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Marist International Center, Nairobi



An interview with Brother Lawrence Lucius Ndawala, fms, superior of MIC

22/05/2014: Kenya

The Marist International Center is a Marist house of formation that receives the young Brothers from Africa for their formation after the Novitiate. Brother Lawrence Ndawala (from Southern Africa) is the Superior of  the Marist International Center since 2011. We publish an interview that gives us a glimpse of how is the life at the Center.


Brother, what dreams or expectations did you set to achieve when you started as MIC Superior in 2011? 

I had no dreams. However, having an experience of the humble beginnings of MIC as one of the pioneer students and also having served as Provincial for six years, I thought it was time to contribute something to MIC. I thank the province that sent me here as one of its contributions to MIC. 


How does MIC today differ from MIC of those early days? 

Br.There are differences though it’s not a question of comparison of MIC of those days and today’s. Those were times then and today are different times. The beginnings were very tough for both young Brothers and Formators. For instance, a lot had to be clarified concerning MIC as a formation center and this demanded patience on the part of the young Brothers. English for some Formators was a hurdle though the center was supposed to be bilingual. My pride in all this is that we made MIC start. 

Today MIC has its own challenges in its context. One thing we should not forget is that MIC was founded because it was meant for Africa, to develop Africa, to form Brothers for Africa and MIC is the future of Marist Africa. I feel certain that nothing should take us away from this vision. 


What have been your happiest moments at MIC? 

One of my happiest moments at MIC is to see young Brothers who come and go happily that they have got something at MIC. When I hear the Brothers leaving MIC expressing their gratitude and conviction that now they are ready for mission I feel proud to imagine that indeed we have achieved what the Brothers initially meant MIC to be. 

However the physiognomy of the community is very unique. It is very international. MIC is composed of varied cultural backgrounds. This is a treasure for an institute like ours but at a cost. Our internationality is not the same with some congregations. I would stress this that nothing, nothing and nothing should replace our brotherhood. How I wish Brothers could discover this great treasure. 


What message do you have to the fourth year Brothers as they prepare for teaching practice? 

To the fourth year Brothers, my message is really one. I hope that when they go they have got something for themselves that which the Institute and MIC intended to give them. Since MIC offers a lot, nobody can get everything. It is not possible but there is always something that each one gets from here. Let them take something from the varieties available at MIC that would be helpful for them in their own mission. I just wish them the best in their future mission. 


Workshops have been part and parcel of formation programme at MIC, what is the secret behind? 

Workshops are an integral part of the formation programme. The fruits may not be seen now but later in the Administrative Units Brothers will meet with real life situations, then they will remember what they did. I would like to encourage the Brothers to take advantage of the workshops offered them here and now for these are their chances, windows opened and that they need not to miss them.


Brother, you have always encouraged Brothers to freely mingle with everybody, what value do you see in that? 

This is the one of the unique treasures that we have at MIC to enable one to mix and interact without borders. However, it is just normal with us as human beings. The tendency is to remain with what we know, and with people we know. From my experience, moving out of my country to various places, there is so much of exposure that I experienced. 

The mind becomes free and some of the beliefs that we carry along are mere myths. Eventually we realise the truth that we can actually work anywhere and with anybody. The best is to break that and discover new and deeper relations. Look at today’s world which has now become a global village. How I wish my Brothers were to understand that it is necessary to mix with others to our own advantage. 


What dreams, wishes, or challenges do you foresee as far as your position of Superior is concerned? 

The ministry of a superior has its own challenges. It demands patience and courage to move on. You can get easily isolated. It takes intuitive minds to detect this. The office of the Superior can be demanding as well especially when it comes to deadlines that make one work beyond the normal times. The only thing may be is the ingenuity to know that I can work up to this end then I have my rest. 


What is your opinion as far as formation of the Young Brothers is concerned? 

Now formation is much more integrated and adapted to our specific needs as Provinces. There is beautiful formation here and the one who leaves this place and say, „I wasted my time, I would hesitate to accept that. 


MIC Newsletter – April 2014

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