Meeting of Missionary and Vocation Animators of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa
CML in Kigali – Rwanda from the 27th to the 31st of March 2023
The meeting of the missionary and vocation animators of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa brought together 29 participants from all provinces and sections of the Society. It started on Sunday the 26th of March 2023 in the evening with an introduction from Fr. Leo Laurence, Assistant General in charge of initial formation. Fr. Leo Laurence linked missionary and vocation animation with the central theme of the 2022 Chapter, that is “Mission as Prophetic Witness” which must be inculcated in our aspirants right from the beginning of their contact with us so as to enable them to become prophetic witness through their missionary ministry. The meeting was organized by Fr. Robert Tebri, the secretary of initial formation and was moderated by Fr. Denis Palm.
The next day, 27th of March, was mainly consecrated to the presentation of reports from all the provinces and sections on missionary and vocation animation, as well as the reports of the pre-first phase formation houses. These reports brought out the diversity in all our engagements as well as the unity in what we do at the level of our missionary Society. We shared our enriching and challenging experiences and tried to learn from one another. That led us to a series of questions that need to be clarified. It was a day of fruitful exchange in view of finding a common ground in our missionary and vocation animation, lived in a brotherly climate where everyone could express himself freely. On 28th of March, Fr. Bernard Uguex gave a session on clericalism and its impact in the society today. After the session, the participants went into small groups for reflection and sharing. The rich group sharing was then exchanged in the plenary in the afternoon and recommendations were made.
On 29th of March, we had a video conference with the Treasurer General of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, Fr. John Itaru, on “Vocation – Missionary Promotion and Finances”. Fr. Itaru tackled the subject from a double angle: a gift and a challenge. The talk provoked a number of questions to which Fr. John responded. After the talk, we went into small groups for further discussion and deliberations.
On 30th of March, the question of brother formation was discussed and recommendations were made to the General Council. On 31st of March, the last day was consecrated to bringing out recommendations to the General Council and putting together orientations and guidelines for missionary and vocation animation in the Society. The vocation and missionary animators had so many questions concerning their duties and responsibilities which were clarified using Vademecum for initial formation. The meeting ended on 31st of March evening.
We thank God and the Society for the rich experience of the meeting in Kigali which empowered the vocation and missionary animators in bearing good fruits for the society.
Palm Denis & Leo Laurence