Wednesday, July 25, 2018
We, the vocations promoters and formators of the English-speaking African Circumscriptions and Mozambique, together with the APDESAM Continental Coordinator for Formation and three confreres of the General Secretariat of Formation, met from 15 to 26 of July, 2018 for our Continental Assembly of Formation held at Namugongo, Kampala (Uganda).
The total number of participants was twenty-eight missionaries, from fifteen different nationalities: Uganda 7, Italy 3, Togo 3, Congo 2, Ethiopia 2, South Sudan 2, Benin 1, Central Africa 1, Costa Rica 1, Germany 1, Malawi 1, Mexico 1, Mozambique 1, South Africa 1, and Zambia 1. All the Circumscriptions in the APDESAM zone were represented, with the exception of Eritrea, whose representative attended the European Continental Formation Assembly at Sunningdale in England.
The theme of the Assembly was: “Mission, Youth/Vocation Ministry and Formation in Africa today”. It is evident that the choice of the theme for our Assembly was influenced by the theme of the forthcoming Synod of Bishops on “Youth, Faith and Vocation discernment”. This is a concrete way of paying attention to events in the Church and also of assuming its concerns and challenges as we strive to make our own contribution to the larger scene.
During the first week, Fr. Ben Wakabi, the Youth Chaplain of the Diocese of Jinja, Uganda, explained to the participants the Current Situation of the Youth in Africa, broadly speaking. There followed the presentation of Fr. Dawit Wubishet, Novice Master in Lusaka, Zambia, on the Ministry of Vocation Promotion. This he did following the Papal Messages for Vocations Sunday, starting from 1964 to the present. The General situation of Vocations Ministry and Formation in the Institute was presented by Fr. John Baptist Opargiw, the Secretary General for Formation. Then a four-day long session was presented by the other two members of the General Secretariat for Formation, Fr. Siro Stocchetti and Fr. Elias Sindjalim. It was on our “Vision of Formation as a life-long process and on the Educative Model of Integration”. A lively discussion followed each presentation.
On Sunday, July 22nd , 2018, the participants enjoyed a Day of Pilgrimage, tracing the footsteps of the Holy Martyrs of Uganda from Kigungu, the landing site of the first Catholic Missionaries, through Munyonyo, Nalukulongo, Rubaga Hill, Old Kampala and, of course, Namugongo. This strong spiritual moment fitted very well in the generally prayerful, fraternal and serene atmosphere conducive to sharing and openness to learn from one another.
The Second Week of the Assembly was spent on formation reports from the Circumscriptions of the APDESAM region. Connecting with Formation Assemblies held at Layibi in 2014 and in Lilongwe in 2016, and focusing on our efforts in implementing the directives of the previous Assemblies, we assessed the present moment of the reality of our vocations and formation ministries.
This was a most fruitful Assembly for the spirit of participation and the eagerness of the participants to work for our personal on-going formation and fruit-yielding formative service, structures and environment.
The outcome of our reflection and study will be duly presented to the Major Superiors of the English-speaking African Circumscriptions and Mozambique, in the form of the personal commitment of the participants and as motions for quality and effective formative action and environment.
The Participants: Fr. Achilles Kiwanuka (U), Fr. Anthony Kibira (U), Fr. Asfaha Y. Weldeghiorghis (ET), Fr. Bernard Megnihoue Codjo (U), Fr. Billo Junior (KE), Fr. Bruno Nzigiye (U), Fr. Christian Carlassare (SS), Fr. Dawit Wubishet (MZ), Fr. Elias Sindjalim (GSF), Bro. Friedbert Tremmel (KE), Fr. Jacques Amlon (EGSD), Fr. Joseph Ngumba Lelo (RSA), Fr. Jude Eugene Burgers (RSA), Fr. Lauro Betancourt (KE), Fr. Leo Tibenda (U), Fr. Leonardo Leandro Araya (MO), Fr. Malata Maximilian (MZ), Fr. Mateus Jacob Albino (MO), Fr. Matthew Remijio Gbitiku (KE), Bro. Matthias Adossi (KE) Fr. Patrick Benywanira (U), Fr. Patrick Lipenga (MZ), Bro. Patrick Lumami Mwanza (U), Fr. Philip Andruga (KE), Fr. Siro Stocchetti (GSF), Fr. Stefano Giudici (KE), Fr. Sylvester Hategek’Imana (U), Fr. John Baptist Keraryo Opargiw (GSF).