An opportunity to listen to each other and to encourage each other (PE nr. 1078)


In EPO (Ethiopia, Near East) we held our Post Capitular Assembly from 28th December 2016 to 31st December 2016 in Adigrat/Ethiopia. 8 confreres from Ethiopia and Jerusalem participated in the assembly. Our guest from the General Council was Martin Grenier and the Moderator was Dominic Apee Ayine. Unfortunately the representative from Beirut, Jean Louis Lingot, was unable to attend. The atmosphere that characterized our assembly was that of fraternal sharing and openness. While the social, economic and ecclesial realities in all three parts of our Section are very different, the Assembly proved an important occasion to listen to and encourage each other. We discussed and planned together and we came up with a strategic plan that will serve as a “Road map” or a “guiding star” for EPO for the coming 6 years (2016-2022).

In our discussions, deliberations and planning, the uniqueness of EPO strongly came out. While doing the ‘charism tree’ exercise, we came to realize that historically Jerusalem played an important role in establishing our presence in both Lebanon and Ethiopia. However we are bound together by more than our common history. We reaffirmed the important role of the Oriental Churches ( Ethiopian Tewehado Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, Armenian Church, the Melkite Church, the Maronite Church, the Assyrian Church etc.) in all three parts of our Section. In this way Ecumenism with these churches is one of the essential apostolates that we are engaged in and that we have to continue strengthening. In the EPO we are blessed with the two lungs of Mother Church “The Western Church and the Eastern Church”. We also realized that in the three places of EPO there is a good presence of Muslims and so Interreligious Dialogue becomes another strong pillar of our ministry. We also tackled issues of JPIC such as the problem of migrants, refugees, jobless young people and other existential peripheries.

We got our working document (Final Text and Strategic Plan) on 1st January 2017, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and we have already started implementing some of the activities. May Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer who is sending us to the world intercede for us.

Long live EPO, Long live the Society of the Missionaries of Africa !

Bonaventure Bwanakweri, M.Afr.
EPO Delegate Superior
(Petit Echo nr. 1078)

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