Mgr Paul PELLET Centre
On 30 June 2021, the Centre Mgr Paul PELLET welcomed the participants of the ICOF programme. On July 1st 2021, we had the inauguration and the blessing of the new SMA house, named “Centre Mgr Paul PELLET”, by Mgr Boniface ZIRI, Bishop of Abengourou. FRANCIS Rosario, SMA General Councillor and SEKA Narcisse, SMA Provincial Superior of Côte d’Ivoire. As representative of the ICMA, we welcomed Brother KONANI Nicodème, OFM (Rector of the ICMA).
The centre is very well equipped to host a programme of this kind. In general, the house was appreciated by the participants. The rooms have bathrooms with hot water. The conference room is professionally equipped.
This year’s ICOF Abidjan programme had 14 participants, ten women and four men, from 6 different religious congregations and 9 nationalities; among the men there was a diocesan priest from Mali. All 14 participants came from outside the Ivory Coast.
We had a wide variety of modules that helped the participants to renew themselves. Some of these were: Mission and Witchcraft in West Africa, Holy Scripture and Mission, Leadership, Forgiveness, Dreams, Interculturality, Living in Community and Working in Teams, Appreciative Discernment, Transitions in Life, Resilience and Trauma, Consecrated Celibacy and Emotional Maturity, Addiction. The programme included a seven-day retreat.
The theme that accompanied the participants was: “With Jesus at the centre of our lives, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, let us each take flight to live fraternity without borders for an ever-renewed community”.
Participants were invited to take advantage of the accompanying services provided by the programme. There were seven evenings where participants were invited to share in small groups. The aim of these sharing sessions was to provide a forum on active listening and confidentiality where each participant could express how things were going for them. The activity was well integrated and appreciated. We also have community meetings where the group could express ongoing concerns about activities, our life together, arrangements for timetables, accommodation, food, etc. The meetings were useful for adjustments, clarifications and information.
We had organised liturgical and sharing groups who committed themselves to prepare the liturgy of each week. The variety of local and international congregations brought creativity to our liturgy.
In connection with some of the modules, we had the opportunity on some evenings to watch different films and documentaries which added to the understanding, broadening the horizons. The two films shown illustrated the themes of interculturality and forgiveness, while the documentaries dealt with the sexual abuse of nuns in the Church, resilience and addiction. The activity was greatly appreciated.
The programme organised three outings. The first one took place on the very first Sunday of the programme and allowed for an insertion into the local culture/liturgy with the participation in a priestly and diaconal ordination at the cathedral of Yopougon. The second outing took place on 10 July. The participants went to discover different localities of Abidjan, the Abidjan Cathedral and even the Atlantic Ocean at the Grande-Bassam beach. For the third outing scheduled for 31 July, we went to Yamoussoukro (Basilica of Our Lady of Peace) and to the hospital located not far from there. Finally, on 16 August, several participants organised to visit and pray at the Marian shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. All these outings and visits were very much appreciated.
We had to divide ourselves into two different cultural evenings because of the large number of nationalities. The participants were well prepared and great creativity was displayed: audiovisuals, dances, games, poems, songs, gifts… it was an occasion for great joy.
During the programme, we had the opportunity to celebrate our birthdays, anniversaries of professions in the consecrated life, patronal feasts and even the day of the independence of the Ivory Coast. We also had a social evening every week or so. This helped us to strengthen our family spirit.
This year, some of the participants shared their various talents with us: entertainment evenings, decorating the chapel, cooking and baking… to name but a few. We were able to enjoy delicious cakes, pizzas and quiches.
In conclusion, we can say that it was a very enriching trip.
(Translation : mafrome with the help of DeepL)