The mission of the Christian Brothers in Africa is the liberation of oppressed youth through broad based education and care, leading to a life free from poverty, ignorance, injustice and HIV/AIDS
The Team for 2013-14
The new novitiate team: (from left) Bros. Conrad Cerejo, Tony Shanahan and Titus Kallon
What do we want this novitiate to be?
There is a saying that goes something like this: “If we don’t do what we believe in, then we’ll end up believing in what we do”. Without a vision that is authentic and alive to guide our actions, then we can settle for rationalizing the status quo or what is convenient and comfortable.
One of the first things the new team in Tamale did was to spend time beginning to articulate its vision of a novitiate beyond the basics laid down in our Constitutions. Here are some elements of what we came up with:
Novitiate is a journey, a process that involves KNOWING, EXPERIENCING and CHOOSING.
It is an INITIATION into Christian Brother religious life, so a “rite of passage” into a new identity, a time of learning and testing.
Novitiate confronts the novices with the Brother’s vocation as a call to brotherly solidarity and community, not to privilege, status and security.
It involves exploration of the basic values of faith and vocation, and the challenge to embrace these out of personal conviction and free choice.
Novitiate means understanding that a religious vocation makes a claim on the whole of the person and his life, including his inner life, his relationships and his professional activity (ministry). Furthermore, it challenges the novice to see the dynamic inter-relationship of these areas and to learn what their integration means.
Novitiate is a time of DISCERNMENT. The novice learns more deeply who he is, and what this Christian Brother life is. There is a constant back-and-forth movement between these two poles as an answer is sought to the question, “Is this where I am meant to be? Is this the life that will enable me to find my true self in God?”