From 12th to 21st July, 2023, COREAM Assembly members gathered for two meetings :
1. The Third Phase of the XXVI General Chapter in the CONFRENCE OF AFRICA AND MADAGASCAR.
The Third Phase of the XXVIth General Chapter in the Conference of the Redemptorists of Africa and Madagascar (COREAM.) began on 12th July 2023 (at 7:00 AM East African Time). Together with the members present Rd. Fr. Rogerio Gomes C.Ss.R., the Superior General, celebrated mass to the Holy Spirit at Donum Dei Roussel House, Karen in Nairobi Kenya.
The retreat preached by Fr. Rogério Gomes, C.Ss.R. proposed the following topic for meditation: Missionaries of Hope in the footsteps of the Redeemer in this year 2023 dedicated to community life: Const. 21-75; GS 026-049; Lk 6, 12-16.
Fr Rogerio indicated that the Third Phase of the General Chapter is a way of celebrating synodality in the Congregation – with its purpose being the implementation of the decisions of the XXVIth General Chapter at Conference level. He made an appeal to the members to use their energies and creativity with a spirit of collegiality to put in practice these decisions in the context of Africa and Madagascar with a simple, bold and effective Strategic Plan.
This phase lasted for seven days, the fifth day being a time of rest. During the seven days, different activities took place that included individual presentations on specific topics, presentation by the Redaction Commission, group discussions and presentations, plenary discussion and consensus building. The fruits of these activities produced the Sexennial Plan of Action for the Conference of Africa and Madagascar that was approved and voted by the members.
Fr Nicolas AYOUBA, the General Consultor, observed that this was one of the most progressive Assemblies of COREAM. He expressed confidence that the members from the Units in Africa and Madagascar had taken great responsibility in mission. At the end of the Third Phase of the General Chapter, Fr General reminded the members that in a challenging context like Africa and Madagascar, the Redemptorists’ charism has much to offer the People of God. For effective proclamation there was urgent need to revitalise our apostolic life, re-enchant our Redemptorists life, to give more dynamism to our pastoral work and urgent need to return to the sources of the Gospel and our Constitutions.
The third phase of the XXVIth General chapter in the Conference of Africa and Madagascar (COREAM) was officially closed on 18th, July 2023 by Rd. Fr Rogerio Gomes C.Ss.R Superior General.
2. COREAM ASSEMBLY.
The Assembly of the Conference of Africa and Madagascar which was a continuation of the Third Phase of the XXVIth General Chapter began on 19th July, 2023 at 7:00am with Eucharistic celebration by the Coordinator, Fr Noel Sottima.
There were 24 participants during this Assembly ; Fr Rogerio Gomes- Superior General, Fr Nicolas Ayouba- General Consultor, Fr Noel Sottima- COREAM Coordinator, Fr Trivis Moyo- COREAM Consultor, six vice provinces were represented (Matadi-2, Madagascar-2, South Africa-1, Angola-2, Nigeria-2 and Afrique de l’Ouest-2), the region of Zimbabwe-2, and three missions (Kenya-1, the two missions of Mozambique-1), Bro. Benjamin the Representative of the Brothers, Mrs Judith Representative of the Lay Partners, two translators/ notaries in French and one notary for English.
During his opening address Fr General noted that this assembly was an opportune moment for members to use creative fidelity by opening themselves to the Holy Spirit who enables all to be faithful to the Gospel.
Presentations and plenary discussion during the Assembly revisited some decisions of the XXVIth General Chapter: Formation for mission – initial and ongoing formation, common missionary projects -in Lome (Togo), Congo Brazzaville and Zambia, the priority of Brothers, close collaboration with the Lay Partners, on restructuring process/Strategic Plan/ implementation, about the fund for Africa and Madagascar and Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults.
On the last day the members proposed three names through voting to the General Government to be appointed as Coordinator for the Conference: Fr Godwin Abbah from the Vice-Province of Nigeria, Fr Noel Sottima from the Vice-Province of Afrique de l’Ouest and Fr Ibrahim Gerard Seydou from the Vice-Province of Afrique de l’Ouest. Two confreres also were voted as members of the COREAM Council; Fr Kenneth Macharaga from the Region of Zimbabwe and Fr Godwin from Vice-Province of Nigeria respectively.
Fr Francis Sila C.Ss.R, from Kenya Mission
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