News from the Conference of the Brother Visitors in Abidjan

News from the Conference of the Brother Visitors in Abidjan from 1st to 4th November 2018

On Thursday, November 1, 2018 began at St. Miguel scholasticate, the Conference of RELAF Brother Visitors. Br Amilcare Boccucia, Director of the Solidarity and Development Secretariat, was the invited member of this conference. A few minutes were given to Eleonora Munaretto, Coordinator of Lasallian Volunteer Programs, to introduce herself. 

1- The conference examined some projects of the Region:

Investment in the construction of a building in Cocody Danga for self-sufficiency in consultation with the District of Gulf of Benin: the Regional Office has been mandated to look for two other feasibility study proposals in addition to that of the National Bureau of Technical and Development Studies (BNEDT).

High School in Ghana: The village administrative authority of Issa in northwestern Ghana has initiated the construction of a secondary school which they want to entrust the management to the Catholic Church. The bishop of Wa proposes to the Brothers of the Christian Schools the management of this school. He paid a visit to the Superior General on this matter. The conference encourages the project by inviting the two districts of West Africa and Lwanga, which are already involved, to move forward.

South Sudan: the High School opened in March 2018 and classes are held in a classroom belonging to the School of Loretto Sisters. The fence of the 48-hectare land that was donated by the local community for the school is made. Two boreholes have been drilled, one of which already gives water to the population. Brother Joseph Alak, director of the school, will be joined by Brothers Julius from Nigeria and Eutace from Sri Lanka. John, a South Sudanese aspirant, should join them. In March 2019, the Brothers should leave their temporary accommodation on the property of the Loretto Sisters and join their own site located 5 km away.

Lasallian University of Africa. A report was made of the meeting held in Paris on 23 October between the higher education centers of RELAF and the European university centers. The aim was to pave ways for collaboration in the perspective of an African Lasallian University with different academic units across the continent.

2- Our houses of formation; the conference took note of the different reports:

Novitiate of Bobo: The novices are 30 with only three formators. The increase in the number of novices calls into question the accommodation capacity of the novitiate. One option would be to split the novitiate into two groups with one group in Bobo Dioulasso and the other in Toussiana, at the Theophane Elola Center, a former novitiate.

St. Miguel Scholasticate: There are twenty scholastics, including 6 Brothers of St. Gabriel and 1 Brother of St. Vincent de Paul with three Brother formators. The conference welcomed Brothers Jean Marie, the Provincial, and Etienne, his Councillor, Brothers of Saint Gabriel visiting the scholasticate Saint Miguel where 7 of their Brothers  are hosted and formed. On the evening of November 3 at 6:00 pm, the Brother Visitors spoke with the scholastics.
This year, CELAF has 213 students, including 79 at CAFOP, training elementary school teachers enrolled either with the junior high school certificate or senior high school  certificate. There is a disaffection of some Congregations and even of our Districts which tend to ignore the scholasticate stage. A reflection is underway on the possibility of training secondary school teachers with the creation of a Pedagogical Institute. The conference encourages this reflection and welcomes the efforts of the Director General for the accreditation of diplomas by the African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education (CAMES). The case of our land in Mbadon is still pending in the court.

Bon Pasteur Community: the community is composed of Brothers Valère, Jean-Pierre, Ernest from Saint Gabriel, and Father Emmanuel Traoré. Br Jean Pierre Mvumbi is assigned to this community at least for this year.

3- Organization and staff of the Region:

On October 24, 2018, Brother Superior General wrote a letter to Districts of Europe managing twinning funds of Districts of Africa to remind that these funds are funds of the Institute. The issue is to create with all these funds a common fund whose interests would accrue to each one in proportion to their initial amount.
A first Worldwide Lasallian event: a CIL is organized for the whole Lasallian Family in Nairobi from November 5th to 16th. Its theme: “Walking with young people, a gospel adventure”. It will continue from 19 to 23 November with a meeting of all the leaders of youth ministry and Lasallian vocations.

 Regional House: The mandate of Br Ferdinand Biziyaremye as delegate of the Region within the International Council Association and Lasallian Educational Mission (CIAMEL) was renewed by the Superior General. Brother Pierre Aymard Bako has been appointed by Br Superior General as delegate of the Region in the preparatory committee for the Assembly of Young Brothers. A one-year fixed-term contract was signed with Yao Kouabenan Roland as delegate Director of CARLA. He proposed a strategic plan for the pastoral ministry of Lasallian vocations in Côte d’Ivoire. The procedures to obtain CARLA’s approval as an NGO continue. We have received the acknowledgment receipt but are still waiting for the order of the Minister of the Interior giving the approval.

Novitiate Notre Dame: Brother Sylvain Consimbo finishes his mandate as director of the novitiate in June 2019. He is appointed member of the Secretariat for Formation in Rome. Brother Jean Palmier Lutemona returned as a formator in the Novitiate for a second stay. Brother Jacques Monchebi, after a brief return to his District, is expected to be director of the Novitiate. In the interest of long-term preparation of formators, the Brother Visitors gave names of possible candidates for the formation houses. The orientation of the formation and studies of the Brothers will have to take into account, as a priority, the staffing needs of the formation houses.
Scholasticate: Br Bertin Mbaïguedem is appointed director. The mandate of Br Eloi Luheho has been renewed for three years. Br Marc Figaro returned for a second stay in Côte d’Ivoire as a formator. The development prospects of higher education also imply a concern to detect and prepare skills for this level of education.

4- Tercentenary and other events:

Visitors presented what is being done or will be done in their Districts.
During the Year of the Tricentenary and Lasallian Vocations, delegates from different districts and delegation are expected in Abidjan for a regional CIL scheduled from July 29 to August 11, 2019. A second CIL for Brothers, at most three per district / delegation, not exceeding 5 years of perpetual vows will be organized from August 18 to September 1, 2019. Guadalupanas Sisters will also participate.

Abidjan on November 26, 2018