Online COREAM Assembly and Network Meeting 19th to 23rd July, 2021

From 19th to 21st July, 2021, the Conference of Africa and Madagascar (COREAM) organized its annual Assembly. This year, it was an online meeting. Those present at the Assembly included the Superiors of the Units of Africa and Madagascar, the vocals for the Units with more than 20 members, a Representative of the Brothers, a Representative of the Lay partners, the Procurator of the Fund for Africa and Madagascar, the COREAM Coordinator and his Council, the General Consultor from Africa and Madagascar, Fr. Nicolas Ayouba and Fr. General Michael Brehl. Three translators and two notaries were also present. We were a total number of 27 confreres and 1 Lay Partner.

After the opening of the Assembly by the Superior General Father Michael Brehl, many themes were presented:  

  • The Restructuring Process in COREAM: the Common Houses of Formation and the Common Missionary Projects.
  • Reflection on Africa and Madagascar, Priority of the Congregation.
  • Timeline for the Restructuring Process.
  • The transfer of Ghana Mission to West Africa Vice-Province.
  • A Presentation from the General Bursar Office.
  • Finances in COREAM and Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults.
  • COREAM Revised Statutes and Ratio Formationis.
  • Report on Partnership in Mission in Africa and Madagascar
  • Communication from the General Chapter Preparatory Commission.

On the 1st day, Fr. Manny Rodriguez, the General Secretary for Formation, gave us a wonderful Conference on Interculturality. And on the last day, we had group discussion. The secretary of each group gave us the report of their group discussion. Some information was given by the Coordinator before Fr. General closed officially the COREAM Assembly, on 21st July 2021.

COREAM Assembly was immediately followed by the Network Meeting, on 22nd and 23rd July, 2021. The Network Meeting is a meeting of the COREAM Assembly members with the Provincials of the Founding Units. The Coordinator of Europe, Fr. Johannes Römelt, was also invited. At the Network Meeting, we were a total number of 37 confreres and 1 Lay Partner. The goal of this Network Meeting is to keep the Founding Units informed about what is going on in Africa and Madagascar and to ask their support and accompaniment in order to really achieve this Restructuring Process. That is why some themes of COREAM Assembly were presented again to them, mainly:

  • The Restructuring Process in COREAM: the Common Houses of Formation and the Common Missionary Projects.
  • Reflection on Africa and Madagascar, Priority of the Congregation.
  • Finances in COREAM

We had time to discuss in Groups and also in plenary. Fr. General then gave some thoughtful reflections on how the Founding Provinces can accompany the Restructuring Process in COREAM. At the last session, Fr. Tryvis gave us the summary of the Network Meeting. After that Fr. Johannes Römelt gave an address to the members of the Network Meeting followed by COREAM Coordinator’s Words of thanks. Finally, the Network meeting was closed by Fr. General, on 23rd July, 2021.

At the end of COREAM Assembly and the Network Meeting, we can say that the Restructuring process is going on in COREAM. We want to have three Common Houses of Novitiates in South Africa, Ghana and Madagascar, from July, 2022, if covid-19 permits. We want also to have three Common Houses of Theologate in Kenya, Nigeria and Burkina-Faso. We are envisaging four Common Missionary Projects, in Zambia, Togo, Congo Brazzaville and South Sudan. After the prospecting visits, COREAM Assembly will decide where we will go. We want to better assess our finances in order to find ways to fund our common formation and our common mission. Finally, we need to increase as soon as possible the Fund for Africa and Madagascar, so that the interest can support the common projects and the common formation. That is why, the next 12 months will be a time of large dialogue in COREAM.

Fr. Noël Koutré SOTTIMA,

Coordinator of COREAM

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