The closing of the Tercentenary of the birth in Heaven of Saint John-Baptist De La Salle in the District of the Gulf of Benin took place in two parts and three elements: a day of reflection, a thanksgiving Mass and an agape.

On Saturday, November 16th 2019, in the premises of the Christ the Redeemer Centre “Brother Home”, a conference was held on the contribution of the Christian schools to the formation of the citizen and the values to be promoted in the catholic schools. The two conferences were given by Mrs. QUASHIE Maryse, Lecturer in Educational Sciences at the University of Lomé and Father Pierre-Marie Chanel AFFOGNON, National Director of Catholic Education of Togo. Brothers Rodrigue TOEPPEN and Valère ADONSOU, with Brother Romain SODEY as introducer, successively assured moderation. These two conferences were interspersed with an exhibition of the Lasallian bibliography and iconography and that of other congregations. After lunch and a brief moment of respite, the participants had a grateful testimony of a group of former students from the different schools of the Brothers. The panel that followed was moderated by Professor GOEH-AKUE Michel from the Department of History of the University of Lomé. The panellists, Mr. NAO Christophe, Mr. DIKA Théophile, Br. Benoît MAPAYENE and Sister Louise de Jésus ASSIVON, dealt with the condition of the Christian teacher.

During the general debate, which closed the day, the various interventions made a diagnosis of the condition of the teaching profession in front of an audience of academics and practitioners from the world of education who made concrete proposals for the valorisation of their conditions.

The second day, Sunday 17th November, took place in the parish of Notre-Dame Sous la Croix of Agbalepedogan, the solemn closing mass of the jubilee, a mass animated by the choir “Les Séraphins de La Salle” made up of former students of the College of Togoville. The Eucharist was presided over by the Very Reverend Father Jean Innocent Bertin AGBOBLY-ATAYI, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Lomé. For the celebrant as well as for Brother Paulin DEGBE, Visitor of the District, Saint John- Baptist de La Salle remains “a reference point in the history of education”, an innovator in the human and religious formation of poor children and young people. John-Baptist De La Salle, Patron Saint of educators, affirmed very pertinently: “God wants all men to come to the knowledge of the truth, and he cannot want this without giving children teachers who contribute to the execution of this plan”.

After this celebration, the guests, made up of priests, religious men and women, delegations of professors from the schools of Togo and Benin, former students, Young Lasallians, Signum Fidei and parishioners, took part in the feast at the Provincial House which was given a new look for the occasion and aroused the admiration of all.

Apart from those who had fallen ill due to the fatigue, the other Lasallians gathered the next day to get the place cleaned and reorganized.

Brother Pierre-Claver MENSAH

Provincialate, Lomé