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Lasallians from 27 countries of the five regions of the Institute are present in Kenya taking part in the CIL (Lasallian International Center), to reflect and project actions related to youth, pastoral ministry and vocational promotion. This program is led by the Institute’s Secretariat for Formation and involves both Brothers and lay people from all over the world.
“Walking with Young People: A Call to a Gospel Adventure.”
The Brother’s Scholasticate in Nairobi, Kenya was filled with joyful sounds as Lasallians from 27 countries and the five Regions of the Institute greeted one another at the Welcome Gathering for the CIL: “Walking with Young People: A Call to a Gospel Adventure.” As part of the welcome address by Brother Rafael Mata, FSC he expressed his deep gratitude to the Brothers and Lasallians of the Charles Lwanga District and especially to Brother Ghebreyesus Habte, Visitor and the communities at the Scholasticate for all of their planning for this CIL session. As part of the welcome it was shared the CIL was purposefully moved from Rome to Nairobi as part of the celebration of the Year of Lasallian Vocations in the hope of offering a new and life-giving experience. The evening continued with music and dance from each of the countries that comprise the Lwanga District along with Madagascar and Rwanda. The Lasallians gathered with One Heart…One Commitment…One Life!
Monday, November 5, 2018
The opening CIL Session began with this reflection from Brother Jesus (Chuy) Rubio, FSC “We dreamed a lot about this program, this special program for the year of Lasallian Vocations. We took the marvelous risk to leave Rome and travel to Nairobi, Kenya. We are very grateful to the great partnership and support from the Lwanga District to make this CIL session happen. For all of us here in Nairobi for this session, this is holy ground.” Brother Rafael Matas continued with the Opening Reflection in which he expressed his personal hope that the CIL session will be a place of “communion for the Lasallian vocational ministry and a place of networking as to how Lasallians view society and their place in the transformation of it.
The focus of the morning session was “Open Your Eyes” as the participants were asked to consider two dynamics. First, the dynamic of religious freedom and secularization and second, the “tensions” that might exist in conducting a “pastoral ministry of vocations for all Lasallians.” Participants had the opportunity to have conversation with several other participants from different cultural context in a round-robin style process.
The day’s second session was “Open Your Heart.” Participants were invited to reflect upon their own personal vocational journey and their awareness of God’s presence on that journey and then the participants shared their reflection in small language groups. The day concluded with a celebration of the Mass in French. Thought for the day: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Today we began with a session by Brother Paulo Dullius, Why Do We Do What We Do ? We focused on motivation. What motivates us in our vocation ? We recognize that we are participants in God ‘s mission and God’s mission is love. Therefore, when we consider mission we consider a mission that is 1.A Human mission: that is inviting, listening and understanding, 2. A Christian mission: Jesus has concretized a way of living our human life in relationship with God, 3. A Lasallian mission: the purpose that our life inspired by Jesus Christ reflects an awareness to love of all humanity. As Lasallians we associate for mission and that mission is God’s mission of love. Therefore, how does our Lasallian mission reflect God’s mission and what is the role of vocational ministry in inviting and accompanying others in discovering how they are called to participate in God’s mission?
Motivated by Brother Paulo’s inspirational presentation, the participants met in small language groups to consider the presentation and to prepare for an afternoon plenary session.
Thought for the day: Our Lasallian mission is to accompany the mission of God.
Wednesday November 7th, 2018
This day was dedicated to the topic “Young people, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”: three morning sesiones and two afternoon sessions.
We began this day with a Prayer on the parable of the Good Samaritan. We were invited to remember the names of people with whom we experienced love of neighbor. The names of these people were mentioned during the prayer.
Mr. Keane Palatino started with a singing game before heading to the conference room. During both sessions he gave a wonderful presentation on the context and needs of today’s youth. In a first video we watched a young female talking to an audience her painful story and invited adults to look at young people with greater empathy; to receive them, to listen to them, to understand them and to accompany them to find answers to their problems. In a second video, an expert offered new approaches for walking with young people to help them find meaning in their lives.
This presentation led to personal reflection and then to sharing in language groups at the end of the morning. Before that meeting in linguistic groups, a joyful moment was organized by the students of the De La Salle School: diverse musical, dance and speech performances were presented by talented and elegantly dressed children.
In the afternoon Mrs. Stella Quintos addressed an animation on the basketball court. Then she presented how to enter into dialogue with young people about the challengues that have impacted their lives. Above all, she emphasized the religious crisis experienced by young adults, manifested by his disaffection with the Church. They have great need to talk an adult. In summary, we can remember that we Lasallians are invited to be good Samaritans for young people who are like the wounded and abandoned man on the road. Mr. Keane pointed out that Jesus is the true good Samaritan. It is the parable of the Good Samaritan who served for the prayer in the linguistic groups.
Thought for the day: “Anyone who wants to travel by plane, should go to the airport”.
Thursday November 8th, 2018
The topic for today was Culture of vocations. The sessions were conducted by Brothers Joseph Félix and Chuy Rubio. The morning prayer was focused on the call of the first disciples Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip and Nathanael. We praise God for our various calls and ask for His blessing for all who share the Lasallian Mission.
In the morning sessions we had first a welcoming video and an animation song by Brother Felix, and then the presentation on the “understanding and practice of vocations” in the five regions of the Institute followed by personal reflection. Each Region practices were presented by CIL participants coming from every Region: br. Jacques Monchébi for RELAF, br. Chris Patiño for RELAN, br. Eder Polido for RELAL, br. Zohaib Gil for PARC and Ms. Elenora Munaretto for RELEM. They spoke about the different levels of understanding and a variety of vocational culture practices according to cultures and ways of understanding, and they showed the diverse realities of their respective regions and districts.
Thought for the day: ” The one who does not sow anything, does not harvest anything.
Friday November 9th, 2018
The day was about Vocations and Youth Ministry, and we studied the topic trough this: 1) Presentations about the programs of San Francisco – New Orleans District by Miss Kenena Amuzie, Antananarivo District by Br. Bruno Rakotomavo, and ARLEP District by Br. Jorge Sierra. 2) World Café for reflecting and sharing of our best practices that leaded to dialogue and new ideas, and established the basis for the next momento. 3) Lenguaje groups to work on propositions for formation and activities about faith, service and community.
Thought of the day: “We have received a treasure to share it”.
Saturday November 10th, 2018
We visited the Kangemi slum and there we went to a community centre whose staff helped us as guides. In small groups we toured and interacted with people and institutions of the neighborhood, where we witnessed the pressing needs of the population. At the same time we discovered the immense value of the service provided by Kangemi Resource Center through education, community organization for production and marketing, water purification, library, among other resources. Right there we had lunch and celebrated the 50th birthday of Brother Agustin Ranchal, to close the day with the Sunday Mass in the Regina Caeli parish.
Thought for the day: “we are God’s hands”.
Sunday November 11th, 2018
Day of culture and knowledge visiting the National Museum of Nairobi and Bomas of Kenya. In the first place we were amazed by the history, culture and natural heritage of Kenya thanks to the detailed explanations of our guides. In Bomas we had the opportunity to meet traditional homesteads and enjoy dances, clothing, music and traditional songs of the main tribes of the country, such as Mijikenda, Luo, Taita, Embu, Maasai, Kikuyu, Kamba, Kalenjin, Luhya, Kisii, Kuria, among others.
Thought for the day: “Our diversity is our wealth”.
Monday, November 12, 2018
This morning’s session focused on Christian discernment and accompaniment.In Christian discernment we decide how to make the best decision for what God wants for me and how to place myself at the service of humanity. Humanity has an orientation for good and is the basic motivation that drives us. One of the icons used for this presentation on discernment was the account of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew what fate was awaiting him, he knew of Judas’ betrayal and of his inevitable death at the hands of the Romans. His agony was the discernment process of connecting the head (knowing) and the heart (accepting) of his crucifixion. Christian discernment is a reflection of God who is mercy, of God who is light, of God who is justice.
Also discussed was the “art of accompaniment” which includes the “art of listening.” An important aspect of accompaniment is co-responsibility to facilitate the growth and fidelity of each person toward God’s will.
Thought for the day: Like Jesus, our discernment needs us to link the head and heart. We are to be persons who views the world through the eyes of faith.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
As we began our morning session we were asked to recall our Saturday visit to Kangemi slum. We each recalled our encounter with the students at the schools, the people that accompanied us on our walk and the families we met. In addition, the wonderful and inspiring work of the Ngao Society. (www.ngaosociety.org)
In Brother Bob Schaefer’s presentation, he reflected upon how all “Lasallian formation is for mission and the mission of God comes to us through Jesus Christ. Those that were close to Jesus knew he was “Good News,” a living something good and new.”
We were asked to reflect, can we share something good and new about Jesus to our young people today? Can we receive that good news that Jesus fired into the hearts that those he called his friend and share that with others we encounter? How did Jesus accompany people? What did De La Salle experience in his faith in Jesus that led to his own faith itinerary? As Lasallians we need to not only provide Lasallian accompaniment but Lasallian discernment as well.
The parable of the Good Samaritan was offered as a Biblical Icon for accompaniment. This parable of Jesus sets itself at the heart of Lasallian pedagogy, evangelization and accompaniment. In this parable we see a God of mercy, a God that liberates and transforms society. Young people engaged in our Lasallian ministries should encounter the experience of good news, of liberation and of God’s merciful love.
Thought for the day: How can we create spaces and experiences where young people can discover or deepen their relationship with God?
Wednesday November 14th, 2018
We continue the CIL with the topic of the pastoral care of Lasallian Vocations. Brother Joseph Felix is the main speaker for the day. Today’s sessions are dedicated to the presentation of some good practices of Vocational Ministry of several Districts and to the reading of a draft of the Circular 471, in linguistic groups exchanging opinions on its content.
As Brother Joseph Félix started he presented the plan for the day and the five speakers from the Districts: all would answer the question “what are you doing in your District to help poeple become Lasallians?
Sister Guadalupana de La Salle Angelyne Noashy Randrianarilala from Madagascar presented the way in which the culture of vocations is lived in her Congregation. Then Brother Edgar Esparagoza showed how in the LEAD District students are instilled with the values of Faith, Service and Community to help them find meaning in their lives. Ms. Maryann Donohue Lynch from DENA presented the possibilities offered to alumni/alumnae to continue participating in the Lasallian network. Brother David García De la Peña of Distrito México Norte shared the experience of the parents’ commitment to the Lasallian Educational Mission. Finally Brother Jesus Perigot presented the Vocations Ministry in a global plan and its implementation in the ARLEP District, that includes training and discernment programs for all members of Lasallian communities.
After these five valuable presentations, Br. Joseph Felix invited the participants to read and reflect on the preliminary draft of Circular 471.
Thought for the day: “The challenge of the world is to live together in diversity”.
Thursday November 15th, 2018
This day was led by Brother Paco Chiva. In his interactive presentation he invited the participants to make projections towards the future. Thinking about the Institute, the question was: how do we see it in the year 2051, the year we will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the birth of our Founder?
This motivated a deep reflection in small groups, and the sharing focused on several possible scenarios of the future:
First an ideal scenario taking into account the vocation brothers, sisters, lay people, community life, our mission… But, it was also necessary to look at the worst scenario. This was the purpose of the work during the day.
Thought for the day: “Dreaming is human, and the absence of dreams is synonymous with death.”
Friday November 16, 2018
A day full of commitment and proposals. Feelings, too… because the CIL came to an end. After a beautiful prayer made through the recognition of Christ as our center and La Salle as our style, expressed with symbols as a pilgrimage to the chapel, forming a cross with lit candles on the altar and settle words that remain at the end of our meeting. During the morning we had fertile time to order ideas, dialogue by Districts and Regions to formulate conclusions and propositions. In the afternoon General Councilors Br. Pierre Outarra and Br. Rafael Matas gave us messages, offering lights and motivating us to listen to the particular call of God and the needs in our spots and the Institute.
Thought for the day: “Carriers of hope sent to transform”.
Fr. Seny Francis Goze
Sra. Maryanne Lynch
Br. David García FSC
Br. Rafa Matas FSC
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