. The Padre Xifré Independent Delegation organized a Claretian Discerning Leadership Workshop (CDLW) for its members. The workshop was held from February 5 to 9, 2024, at the community of Nzang-Ayong in the diocese of Mongomo, Equatorial Guinea. The workshop was integrated into the Annual Assembly of the Delegation, so members of the Delegation Council, Prefects, and Local Superiors from Gabon and Equatorial Guinea attended. Fr. Félix-Obaga Eworo Bilogo, CMF, Delegation Major Superior, and Fr. Noé Sii Nguema, CMF, assigned facilitator, led the participants in the session dynamics that were based on the original CDLW given to Claretian leaders in the continental level program.

The workshop focused on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew 20:25-28, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” This passage inspired attendees to learn how to exercise authority in the Church and Congregation at various levels while maintaining a service-oriented approach. The training was designed for those who share the exercise of authority with the Major Superior while also promoting a culture of discernment at all levels. 

“More training to serve better.” This phrase was echoed in several discussions during the workshop. Indeed, the Claretian missionary is invited to continually train themselves to respond to the multiple changes in society and culture effectively, and thus adapt so that The Good News is always updated for the people of this time and place. 

Msgr. Juan Domingo Esono, CMF, Bishop of Mongomo Diocese, during his visit to his brothers, encouraged everyone to value community life and sharing of experiences: 

“The community is built every day. There are no ready-made communities. All must be built by the members, each one with what they are and what they have, and the figure of the community superior is very important. The fact that we are good friends and of the same promotion does not mean that the local superior should tolerate fundamental things that harm community life.” 

During the workshop, the participants reviewed the “Dream of the Delegation” and the commitments made at the II Delegation Assembly of Padre Xifré Delegation in 2022. This provided an opportunity to refresh the commitments made by everyone during the Assembly at that time. The Delegation Government also listened to all the communities, each presenting a report on the joys and sorrows of their daily missionary life.

Also, during the Assembly, the Council proposed to the participants a Manual for the Local Superior ad experimentum. This Manual contains a series of points and guidelines on the service of the authority of the Local Superior, particularly in the management and organization of community life as a servant and to allow fraternal life to shine more clearly. 

After completing the training, each person was sent back to their respective communities to train their members for effective synodal leadership. 

Source: Fr. Axel Yolanda, CMF, Secretary, Padre Xifré Delegation.

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