Ibadan, 1-8 agosto 2021
Si sta svolgendo nel nostro Seminario di Ibadan-Nigeria la prima Assemblea dei confratelli della Vice Provincia Nostra Signora della Speranza. Vi partecipano 25 confratelli provenienti dalle quattro nazioni: Nigeria, Congo, Ghana e Tanzania.
Con il pensiero di augurio del Superiore generale e di don Marco Grega, dopo la solenne Concelebrazione di domenica 1° agosto, si è proceduto alla votazione dei moderatori e dei segretari della Assemblea. Ora siamo nel vivo dei lavori. Lunedì è stato in Assemblea l’arcivescovo di Ibadan Mons. Gabriele. C’è entusiasmo e buona volontà da parte di tutti nel portare avanti la riflessione e i lavori di gruppo nel clima della sinodalità. Ci si sta interrogando cosa l’Africa può offrire e cosa può ricevere dalla VC per giungere alla medesima domanda in riferimento al nostro carisma e alla nostra spiritualità guanelliana. La preghiera quotidiana scandisce la relazione con lo Spirito, protagonista principale di questa Assise.
Messaggio di Padre Soosai Rathinam, referente del Consiglio generale per l’Africa.
To Rev. Fr. Kelechi Maduforo, the members of the Assembly of our Lady of Hope Vice Province Africa:
As we are going to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Canonization of our Holy Founder St. Louis Guanella, indeed it a providential moment to re-incarnate his presence, vision and mission contextually by celebrating your Assembly in your soil.
The experience of God’s fatherhood is the essence of the Charism that Fr. Guanella has passed on to us. It is therefore important for us to ask ourselves: what does all this mean to me? How would we summarize our congregation’s Charism in the African context by analyzing the identity, communion and mission aspect? Fr. Guanella arrived at a deep understanding of God as Father during the time of his greatest difficulties and trails. We the guanellians have received the strong heritage through our founder by a special inspiration of the Holy Spirit a very specific charism for the church and for the whole society. Henceforth the charism makes us true evangelizers, educators by the ways of the heart.
You are being called to be self-analytical in order to re-evaluate your charismatic journey and it’s prophetic role of the Vice-Province: to examine the journey so far lived, in order to mark out together plans which will make the church in Africa more alive, not simply assessed by the physical structure or even by the numerical strength, but rather enhancing our zeal for evangelization and to increase our impetus to share the Good news with the poor. Our Vice-Province is enjoying a fruitful stage of youthfulness and enthusiasm and there is a willingness to share personnel among the different parts of the guanellian globe. You were formed and tutored by the different missionary confreres; in fact, 30° years of tremendous growth and expansion call you to keep alive the charism constantly by enriching and adopting while losing none of their unique character.
Inculturation of our charism is a critical, honest revitalization of cultural and religious richness based on the Gospel, regarding the positive and negative values of your own culture: what is the response/ reaction that the Guanellian charism can offer to the poor who live in this our history, in your country and in the church that is planted? Or, in other words, how would you develop this way of living the charism still further? How do you promote emergence of the charismatic persons in different cultures in which consecrated life taking root? What is needed is a convinced assimilation of the charism that penetrates not only individuals, but also the entire community network; henceforth enhance the study of the charism, and inculturation aspect which will facilitate the effectiveness of the Guanellian mission with the local culture.
I would like to wind up by sharing with you a beautiful story titled with “Win the battle of difficult times infuse Enthusiasm, Spread Hope” By Bharat J. MEHRA, social worker and philanthropist from India who says ‘let’s us fight this pandemic until we win’
A king had many elephants, but one elephant was very powerful very obedient and very skillful and the best in the fighting skills, in many wars he was sent on the battlefield, and he would return only after being victorious. He was the most loved elephant of the King out of hundreds and thousands, time went by, and the elephant started getting old. The king did not send him to the battlefield anymore, but he still remained a part of the king’s team because whenever the king saw him, he felt good and happy.
The elephant once went to the lake for a drink his feet got stuck in the mud there and he started sinking into it. He tried a lot, but he couldn’t pull himself outside the mud, people around knew that the elephant was in trouble by the sound of his screams. This news also reached the king because the elephant was his favorite one and he made a great attempt with the people to pull it out but there was no way.
In the meantime, an old, retired minister from the king’s court was passing around the lake the listeners found bizarre, however as soon as the drums of war started ringing there was a change in the behavior of the troubled elephant, the elephant slowly stood up and then pulled himself out of the mud on his own. Everybody around was shocked, there wasn’t a lack of physical ability in the elephant just the need to infuse enthusiasm within way required and that was done.
To maintain an enthusiasm in life it is necessary that humans maintain a purposeful thinking and mindset and do not despair dominate. In today’s challenging times we all need to infuse enthusiasm in ourselves and the people around us by playing these battle drums we need to celebrate abundance of good health, joy, happiness of love….and we have to stop talking about these tough times and how these tough times have been treating us. Dear confreres, there is a lot of good happening around us, we have to see it and let’s be grateful for all that and make sure that the battle drums declare victory in the battle of difficult time, so let’s keep moving ahead and we shall win.
I am sorry for not being able to attend your Assembly due to an insurmountable visa document barrier. I will ensure that I obtain all the important details discussed during the Assembly from the Superior of the Vice- Province. I wish you the best of luck and have a fruitful Assembly!
Fr. Rathinam, SdC