Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Risk - Marcella Marie Halloway

You take a risk when you invite the Lord
Whether to dine or talk the afternoon
away, for always the unexpected soon
Turns up: a woman breaks her precious nard,
A sinner does the task you should assume,
A leper who is cleansed must show his proof:
Suddenly you see your very roof removed
And a cripple clutters up your living room.
There's no telling what to expect when Christ
Walks in your door. The table set for four
Must often be enlarged and decorum
Thrown to the wind. Its his voice that calls them
And its no use to bolt and bar the door:
His kingdom knows no bounds of roof, or wall or floor.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

You have an idea - Henry J M Nouwen

This is one of the passages we used while reflecting on our 3 month experience. The reflection invites us to come down from the mountain much like Jesus did to the three who witnessed the Transfiguration. I am sure some among us, like Peter, wanted to pitch our tent there... but we constantly need to risk a few more steps into the new country. Its the only way we can 'Dare to be Disciple.'

"You have an idea
of what the new country looks like.
Still, you are very much at home,
although not truly at peace, in the old country.
You know the ways of the old country,
its joys and pains, its happy and sad moments.
You have spent most of your days there
even though you know
that you have not found there
what your heart most desires,
you remain quite attached to it.
It has become part of your very bones.

Now you have come to realise
that you must leave it and enter the new country,
where your Beloved dwells.
You know that what helped and guided you
in the old country no longer works,
but what else do you have to go by?
You are being asked to trust
that you will find what you need in the new country.
That requires the death of what has become so precious to you:
influence, success, yes, even affection and praise.

Trust is so hard,
since you have nothing to fall back on.
Still, trust is what is essential.
The new country is where you are called to go,
and the only way to go there is naked and vulnerable.

It seems that you keep crossing and recrossing the border.
For a while you experience a real joy in the new country.
But then you feel afraid and start longing again
for all you left behind, so you go back to the old country.

To your dismay,
you discover that the old country has lost its charm.
Risk a few more steps into the new country,
trusting that each time you enter it,
you will feel more comfortable
and be able to stay longer."

Friday, May 9, 2008

Evaluations of our Community Pastoral Experience

We have just finished the first part of the evaluation of our three and a half month Community Pastoral Experience(CPE). Sr Teresa Tanko facilitated the first two days and invited us to revisit our experience in a reflective way. We were able to glean our learnings, celebrate our highs, admit our failings and acknowledge the support we received from each other.

The next two days the Team facilated us to look more deeply at our experiences. Each CPE community presented a snapshot of their experience. After which all of us were able to dialogue and engage with the others experience. It was a fruitful exercise where much was learnt. We learned that we all shared a brokenness and fragility, that prayer was central to our lives, that community prayer along with our own personal reflection sustained and energised us, that in ministry we were stretched and invited to address and challenge unjust practices, and that through our daily lived experience in community we were able to understand and get to know each other at much deeper levels.

Over the next week or so we will share more with you of our three month experience.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Edmund Rice Day in Tamale!

'Fly free as Edmund did before you
to new horizons, to the unknown, the not-yet-imagined".

We celebrated Edmund Rice Day on the 5th of May along with our brothers from Choggu and the communtiy of Presentation Brothers from Saneregu.

We began with a Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr Sosthenes. He is a Missionary of Africa who has been celebrating Eucharist with us every week. He also helps us with Computer studies.

The Eucharist celebrated the life and spirit of Edmund that still touches and inspires so many all over the world and especially here in Africa.

We followed this with a celebratory dinner and once again we delighted in our brotherhood and shared discipleship.

Lusaka Meeting Snapshots

Sunday lunch!

In session!

Henry tucking in to the Sunday Braai!

Coffee break!

Novitiate formation Teams Meeting in Lusaka

Facilitated by Michael Burke, the four novitiate teams met in Lusaka for a week long meeting at the end of April to share our stories and experiences. We were joined by members of our leadership team in Africa, Michael Colasuonno who had recently conducted a review of all the novitiates in Africa, and Francis Hall from the C LT.

The experience gave us the opportunity to look at our best practices, tweak a few of the structures and firm up others. But most importantly it was the sharing of brotherhood and the feeling of being supported in our work that stays with me the most.

The novitiate formation team in Greenpoint, South Africa (Brs Hugh Maloney, John Buckingham, John Holden, Christopher Mapulanga)

The novitiate formation team in Stellenbosch, South Africa (Brs Paul Luseni, Eamonn MacLochlainn, Clement Sindazi)

The formation team at the International spirituality Centre , Lusaka, Zambia (Br Michael Burke, Sr Sue McGregor, Br Joe Mosely)

The novitiate team at Tamale, Ghana (Brs Henry McGann, Prince Bai Tarawalie, Vivek da Silva)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Sometime earlier i had made mention of drinking water being a huge problem especially in the north of Ghana. Many women and children spend hours walking or cycling to collect water. The yellow cans are a constant reminder of people looking for drinking water.

This year we have been blessed with some good early rains, however, it has not eased the distress of people who constantly have to go out in search of water as is the case of this boy on the cycle. And there are many more like him...

As we turn on our taps today... wash our car ... water the manicured lawns ... luxuriate in baths... and stand under showers ... spare a thought for those who daily struggle to gather water just to survive.