The multiverse of the Claretian mission today

Sep 13, 2022 | Nairobi 2022

A new day begins in Nairobi; it is a lovely sunny day. The brothers of ACLA animate the adoration and the Eucharist. With St. John Chrysostom, we rejoice on the anniversary of the perpetual profession of our brother Henry Omonisaye. In the homily, we are reminded that we are one body with multiple and diverse parts, but a body that must be alive, must have a “soul,” in order to be able to carry out the mission entrusted to us.

The work sessions are illuminated from the words of Matthew 11, 25:30 – the good news revealed to the simple and our congregational dream collected in QC 43.

Pedro Belderrain presented the work process for the day: the whole morning, we will work in groups reacting to the presentations of the first transformation process, “a congregation going forth” with the same questionnaire as in the previous processes. The whole afternoon is left to share in plenary the conversations of the various groups.

At the beginning of the afternoon session, we were informed of the death of Fr. Jose Nieto (Antillas). The provincial of Antillas, Fausto Cruz, made a brief reference to the life of our confrere and his great missionary zeal.

All the presentations were positively evaluated. Through the responses of the various General Prefects in charge of animating this first process of transformation, we discover the themes that focused the dialogue of the various groups.

The sharing began with the dialogue on the Prefecture of the Bible and Communication, and Henry Omonisaye’s response.

The Prefecture of Bible and Communication has undoubtedly set high goals, and the complex structure being born is mission-oriented; this is a fundamental principle. Bible and Communication are not two distinct realities but two sides of the same coin, inseparable, in a dynamic, intimate and feedback relationship that respects and embraces the rich congregational plurality and the diversity of missionary challenges we face.

There was a sudden failure of the translation systems, leading us to joke about a cyber-attack on the meeting; it was some interference that prevented us from hearing each other correctly… As real as life!

The presentation ended with a call for intelligent use – common sense – in the use of social media, affirming our commitment to digital publishing, calling for “creativity with criteria”, and stating the wealth of existing materials being collected and catalogued for future use.

The dialogue continues with the Prefecture of the Apostolate and the response of Pedro Belderrain. He starts by saying that he will dedicate the coming months to meeting online with each of the Prefects of the Apostolate. Pedro specified some of the details of the calendar of activities (world meeting of prefects, zonal meetings…) which are tentative until the dates of the different global events of the Congregation are confirmed.

The parishes as platforms of evangelization and Claretian mission and SOMI as a frame of reference encompassing different activities that were previously dispersed were the other topics we dealt with. In fact, the apostolic key of the 26th Chapter is how to be rooted and audacious in each and every one of the missionary platforms we animate; indeed, the mission is not simply what we do, it is also – and to a great extent – our personal, community and institutional witnessing.

He ended the presentation by acknowledging the difficulty of finding replacements for the platform animators, especially when they have done their job well. The changes are intended to be progressive and smooth.

Finally, the day’s work concluded with the sharing of the five groups on the Prefecture of Youth and Vocation Ministry and the responses of Carlos Verga:

There is a great interest in the proposal of Claret Way that Carlos explained in more detail, especially the pledge for a networking relationship among all the members of the Claretian Family that encompasses and gives meaning to the already existing youth ministry work; as the current language would say, it is a multiverse of grace.

Carlos ended by recalling an idea already present in the 25th Chapter: to go out to meet the young people is to go out not “to bring them our ready-made recipes”, but to listen and walk with them.

After a short break, the evening prayer was entrusted to African rhythms, wearing the Maasai cloth, jumping and dancing… Bless the Lord, brothers, bless him because he has been good to us!

Francisco Carin, CMF, chronicler of the day

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