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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

A Publication of Marist International Centre, Nairobi - Kenya

BR ALBERT N

BR MIKE U

BR MARK I

MAY 2011 ISSUE

BR JUVENCE H

BR JOHN MC

BR JOHN B

BR FRANCIS V

BR ETIENNE B

BR SPIRIDION N

MIC Digest


Br Witman Gracious Br Innocent Iloabueke Br Gabriel Umeagukwu Br Valentine Meyanui (PRO) (CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EDITOR) (ASSISTANT EDITOR)

Br Daniel Katumbi

Br Edward B Br Fernando B

Br Moses Uyang

Br Asensio Njobvu (SECRETARY)

Br Njakatiana H MIC Digest gladly welcomes comments, criticism, and questions about MIC as a centre as well as those regarding the presentation and content of the articles in this newsletter. champagnatmediagroup@gmail.com

MIC Digest

2


Editor‘s note

3

Reflection on prayer.

4

A new fraternity

5

Basilio fraternity

6

Interview -Br Spiridion

7

Francois fraternity.

9

AFAs.

10

Interview –Br Joseph

12

Commissions.

14

This is the first edition of the MIC Newsletter (MIC

Lwanga fraternity.

15

Digest). The hope is to digest all that is happening in

Hermitage fraternity

16

this prestigious and largest community of the Insti-

The journey

17

tute.

Reflection –Br Albert.

18

This year the community has a total of over a hun-

Message to 4th year Brothers

21

dred and twenty members.

Tender Faith

22

MIC has undergone and is currently undergoing a

Breaking the Spiritual Bread of Religion

24

Br Markwilliams.

25

process of transformation in terms of infrastructures

Lavalla fraternity

26

Br John McDonnell

27

Champagnat fraternity

28

Transformation in sports.

29

La Maisonette fraternity

30

Br Juvence

31

Marist Brotherhood

32

Br Mike

34

Chanel fraternity

38

Poem

39

MIC @ 25

40

A Young Brother during accompaniment

―I have always considered trusting people as a key point of success” See pg 7

alongside its members. Interesting to note that almost all the Brothers (formators) have been former students of the Centre and have returned to contribute to the formation process. Bravo to all the Brothers who have served the Community and are now prepared to take up different apostolates in new communities. Wishing you God‘s abundant blessings. Appreciations to Br John McDonnell for his zeal, passion, contribution and enthusiasm to ensure we have an up to standard community newsletter. Thanks to the Media Group in the Centre and all who have contributed articles to give this newsletter its befitting outlook. Br Valentine Meyanui (Chief editor)

MIC Digest 3


We gain strength to live our religious life in our

prayer occupies one chapter from article

daily prayer

64 to 77. And this chapter explains in Karl Rahner, in his book The

simple and clear manner how prayer is

Religious Life Today (1975)

important for one who wants to live as a

stated that, in the language of

follower of Jesus in the steps of Marcel-

the Church, people in religious

lin Champagnat.

orders

simply

Marcellin Champagnat was a man of

‗religious‘. The designation of their state and vo-

great piety .He recommended to his

cation, therefore, asserts that they must cultivate

Brothers to love prayer because it is the

their ‗religio‘, their relationship to God, in a special

primary source of their perseverance in

way –‗professionally‘ one might almost say. Since

our vocation and fulfills its purpose. He

the most basic fulfillment of an explicit relationship

used to say that in the normal course of

of man to God is prayer, the latter is an absolutely

events, without prayer there are no actual

central part of the religious vocation; it is as central

graces; it is not possible to resist tempta-

as the universal human and Christian elements. The

tions and preserve our vocation along

discovery of intimacy with God, the necessity for

with it, because mortal sin, while killing

adoration, the need for intercession - the experience

the soul, at the same time kills our voca-

of Christian holiness shows us the fruitfulness of

tion and razes the whole structure of our

prayer in which God reveals himself to the spirit

salvation down to its very foundation.

and hearts of his servants. Without prayer, we can-

Our Constitutions state that by living in

not succeed either in understanding the value of the

the presence of God, Father Champagnat

Christian and religious life or in gaining the

became a man of constant prayer, even

strength to advance in it with joy of hope that does

when engaged in the most absorbing

not deceive. We who have formally committed our-

work. In training his Brothers, the Foun-

selves to a life in the service of the Word -the true

der frequently came back to the subject

light that enlightens all men (Jn 1:9), should be

of prayer, which he called ‗the main

conscious then of the importance of prayer in our

point‘. His example teaches us to make

lives and learn to devote ourselves to it generously.

our whole life a prayer. In his opinion, to

MIC Digest

are

called

Faithfulness to daily

have the gift of solid piety is to possess

prayer always remains

all the virtues .The gift of piety implies

for each one of us a

wisdom. It is not possible to speak often

basic necessity. In our

with God without absorbing His Spirit,

Marist

without becoming like Him through imi-

Constitutions,

4


tating His virtues. As religious, we have been consecrated to God. We should cultivate the spirit of piety in order to keep alive this intimate contact. Champagnat was always reminding his Brothers that prayer should be the whole of their lives. Let us pray always in order to succeed in our daily activities. Br. Emilien Twagirayezu (Rwanda)

A New Fraternity

crease of Brothers, the expansion of

Marist International Centre has been in Fraternities and the creativity of the existence for 25 years and now has 8 young Brothers who are here for their post novitiate formation. Presently, we

Fraternities.

In 2009, a new fraternity was built are 120 Brothers, including formators. within six months and was named after former Supe- It is our prayer that the fraternity may continue to grow from strength to

rior General, Br Basilio.

I was delighted to see this new fraternity completed glory.

We are grateful to God Al-

within six months. It is being occupied by the new mighty who has brought us together Brothers and new formators who have just arrived at and for allowing us to experience the MIC, as well as members from other Fraternities who joy of having this fraternity completed were reshuffled.

as well as the renovation of the entire

We have come a long Centre. way and have seen tre-

Br Gabriel Umeagukwu (Nigeria)

mendous changes going on in the Centre, especially in the inMIC Digest 5


Br Jude (Nigeria)

Br Edward (Liberia)

Br Bernard (Malawi)

Br Emmanuel (Nigeria)

MIC Digest

Br Vasco (Angola)

Br Mathias (Malawi)

Br Elie (Madagascar)

Br Robert (Congo)

Br Bosco (Rwanda)

Br Michel (Madagascar)

Br Francis (Cameroon) ANIMATOR

Br Juvence (Madagascar) ASSISTANT ANIMATOR

Br Valerian (Tanzania)

Br Samuel (Congo)

Br Linus (Nigeria)

Br Padington (Zimbabwe)

Br Emmanuel (Cameroon)

6


One evening in his office, we caught up with the Community Superior, Br Spiridion Ndanga. This is what he had to say: Br, you are in the sixth year of your stay at MIC as the

cent said during our last commu-

Community Superior of Marist International Centre,

nity meeting, ―the gap between the

What have been your experi-

formators and the formatees has

ences?

narrowed‖. This is a good sign that

It is a very broad question. My

the Brothers (young Brothers) are

experience as the Superior of

no

the Community is the challenge

They have discovered that the for-

of being the Superior of the big-

mators are there for the growth of

gest Community in the Institute. I started with 68 young

longer

resisting

formation.

the young Brothers. .

Brothers and 12 Formators, and the number has grown to

You are the superior at the same 104 student Brothers and 16 Formators. “A good sign that time a formator, what are some challenges you face B r o t h e r s with both the formators and So the Community has grown from 80 t h e (young Brothers) the young Brothers? Brothers to 120 Brothers. It was a big are no longer re- The challenge I met at the challenge as formation processes are con- sisting formation. beginning was to have a tinuously changing to suit the growth. We They have discovcommon vision about forhave also passed from a College that used ered that the formators are there mation among the formato have almost all its students as Brothers for the growth of tors. That was the main to a College where Brothers are a minor- the young Brothchallenge. So we have to ity. When we started, most of the students ers”. create team spirit. For the were Marist Brothers, with few Brothers of Charity and young Brothers, the challenge at few religious Sisters. Now the number of religious Sisters the beginning was the lack of trust, exceeds 50. In summary, I have experienced the growth in but now we have made a step forthe number of Marist Brothers, of religious Sisters, and of ward. lay students. The total number of students at MIC in 2006 Having led this great community was 130; in 2011 the population of the College is over successfully for the last six years, 700. Infrastructures have multiplied. So I have experiwhat has been your secret? enced growth in academic, religious and other aspects. I have always considered trusting Based on these experiences you just mentioned, what is people as a key point of success. it that you like most about the MIC? What I like most is that we are more and more focused on When I give a responsibility to a making MIC the Light of the World. We are trying to

formator, I give full support to him

educate the lay students, to give them Marist values. For

and allow him to take initiative. As

the formation of the young Brothers, to quote what InnoMIC Digest 7


for the young Brothers, I believe in their good will, and

tor, is what Champagnat, our Founder,

I am patient, waiting for the change to take place.

told us: you have to love those you are

Back to the College; there was a fear that the expansion of the College will hamper the formation of the young Brothers. What is your feeling today? I remember when we started

in charge of, and the rest will follow.

the expansion. Some Broth-

I wish him courage, because to be the

ers suggested planting a

Superior of a big community like ours

green wall from the Chapel

is not an easy task. But he does not

to the Maisonnette Frater-

carry the community on his shoulders

nity, So that non resident students would not invade

alone. It is not his business; but the

the fraternities. But we told the students not to go to

Lord‘s. So he is to trust the One who

the Fraternities and the young Brothers not to bring the

gives the mission and to count on the

students there and this has been respected. Even when

help of the formators who are there,

we changed our recreation hall into a cafeteria, it did-

and to believe that the young Brothers

n‘t affect the Community life. Students finished their

are of good will, even though they

business in the cafeteria and went back to the school.

make mistakes. They need time to

So the fear we had was not really justified. The frater-

grow. That is what I can say

What message do you have for the incoming Superior?

nities are still as quiet as before the expansion of the College.

Interviewer: Br Valentine

Most of the young Brothers have expressed contentment with your leadership style. As you are about leave, are you not afraid that the Community will crumble? I don‘t think so. You know, nobody campaigns to be

Assistant: Br Innocent. Second Assistant: Br Mathias.

Superior. So the Superiors of the African Continent (CSAC) choose the Brother they think can handle the situation and they appoint him. This appointment is for three years and renewable once. As my appointment is now expiring, it is normal that another be appointed as Superior of MIC. And I don‘t think I have some special gifts other Brothers do not have. Formators are only collaborators of the Holy Spirit who is the ―driving force of all formation‖. The secret of success in formation, as formaMIC Digest

8


Br Modest (Madagascar)

Br Eric (Ghana)

Br David (Malawi)

Br Elias (Nigeria

Br Jean paul (Congo)

Br Elvis (Cameroon) Br Asensio (Zambia)

Br Emilien (Rwanda)

Br Ndombari (CAR)

Br Oswald (Malawi)

Br Jamal (Mozambique)

Br Emmanuel (Rwanda)

Br Moses (Nigeria)

Br Innocent (Nigeria)

Br Eugene (Nigeria) ANIMATOR

MIC Digest 9


APOSTOLIC FORMATIVE ACTIVITIES (AFA). AFA 1:

ST. MICHAEL’S PARISH, LANGATA:

The Brothers prepare the children for the sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. They organize a simple get-together on Easter Mondays for the purpose of socializing with the little children.

AFA 2:

VOCATIONS PROMOTIONS:

The Brothers in this AFA are in charge of promoting vocations in the Church, especially to the Marist Brotherhood. From time to time they visit various parishes within Nairobi and its environs. AFA 3:

YOUTH FESTIVAL:

The members of this AFA see to the organization of youth festivals for secondary school students. They are sometimes invited for festivals within and outside Nairobi. They also invite the youth for talks on varied themes, depending on their needs. They animate the students with music and organizing the celebration of the Eucharist. They provide opportunities for the students to share their problems and joys.

AFA 4:

YOUTH AROUND MIC:

They are in charge of animating the youth around MIC, that is, in their various parishes. They guide them on how to organize and participate in the activities in the various parishes where they worship. Once a year, the members of this AFA organize a Youth Sports Festival with the intention of bringing all the youth of various parishes together.

MIC Digest

10


AFA 5:

COTTOLENGO: This AFA has two branches: Cottolengo and Kibera. Cottolengo is a home for orphans and children with HIV. It is a Centre owned by the Cottolengo Sisters, Fathers and Brothers- a religious congregation. The Brothers teach catechism to the children, as well as exercising the apostolate of presence - especially to the toddlers. In Kibera, the Brothers teach the children in the slums catechism. They also set out a particular time during the year to socialize with them.

AFA 6:

YOUNG CATHOLIC STUDENTS (YCS): They are in charge of various secondary schools like: Matasia Secondary Girls High School, Nembu Girls, Ololeiser Secondary, Kibiko Secondary, Lenana Boys, Moi Girls, Ololua Secondary, Dagoretti Secondary, Rongai Secondary. The Brothers organize group sharing with the students on topics of interest chosen by the students themselves.

AFA 7:

HOSPITAL VISITATION: They visit the sick in Kenyatta Hospital, giving them words of encouragement and support as well as praying for and with them.

AFA 8:

MIC EXTERNAL STUDENTS: This is the most current AFA, formed in 2010. The Brothers in this AFA promote the spiritual and social life of the students. They organize retreats as well as moments for socialization. The members of this AFA are divided into smaller commissions: Catechetical, Liturgical Music, Spirituality, and General Life Commissions.

MIC Digest 11


BR DR JOSEPH UDEAJAH, PRINCIPAL OF THE COLLEGE, IS INTERVIEWED. You are quite a busy person. How do you combine office

tiate formation stage of the young

work with community life?

Brothers is formation for mission.

First of all, my community life

Here at MIC, we aim at strength-

takes precedence over my office

ening the spiritual and religious

work. I have been in this business

formation of the young Brothers as

over two and a half

well

decades. So I have “ We are now introduc-

them for the mission

learned to plan my life ing a Bachelor pro-

that will be entrusted

very well. So there is practically no conflict gramme in Business

to them. Here in Af-

between my religious life and apostolate Management and Infor(them).

rica, the majority of

How do you find the relationship between

units engage in the

mation Technology for

the college and the community? This relationship is quite cordial, and that is

those Brothers who will be talented along that

how it should be, because it is the community line”.

our school

as

preparing

administrative apostolate.

That‘s why we felt that it is absolutely

that sends the Brothers to the apostolate. The community

necessary to train the Brothers well

owns the apostolate of all the Brothers. That is how it

for the school apostolate. That is

should be, and I‘m happy that it is like that here at MIC.

why we tried to expand the teach-

How do you think this cordial relationship has been

ing subjects we are offering here.

achieved?

In addition to education units and

I must say a very big thank you to the community supe-

teaching subjects offered, we felt

rior, Spiridion Ndanga. He is a very mature person. He

that some administrative units will

understands very well that the college and the community

need some Brothers in other areas

mean the same thing as far as Marist Brothers are con-

like ...Administration. So we are

cerned. So there is no dichotomy between the two entities.

now introducing a Bachelor pro-

Perhaps this smoothness might not have been there if he

gramme in Business Management

were less mature. At the beginning, many people did not

and Information Technology for

understand what the expansion of MIC is all about but

those Brothers who will be tal-

Spiridion being a holy religious, if you like, (then laughs)

ented along that line. We have al-

understood it very well.

ready gotten approved by the sen-

You made mention that the expansion of MIC is for the benefit of young Brothers and Marist Africa. What do you mean by this? You know, according to our Constitutions, the post- novi-

ate of the Catholic University of

MIC Digest

Eastern Africa for the degree, Bachelor of Arts and Counselling 12


of immense help and serve as counsellors in the

... and, of course, to the Marist world? My message is that of gratitude be-

schools we are running.

cause we would not have reached

You have equally maintained a strong relationship with student Brothers. What is your dream for them? If you look at my hair, you can see that they are turn-

where we are if they had not given us

ing white ... am expecting the young to replace us. And

really committed to the vocation God

actually, this is the case. At the last provincial chapters

has given us. And that the Marist flag

of Nigeria, Madagascar and Southern Africa, you find

they hoisted in Africa will remain fly-

that the provincial councillors are MIC graduates. It‘s

ing.

very important for us to train those who will replace

Do you enjoy your Marist Vocation?

us, and that is what gives me joy - when I see the

...I must say for the past forty -one

young Brothers growing up ... thanks be to God, the

years since I left my parents to join

future is bright.

the Marist Brothers, I have felt that I

What message do you have for Marist Africa?

have been in paradise. Everything in

Marist Africa has been blessed all these years by our

this Marist life gives me joy. If you

big Brothers from Europe and America, but it is time

look at me, I may look a bit stern or

for us in Africa to do all we can to stand on our own,

busy, but deep down in there is always

because we cannot continue to be babies forever and

peace, joy and fulfilment.

ever. As they have done their best, we cannot continue stand up and find ways and means of becoming finan-

If you were given another opportunity, would you still choose the Marist life? If people were to come to this world

cially independent to train their Brothers, to run their

twice, thrice or ten times I have al-

affairs and then to contribute to the running of the gen-

ways maintained that, if I am given

Psychology. Talented Brothers in these areas will be

to depend indefinitely on them. Marist Africa should

the fraternal support all this while. So we want to assure them that we are

eral administration.

another

The young Brothers in the communities, novices and postulants looking forward to coming to MIC. What have you to tell them? They should prepare themselves well, first of all, to appreciate the vocation God has given them and to know that they are coming to MIC not just to acquire an education or a degree but to prepare themselves for the urgent mission that Jesus has for them because in the world today people are in dire need of God. God has been replaced with money and other forms of gods and goddesses. So it is their duty to come to MIC and get themselves prepared.

opportunity to come to this world I would

re-

main a Marist. According to me, minus the Catholic Church, there is no other organisation that is as good as our Marist Brothers‘ congregation. MIC Digest 13


COMMISIONS IN THE COMMUNITY AND THEIR FUNCTIONS. KITCHEN COMMISSION:

LITURGICAL MUSIC COMMIS-

In charge of collaborating with the workers in our

SION:

Community kitchen. Also they also ensure no food

When you talk of

wastage

animation of the liturgy, you think

MAINTENANCE COMMISSION:

of this Commis-

Responsible for general maintenance in the Commu-

sion. They are responsible in making

nity including community generator, water, light,

everyone of the Community‘s liturgi-

tools in every Fraternity, etc.

cal celebrations lively.

SPORTS COMMISSION: They take care of the various sporting activities in the Community. Also, they organize football, volleyball and basketball matches between MIC Community and other Communities or clubs.

CULTURAL COMMISSION: They are incharge of organizing the welcoming of

LITURGY COMMISSION: They are in charge of organizing all that is necessary for the proper celebration of the Eucharist. DECORATIONS COMMISSION:

the first year Brothers to MIC. They also organize the Community‘s celebrations on Easter, Christmas and New Year. DRIVING COMMISION:

The decorations commission sees to the aethetic

The Brothers in this Commission

beautification of the Chapel and other places

serve the Community in the area of

used for celebrations in the Community.

conveying Brothers to their various Apostolates, to hospital, for shopping

FARM COMMISSION: They are responsible for the care of the Commu-

on Fridays and Saturdays, and whenever their services are needed.

nity‘s garden where vegetables are grown.

MIC Digest

14


Br Lucky Paul (Nigeria)

Br Thomas (Kenya)

Br Santos (Mozambique)

Br Jean Luc (Congo) Br Arikpo (Nigeria)

Br Vincent(Malawi) Br Gabriel (Nigeria)

Br Patrice (Madagascar)

Br Michael (Nigeria)

Br Tererai (Zimbabwe)

Br Aloys (Rwanda) Br Valentine (Cameroon)

Br Divine (Cameroon)

Br Chrisantius (Zambia)

Br John (Malawi) ANIMATOR

Br Edouard (Congo)

MIC Digest 15


(CAMEROON)

(MADAGASCAR

(MALAWI)

(ZAMBIA)

(MOZAMBIQUE) (NIGERIA)

(CAMEROON)

(CONGO)

(NIGERIA)

(MALAWI)

(ZAMBIA)

(RWANDA

(NIGERIA) (IVORY COAST) ASS. ANIMATOR

MIC Digest

(MALAWI)

(KENYA)

(NIGERIA) ANIMATOR

16


I PAUSE In a score of years passed, I have swum in clear waters all my days; and if sometimes they were a little cold, and the stream ran adverse and something rough, it was never too strong to be breasted and swum through. From the days of earliest boyhood, when I left stumbling through the grass… up to bearded manhood of this time, there is none but has left me honey in the hive of memory that I now feel the present delight of finishing my formation in MIC. When I recall the years in elementary schools, secondary schools, formation houses…I am filled with the sense of sweetness and wonder that such little things but enormously big, can make mortals so exceedingly rich. But I must confess that the chief of all my delight is still a religious servant. Therefore, if you but love (God), you may do as you incline. I REFLECT We stand at the crossroads, each minute each hour, each day, making choices. We choose the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, the passion we allow ourselves to feel, and the actions we allow ourselves to perform. Each choice is made in the context of whatever value system we‘ve selected to govern our lives. In selecting that value system, we are, in a very real way, making the most important choice we will ever make. AND MOVE As important as your obligations as a Brother or lay leader will be, you are a human being first, and those human connections with brothers, sisters, children, friends… are the most important investments you will ever make. At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a friend, a child, a brother, a parent…for our success as communities, Institute, the Church depends not on what happens in those structures but on what happens inside your (Heart) house. Thomas Omari, FMS

MIC Digest 17


BR DR ALBERT NZABONALIBA REFLECTS (Fraternity Council) regarding some issues

MY EXPERIENCES Since June 2001, I have been at MIC as a Formator and a Lecturer. I do remember the first months

when

I

struggled with Accompaniment in English and with my first lectures on ―Educational Psychology‖ in English. As you know, I have a strong French and Italian background, and it was not easy at all to make that language shift. On the one hand, I must acknowledge also that my students had a tough time to understand my language and write my exams! On the other hand, my first group of Brothers in accompaniment were mainly from Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, … you can imagine how difficult it was for me to spend those hours listening, rather - trying to get what they were earnestly

(i.e. outings, manual work, drinks, permissions to go out, punctuality and regularity at prayers, week-ends prayer animation, and attendance at the Reception, …). Yeah! It was a kind of power-sharing, Kenyan style! As the parable of the Weeds among the Wheat (Mt. 13, 24 – 30) says, there came along some dark moments in the history of the Fraternity, and we tried to show maturity and co-responsibility. Chanel Fraternity was classified among the best in many ways, and this brings joy to my soul, and I thank God for having been on our side throughout. They would have swallowed us alive! (cf. Ps. 124, 1 - 5). In fact, the work of an Animator / Formator is to see to situations and, by reflecting and praying, to use sound judgment that will help individuals to stand on their feet and ―walk by faith‖, following Jesus and, for us Marists, as Mary did.

sharing. I must admit also the fact that, at certain moments, I could lose concentration and pray God that He takes over! My first year was indeed a nightmare, although I had come with strong convictions about helping our young Brothers in Formation. The first group I had in Chanel Fraternity as an Animator was exceptional. Edouard Yatha (DRC) was the ―Moderator‖. As the time went on, I could sense that they were testing me in one way or another and I had to help the decision-making body MIC Digest

18


Inspiration from the Community

coming an International University

I must confess that I learnt a lot from the Community College like other Marist Colleges members and the staff of MIC in general. As a Lecturer we have around the world. of ―Educational Management and Leadership in The task ahead of us is to cherish Schools,‖ I know by readings that there are two impor- and strengthen it. We thank God for tant variables to consider: ―Task and Relation- the number of students we have gotships‖ (cfr. Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard, 1977). ten so far, for the committed staff of It all depends on how each one balances the two. What

the College and the Community, for

concerns me, I am on the high task dimension. Even my the facilities/infrastructures we have students used to call me ―High task‖. But, I do agree built, ... in fact, every one of us sees that I tried my level best to interact and to accept the this potentiality of MIC, and the challenges of good relationships.

aforementioned few assets and hu-

MIC is a wonderful milieu. You have young and lesser man resources are opportunities to young people, smart students and slow learners, jovial provide the youth with religious and and those with some unfinished business, ...all in all, we professional training. have a lot to learn from each other and, by the grace of However, we should not overlook God, to enjoy together. Among other sources of inspira-

the risks these pose to us. In actual

tion, in a special way, our teaching / learning is so rich - fact, these are also opportunities to ―Knowledge is power‖ (F. Bacon) – and our spiritual assess and work out nicely. Let me life is so deeply rooted in our daily Eucharist celebra- mention here one threat that corretions (Constitutions, article 69).

lates with ―the quality assurance‖.

As I cannot mention individual people, I want to con- As any other institution works tofirm that the leadership of MIC has been inspirational to wards achieving a quality product, me, and I want to encourage you to see in them what I

MIC is to train ―good Christians and

saw: humanity, knowledge, hard-working spirit, love, virtuous citizens‖ (Marist Pedaand trust, and above all, prayerful people with the mind gogy), and this poses a big challenge and heart of St Marcellin Champagnat.

to us with the globalization and consumerism philosophies. On the other

VISION AND PLANS FOR THE CENTRE

hand, MIC is surrounded by big in-

We all agree that ―Vision is not the ability to predict the stitutions that are competitive finanfuture; it is a commitment to pursue possibilities.‖ MIC cially and with good entry requireis undergoing a period of extraordinary growth. It ments (grades). started as a Scholasticate in the ordinary sense of the Because of the above, MIC needs to concept, and, as anything that lives grows, MIC is be-

assess well these challenges and ofMIC Digest 19


fer a quality education with a difference that will enhance the standards of life and the standards of learning that are offered outside. This implies, obviously, Staff Development / Professionalism and Students Learning Strategies. And MIC is working towards that. The end result is foreseeable, and there is a future. Why not? On certain conditions, yes. We can be inspired by what Séan Sammon (SG) said and

dust‖ (Ps. 102, 14); and another

wrote in his circular ―A Revolution of the Heart, 2003, p.

Psalm adds, ―When you hide your

26) about the necessity of a spiritual renewal for all of us,

face, they are lost. When you take

―I can promise little in return except hard work, a steady

away their breath, they perish and

diet of self-sacrifice, and the possibility of being part of

return to the dust from which they

nothing less than the rebirth of our Institute.‖

came‖ (Ps. 104, 29). His evercreative and merciful love sur-

GOOD NEWS ABOUT MIC COMMUNITY

passes our wickedness, our short-

There is no other Good News than the Gospel of Jesus

comings and our sins. God is

Christ. My mind has been telling me that God is good, and,

love, and He dares once more to

indeed, my life has been a story of God‘s love and mercy

promise us His heavenly king-

towards me and my people. As I come from Rwanda, I

dom. This is the Good News.

know from deep in my heart that God is of paramount lov-

I am very happy to have spent 10

ing, forgiving, caring, ... we may think He has abandoned

years; it has been challenging, yet

us, yet ―we are standing on His shoulders (Joyce Johnson

fruitful in many ways. I felt seed

Rouse).‖

not on rocky or thorny ground,

As we are in Lent, let me share my inspiration. I have been

but on a rich soil that yields a

emotionally touched by the experience of Peter after deny-

hundred or sixty or thirtyfold (Mt.

ing Jesus. St Luke is the only Gospel evangelist that men-

13, 18 – 23). And this is good

tions the ―regard‖ (French), meaning that ―Jesus looked at

news for our new Formators and

him.‖ It says: ―... and the Lord turned and looked at Peter;

Staff members.

and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had

Dr. Albert Nzabonaliba (fms)

said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny

MIC

me three times.‖ (Luke 22:61). ―He looked at him‖ with lots of love and forgiveness. ―For He knows how we are formed, remembers that we are MIC Digest

20


CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE TO THE FINAL YEAR BROTHERS

(2010/2011) In the year 2007, when our Brothers arrived at Marist

International

Centre,

they

never

imagined they would be among those graduating in the year 201. What marvels the Lord work for them; indeed, they were glad, their mouth was filled with laughter Permit me to ask the final year Brothers if enough was being done for the past four years so that they can give their best to those whom they shall meet as they go back to their various Provinces and Districts? I am intrinsically satisfied that our final year Brothers were conscientiously aware that they were given the best. I urge you to keep on pursuing your academic excellence and community life so you can serve as one of the role models and sources of inspiration for our students and Brothers. These Brothers had adapted to a new system of learning how to live a community life of letting go of their old attitudes in order to make them responsible in the future. The Brothers are leaving the Centre with a strong sense of purpose and direction, having already tasted the joy of knowing their formation was not paper thin but has actually empowered them with competence and confidence. Finally, never underestimate the power of collaboration as you go back to your different Provinces and Districts; never allow distance to prevent you from doing anything that will bring life and opportunity to others. Br Gabriel Umeagukwu (Nigeria)

MIC Digest 21


Tender Faith

again was right. Whatever the parent

There is a striking reality

says, the child usually accepts as fact or

of faith in God and His

as truth.

Church at a tender age, and

In no time, the child experiences what is

most religious men and

told and what is experienced, and the

women pay keen attention

story becomes another thing. Some peo-

to this. Yet others just

ple call it ‗backslide‘. I refer to a drastic

think they are just busy to do something else. It is

loss of faith a landslide, which is a form

our responsibility, if we truly know, to nurture the

of mass wasting in down-slope move-

faith God has entrusted to us. Tender faith is like

ment of material, whether it is bedrock,

an egg at the edge of a cliff, barely withstanding

regolith or a mixture of these. This usu-

the terror of rushing wind.

ally occurs on a steep slope where the

Mark J. Link, S.J., talks about the development of

slope becomes saturated and no longer

faith in his book ‗Man in the Modern World‘. I

holds the material together. A landslide

would like to think that when Link talked about

in faith has devastating effects, just as a

childhood faith, he meant ‗faith at a tender stage‘.

landslide of steep slopes.

He says: ―A child begins his faith by believing al-

Let me consider the example given by

most everything an adult says. If the child is born

Link: the innocent child is told that God

into a Christian home, he will probably believe in

is good. Then, one day, he falls and hurts

God. If he is born into an atheistic home, he will

himself seriously. He may think, ―God

probably believe that God does not exist. I would

can‘t be good if He allowed this to hap-

like to add that if he is born into a family that does

pen to me, especially when I have done

not care whether God exists or not, he will as well

nothing to deserve it.‖ As a result, the

care less about whether God exists or not. He will

child may undergo his first bit of faith

develop a kind of ‗it-doesn‘t- really-matter‘ faith.

questioning. He may wonder if God is

At this initial stage of faith development, faith be-

really as good as his parents have led him

gins to intellectualize life with facts. For example,

to believe. That is why, at this stage, the

a mother says to the child, ―Go outside, Daddy is

child needs dedicated parents who would

there.‖ The child goes outside. Sure enough,

explain to him in what sense God is

Daddy is there. Mother was right. The next time

good, and hence, help the development of

Mom says, ―Open the box, and you‘ll find some-

his faith in God.

thing nice in it. ―Again, the child does exactly that,

The young Catholic students in Matasia

and hence, finds a nice pair of shoes in it. Mother

Girls Secondary School were left to fend

MIC Digest

22


their faith-flames into a fire by themselves because the then-parish priest was too busy to cater to their spiritual nourishment. Not so surprising, these students are not permitted to leave campus, not even on Sunday for Mass. Of course the priest could appear once-in-a-bluemoon to say Mass for them. But most of the time, they were alone on Sundays, managing their time with song-festivity, so to speak. As a result, YCS membership began to dwindle, and I would like to think that most of them were now attending services with the ―Protestant group‖ whose pastor was available every Sunday to animate the service. At first, this scenario was not known to the Brothers who do their apostolate at the school on Wednesdays - Brothers Valentine, Terrence, Moffat and Eddie. One Sunday morning, Valentine decided to pay a visit to the YCS and discovered that they were gathered together in a relatively small group ―pretending Mass‖; that is, they were imagining the priest standing before them and celebrating Mass. Valentine used the opportunity to explain the day‘s readings to them, and, henceforth, we started pushing the parish priest to do something to arrest the situation because the students were losing their tender faith. Finally, the priest agreed for us to have a Communion service with them on Sundays. The YCS was revived again, and the matron stood up one Sunday after Communion service and said, ―Brothers, I thank you for helping us with our spiritual life for I can see the number has been drastically recovered. I do hope that you will continue to be with us and keep nourishing our faith with the body of Christ and the word of GOD‖. Br. Edward B. Jones (Liberia)

MIC Digest 23


BREAKING THE SPIRITUAL BREAD OF RE-

dents are interested in the life of the

LIGION

Brothers because they see in them the It is interesting to dis-

Christ who said ‗let the children come

cuss the above heading

to me, and do not prevent them; for the

in connection with my

kingdom of heavens belong to such as

experiences in our Mar-

these‘- Matt 19:14. With that, they

ists International Uni-

look up to the Brothers for guidance

versity College.

and direction. Their openness of heart,

To start with, who is a Brother ? No sentence gives a

that represents the children in Mat-

comprehensive answer to this question. But still, a

thew‘s gospel, is charming. Such

Brother is a model and a living gospel for the children

hearts need a constant protection from

and for everyone else‘. It is on this answer that my re-

highly attractive vices in our contem-

flection will be based.

porary society. The student Brothers

Breaking the spiritual bread of religion: in the circular of 19

th

January 1836, St Marcellin Champagnat

help them in

(Founder of the Marist Brothers of the Schools), in an

their

attempt to remind the Brothers of their mission had this

troubles

to say. ‗We desire and wish that like Jesus Christ, our

and en-

Divine model, you may have deep affection for the

courage

children. Break for them with holy zeal the spiritual

them to face courageously our de-

bread of religion. Make every effort to train them in

manding world. The presence of a

piety and to engrave on their young hearts religious

Brother, constantly trains their yearn-

sentiments which will never be erased‘. in addition to

ing hearts towards achieving the Chris-

the Eucharistic dimension of the Brothers‘ ministry

tian virtues which they will use to

which the holy Founder emphasised, he equally re-

weaken the vices that characterise our

minds Brothers of the young hearts that yearn for gos-

weak nature. A Brother spends his life

pel models.

studying, meditating and teaching; he

I have experienced this in our College. With a College

spends several hours in prayer every

of over 700 students, one can imagine the number of

day. His example is, therefore, well-

hearts that yearn for a model, hearts that persistently

suited for overcoming forgetfulness of

look for someone who will break the bread of religion

God and forming their follow students

for them, someone who will give them a solid religious

to piety and the duties of a Christian.

foundation. The student Brothers do that by living a life

Having said this, the call for the break-

that is worthy of emulation by the students. The stu-

ing of the spiritual bread of religion is

MIC Digest

24


of paramount importance for any good work. The students need it. The youth need it. And our world needs it. The student Brothers of Marist International University College bring down the Eucharistic Jesus from the altar and share Him constantly in their daily encounters with people, especially the students. Yes we do break the spiritual bread of religion. What a wonderful vocation! Dear friends, let‘s pray for the Brothers and their ministry. Br Iloabueke Innocent (Nigeria)

Br. Markwilliams Ikechukwu Iwu – Chanel Fraternity I come from Imo state, Nigeria. I belong to the province of Nigeria. Before my appointment to MIC, I was teaching at Marist Comprehensive College Nteje, Anambra State, Nigeria. (English language, literature in English and Religious and Moral education). I was also the Dean of Student Affairs in M.C.C.N. One of my duties was to prepare students for debates and quizzes at local, state, regional, and national levels. I was also an examiner WAEC/NECO, (West African Examination Council and National Examination Council). Today, what’s peculiar in MIC? Peculiar to MIC is it wholistic nature of formation. Contribution to the on-going formation? My own contribution will be making sure the vision or mission statement of MIC will be realized by being the best facilitator I can. Finally, together we make things happen.

MIC Digest 25


MIC Digest

26


Br. John McDonnell – Champagnat

chael‘s High School in Monrovia. I have

Fraternity

been doing spiritual direction and accompani-

May I please know more about you?

An INFJ on the Myers – Briggs….a One on the Enneagram… astrologically speaking, a Scorpio….our God would call me a ―loved sinner‖ …. ―wounded healer‖…. His ―spoiled son‖……. Where do I begin to tell you who I am? Psalm 139 perhaps? ―God knitted me to-

ment for 35 years. Br Joseph Udeajah and I were delegates together to the 2001 General Chapter What do you find peculiar about MIC? A community of 120 Brothers from 17 different countries – that‘s pretty peculiar! And I‘m the only one who speaks ‗American‘ English!

How would you contribute to the ongoing formation here at MIC Br. Emili Turu sent

gether in my mother‘s womb‖. I was born in

me to MIC specifi-

1940 in New York City, the younger of the two

cally to accompany

children of immigrants from Ireland in search

young Brothers and

of work in the USA. My brother Timothy an-

to help some Broth-

nounced - at age seven – that he was going to

ers improve their accompaniment skills. I‘m

become a priest. Today he is Bishop of the

also helping some fourth year Brothers with

Springfield, Massachusetts diocese. I like

their projects and underclassmen with their

swimming, pasta and soft rock music; and I‘m

oral and written English. I‘m preparing a Col-

a cancer survivor— thanks be to God.

lege student who wants to become a Catholic.

What was your previous apostolate before your appointment to MIC Community?

After Easter, I‘ll be directing retreats for the

Vice- Provincial of the United States Province (200 Brothers). Half of my 52 years as a Marist, I worked in our secondary schools in America‘s ghettoes…..directed retreats…ran a shelter for homeless men….and led peer groups of HIV/AIDS patients. The other half was taken up with initial and on - going formation and province administration: postulant and novice

fourth year PACE Brothers before they return to their home countries. Perhaps, at age 70, my biggest contribution to MIC is contained in words I spoke at my Golden Jubilee two years ago: ―I have loved being a Marist , and I‘d definitely do it all over again‖.

Your final word? ―Preach the Gospel at all times; if necessary, use words‖. (St Francis of Assisi).

director, co – director of renewal programs in Rome, Italy, Provincial, vice – rector of MAPAC in Manila, deputy principal of St. MiMIC Digest 27


Br Spiridion (RWANDA) Community Superior

Br Emmanuel (NIGERIA)

Br Joseph (NIGERIA) Principal of the College

MIC Digest

Br Chunga (MALAWI) Administrator

Br Christian (CONGO) Deputy principal Academics

Br McDonnell (USA)

Br Alex (MALAWI) Deputy principal Administration

Fr Thomas (CONGO) Resident priest

28


ally emerged winners of the

TRANSFORMATION IN MARIST TEAMS AND

volleyball competition.

FACILITIES Just mention Marist in Nairobi, and you

The Superior, the Principal and

will see that both young and old know

the Sports Committee con-

about our Marist football team. Year in

gratulated

and year out, the community produces tal-

them to keep it up, to keep the

ented and skilful players in our various

flame burning. ―We are proud

sporting activities which boost the morale

of you!‖

and

encouraged

and the integrity of the Marist community. When the Marist

The MIC football ground has

football pitch was marked and

changed

extended for a normal football

these changes have attracted

pitch and the basketball court

many

during her Jubilee celebration,

who travel from far and near to

a tremendous change followed

have a glimpse of the ground

immediately on the part of all the players in those various

for their various activities.

sporting activities. This change is based on the style of play,

The transformation of MIC

cooperation among players, team spirit - name them. This

ground now serves as a tourist

cooperation and coordination brought out so clearly what is

centre. The Kenyan National

written in the Bible

Soccer Team (Harambee Stars)

about changes: thus it is

has, on some occasions, made

―my God will fulfil all

use of these facilities for their

your needs out of the

training sessions.

riches of his glory in

Zambia

Christ

(Phil

Team (Chipolopolo) used the

4:19).When there some

MIC football pitch as their

problems on the team we endured, and we were patient to the

training ground during the Or-

end.

ange Competitions in Kenya, as

Recently, our elegant volleyball team was at Tangaza Col-

well as the Light Academic

lege for the tournament held during their Jubilee festivity.

Football Team and their Fe-

They dominated the whole Tangaza tournament with their

male Volleyball Team who are

skilful play and with their magnificent and talented organisa-

currently using our sports fa-

tion, which words alone cannot describe. But how I wish you

cilities for their training, ahead

were there at the venue to see things for yourself! In fact they

of a competition in the months

made us proud. They defeated all the big teams and eventu-

ahead.

Jesus‖

significantly, important

and

dignitaries

Also, the

National

Football

MIC Digest 29


Finally, the Marist sports coordinator has employed a talented coach in karate who trains Brothers interested in the sport to improve their skills in physical combat, and to keep them fit. We therefore call on the Brothers of the MIC Community to keep the flame burning through motivation, encouragement and support so that what we have started may not diminish. Asante Sana: Br. Arikpo Vincent Effah (Nigeria) Sport manager (Community)

Back Left - Bros: Benjamin (Malawi), Cyprian [ANIMATOR (Ghana)] Left Behind -Bros: Baise (Cameroon), Eucharistus (Nigeria), Raymond (Zambia), Octaviano (Angola), Theophilus (Liberia), Emmanuel (Cameroon), Richard (Malawi), Evans (Kenya), Augustin (Congo) Left In front –Bros: Gaston (Rwanda), Majala (Malawi), Roland (Madagascar), Michel (Congo), Anthony (Nigeria)

MIC Digest

30


Br. Heriniaina Maurice JuvenceBrother is a new formator at the Centre and wishes to share more about himself and what he wishes to offer for the Centre. I am a Malagasy by nationality, that is, from the Island of Madagascar. As far as Marist formation is concerned, I am a product of MIC. Thus, some years back, I was a student at MIC. This institution offered me the Bachelor of Arts in Education, Geography and Religious Studies after the four year program. The formation, both religious and academic, that I got from MIC equipped me to carry out the mission that the province of Madagascar assigned to me. That is to say, I am very proud of MIC as an institution, college and primarily, as a formation centre for the young Brothers of Africa and Madagascar.

When I finished MIC, I was appointed to be the Deputy Headmaster in one of our schools in Madagascar. This experience helped me to know better how to manage school discipline and regulations. I was involved in managing both students and staff members of the school. As a Marist , my style was to impart Christian values in the Marist way of educating young people. Apart from being a Deputy Headmaster, I also taught English and CRE in the School. Part of my mission was the service rendered to the parish where I worked. What do find new and strange at MIC compared with the recent past From my own view, MIC is a growing institution. From the time MIC started, it has not stopped growing. Through the various efforts made by this Marist institution, the Brothers, both teaching and non- teaching staff and all the students of this institution, MIC is still standing today. As the institution has a primal anthem ―To be the light of the world‖, it is clear that MIC is sending more people to go to the world to be the light in a world of ignorance and division. In short , MIC has its mission and vision to witness to the whole world. Contribution My contribution to the on-going formation at MIC is primarily the formation of the young Brothers. I do the work of a formator and assistant animator of a fraternity. Final word My prayer is that God may continue his work in this Marist institution. May all the students of MIC bring change to the world when they finish their formation and studies.

MIC Digest 31


THE MARIST BROTHERHOOD, A vocation for those in love with God. On that very special day, a day predestined by God, the Institute of the Little Brothers of Mary (Marist

The vocation to the Marist Brother-

Brothers of The Schools) was

hood is a vocation for those in love

founded

Benedict

with God. It is an adventure of great

Marcellin Champagnat, a priest of

minds, minds consecrated to God

the Society of Mary.

and devoted to the Blessed Virgin

by

Joseph

nd

This day was 2 January, 1817. It was in a little cradle of

Mary – Our Good Mother. A con-

a small village at Lavalla in France. Our founder - St.

vinced Marist is a man of vision

Marcellin Champagnat was really in deep love with God.

and mission. Vision to bring libera-

He expressed this in his thoughts, devotions to our Lord

tion to the uninformed minds of

and his Mother, and in his trust in God. He would say ―I

poor and young children, vision to

could never undertake anything without having long rec-

make the world a happier place - a

ommended it to God‖(Life of the Founder, pg 300). Father

place of genuine fraternal commun-

Champagnat‘s preferred religious practices was the pres-

ion; and mission to make Jesus

ence of God. He made very short, spontaneous prayers and

known and loved according to the

to made them so often that they turned work into true

signs of the time today.

prayer.

Commitment is a fundamental op-

Natural science and common sense has it that ―children

tion in any Marist vocation. This is

inherit some characteristics from their parents (Father or

a sign of love. We see many Broth-

Mother)‖. It is in view of this fact that I can, without

ers faithful and committed to the

doubt, say that there are lots of Brothers (dead and alive)

Lord in their vocation. Our special

who inherited the spiritual qualities of Marcellin, and there

sign of commitment, which as well

are still many more to inherit these qualities in the future.

forms part of our identity as Marist

These qualities have been lived, and it is still been lived

Brothers, is our vows of Chastity,

today by so many authentic disciples of Champagnat.

Poverty and Obedience - not forget-

Today, there are 4000 Marist Brothers over five continents

ting our lives in Community. Article

of the world. Why these Brothers? This question brings us

3, paragraph 2 of our Marist Consti-

to the above title of this reflection.

tutions and Statutes states that, “By

MIC Digest

32


profession of the vows of Chastity, Pov-

These young men or - better still - young Marist

erty and Obedience, we commit our-

Brothers undergo a very delicate and demanding

selves to live the evangelical counsels.

process called formation. This formation is both hu-

This commitment makes us witnesses to

man and spiritual. Accepting a true and genuine for-

and

mation is a clear proof of their love for the Immortal

servant

of

the

Kingdom

of

God.” (p. 14).

One – God.

More so, this commitment of love is

In the final analysis, my dear readers, unless the Lord

expressed in the vow of Stability taken

comes to our aid, we shall fail to love Him as we

by some Brothers. Such Brothers have

ought and, like a lamp without oil, become extin-

seen in themselves the life of the Insti-

guished. As Brothers, we work with God; we do not

tute flowing in their blood. They feel

work for God. For if we work for God, we shall most

the Institute has become ―bone of their

certainly grow tired and sometimes give up. But, on

bone, and flesh of their flesh‖. This is a

the contrary, if we work with God, even if we become

vivid expression of a vocation of a per-

tired, He is always there to give us His support as

son in love with the Creator of the uni-

marvelous companions on this, our journey of faith.

verse.

Br. Moses Uyang, FMS.

Again, we see young vibrant men, capable of becoming anything in our secular society today, but who have taken the bold stride of loving the Lord who has become their ―Everyday God‖.

MIC Digest 33


The young Broth-

acquired it immediately.

ers asked me to

October 1986 saw the arrival of the first

answer

some

group of young Brothers to begin the 3-year

questions in rela-

program of formation and training as Marist

tion to my life at

apostles to the youth of the Africa continent

MIC as I prepare to return to my province at

and beyond. The dream came true for me!

the end of my four years here. What follows

The Centre grew in every way – young Broth-

is my attempt to respond to those questions.

ers, staff and all necessary facilities. Soon

I came to MIC on a four-year contract on sixth

MIC became the pride of Marist Africa and

September 2007. It was a great joy for me to

the Centre of cooperation among the various

be at MIC as one of the formators. I have

Administrative Units that make up what we

been associated with the Centre since its open-

now call the African Region. Nairobi became

ing in 1986.

the capital of Marist Africa. What began with

Before then, I was involved in the develop-

formators and young Brothers has today be-

ment of the idea of having a common Post No-

come a university college with 16 formators

vitiate Centre for the young Brothers of the

and 104 young Brothers —all following uni-

African continent. It began as a dream and a

versity studies while simultaneously continu-

wish.

Then, a congress of the English-

ing their formation in Marist life of Commu-

speaking Marist Districts and Sectors in Af-

nity, Apostolate, Prayer, and Consecration

rica that took place in Nigeria in 1982 recom-

under the watchful care of dedicated forma-

mended a common Post-Novitiate Centre for

tors in a very conducive atmosphere.

Africa as the best way for cooperation among

So, this is why I was so happy to come to

the then-Administrative Units. That recom-

MIC 4 years ago at the young age of 73 in the

mendation was a wish made to the then-

48th year of my Marist consecration and life.

General Administration.

The experience has been a very fulfilling,

When Br. Charles

Howard became the Superior General and Br.

even if an equally challenging, one.

Powell Prieur a Councillor General, the wish

challenges were, of course, inevitable, as

of 1982 became a reality. Nairobi, Kenya was

most of them came as a result of the relatively

chosen as the location for the Centre. A Rec-

large age difference between those I had to

tor, Br. Luis Sobrado, was appointed, and

live with and me. I was aware of this source

work began at once. He found a suitable piece

of potential difficulties or challenges and so

of land, extensive enough to cater for the

asked for a dispensation from teaching and

needs of a post-novitiate formation Centre and

from being an animator of any fraternity. I

MIC Digest

The

34


got the former but could not avoid the latter because of

all written boldly in their faces, and

the small number of formators available at the time.

the joy this brought to me was immense. I felt proud that MIC came to

Some of My Experiences During These Years:

be established, that the dreams of yes-

It is difficult to answer this because I have been

teryear were not empty dreams.

through so many experiences since my arrival here in MIC. I will restrict myself to just a few that will in-

Expansion of MIC:

clude both pleasant and unpleasant ones.

Seeing and being part of the external

I begin with the pleasant ones.

development of MIC from a population of 27 young Brothers and zero non-resident students to that of 104

THE MIC FORMATORS: The first is my being

young Brothers and over 600 non-

here at MIC itself and

resident students of both sexes was a

living with men, the

very heart-warming experience. This

formators, who are

expansion in no way adversely af-

highly imbued with

fected the spiritual and religious for-

the spirit of our con-

mation of the Brothers. On the con-

gregation and passionately desirous to give of their

trary, the presence of so many external

best for the formation of our young Brothers – the fu-

students – boys and girls, and religious

ture of Marist Africa and our mission on this continent.

men and women of other congrega-

They inspired me in many ways: their zeal to form the

tions, greatly enhanced this formation.

Brothers well, to teach them and prepare them well for

The Brothers learned a great deal

their future apostolate. I saw men who did not spare

about themselves – their strengths and

themselves and who worked almost as our first Broth-

limitations in relationships and how to

ers at the Hermitage of Champagnat. Being with them

handle themselves with confidence

and their example were very revitalising for me.

when faced with the same situation

I had the privileged experience of watching the spiri-

back in their various ministries at

tual, intellectual, human, and academic growth of the

home.

young Brothers unfold and blossom. I saw the first years making great efforts to find their way in this large compound and the fourth years moving about self -assuredly in this same compound, showing that they have gotten what it takes to begin their Marist life and apostolate and confident that they will deliver. I saw it MIC Digest 35


CELEBRATIONS

pranks and naughty things we had done as children and the tricks those who had been students at MIC played on the Rector or this or that animator or other formators at the time. It was always tension-releasing for all, and we enjoyed

The celebrations of different events, either

the experience. After that, we were ready to go

in the life of the Institute, such as Cham-

for another month. The young Brothers like that

pagnat Day, or of individual Brothers, for

third Sunday night and looked forward to it – for

example birthdays, were very joyful ones

quite a different reason: they will be on their

for me.

They manifest in a remarkable

own, out of the ‗probing‘ eyes and ears of the

way our cherished Marist values, espe-

animator, and doing their own thing their own

cially family spirit, recognition of the

way.

worth of one another and just being together, enjoying the companionship of one

Life with the young Brothers

another. These practical human gestures

The experience of life with the young Brothers in

make our life real and much less institu-

the fraternity and the community was most re-

tional. I treasured the celebration the Com-

warding for I learned once more what it meant to

munity organized for my golden jubilee in

be young again. I watched their pains and strug-

2009. July 9, 2009 became a day of great

gles as well as their joys when they succeed. I

celebration to be remembered always. It

saw good will and determination to succeed as a

was so good. I was pleasantly surprised by

Marist prominent in those young men. Then, I

the thoroughly undeserved encomiums, and

came to realize that whatever shocks I had at the

those beautiful words of encouragement

beginning were a result of the huge age gap.

and recognition put a new spirit and life in

Imagine in the fraternity, the youngest of the

me. The third Sunday supper that brought

young Brothers was 25, the oldest 29, and I was

all the formators together in a relaxing way

73! My experience helped me to accept that they

at a meal was another experience to relish.

were to grow and I was to diminish, and the way

They were real agape meals for the Forma-

for this to happen was to trust them and let them

tion Team. We shared stories and jokes,

run the show. I observe and follow. It worked to

teased one an-

the satisfaction and joy of all, a few slips here

other

and

and there notwithstanding.

laughed.

We

MIC Digest

remembered

Some Unpleasant Experiences:

and shared the

They were not many really, and I will share just 36


one of the few I can describe as an unpleasant experience. It was the dishonest behaviour of the young Brothers. This caused me a lot of anguish. I did not quite understand why someone with a minimum of 4 years of Marist formation, including the novitiate, could be so dishonest as to cheat, make up lies and play hide and seek with formators and with themselves. It was a shocking experience for me, but like all shocks, I got over it quickly as I began to remember and to understand more clearly the ways of young people today and to realize that our young Brothers are products of their age and environment. I grasped the struggle they must have been going through as they tried to make sense of their commitment as Marist religious with all its implications and the very secularized society they live in, a society where the leaders cheat and steal with impunity, to use the new word in our African English vocabulary. Then it became very clear to me that I must listen more attentively; I needed to listen with not just my ears but with my heart and my whole being. Personal Reflection: MIC has helped me to grow in many ways: greater understanding of the young , what makes him tick and what pulls him down. It took me some time to learn their language which was rather different from what I am used to and difficult at the beginning. I learned and got more in touch with who I am at this point in life and saw the need for a change. I learned to see things not quite to my liking and not only keep quiet, but also come to like and accept them as okay. I saw my great need for the Lord and the importance of a closer relationship with Him. He became my and chief Consultant and Guide as well as Enabler and Support. Br Michael Uruche (Nigeria)

MIC Digest 37


Br Samuel (Nigeria)

Br Joachim (Nigeria)

Br Peter (Malawi) Br Christian (Nigeria)

Br Emmanuel(Ghana)

Br Daniel (Malawi)

Br Angelo (Mozambique)

Br Pierre (Rwanda)

Br Njakatianah (Madagascar)

Br Albert (Rwanda) ANIMATOR

Br Terence(Cameroon)

Br Edwin (Nigeria)

Br Mark (Nigeria) ASS. ANIMATOR

Br Tashinga (Zimbabwe)

Br Basil (Congo)

Br Jackson (Malawi)

MIC Digest

38


Evermissed By Gijima Tererai I really feel your absence You were uniquely special In your own exotic sense That never was or ever shall You were a big I felt it every minute we spent chatting Even in dark times i didn't bother You held my little candle ever lighting Days moved like wind And years passed unseen I saw dreams unwind And success sailing the scene Your pat and gentle push Saw me thru the raging waves Not in a mad aimless rush But soft like a tickle on the end nerve I'm not surprised why i this way feel I truly know you brought me to something A gap i have always had to try and fill Another family worth great remembering Indeed you were beyond my wording All the moments I recall I thank the fate That made us meet by the time parading and share life both in tear and in fete

MIC Digest 39


CELEBRATION OF THE MIC SILVER JUBILEE

The Launching of the Silver jubilee year was graced by the Vicar General, Brother Joe McKee, Br Sylvain - the district superior of west Africa and all the Provincials of Marist Africa. The launching began on Friday with a motivational talk by Mr. Odhiambo, a family man, economist and pastor. He reiterated to all the students of Marist International College that if anyone had a chance to sleep and dream, then he should dream big. When one wakes up, he should put into action those big dreams. Br Benjamin Machinga (Zimbabwe) MIC Digest

40


MIC Digest 41


MIC Digest

42


LEFT: BRS JOACHIM IDEHEN(NIGERIA), BENJAMIN MACHINGA(ZIMBABWE), JAMAL JANUARIO (MOZAMBIQUE), BERNARD OGUTA (KENYA), EMMANUEL IDOKO(NIGERIA), CALLISTUS SHOMYA (NIGERIA), EVANS ODHIAMBO(KENYA), PAUL LUCKY(NIGERIA), THOMAS OMARI (KENYA), ALEX CHIMERA(MALAWI) ILOABUEKE INNOCENT (NIGERIA), COSMAS CHEMBE(MALAWI), MARIO OGU(NIGERIA),EMMANUEL UGBAJI (NIGERIA),GASTON NZASABIMFURA(RWANDA),AND AUGUSTINE NDOMBARI(CAR), RIGTH-INFRONT: RICHARD CHIDOTHI (MALAWI),SAMUEL OKEBARAM(NIGERIA),AND ROBERT BENIMANA(DRC)

MIC Digest 43


MIC Digest

44

MIC Digest  

Bulletin Marist Brothers MIC - Kenya

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