Dar es Salam on 07 – 10th April 2015

Brothers Present

Name

Place of work

Contact

Bro. John Gachoki

Kenya

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Bro. Daniel Ndihu

Kenya

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Bro. Kenneth Wekesa

Kenya

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Bro. Joseph Wamalwa

Kenya

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Bro. Paolino Rota

Tanzania

 

Bro. Alessandro Bonfanti

Tanzania

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Bro. Wilson Gitonga

Tanzania

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Bro. Nahashon Njuguna

Tanzania

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On 6th April 2015 the Consolata Brothers working in Tanzania and Kenya arrived at Bunju Spiritual Centre (CMC) in the evening. The community representative received them warmly.

Later,  had supper together with Consolata Philosophical Seminarians from Morogoro who had visited the spiritual center with their formators.

            We agreed upon a brief timetable and agendas of the days we were to spend together.

 

Timetable

7:00 am – Eucharistic celebration and lauds

8:00 am – Breakfast 

8:30 am – First Session

11:30 am – Second Session

12: 30 pm – Lunch

3:30 pm – Third Session

7:00 pm – Supper

8:00 pm – News

10:00 pm – Lights off

 

Agendas

 

Day One

  • Reflection on the Pope Francis letter on the Consecrated life ‘Rejoice’

Day Two

  • How the founder wanted the Consolata Brothers to be based on his writings and conferences
  • Discussion

Day Three

  • Visit to Historical site – Bagamoyo (First place of the evangelization in East Africa)

Day Four

  • The way forward of the Consolata Brothers
  • Vocation promotion and formation
  • International Missionary Congress in Nairobi

First Day

 

Reflection on the Letter of Pope Francis ‘Rejoice’

By Seminarian William Wema IMC

 

The main theme in this letter of the pope to the consecrated men and women is joy. How a religious men and women can be a source of joy and how they can transmit this joy to the other people.

He began his talk by quoting the words in the Acts 2:32. We are called to be a witness of the risen Christ. The main aim of our life as religious is being witness. Our founder Bl. Joseph Allamano acknowledge this when he says, “we are not called to perform miracles but to be witness in our mission.” We as religious and especially Consolata Brothers are called to be aware of this and to be united in Christ. As religious Brothers this is the time to teach ourselves to be with Christ and this should happen since the time, we are young and not only when we grow old. The call of religious is to be witness and are called to be witness of the resurrected Christ. 

The question is what is the difference between a religious brother in vows and the other Christians? As religious, we have vowed willingly to live the evangelical counsels. Religious life is a radical way of following of Christ in the midst of the reality at hand i.e. denouncing everything to following Christ. Religious is a way of expressing our discipleship in Christ and the Church. When we follow this way, we become special gifts of the Mother Church. By our vocation, religious life, we are going to dedicate ourselves to the service of God and the church. This should always the intention of all the religious people especially as brothers in our day-to-day activities that we are involved.

In his message, Pope Francis underlines the following as the aims of this year of consecrated life:

  • to look past with gratitude
  • to live present with joy
  • to embrace future with hope

The speaker highlighted some methods of learning wisdom, which he encourage us to embrace. These methods include:       

  • reflection (noble method)
  • imitation (easiest method)
  • experience (the bitterest method)

The pope ask us to reflect on our origin i.e. our particular history. For us we should do it as Consolata missionaries. The history of our founder, the first missionaries, the origin of our congregation, the Charism and identity and why the brother in the congregation. We are called to look this if we are still in the right track, is there still the enthusiasm that the first missionaries had? Going back to our origin and history, we are preserving our identity and look forward to correct the mistake done by the other missionaries. This will help us to strength our unity of Consolata missionaries.

Sense of belonging. The question is, do we feel the sense of belonging as Consolata missionaries? Looking at the origin of our congregation, we should be challenged by the first missionary. They had a strong sense of belonging in the congregation. The change of the feeling that we need to have as a Consolata Missionaries, i.e. sense of belonging should start with the individual and not the others.

Still looking at the origin, we are able to grasp the ideal and the values that inspired the founder to found our congregation. The courage that the first missionaries had of these values include the enthusiasm, the missionary zeal that sometime is dying in the young missionaries, the courage to be witness even in hard situation. Let us look to our origin and embrace these values and let us not sit on them but apply them in our daily life.

The second aim is to live the present with joy. As religious we should live our own time. There are a lot of challenges of witnessing Christ in our time with joy and not in gloomy faces.  We should not worry of what is happening in the world. We should also not forget the idea of the cross as it encourage us to move forward in our way of witnessing Christ. As individual brothers, we should discover our own responsibilities in the church and in particulars the institutes, and how to respond to these responsibilities.

In this year we religious, we are called to renew our discipleship in faith in Christ. We destroy what draw us away from Christ. We need to be rooted in the meaning of gospel ie. The beatitudes and love, the desert, cross, poverty, prayer (seeking the will of God saving the brother and sister.) The pope continue to tell us that we betray our mission by the excuse of saying we are living in the insecure world.

 

The third aim is to embrace the future with hope. This is because of the religious are experiencing the problem and challenges of our own time. For example the decrease of the vocations and the ageing members, economical problem coming from the global financial problem, internalization and globalization and the threats of relativism (religious life has no meaning).

 

 Second Session of Reflection

 

Mark 10: 17-22 the parable of the young rich man

Jesus is still showering us with brotherly love. To inherit the kingdom of God there are conditions that we need to fulfill. We are called to live and practices the commandment and the most demanding thing is to detach ourselves and follow Christ fully. This is only possible by the practice of the virtue of love. Love defends life.  Love is everything, for us religious brothers. To love one another helps us to live in harmony and communion in the community.

            In this year, our expectation as religious in the entire church is to be joyful. The pope Francis says that where there is religious life there is joy. For us religious we should be the source of joy to people and not the source of cry. The joy that religious bring to the people it contradicts the joy of the world thus we should be ready to face some hardship and we should be ready to stand firm in our own faith. In most cases now days the religious have become the source of cry, discouragement among others. Let us renew ourselves and become the source of joy to those people we are serving. We serve them with joyful faces and not gloomy faces. The pope underline that our joy is not found in the success but it is on the silence of the cross. Let us embrace the cross and learn from it. We do what we are doing in silence as our founder was telling us. We should do good in silence. As Christ’s disciples, we are called to carry and accept the cross.

           

This reflection brought a challenge to us brothers and provoked the discussion on these:

  • How can we renew our motivations as brothers?
  • How well can we share our responsibilities and goods?
  • How well do we know ourselves (personal awareness)? In addition, how can we renew our personal awareness daily?
  • How do well prepare our people to renounce the evil in the societies?

 

 

 

 

Discussions

 

  • As religious we have an obligation to live the joy and transmit this joy to the marginalized people i.e. The poor, the widow, the neglected groups in the society etc. Passing the joy of the kingdom to all who needs it by witnessing that joy, as people need it.
  • Second expectation is expected to be the prophets. Being prophet we are called to be messengers of God, God’s spoke men. Pope Francis says that he counts on us to awake the world. This means that we have the ability to scrutinize thing and ability to interpret the events of daily life and see in eyes of God. After that, we should condemn the evil in the society and uphold the good in the society.
  • We should also help the society to discern the evil and good. This will happen to us brothers if we have time to discern the will of God in our prayers meditation of the word of God. It requires a lot of discernment on the will of God. We pray for God’s grace because of the society we are living in the evil has become the preference of the people. Let us stand on the light despite the evil of our society like the prophet of old time eg Jeremiah.
  • We are called to be expect of communion. Communion is lived in the established community by the congregation and institutes. The communities we live in are rich by different talents, ideas, personalities but negative criticisms; jealousy makes communities a den of evil and source of discouragement.
  • As religious, we should uphold what is good and avoid the unnecessary things, which does not help the growth and communion of people.
  • Lastly, we need to go to come out ourselves and go forth. Going to the world (Mk 16:15). The world wants us especially to those men and women who have lost hope in the life, families in difficulties, young people without future, sick and elderly people. Men and women looking for a purpose in life. It is a huge task and challenge for us.

 

 

Second Day

 

IMC BROTHERS AS ALLAMANO WANTED THEM  

By Sandro IMC

 

  • From the reading of Allamano Spiritual Conferences and letters, we see many interesting items regarding the Consolata Religious Brothers relevant today. They are words, which present a brother with a very special warmth because they manifest the affection of the founder for his favourite ones who in his words said “ have always consoled him.”(Conf. IMC, III505- 23 Dec 1920)
  • The first group and second one to Kenya that Allamano sent to Kenya they were composed of two priests and two brothers. The founder had a preferential love for the brothers. He felt always consoled by the brothers and their good will to do some work.
  • They founder wanted brothers who can work but above all those who are always in communion with the will of the Father through prayers and are ready to study in order to be help in the mission land.
  • Brother are true auxiliaries and coadjutors of the priests in the mission. They are useful in all regions, and are indispensable in missions. They should match with the priest in teaching of catechism if they are in the parish. The founder calls us to be useful in all the communities where our missions are. This is because a brother can achieve more good than a missionary can because he is available in practices and concrete thing.
  • On spiritual life and holiness our founder say that it is easier for the Brother to become Holy (Conf. IMC, III 23-18 Jan 1914). Due to the dedication of working closely with people, they have more chances of being holier. They spend time in work they go for their prayers for themselves and people they work together.
  • To respond to our vocation we must practice three virtues.
    • Obedience in all things whether big and small, willingly to listen and assist to assist.
    • Piety must be our food as brothers, growing in love for the prayers and not neglecting prayers and doing the will God.
    • Charity, bearing with each other, without expecting the others to bend to us. We all have our own flaws, different character, let us correct each other.
  • Lastly, humility must be trained in all the virtues.
  • The founder shown an importance of gain knowledge. He told the brothers they must study crafts, arts among many others course without neglecting the study of Christian doctrine.
  • Brother should work and flee idleness. Work is necessary and we brothers we should embrace and work for the lord who calls us. Work is not only a duty, but also an honor since our Lord Jesus Christ and his Holy Family have sanctified it.

Other areas where we see brother encouraging brothers is through the diaries and letters between the founder and the brothers. Eg the letter he wrote to Bro. Benedetto, in August 4 1904 and we quote. “From your letter I see that you do not lose your cheerfulness even despite your illness. Very well. Continue with this spirit and the lord will help you…”

 

Discussion from the Brothers

 

  • Only the brothers but not the priests or other lay people can only manifest the beauty of our vocations. Therefore, it calls us as brothers to really come out and manifest that this is a joyful and important vocation in the church.
  • Two years ago when the brothers meeting Mombasa accepted to be writing to the magazines that we have in the institutes. Some magazine publish the work at the beginning and others until now do not publish the work. We encourage the brothers to continue contributing to these magazines, despite the challenges they encounter with the publishers of the magazines.
  • Some of the challenges we get as brothers in animation and confusion of the vocation to brotherhood is not our own make but of the church. Priests and sisters are everywhere in the church and being directly involved in the apostolate.  The young ones as they grow they see them and they become aware of them, some follow interested to follow them and they begin their formation journey oriented to that area.  Brothers are not common and they are very rarely to find them in the mission as the number has decreased very much. 
  • The other thing is that the seminarians who are candidates to priesthood when sent in the parish they refer themselves as brothers, thus leaving this particular vocation confusing to our Christian as it is seen as a stepping stone to priesthood vocation. This lead to the vocation being a forgotten one not only to Consolata but to most of congregations with clerical state and lay brothers.
  • The challenges that we face as religious brothers especially Consolata Missionaries the solutions are already found in the letter of pope Francis “rejoice”, let us witness our vocation with joy and not with gloomy faces. This will lead to many accepting to follow us in this and us we will be able to awake the world and become prophets of our times.
  • We need to love our vocation as brothers and share our joy with others especially the young people we encounter in our day to day live.
  • The other challenge we encounter is that priest dominates the formation and they are the ones to make decision on what the candidates to brotherhood will study. In order to help the young candidates to brotherhood in formation, we propose that a brother is seconded in the animation and formation who will follow the their formation and what they will do in specialization when the time comes. This will encourage the young brothers in formation.
  • There is also lack of the knowledge of our congregation especially to the young Consolata missionaries. The students seem that they have shallow knowledge of the history of our congregation and our identity is not well explain. Some do not know even why the brothers are indispensable in our congregation for. This lack of knowledge has led to a lot of conflict especially with the young generation, which has no knowledge of brothers. It has also lead to the competition between the priests and brothers, as priests want to take everything, and the brothers remain without doing anything in the community.
  • The local congregations have contributed to the undermining of the brother vocation as they allow those who had not performed well in education to become brothers. Thus, this is viewed by the society as the vocation to those who can only do manual work and those who can’t become priests on the grounds of their intellectual incapability.
  • The brothers are not happy. They are always complaining and even worse, they do it before the seminarians. This discourages the young ones who would like to join them as this impression set a bad example of who is a brother in the church ‘a complainer’.
  • In some places the brothers are not given chance to be involved in the pastoral activities directly where they can also teach and influence young people to join they. They are just confined with their work place in offices, garages among others.
  • What also contributes to the happiness of a brother is the professional preparation. This is because in the community that he lives he is able to give practical solutions to the situations at hand. Upgrading of their professional training should be checked after certain period in order for them to be relevant to the current situations in the world.
  • Brothers also should be ready to take initiative especially in places where they are not involved in pastoral work. This is for them also to become relevant in those situations rather than being discouraged in their vocation.

Third Day

The visit to historical site at Bagamoyo. This is the first place of evangelization in East Africa. The visit to Bagamoyo, was enriching and challenged us brothers to see where “The good news” began in East Africa.

As a terminal point on the cost for Arabs trading caravans, Bagamoyo naturally became a holding depot for slaves brought from the interior

Five kilometres south of Bagamoyo are the Kaole ruins. They are basically medieval, though some structures (including the West Mosque, once perhaps the finest on the mainland) date back on the 3rd and 4th centuries.

We also had a chance to have lunch outside and moment of socializing and sharing.

 

Fourth Day

  • The Way Forward

In this session, we were trying to see the way forward in our congregation about the vocation to brotherhood. It is a vocation faced by some challenges within the individual members and without. Having analyzed some of the challenges of our vocation we sat down to see the way forward to see how we can improve the way we are responding our vocation and help others appreciate it. The points below are the contribution of the brothers:

  • To have a brother representative in the Regional Council Commissions of Vocational Animation and Formation. In the two regions that is Tanzania, we propose Bro. Nahanson Njuguna to be in Formation Commission and Bro. Sandro to be in Vocational Animation in Tanzania. In Kenya, we propose Bro. Wamalwa to be in Formation Commission and Bro. Wekesa to be in Vocational Animation.
  • The vocation to brotherhood is ours and we made we choose it free. We need to realize it with the joy that comes from within and express the joy of this vocation to other people.
  • To continue having an inter – regional meeting between Kenyan and Tanzanian regional for IMC brothers in order to have on-going formation and encouraging each other in this vocation in our congregation and the Catholic Church.
  • Before the next General Chapter, we propose to the General Government to have a international meeting for IMC of the brothers.
  • The professional training or specialization of the IMC brothers should be relevant to the demands of the realities of our society today. We should not limit ourselves only to the technical training. In addition, those concerns should seek to know the interest of the brother and if that is in accordance to the congregational needs.

 

  • International Missionary Conference

 

In the session, we tried to give out the outline to one of our brother, Bro. Wekesa who was requested to share about the vocation to brotherhood in this millennium.  The international Missionary conference will be held in the month of May 2015 few day before the beatification of Sr. Irene Stefani. It will be held in Catholic University of East Africa in Nairobi Kenya. It is to mark the 100 years since the Muranga Conference, which were held in Muranga Kenya, and other religious congregation will be mark different celebration during that time.

            When this was presented, the brothers were very happy to hear about it and to have someone requested to share about vocation to brotherhood. Here are some of their contribution towards the one to do the presentation.

  • To give it a theoretical approach, i.e The vocation of a brother in general, vocation of a brother in a missionary congregation perspective and includes the ideas of our founder Allamano had for the purpose of a brother and how the brothers vocation has developed along the ages in the church.
  • To demonstrate who is a brother and his relevance and where do we find brothers in this millennium and the challenges of being a brother today. In addition to make clear the beauty of the vocation as in the congregation of mixed state i.e clerical and lay brothers it always remind the priests that they are religious.
  • To clear the misconception of the idea that brother vocation is a stage in formation to priesthood as this has ruined this special vocation in the Catholic Church.
  • To consult the church documents says about the consecrated life.
  • To have knowledge of the pope’s letter “Rejoice”.
  • Christ is the figure of brothers’ vocation especially the service to the people.
  • The brother presenting should also be aware of his audiences so that he knows what to be presented and how to do it.

Nota Bene

 

  • Next inter – regional meeting between Kenya and Tanzania will be in Mombasa Kenya.
  • All the minutes of this meeting and discussions will be sent to all the brothers in the two regions.
  • A letter will be sent to Fr. Marini the Continental Counsellor for Africa signed by the brothers present in the inter – regional meeting in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. The letter is a concern about the upcoming Vocational Animators meeting in Kenya asking him whether there is a brother representative in that meeting.
  • The minutes and discussions of this meeting will be sent to the superiors of the two regions i.e Tanzania and Kenya accompanied by a letter of appreciation for the chance they gave us IMC brothers.
  • The sponsorship of the inter – regional meeting will be left to the superior of the regional to decide how it will be.

 

AOB

  • For the next meeting, to have the agendas of the meeting before we meet.
  • The brother coordinator in Kenya to improve the communication between and the other coordinator of the Tanzania region.
  • If there will be a realization of the International Meeting of IMC brothers the agendas can be Formation of the brothers vocation and continuation and nomination of the brother in the general council.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ancora sangue in Kenya, ancora violenza «brutale e senza senso», come definita da Papa Francesco. I terroristi somali del gruppo Al Shabaab irrompono, alle ore 21 italiane del 2 aprile, nel campus universitario di Garissa, a Nord-Est del Kenya, facendo 148 vittime e ferendo altre 79 persone. Un’azione dettata dalla persecuzione religiosa che attanaglia quelle terre, giacché dopo il blitz, i militanti della falange islamista hanno rapito diverse persone dividendole in base al loro Credo. «La Ragione, prima ancora che le Fedi – afferma il Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco nella sua Prolusione al Consiglio Permanente della Cei – non può non condannare tanta barbara e studiata crudeltà contro le minoranze e in particolare contro i cristiani solo perché cristiani. Perché tanta barbarie compiaciuta ed esibita? Perché non fermarsi neppure davanti ai bambini e agli inermi?».

In Kenya la popolazione è a quasi totale maggioranza Cristiana, con l’84,4 percento di abitanti appartenenti a questa Fede. Seguono i musulmani, con il 9,7 percento, e le altre religioni del territorio. Il Paese africano ha subito, in questi ultimi anni, le terribili incursioni terroristiche di Al-Shabaab, culminate nell’attacco al centro commerciale Westgate della Capitale Nairobi, dove persero la vita 68 persone, alcune delle quali uccise perché non sapevano recitare a memoria versi del Corano o perché non conoscevano il nome della madre del profeta Maometto.

In Somalia il 99,8 percento della popolazione (10 milioni 195mila persone) è di fede Musulmana. La libertà religiosa è del tutto inesistente per la piccola minoranza Cristiana, pesantemente perseguitata dagli estremisti. Nei territori controllati da Al-Shabaab, non è in vigore alcuna Costituzione formale: ciò che viene applicata è una versione radicale della Shari’a, che non lascia spazio alcuno ad altre religioni che non siano l’Islam. Chi è sospettato di aver lasciato l’Islamismo per il Cristianesimo, è detenuto per lungo tempo senza alcuna garanzia giuridica o giustiziato senza processo. La lapidazione è la punizione per l’adulterio, le mani sono tagliate in caso di furto. Nei territori sotto l’egemonia di Al-Shabaab, antichi santuari e cimiteri sufi sono stati distrutti, così come cinema pubblici, luoghi di ristorazione e di ritrovo. La versione radicale della Shari’a non permette agli abitanti di vestire all’Occidentale, di guardare partite di calcio, di cantare o ballare ai matrimoni e, soprattutto, di organizzare eventi sportivi. Un oscurantismo che condiziona pesantemente la vita nel Corno d’Africa.

In Kenya, Aiuto alla Chiesa che Soffre ha previsto programmi umanitari e educativi per chi vive costantemente sotto minaccia. Nel 2012 è stata lanciata Radio Akicha, emittente che trasmette dalla diocesi keniota di Lodwar e che si rivolge ai Turkana, tribù keniota di fede Cristiana. Un programma educativo e pastorale, che prevede programmi di stampo religioso, notizie e musica. «Perfino i musulmani ascoltano con interesse le trasmissioni – racconta ad Acs Padre Avelino Bassols, della locale comunità missionaria di San Paolo Apostolo – al punto che alcuni di loro hanno comprato una Bibbia per approfondire i testi sacri ascoltati in radio».

Educazione, comunicazione, dialogo. Queste le parole chiave su cui Acs sta lavorando in Kenya e in Somalia, per ricomporre i conflitti che dividono questi due Paesi confinanti. Il ruolo di Radio Akicha è fondamentale in tal senso: «È un mezzo di comunicazione che assolve a numerosi compiti – afferma monsignor Dominic Kimengich, Vescovo di Lodwar – nella lotta al dilagare dell’HIV e dell’AIDS fino al sostegno pastorale per i fedeli. Possiamo così contribuire alla formazione e all’educazione dei giovani». Un esempio di confronto, educazione e dialogo che, si spera, possa costituire la base per far sì che stragi del genere non si ripetano più, come auspicato da Papa Francesco durante la Via Crucis del Venerdì Santo.

Fonte: www.acs-italia.org

I Am Garissa!

Yes. The story of Cain and Abel keeps repeating. The Christians in the Middle East continue to be massacred, the boy Eduardo de Jesus in Complexo do Alemão in Brazil was killed by military police and 147 students killed in Garissa / Kenya by the radical Islamic group Al-Shabaab. What insane barbarity!

It is the same terrorist group, Al-Shabaab in Somalia, which claimed responsibility for the attack in Kenya Westgate (2013) in which at least 67 people were killed. The war of all against all (Thomas hobbes). Now it has expanded its operations throughout the whole-holy world and built links with other terrorist bands such as Al Qaeda in the Middle East and Bukus haramu in West Africa.

But why all this? How? Until when? I don’t know. This rise more hair and questions than answers. One thing is certainty; there is an authoritarian negligence of the bottom of the pyramid like Garissa / slums. The neoliberal politics of money and power are characterized by social exclusion, gene egoismo and the culture of death. No doubt there is a tie-knot ‘aids’ between terrorism and organized crimes, such as grand corruption and money laundering.

Imagine! Even after being warned of possible attacks by the British and Australian government, the Kenyan authority gave a cold shoulder! May be because the 147 students are poor, Africans, Christians, seen by the world as nothing, pants, the backward, the people always in sufferings / Ebola, no one cares. For that there was no manifestation of politicians and religious leaders condemning this atrocity. This is the culture of indifference that pope Francisco reminded us in Lampedusa. The real deal pope gave us a prophetic toque of welcoming the unknown, the different, and others. I know how it is difficult and challenging, but it is the only way forward on this global google.

Of course, there are fanatics in all social and religious folks. But those who call themselves followers of Islam and do force others to convert or kill are homo patiens. Their nihilism syndrome needs attention, dialogue, but more calls for education, re-learning especial of our ‘nem nem’ generation. That life no matter what, how, how slight, it is beautiful, thus must be protected and respected from womb to tomb.

I hope that these advents will be a lecture conversional for each one and all of us, that terrorism is a global threat. It is more moral and religion problem than a political one. It is a process to undergo, not merely cosmetics solutions. Urgently, we need to gather strength, walk talks, synergy and spiritual unity to stop this barbarism and civilization of horror.

I wish you a happy Easter with a desire to end the death penalty and social exclusion which keeps growing. Happy Easter to all who are daily crucified just by their religion, race or skin color.

The missionary activity of the Church in the world is developing and so should do the missionaries and those in formation aiming at being missionaries. With this in mind, the Consolata Missionaries in Kenya realized the Inter-Seminary Meeting from 22nd to 24th February 2015, at Consolata Seminary - Nairobi. The Inter-Seminary is a meeting of all the Consolata seminarians in formation in Kenya (sometimes joined by the Consolata Sisters in formation), realized every two years. It aims at integrating those in the various stage of formation (Propaedeutic, Philosophy, Noviciate and Theology), while reflecting on some pertinent topics affecting our Institute and the society. The theme for this year’s Inter-Seminary was “New waves of Evangelization”.

The Inter-Seminary had the presence of more than120 Consolata seminarians currently in the various stages of formation in our Region and a group of young ladies beginning the formative process in the Consolata Sisters. Every day our morning sessions were dedicated to a specific topic with the assistance of a facilitator and group discussions while the afternoons were dedicated to sport activities and the evening dedicated to talent performances.

We began our reflection on the first day, going back to our roots in Kenya, as far as the IMC is concern. We reflected on the Conference of Murang’a and its impact to the Church missionary activity then and today. Fr. Tarcisio Maina, IMC pointed out the extreme importance of the event of Murang’a in a way that it opened the horizons of the Consolata Missionaries from Murang’a to the World.

On the second day of reflection, we focused on the Pastoral challenges of witchcraft and superstition today. Fr. Clemente Majjawa (a professor from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa) assisted us in a reflection that exposed the challenge of some Christians who are involved in superstitious practices or secret societies such as witchcraft and illuminati, though the latter is more common among the youth. In addition to that, there is also the challenge of Church leaders and ministers involving themselves in the same practices.

The third day was dedicated to reflection on Drug Abuse. Paul Ndungu, an Addiction Counselor, shared with us an outlook of the most consumed drugs in Kenya, its effects on human health and the factors that lead people to enter the world of drug abuse. It is not surprising to us that even Church people, such as seminarians, priests and nuns also fall into this vice. Paul concluded the session with his personal testimony. He shared how he entered into drug abuse at the early teenage, how he lived with it for good part of his life undergoing several challenges, how he underwent treatment and managed to get out of it. Today he is a trainer/facilitator and addiction counselor helping other people to come out of the challenge of drug abuse.

The event was a good opportunity to meet our friends of other formation houses, socialize with them and gain some knowledge as far as the challenges facing the new waves of evangelization are concern.

The Lord calls, consecrates and sends us!

On 14th February 2015, the Consolata Missionaries in Kenya celebrated in advance the feast of our Founder Bl. Allamano and gave a special gift for the whole Church with the ordination of six deacons (Gregory Mduda, Domnick Otieno, Benard Agesa, Dieudonné Mukadi, Marco Emilio, and Yeinson Ospina) and seven priests (Luke Nyachio, David Onyango, Jeremiah Mutua, Alexander Nthenge, James Murimi, Victor Wafula and Urbanus Mulati). At the same time, two Camillian priests were also ordained.

The theme chosen for the celebration was, “The Lord calls, consecrates and sends us”, having as reference the year of Consecrated Life, the vocational history and the mission of each ordained.

In a good Kenyan atmosphere where everyone is invited to the celebration, the first guests arrived at the Consolata Institute of Philosophy (local of the celebration) at around 7 am and gradually the place was filled with colors and smiles. At 10 am the smiles and colors intensified with the entrance song that read in Kiswahili “Njoni tumfanyie shangwe Mungu wetu” (come all praise our God). In fact, the mood was of much joy in a procession of more than 150 priests and deacons and an assembly of almost 2000 people. Among the priests were the Superior General of the Consolata Missionaries, as well as his vice and the General Councilor for Africa, who now are in the Kenya-Ugandan Region doing the Canonical Visitation.

The president of the celebration, Bishop Emmanuel Okombo, during his homily, drew attention of those present to the fact that we should not only look for the physical appearance of the new ministers of the Church. Rather, we should be more concerned with what they represent in our midst and what they have to offer us, so that we can all help them to be faithful servants of the Lord. One of the representatives of the newly ordained, during his thanksgiving speech, invited his colleagues in the priestly and diaconal ministry to be humble and be at the service of all.

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