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26 November

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1947: Birth of Brother Seán Sammon, 12th Superior General

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Second Meeting of the Africa Mission Team

15/01/2008: Zimbabwe

The Provincial House of Southern African Province was the venue for the meeting. Brother Ferdi-nand Dostie, Provincial Secretary, received us on arrival and guided our movements. The Africa Mission Team was set up in October 2006 on the occasion of a first gathering held at Accra, Ghana. The fruit of the gathering was the establishment of an action plan which was presented to, and ac-cepted by the various Provincials concerned and by the Superior of the Africa District

The Team’s second meeting offered the occasion to evaluate what has been done up to the time of the meeting, to make a few adjustments in the action plans, and to plan future activities. Analyzing African realities led the group to focus upon three general areas:

A) To improve the quality of youth ministry in Africa in collaboration with other continents. In order to do so concretely, we settled upon two objectives:
- promoting youth ministry in African, providing it with action plans
- promoting interaction between young Africans and other young people during World
Youth Day in Sydney 2008.

B) To deepen the understanding of the specific identity of Brothers and Marist laity through com-mon experiences in: religious activities, apostolic work and formation. In order to attain such a goal, there is a need to create activities centered on two objectives:
- creating an awareness of this topic in all the administrative units of Africa;
- offering occasions for formative experiences in this field

C) To react to the new challenges arising in Marist education. We wish above all to emphasize the right to education: a Gospel education, an education committed to solidarity and social change, sen-sitive to cultures and respectful of the environment, a discrimination-free education which leads to the creation of educational settings for those who are deprived of them.” (final declaration of the Mendes Assembly). To reach such a goal, we envision activities centered upon the following goal : « Formation for those who lead Marist Schools.”

The Team feels that good communication among the various Councils of the administrative units is essential. The Team drew up a letter to the Brother Provincials and the District Superior informing them of the meeting and the plans issuing from it. We hope that each Team member will be able to speak personally to his Provincial or District Superior. Then, if possible, the member will explain to each Provincial/District Council the nature of the meeting and the plans which have been estab-lished.

Our evaluation of the meeting is very positive, particularly regarding: the wonderful reception we were given; the community feeling which prevailed amongst us; the climate of freedom, to be criti-cal in a positive way, to make decisions with a sense of brotherhood and equality. The concrete outcomes of the meeting are now available and so too is a program which will be easy to follow and will bear tangible fruit. We found it easy to dialogue and to reach agreement.

Participants (from left to right): Brothers Emmanuel Mwanalirenji (Southern África); Ifeanyi Mbaegbu (Nigeria); Valentin Djawu (Afrique Centre-Est); Juan Miguel Anaya, Emili Turú (General Administration Rome) ; and John Kusi Mensah (Afrique de l’Ouest). Madagascarwas no repre-sented because the delegate, Brother Thomas Randrianantenaina, had been elected Provincial and was preparing to undertake his new duties.

Our next Team meeting will be held in Mwanza, Tanzania, December 15 to 17, 2008.

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