22 July 2022
The participants of the Assembly gathered together for the morning Mass scheduled at exactly 6:30am. Fr Ronald Dameni (Spiritual Adviser of Botswana) presided over the Mass with Fr. David Mwaura CM (Spiritual Adviser SSVP Nairobi Area Council), Fr. Flavio Jose Pereira Tercero CM (Vincentian Family Office –VFO) and Fr. Humpreys Makokha CM (National Spiritual Adviser SSVP Kenya). In the Eucharistic rites, Portuguese speaking countries took the lead role. Fr Ronald in his sermon gave interwoven explanation to the reading of the day Jn 20, 1-18. He maintained that availability and commitment to duty was what distinguished Mary Magdalene to encounter Jesus. And Vincentians should portray the acts of availability to the deeper needs of the poor. In sequence of the Holy Mass, there were many presentations.
2nd Vice President Deputy, brother Sebastian Gramajo, conducted this session. Delivering his paper, Fr. Flavio Jose Pereira Tercero CM (VFO Assistant Coordinator), set induce the audience by demonstrating the type of strong bond that should be seen among members through bundle of sticks and single stick. This showed that working as a group births huge results to working alone with fewer results. He gave an overview of the Vincentian Family Office and the various 23 confraternities attached to it (such as Lawyers, Designers, Translators etc) and the work they do. He indicated that the creation of these groups is to deeply understand and render support in times if difficult. Fr Flavio urged members to subscribe for newsletters so to get acquainted with updates on the website and also enroll in the various confraternities listed.
Middle East & North Africa
Sister Ella Bittar (ITVP) representing Middle East and North Africa gave a report on activities undergone within her region and submitted possible recommendations for review: poor membership of youths presence in the society for continuity. Their recruitment is highly needed. Translation of SSVP writings into Arabic language and publish materials to global website for easy accessibility.
The speaker Clement Venter (South Africa) presented an interesting topic and rooted ways to convert it into reusable items. He focused his presentation on the topic of the pandemic, poverty, and the future, showing that civil society has changed a lot after this sad moment for humanity. He quoted excerpts from Pope Francis’ speeches on the “culture of throwawayand waste”. During the pandemic, many people lost their jobs, creating more poverty. Brother Clement also addressed issues such as the importance of flexible leadership that is adaptable to modern times. At the end, he presented a video and valued the SSVP home visits to the assisted.
The presenter, brother Pius Ehiagwina (Nigeria), member CIAD (Commission for International Aid and Development) explained the nitty-gritty contained with the duties of the CIAD: the responsibility to respond to project implement and give immediate support and financial assistance to countries on emergency situations.
Twinning, Aggregation and Institution
This was another point of discuss among national presidents. It was presented by Sister Josephine Obomighie, African representative under the International Twinning Commission (ITC). She analyzed the concept of twinning, Aggregation and Institution and its usefulness on conferences. Members of the Assembly were given copies of application forms for possible project grant, asked to liaise with their ITVPs, National Presidents, and zonal coordinators, and then they await necessary actions.
Presentation about “Effective Communication within Superior Councils in Africa” was done by out 1st Vice-president General Deputy, brother Joseph Makwinja. He did a skillfully x-rayed communication rationale between councils in Africa; bridging a gap of understanding and maintain effective workflow: convey needed information at grassroots levels and ensures everyone is carried along.
Council General International Overview
The 16th President General, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, presented the house with the overview of his six (6) years term of reference from 2016 – end in 2023, this he tabulated into subheadings to give a concrete feel of read and assimilation. He made his disclosure that his year in office was formally to come to an end this year 2022 but was extended to next year 2023 due to Covid – 19 related issues. This gave his administration to achieve so many within the little time frame. And he was very pleased to adopt the motto for his mandate (2016 – 2023) derived from Mark 9, 35 (“Anyone who wants to be the first must be the very last and servant of all”). He is very pleased to have learnt from everyone during the most captivating moments. He further x-rayed those achievements made so far by his administration were collectively done with passion, commitment, dedication, zeal, and love to make the big dreams of our founders come true. He highlighted many CGI’s achievements (click here to see/read the lecture in PDF format).
Letter of Nairobi
The 1st Vice-president General Deputy, brother Joseph Makwinja, together with all ITVPs from Africa, prepared a draft to be discussed. So, at the end of the work, those present decided to approve the document called the “Letter of Nairobi “, containing eight resolutions that will be followed by the 42 Superior or National Councils in Africa until 2027, when a new Assembly will be held. The Letter presents recommendations in the areas of youth, formation, good governance, Vincentian Family, leadership, and elections. Click here to read the “Letter of Nairobi”.
During our Assembly, we received a visit from the Archbishop of Nairobi, Archbishop Msgr. Philip Anyolo, who came to bring his message of peace and charity to all the participants. We also had a kind visit from the Bishop of Ngong, Msgr. John Oballa, since the Karen district (the venue of the event) belongs to this diocese. Both Catholic clerics were very happy about the event and that Kenya was chosen, among so many countries, to host the AAA 2022.
Our unalloyed sentiment of gratitude to the Archbishop of Nairobi for His approval, blessings to host our event here in his Arch Diocese, we are most grateful. Sincere gratitude go to the Kenyan Council especially the humility of the Kenyan President –Urbanus Kinuthia and his team for obliging to host the 3rd AAA within the shortest space of time. To the Dimesse Sisters, our heartfelt thanks for the warm hospitality, serene environment, uninterrupted internet access and good food given to us, we say very big thanks. Warm appreciation goes to all the national countries presidents, observers and other delegates for gracing this prestigious event. Your presence and availability meant the event a memorable one. To our amiable ITVPs and Local Organizing Committees (LOC) for your valued response to take up this task. To our CGI structures thank you for your firm support and ceaseless cooperation to make our vision a reality. To our translators, communication department and technical support team, thank you for doing a great job; your assistance is highly valued. To everyone that contributed in one way or another, may God bless you abundantly.
Open session for National President remarks and concluding Remarks by ITVPs were duly observed. South African President, brother Peter Keshwar, gave the vote of thanks. This was smoothly followed with presentation of Award of Recognition moderated by the Kenyan President Urbanus Kinuthia. Father Flavio Jose Pereira Tercero (Vincentian Family official observer during all the days of the event) gave us the final blessings. The family picture was taken.
Cultural Night Display
The event which was adorned with colorful African traditional outfits showcasing the different ethnic groups and languages began at about 10.15 PM with a dance performance from the host metro. It also featured fashion parades from delegates according to their groups as well as dance presentations from various African countries. At the end, all persons were served with meals and drinks in a cocktail format.
Synthesis prepared by sister Patricia Oluchi ONUOHA
International Communication Team
Council General International