The Consolata Missionary Brothers working in the continent of Africa held a five days (20th – 25th May 2019) meeting following the initiative of the General Government in the footsteps of our Founder Blessed Joseph Allamano to Restructure and Revitalize the vocation of Brothers in the institute. The Consolata Missionaries Brothers are Religious Consecrated Men who carries out Evangelization & Human Promotion through the following sectors: education, health care, administration & management, agriculture, legal & human rights, engineering, pastoral work, counseling services etc. The theme of the meeting was: Restructuring & Revitalization of the Consolata Missionary Brothers’ Vocation & Role in the Society in line with the Charism of the Institute. The Five Regions that were represented are: Kenya/Uganda, Tanzania, D.R.C. Mozambique and Ethiopia.
The five days meeting was providential to all participants who interacted and shared their rich pastoral experience in different missions, as well as drawing spiritual renewal from the recollection, daily prayers and moments of the Holy Mass.
While opening the Convention the Regional Superior of Kenya-Uganda, Rev. Fr. Joseph Waithaka invited the Brothers to be humble, committed and dedicated to their vocation as they strive to implement the values of the gospels as enshrined in the Charism of the Consolata Missionaries and the Acts of XIII General Chapter. The occasion was also graced by the General Government representative, Rev. Fr. Gabriel Odwori who echoed the message of Blessed Joseph Allamano as was expressed by the Superior General in the letter themed: A “DONATED” LIFE he said “ It takes fire to be apostles! And the true apostle is inflamed with charity, that is, with the passion to make the Lord known and to make him loved, and he seeks the good of people, not of himself”. He called upon the Brothers to never let the fire of mission be extinguished in their hearts, a fire which is not only the gift of the spirit of Pentecost descended on us at Baptism, Confirmation and Religious Consecration, but which is also the intense joy of being Consolata Missionaries, your lives spent with ardor for the Gospel, with luminous trust in the Lord Jesus who does not abandon us, even though we are few, fragile and limited”.
Br. John Njuguna, SDB, in his presentation to the IMC Brothers, underscored that in the face of myriad pastoral, health, illiteracy, socio-economic and developmental related problems in Africa, the vocation of A Religious Brother has never been more relevant. He attributed the relevance of the vocation to Brotherhood to its suitability in penetrating and addressing critical issues in the dire situations which are rampart in the continent such as illiteracy, dictatorship & political instability, weak institutional structures, corruption and
poor governance, human rights deficits, hunger & starvation, environmental degradation, refugees and forced migration, widespread diseases such malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS pandemic as well as growing ethnic conflicts. The vocation of a Religious Brother is part of the solution that God gives to the absence of Brotherhood which is wounding the world and more so the continent of Africa. At the root of a Brother’s vocation lies a profound experience of solidarity that essentially matches that of Moses before the burning bush: he discovers himself as the eyes, ears and heart of God, the God who sees the oppression of his people, who hears their cry, feels their anguish and comes down to liberate them. A Religious Brother through his religious and professional formation can offer a myriad of solutions through his witness of living the Brotherhood ideals and training others to attain the required knowledge and hence mould their actions to contribute to stable & sustainable socio-economic development of the continent and the world.
The Recollection Master Rev. Fr. Joseph Maingi Mutinda while commending the Consolata Brothers for the exemplary work and commitment to their evangelic counsels, urged them to be prayerful and hardworking men, since through prayer & work, Religious Brothers give witness to the sublime value of work, by which humanity cooperates with God in perfecting the wonderful work of creation. By so doing they identify themselves with Jesus, Brother and worker.
The convention culminated by having a journey of faith to all the Missions established by the Consolata Missionaries at the coastal strip of Kenya. This was in respect to the veteran Consolata Missionaries who preceded us and offered themselves for the evangelization, human promotion and development of the local people. The Missions visited include Timbwani, Likoni, Diani-Ukunda and Adu Parishes.
Appreciating the support from the General Government, Continental Council and the Regional Government, the convention resolved to strive to implement the Acts of the General Chapter and live the vocation of IMC Brothers as conceptualized by our Blessed Founder, Blessed Joseph Allamno under the inspiration of Our Lady Consolata.
By Br. Clarence Lukungu IMC & Br. Mark Waweru IMC