Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Professions

The First Professions of our 12 novices will be on the 27th of November at the local Parish Church.
Chrispinus Munialo Okumu (Kenya), Constantine Sunday Otieno (Kenya), Cornelius Pengnyin (Ghana), David Otieno Oyugi (Kenya), Frank Jr Borboh (Sierra Leone), James Janeiro Malunga (Zambia), Kashweka Brian Chipango (Zambia), Likisi Innocent Mubanga (Zambia), Nicholas Odhiambo Minandi (Kenya), Paul Mutuku Mbithi (Kenya), Peter Amara Kabia (Sierra Leone), Sydney Muponda (Zambia)
We ask you to hold them in your prayers as they take this significant step in their Sacred Journey.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Tamale Novitiate community

Standing L -R: Nicholas, Brian, Sunday, Chris, Sydney, James, Otieno, Likisi, Cornelius, Paul, Vivek
Sitting L-R: Frank, Denis, Henry, Peter.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ghana Republic Day

Ghana gained its independence from the British on the 6th of March, 1957 with Kwame Nkrumah as its first Prime Minister.
Today, the 1st of July, marks the 50th anniversary of the day Ghana became a Republic gaining complete autonomy with Kwame Nkrumah taking over as its first President.

We take this opportunity to wish all Ghanaians a happy Republic Day and may the celebrations flow into tomorrow when the country has the opportunity to become the first African nation to reach the semi finals of the football World Cup! It will be a mighty weekend if and when Ghana do reach the semis!! Go Ghana!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Workshop with Presentation Brothers' Novices

From the 14th to the 19th June we had a joint workshop with our fellow Presentation Brothers’ novices. The first phase of the workshop looked at the Prophetic Dimension of Religious Life. The second phase dealt with Sexuality, Celibacy and Intimacy.
As we entered this second phase of our seminar, the following questions seemed to have been permanently glued in my mind. “How is man a sexual being? How is everything done by a human sexual?” These are some of the questions I have asked myself whenever the word sexuality is mentioned.
Initially I thought that sexuality is all about getting a man or a woman of one’s own preference and falling in love, only to realize that it is not as I thought! It is more than just being in the company of the opposite sex.
It was a time of discovery about the forces that drive the human sexuality. I noticed that the same energy is behind one’s human spirituality. There is no way an integrated human being can be active in his or her interactions with others and yet be dormant in his or her spiritual life and relationship with the Divine. One is either active in both or dormant in both. It is out of human sexuality that an individual’s relationship with God can be defined
At the end of the day I came to understand and appreciate how greater saints like St Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross were able to express their love. They did something beautiful for God just as Mother Teresa did when she expressed her love by dedicating her life to the poor of the poorest.
(Otieno Oyugi)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Feast of our Lady of Perpetual Help

This Byzantine icon was painted by an unknown artist in the 13th Century. The picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is painted on wood,with background of gold. The painting isn't meant to be one of beauty but holds a message instead;"You can come to me". With an open hand and a gaze fixed on the viewer Mary invites the faithful to Jesus.

A bit of forgotten history

(Taken from our Educational Record of 1919 from an account entitled A bit of Forgotten History written by Br J Ward.)

In 1875 a National Synod of the Irish Hierarchy, held in Maynooth, issued decrees binding on ‘Brothers who conduct schools.’ The decrees, aimed specifically at our congregation, were of such a nature as to destroy traditions and long-standing customs of our Institute, and in the opinion of the Brothers, to alter materially our Constitutions.’

When the decrees were published in 1877 the Superior General, Br. Aloysius Hoare, sent two Brothers, Anthony Maxwell and Austin Grace to Rome. Among clerical friends they met there were the Redemptorists, Frs Douglas and Morgan who were both strong promoters of devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. Fr Morgan was very active in helping with the presentation of our case and both priests insisted in placing the whole case under Our Lady’s protection. The Superior General directed all Brothers to make a novena to Our Lady. Subsequently Fr Morgan wrote to Br Anthony urging him to: ‘Have real confidence in Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and, if you think well to do so, make her a promise to put one of her pictures in every one of your schools, and to promote devotion to her among your pupils if you win your cause- and it will succeed.’ This course was pursued and on Dec. 3rd. 1878, the appeal was decided in our favour.

However, early in 1879, the Bishops reopened the case. Fr Morgan’s faith did not falter: 'Our Lady of Perpetual Succour will take care that you do not lose. She will protect the good cause, so confidence.’ Again ‘Try to weather the storm bravely under the mantle of Our Lady. She will protect you and bring all things right.’ Again Our Lady won the day and, on March 14th. all former decisions were reconfirmed.

‘Glory be to God in the highest, and everlasting thanks to our Lady of Perpetual Help.’

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The day Hector was killed - In the words of his sister Antoinette.

We were told there was going to be change at our school, that we would do maths and geography in Afrikaans. We were surprised, and the teachers weren't pleased about it. That winter in 1976 we thought, let's see what the first term is like. We did the first term tests, and they were disastrous.
The African National Congress and Pan- Africanist Congress were banned at the time but sometimes we would discuss the issue together and eventually they told us there would be a demonstration on June 16. Obviously everyone was thrilled.
The night before, we were so anxious, trying to come up with some banners that would have a big impact. We didn't have many, though "to hell with Afrikaans" was one example. We didn't want to tell our parents.
The day itself started normally, there was no sign of anything. Every day there would be an assembly, and we would be there singing and praying. While we were praying I saw students from Morris Isaacson high school.
I was excited but because we were praying I had to restrain myself. They were singing and chanting, they put us in the mood. Soon we threw our books down and got out our placards. Everyone was waving and singing in the streets of Soweto.
Our leader told us that the police were around the school and emphasised that we weren't to provoke them, otherwise the mission would not be fulfilled. As I was having a discussion with my friends, "bang", there was a shot. We had never thought there would be violence and we ran amok in confusion, hiding ourselves in nearby houses. Later on, when it was calm, we sneaked out again. It was like hide and seek - as soon as we heard shots, we'd hide and then when it calmed down, we came out.
I told my brother to stay next to me while I figured out how we could get home. While I was talking to him there was another shot. We ran back into hiding. When I emerged, Hector wasn't there. I said to myself maybe, because he is young, he is still hiding. The best thing to do, I thought, was to wait there, where I was talking to him, so that when he emerges, he will find me. Meanwhile, students were gathering at a scene. I wanted to go and see but couldn't because I was still waiting for Hector. But when I looked closer, I saw him there with the crowd, as if he was fetching something from them, because he was very tall. I was anxious. I could see the body frame and then I saw blood coming from his mouth. I tried to let them know that this was my brother: I have been waiting for him, can't you see he is hurt? We ran to the clinic, but we could see he was finished.
There and then I understood he was dead.
I tell myself now that I have forgiven but I won't forget. It's a part of me I cannot run away from, but I want to move forward in life. I always say those who died did not die in vain. Obviously there are going to be a few hiccups before we get there, but we are now in a process and I am hoping for the best.
(Antoinette Sithole – Sister of Hector Pieterson. Sithole,then 17,is the schoolgirl in the picture running alongside Mbuyisa Makhubo who is carrying the dying Hector, aged 12, in his arms)

June 16, 1976 - Soweto Student Uprising

In 1974, the National Party led South African government passed the ‘Afrikaans Medium Decree’ which mandated that all schools be taught in both English and Afrikaans. Afrikaans had to be used for mathematics, arithmetic, and social studies from the 7th grade. English would be the medium of instruction for general science and practical subjects (homecraft, needlework, woodwork, metalwork, art, agricultural science). Indigenous languages would be used for religion instruction, music, and physical culture.
A 1972 poll had found that 98% of young Sowetans did not want to be taught in Afrikaans. The association of Afrikaans with apartheid prompted black South Africans to prefer English. The 1974 decree was intended to forcibly reverse the decline of Afrikaans among black Africans.
The decree was resented deeply by blacks as Afrikaans was widely viewed, in the words of Desmond Tutu, "the language of the oppressor". The resentment grew until and children went on strike, refusing to go to school. The students formed an Action Committee (later known as the Soweto Students’ Representative Council) that organized a mass rally for June 16 to make themselves heard.
On the morning of June 16, 1976, thousands of black students walked from their schools to Orlando Stadium to protest against having to learn through Afrikaans in school. The protests were intended to be peaceful. The students began the march only to find out that police had barricaded the road along their intended route. After scuffles between marchers and police, the police opened fire into the crowd. Colonel Kleingeld, drew his handgun and fired the first shot, causing panic and chaos. Students started screaming and running and more gunshots were fired, killing 23 people, including children.
This incident triggered the uprising, which lasted for days and resulted in the deaths of between 200 and 700 people, with over a thousand injured. Photographs from the uprising were broadcast around the world and the event is seen as helping fuel the anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s which eventually brought down the racist apartheid regime.
Today as we recall the memory and sacrifice of these young people marking Youth Day, we remember the many in the world that continue to live under oppressive policies and governments. G.B Shaw once said, “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.” Scenes such as depicted in the photograph showing the dying Hector Pieterson cradled in a fellow student’s arms continue to this date as is indicated by another similar photograph taken in Palestine.
Let us allow ourselves to be inflamed by the spirit of those students and may their courage, their awareness of injustice, their desire to do away with oppressive structures continue to fuel our own passion to fight for justice.

Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup 2010

Let the games begin!!!! One month of football fever!!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happy Birthday, Vivek!

It is yet another day - very bright day indeed and a sign of a new beginning in our midst. The birds are singing their melodious songs in honour of this great day and so am I.

Here is a phrase which comes into my mind as I struggle to depart from my bed; “I feared failure but I realize that I only fail if I do not keep on trying”. Today is the birthday of Br. Vivek, the Director of novices here in our Novitiate in Tamale.

The phrase highlighted above is how I can summarize my entire experience with Br. Vivek here in the novitiate. He has always encouraged us (novices) not to fear making mistakes in life. Through this, I have unveiled the beautiful being inside me. This is just one of the many good insights that I have received from you Brother!!

Thanks for your giftedness and your creativity which is above measure. May God bless you and your family abundantly. On behalf of the Dagombas and the community we say;

Welcome Revy!

“AMARAABA” (welcome) REVY
Br Revy Hangandu is a member of the Mater Dei District leadership team. We are happy to have him here in our midst for a few days. We wish he has a pleasant stay and the weather stays kind to him!
In Tonga the community say; ‘Mwatambulwa Taata

World Environment Day

This is the day that holds water only to the likes of Wangare Mathai. That is what I used to think before, why? Because I was born and brought up in an already contaminated/polluted environment where nobody cared whether it was taken care of or not.

The issue of taking care of the environment clicked in my mind a few years ago when I realized that a beautiful stream in my village dried up. That particular stream was not only a source of drinking water for the villagers but served as the habitat of the aquatic creatures. All cattle were alike watered by the same stream.
That is when I realized that the nature should be dignified and treated with maximum respect that it deserves.

As a community, we marked the day by centering our prayers around the nature. We followed it closely by keeping our little compound clean. May God bless our mother earth!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

World Environment Day - 5th June

World Environment Day (WED) is a day that stimulates awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and public action. It is on 5 June. It was the day that United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began. The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was from 5-16 June 1972. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. The first World Environment Day was in 1973. World Environment Day is hosted every year by a different city with a different theme and is commemorated with an international exposition on the week that 5 June is on.
Under the theme 'Many Species. One Planet. One Future', Rwanda will be the Global host for this year’s event which will celebrate the incredible diversity of life on Earth as part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Marking the birthdate of Edmund Rice

1st of June is tradionally marked as the birth date of Blessed Edmund Rice. He was born in 1762 to Robert Rice and Margaret Rice (nee Tierney) on the farming property of "Westcourt" in Callan, Ireland. Edmund Rice was the fourth of seven sons, although he also had two stepsisters, Joan and Jane Murphy, the offspring of his mother's first marriage.

Callan was a market town where the farmers brought their produce. It was located in a rich agricultural area which had a very agreeable climate. Crops of wheat, potatoes, barley, oats, and flax were sown in the Spring. The crops were harvested in the late Summer and early Autumn. All the farm work was completed by hand. Most of the rural dwellers were manual labourers who lived in mud-walled thatched cabins. These cabins had no beds. The roof was covered with thatch. The floors were made with clay trampled underfoot in order to make it solid. The houses did not have any chimneys or windows – the smoke escaped through the doors. A manure pit usually was positioned outside the door. The labourers usually kept a pig in the house. This animal was fed on the leftovers from the house but it was very important as its sale paid the rent. Many of these houses would have been by Edmund as he grew up in Callan.

The town had only two schools for its 3500 inhabitants. The Catholics attended a "Hedge school" The students paid a small stipend to the master.

Edmund was the son of a rich farmer who farmed 180 acres near Callan. He did not experience the poor social conditions described above. Even though he was a Catholic his family prospered during the economic boom period that benefited the richer classes in Ireland at this time. His family worked very hard and accumulated good profits from their farm enterprises. Their house was very different from the house occupied by the landless labourers. It was a long low cottage with four bedrooms. Each bedroom measured 10 feet by 9. It also had a parlour and a kitchen. The kitchen measured 17 feet by 12. Even though they were wealthy the Rices lived very frugal lives. This enabled them to endure harsh times and prosper in the good times. They could thus afford to educate their children privately and make provision for handsome dowries for their daughters.

Happy Birthday Peter Kabia

On the 31st of May Peter Kabia celebrated his 32nd birthday. We celebrated the day however on Friday the 28th with a meal and a clebration under the moonlit skies of Tamale! Peter is a wonderful presemce in the community and the gift of his person was much acknowledged and appreciated on that day. May God continue to walk with you, Peter, as you journey to discover truly the invitation to you, and may you wake each morning to listen like a disciple.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity.

The Spirit
will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Africa Day - Peace and Security in Africa

Africa Day is an annual commemoration of the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963. On that day 32 independent African states signed the founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 2002, the OAU became the African Union. Africa Day is celebrated around the world.

Africa Day 2010 will focus on “Peace and Security in Africa”. For us here in the Novitiate we will seek to mark this day in an appropriate way through prayer and celebration.

"Africa is a paradox. It is one of the richest continents on the planet ... yet most Africans remain poor. The disempowerment of ordinary people underlies Africa's gravest problems.
In all of their incredible diversity, Africans share common bonds that tie them together and that they must cherish in their communities, nations, regions, and across the continent. It is fundamental that Africa's leaders create the conditions under which their peoples gain confidence, dignity, and a sense of self worth - with the citizens themselves actively participating in this effort.
The struggle to preserve what they have and hold it close to them is one that all Africans should engage in. When we have nothing to call our own, we have nothing to to reflect back to us who we truly are... (and) we are vulnerable to anyone who wishes to exploit us.
Africans must make a deliberate choice to move forward together toward more cohesive macro-nations, where all can feel free, secure, and at peace with themselves and others, where there is no need for any groups to organise violence against their neighbour. Then everyone would begin to reap the benefits of unity in diversity."
- Wangari Maathai.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Likisi

Today we celebrated the 23rd birthday of Likisi. We pray that God will continue to bless him on his journey as he seeks to do the will of God in his life and we remember especially his parents and family back in Zambia. Likisi has been a wondeful gift to this community bringing to it much joy and laughter.
Happy Birthday, Likisi, and many happy returns of the day!

Concreting of area outside dining room

Br. Paul Noonan Formation Centre is one of the Christian Brothers novitiates in Africa which is ever changing and risking to embrace new possibilities. Over the last year or so, a number of changes have taken place ranging from the spiritual aspects to the physical aspect of the property.

The place is ever green and this makes the novitiate unique and different from the other houses around. You should also keep in mind that Tamale is not one of the places in Ghana to see people going around in heavy jumpers or warm clothes! So the fact that the novitiate is ever green is one thing you and I should thank God for.

On the 16th May, 2010 as the day faded away, we all gathered in our newly cemented yard in the Utility block to officially declare the place open and gave thanks to God for this wonderful blessing.

For those who have been here, I believe that you know the yard I am talking about and if you want to prove it, please pay a visit.

Everybody present at the mentioned gathering poured libation around the sacred tree which is exactly in the middle of the yard in honour of our ancestors especially to Br. Paul Noonan who achieved his dreams by doing something good for God even at the expense of his own life. (OTIENO)

Images from the 5th of May 2010

Celebrating Edmund Rice day on the 5th

This day was celebrated here in Tamale with a difference this year. We had a quiet morning before we celebrated Eucharist in the house with the community of brothers from Choggu.
That evening we were joined by the Presentation Brothers. Br Philip Pinto spoke to the gathering and inspired us with his words and urgings for living authentically and realising that we are called to leadership and to expand our understanding of a God who is constantly inviting us to extend our horizons.
It was wonderful to celebrate the life of Edmund with so many young men who today are inspired by his life and message to serve the poor and to recognise christ alive and present in them.

Mothers Day - 9th May

Today I extend best wishes to all the wonderful loving mothers in the globe. I hope and pray that on this mothers Sunday, might be for them a special and happy day. I Pray for single and abused mothers, and dead mothers too. I recommend the following reflection to all the mothers, fathers and their siblings.
‘Mothers have the holiest work in the world; like God they create life. Then, also like God, they work no-stop. They feed, transport, clean, teach, hug, bandage, love, care, protect, empower, embrace and so on. Trying to make a Job description for a mother is very much like trying to make one fro God- the Job is just too big.’
A saying often heard is as follows, “man may work from dusk to dawn, but woman’s work is never done” perhaps more accurately, the saying should read, “a mothers work is never done” instead. Women without children simply are able to stop work. Mothers can’t.
People who don’t have children are able to recognize the measure of sacrifice mothers make in ways they can’t. Having a child means sacrificing one’s self. That’s it plain and simple. From my experience at the Children’s home, I have learnt that even a mother who gives her child up for adoption sacrifices her body’s resources during pregnancy and the joys of watching that child grow to adulthood.
Most mothers who we honour today sacrifice again and again, for years and years, putting the best interests of the child ahead of their own.
Women who have children usually do realize that they make sacrifices, but they often make light of them because their sacrifices are tempered with love. Definitely it is possible for us to be more objective about the extent of mother’s sacrifice than they can.
When people say “God is like a mother” these days, one of the thoughts that come to my mind is their willingness to sacrifice and to be totally unselfish. It is an inspiring quality in God, and it is true mothers too.
‘He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!’ [paslm11:9]

Vocation Sunday and Edmund

“Were we to know the merit And value of only going from one street to another to serve a neighbour for the love God, we should prize it more than Silver and Gold.” Bl. Edmund Rice.

On the 25th April, the church celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday. It is a day set aside each year to pray for Vocations in the church to the priesthood and religious life. It is also a day for us to consider the vocation others also have as single or married people to enhance our world by making it a better place for all.

A Saturday before the day some novices joined the young people who gathered at the Catholic Youth centre, the occasion organized by the Diocesan vocation promotion team to share with the young on vocations. Since then the life of the Founder started dawning in my mind and I thought it was appropriate to reflect on it and share with others till the Feast Day.

On this vocational Sunday I had a different experience all together. In haste I prepared myself to go to Kamina Barracks were I was to meet the new Catholics who I had escorted in their faith journey during CPP. I found myself at the Catholic-Methodist joint service organized by the soldiers; ‘celebrating vocations and a call to peace keeping’.

I was touched by the Commanding Officers reflection on the Good Shepherd gospel passage, where Jesus was emphasizing on the self-sacrificing element in his own life: “The Good Shepherd is the one who lays down his life for his sheep” He contrasts the good shepherd who owns the sheep to someone who is simply hired to look after them. The hired man thinks primarily of his own welfare and, if he sees the wolf coming, he takes off, leaving the sheep to be attacked and scatter in fear and terror. Jesus, on the other hand, will not be like a hired person: “I lay down my life for the sheep.” The Officer concluded his reflection by saying; ‘The parable today speaks directly to us all on how we should live out our lives and our callings, as we serve God and humanity.’

After the service I had a group of young men who wanted to hear about the founder of the ‘Kanvili Roman Catholic school Brothers’, meaning the Christian Brothers. In the sharing I tried to summarize the life of Edmund as – honest and successful businessman, husband, father, widower, religious brother, compassionate friend of the poor, teacher, Servant Leader and founder.

“Edmund was moved by the Holy spirit to open his whole heart to Christ present and appealing to him in the poor”. (1984 congregation General Chapter) I suppose Edmund was someone who helped the poor, he did not only know the poor by their poverty but he knew them as people and through knowing them he came to ever deepening realizations of his mission in life.

Thus he founded the congregation of Christian Brothers to carry out the work he first started in Ireland for the poor who needed someone to shepherd them. Edmund knew the value in the words he offers to us at the start of this article.

Blessed Edmund Rice was given the grace to respond to the call of Christ by identifying with the poor. His example evoked a deep awareness of God’s loving presence in all with whom he came in contact. He also awakened within them the consciousnesses of their dignity as children of God. He invited his followers to share the Gospel insight to reach out to the needy, especially the materially poor.

How are we today ‘flying free’ with Edmund? What type of shepherds are we?

Br. Philip Pinto Visit

“Now master, you can let your servant go in peace, according to your word …” (Luke 2:29ff) this was the verse which I immediately recognized when I saw Br. Philip Pinto the congregation leader. Over the last two years as a postulant and a novice, I have heard quite a lot about him. I have read his reflections on the congregation document chapters and magazines. I have seen his images in various photographs however, I hadn’t met him physically and when I saw him, my joy could only be compared to the joy of Simeon experienced when the child Jesus was presented to him.

I was delighted to listen to him as he spoke to us. At first I couldn’t believe myself sitting and listening to him and worse still asking him questions. His own experience of God is quite unique and how it changed his ways of looking at things. It reminded me of being alert on what is going on within me and around me and that I shouldn’t take any small experience in my life for granted.

The biggest challenge to me was when he asked us whether we had had any experience of God that we hadn’t read anywhere or heard from anybody? To me it wasn’t easy but it was an invitation to go back and reflect how life is worth living.

Anyway it was a good experience to have Br. Philip around for he made me think bigger.

May God bless him.

Farewell Jordaan and Peter Ndivo

On Friday the 23rd April, 2010 we gathered as community to pray and say good bye to Peter and Jordaan. It was really a time of sadness and some joy- sad to depart with our brothers, joy in moving on to what their hearts desire most. Members were emotional as we said our farewell messages and reflected on the friendship we had made with them. I was no exception, I could not hide my feelings, and how touching the lives of Peter and Jordaan had been.

We reflected on the poem by M. Rider:
Go to places, this new day, where your heart would.
Walk where you will and in the walking know
The way is yours. Allow for storms. At the end of the day they’ll prove
That your heart was wise and your choice was good.

With a sense of joy and of thanks for the gift of Peter and Jordaan, in the evening the community gathered for a drink and a meal. Jordaan and Peter left Tamale at dawn 24th April, 2010.

The message for Jordaan and Peter is that, as they go forth from here, confident in themselves and in God, they may achieve what their hearts desire most and remain brothers to all in their service of others in diverse ways. I Implore we continue praying for each other, each other’s happiness in the future.

May God who has companioned us up to now continue blessing us with satisfaction in life, friendship and joy, and courage in times of difficult, especially at this transitional period?

Good bye PETER, good bye JORDAAN! The Novitiate community will surely miss your presence, your numerous gifts and contributions!

All we ask of you is forever to remember us as loving you

Community pastoral placement evaluations

Life not reflected upon is not worth living’.
April 12th to 22nd, 2010, what a remarkable time in our discernment process! After three months Community pastoral Placement we came together to share the fruits of the experience. I am grateful to Sr. Alice- Msola and Br. Raphael-Presentation Brothers, for the effort and time they invested in the first week of evaluations.

The first week consisted of Community reports and financial statements, role-plays and reviews of the CPP process itself.

‘It is not easy to go to the margins and not be challenged or touched by the enormity of suffering and hardship of people living in such conditions.’ Our Constitution states “it is in daily living that the challenge of community life manifests itself. We grow as persons as we come to accept the difficult task of living for others and as we become aware of our gifts and limitations in our human interactions…”

These statements were revealed in the 2nd week of evaluations. It was evident that the exercise had achieved its intended purpose as we shared how growth had taken place in our lives. We listened to each others individual reports. During the peer evaluation we affirmed and challenged each other bringing to awareness our gifts and concerns. During this learning process we were also privileged to share with the team members and our individual accompaniers. At the end the team gave a feedback of how they felt and saw the experience to be.

The whole CPP and evaluations stimulated and left many with questions on the Christian Brothers way of life and what Religious life is all about today.

I thank God, the team, my fellow Novices, the people who offered us time and space for learning and growth, the staff at various ministry sites and a million thanks to the people we ministered to and who in turn did the same for us.