Yaoundé, Cameroon. The Second Claretian Discerning Leadership Workshop officially began on 1 March 2023, at Casa Claret Curia in Yaoundé. The workshop is participated by 26 participants from the seven Major Organisms of the ACLA Conference (East Nigeria Province, Independent Delegations of Cameroun, Congo, Mãe da África, Padre Xifré, St. Charles Lwanga, West Nigeria), and the newly created St. Jean Paul II Dependent Delegation.
Fathers Paulson Veliyannoor and Gonzalo Fernandez, CMFF, are facilitating the two-week program, which is aimed at helping participants grow as individuals and Claretians responsible for communities and activities. The program seeks to teach participants how to exercise “discerning leadership” at all levels while promoting a culture of discernment.
The opening day of the workshop was marked by four significant moments. Firstly, an adoration and mass session was held, during which the participants offered the workshop in the hands of God. Father Gonzalo, the celebrant, encouraged all the participants to follow the servant leadership style of Jesus instead of the fearful leadership of Jonas. Secondly, a cultural welcoming ceremony was performed by a traditional dance group, which highlighted the Beti culture. Thirdly, the Bible was enthroned with the reading of Mathew 20:25-28, inviting participants to follow the leadership style of Jesus.
Finally, the workshop itself began with a session held in the Claret café in the dining area. During the session, the facilitators discussed the importance of discerning leadership at the Social and Ecclesiastical levels. They took the participants back to the dynamics of the General Chapter Document: “Querida Congregación” as it reflects the ones used by Father Claret, Father Xifré, and the Martyrs of Barbastro. They equally developed the concept of dream in the context of leadership.
The opening day was aimed at allowing participants to know each other and giving them a general introduction to the workshop. The participants expressed their gratitude to the entire congregation for their prayers and good wishes. They also thanked Father General for sending the fantastic facilitators who are accompanying them well. Many other intriguing themes will unfold in the next few days, and the participants are looking forward to learning more about discerning leadership.
The inaugural workshop of the Discerning Leadership was held in Karukutty, India from February 1st to 14th. Upcoming workshops are scheduled for ECLA in Vic, Spain from May 1st to 14th, and for MICLA in Medellin, Colombia from July 3rd to 16th.
Source: Fr. Jude Taddeus Langeh, CMF, President of African Claretians (ACLA)