Lagos, Nigeria. The final stage of the ACLA encounter centred on the themes of apostolate and economy and animated by the respective General Prefects.
Fr. Agustín Monroy began his presentation on Monday 10, inviting all to recognize the historical work of the Claretians in this continent, before going to the indications of the Missionary Project for Africa done in 1998 and renewed in 2005 and 2008. He completed this with some indications of the Synod of Bishops and of the XXIV General Chapter.
Following the Action Plan of the General Government, he helped the group to reflect and dialogue on the need to elaborate a Missionary Project in each Organism, keeping in mind the priorities indicated in numbers 57 – 61 of the Chapter Declaration: mission from the viewpoint of love, the centrality of the Word of God, the re-evangelization of the youth and vocational ministry, the creativity and qualification of the mission. The ensuing dialogues are focused on the biblical ministry and the JPIC work as a specific contribution of the Claretians to the Church in Africa.
The work about the Missions Procure serves as a link to go to the work animated by Fr. Domingo Grillía and developed throughout May 11th, explaning chapter IV of the Directory, and insisting on the criteria of our economic functioning.
He stressed the meaning of poverty as an expression of our brotherhood, based on the austerity of life, work and the communication of goods. This is what facilitates the self-financing of the Organisms, which is an urgent objective in Africa. After a clear presentation of the economic functioning of the General Government and the origin of its income, he insisted on the need of a good economic functioning from the viewpoint of clarity and information.
The work by groups is focused on the instruments that foster the good economic functioning in the Organisms, as well as in the types of behaviour that prevent it. Suggestions are given for the future.
Fr. Grillía encouraged all to keep the norms of the Congregation and insisted on the urgency to put into practice plans of self-financing so as not to depend on others. Fr. General recognizes that much has already been done in this matter in Africa, but it is necessary to continue taking steps with the cooperation of the Major Superiors who must confront the irregularities that may be arising.
Wednesday 12th was the last day of the ACLA encounter. It was centred on the information on the steps that are being taken to start the Institute for Consecrated Life in Africa (TICLA) which will have its central office in Nigeria and will be a good service of the Congregation to the consecrated life.
The evaluation made and the final interventions of the participants show the great satisfaction for the encounter, for the effective animation of the General Government, the good preparation on the part of the Nigerian Delegation, for the good brotherly atmosphere and for the conclusions agreed upon. These are gathered in the message of the encounter to all the Claretian missionaries of Africa.
The day ended with the celebration of the Eucharist, with the participation of the Lay Claretians, which was presided over by Fr. General and with a sincere thanksgiving to God for this missionary encounter of Africa.