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Task of accompaniment, leadership is challenging



West Africa district superior speaks about challenges, re-election

08/04/2015: Ghana

The Marist District superior of West Africa, who was re-elected on March 24, said that promoting vocations and accompanying new brothers are among the issues he is facing.

“The task of accompaniment and leadership is challenging,” said Br Francis Lukong, in an interview with the press office of the General House on March 27.

“Vocation promotion, accompaniment of young Brothers, ongoing formation and training of brothers in leadership roles are areas of concern,” added the Marist Brother 

But the Cameroon-born is not discouraged, underscoring “our district is young, this is our strength.”

Six countries – Cameroon, Chad, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, and Liberia – are all under his supervision.

He also revealed that the task of leading the district is far-reaching.

“We would love to take council meetings round the various countries of the district but unfortunately time, distances, costs and visas are among some of our setbacks,” he stated.

Br Lukong was appointed as District Superior of West Africa in 2012 and has been re-elected for another round of three years. A Marist district superior, as well as that of a province, is elected for three years with the possibility of a re-election. Only in exceptional circumstances may he be appointed for a third term.

“The past three years as district leader has been a great opportunity for me not only to serve the district and the brothers, but also to consolidate my Marist vocation as I got increasingly involved in the life and mission of the Brothers,” affirmed Br Lukong.

“It has been indeed a chance for me to start thinking beyond my country and look at new realities of our Marist way of life.”

Br Francis was informed of his re-election by phone By the Province of Mediterránea and was asked if he accepted it.

“I did not say anything at that moment because his message was abrupt,” said Br Lukong. “After we had finished talking about other unrelated matters, I gave him an affirmative answer.”

“I felt that, in spite of my shortcomings, the brothers still found me worthy to serve them as district leader,” he added. “I saw my re-election, first of all, as the will of God and, secondly, as a sign of trust of the brothers.”

During the next three years, he hopes to continue working with the district council, the brothers of the district and the Mediterranean province “for vitality and viability that is very much needed to move the district forward in promoting the Marist mission.”

“I will continue to work for the unity of the District by encouraging and empowering local superiors to better animate the communities, and help Brothers maintain equilibrium in apostolic and community activities,” said Br Lukong. 

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