The African philosophy of “ubuntu” is a way of living that begins with the premise that “I am” only because “we are.” The Feast of the birthday of Our Lady avails us the opportunity of experiencing the oneness of our Congregation. From the eve of this feast, our Congregation received novices in some Organisms, while some brothers renewed their vows. Today, we also witnessed first professions and final professions, renewal of vows and anniversaries of professions in different parts of our Congregation. On this note, in the morning prayer led by ASCLA East, we prayed for all these brothers and offered their consecration to the maternal care of mother Mary.
After reading Exodus Chapter 3 and Fussimanya number 89, Father General opened today’s morning session by wishing some members happy first religious profession anniversaries. We welcomed Fr. Roland Onuekwusi, Prefect of Formation of West Nigeria Delegation, who joined the encounter in lieu of its Major Superior, who could not come. Father Valens Agino served as the moderator for the day. The morning session was in two parts.
The first part of the morning session, facilitated by Fr. Henry Omonisaye, was centered on the dream as a discernment process for the entire Congregation. Therefore, we reflectively and reflexively read the text of the dream defined during the XXVI General Chapter and meditated on it in syntony with the dreams defined in the 21 chapters and assemblies celebrated in our Congregation since the last General Chapter. We had personal and group reflections. We also had time to read and appreciate the dreams of other Major Organisms.
During the second part of the morning, Father General gave his official address. He reminded us again of the celebration of the XXVI General Chapter in the context of the global pandemic and reminded us of the hand of the Loving Lord leading us. He insisted on some vital invitations of the General Chapter to the Congregation like; Rooted in Christ and be Audacious in mission, the discovery of ourselves, God’s Dream for the Congregation, Designs, and commitments etc. Father General invited us to reflect on the following at personal and group levels:
- What are the three most important factors happening in the world that make you rejoice as a missionary? (gifts of God for our world today)
- What are the three things that you would consider the most important challenges that the missionaries need to face in the world and the Church today?
After Father General’s address, each superior officially received the Dream of the Congregation on behalf of the brothers in their organism.
The high point in today’s activities was the celebration of the first profession of seven brothers (Five from Saint Charles Lwanga Independent Delegation and two from Fatima Province) that took place within a colorful and well-animated liturgy. During the homily, Father General invited the young novices to see their vocation as a gift from God and always to allow space for God’s dream in their lives by cultivating a Christocentric spirituality. In the different allocutions, the newly professed were encouraged to remain faithful to their promises. The agape meal confirmed the ubuntu that binds us as one big family in Christ.
Jude Thaddeus Langeh, CMF, chronicler of the day.