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Sabato, 10 Settembre 2016 15:02

All Africa Carmelite Family Conference

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71/2016-09-09

Representative members of the Carmelite Family in Africa (O.Carm), met at St Teresa of Avila Spiritual Centre, Boko, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 21-28 July 2016. The 38 participants were drawn from the following countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroun, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. All branches of Carmel were represented: laity, consecrated religious sisters and the friars. The theme of the Conference was: “United, Heart and Soul (Acts 4:32): Being Carmelite in Africa – One Rule, Multiple Expressions”. The Conference consisted of expert input, personal and group reflection. Sanny Bruijns from the Dutch Province led three of the reflections: 1. The Historical Origins of the Carmelite Rule and Its Spirituality; 2. The Rule in relation to Mary in Carmelite Spirituality; 3. The Rise of Women (Nuns and Laity) in the Carmelite Tradition and Its impact on Carmelite Spirituality Today.

Fr. Conrad Mutizamhepo, General Councillor for Africa, spoke to the theme of the meeting. On this he stressed what it means to be Carmelite in Africa. He pointed out that the modern challenges in Africa – socio-economic, political and religious realities affecting every facet of Carmel. Carmelites ought to journey into the reality of globalization with a contemplative attitude expressed through deep and sincere prayer, growth in communion and witnessing to the Church’s call to evangelization. Fr. Míceál O’Neill (Prior of CISA) helped with the Conference and was the main translator.

The excursion to the historical town of Bagamoyo, a centre of slave trade in 18th century as well as the first Catholic mission established in East Africa by the Spiritans, brought to the fore the long struggle for justice and peace in Africa.

The participants expressed their vision for the future to be a contemplative fraternity at the service of our societies by witnessing to lives of prayer, fraternity and service according to our station in life. The experience of the Conference set challenges to develop stronger bonds of cooperation and collaboration through communication, other means of sharing and to share in the areas of initial and ongoing formation, and also the fostering of financial self-reliance mechanism for the cultivation of an authentic African Carmel.

Read 688 times Last modified on Martedì, 11 Dicembre 2018 20:50

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