The Delegation meeting of South Africa and Swaziland held in Merrivale (KZN) on 25-26 July at the Theological Seminary, from the point of view of Imc evangelization, can be considered as cornerstone in readiness to the implementation of the thirteenth General Chapter’s resolutions and the delegations plans. In the context of this great event, the Delegation members experienced a true moment of grace, since at the very heart of this gathering was the presence of our Lady Consolata, who as taught by Blessed Joseph Allamano,is our most tender Mother, who loves us as the apples of her eyes.(572)
Beside our Lady, was Blessed Joseph Allamano who reminded us that the motto of the Consolata missionaries should be, "I want to become a saint, a great saint, and so soon’’ (Bl.Allamano 13). Sitting next to the Founder was blessed Irene Nyaatha whose words ‘’all for Jesus, northing for myself’’ made the delegation members deeply aware of the presence of the risen Lord who said to them as he did to his Apostles ‘’ peace be with you’’ (John 20:21).
From the opening Eucharistic celebration presided over by the delegate Superior,Fr. James Githinji, with all the delegation members present, the words contained in the constitutions:‘’ consolata missionaries live a Eucharistic life,the source and apex of our work of evangelization, the center to which the spiritual life of both the individuals and communities tends…… (No 12) became a witnessed reality. This unique characteristic,indicated that indeed we are a family,gathered together in the Lords’ name,aiming to put into practice the words of the Lord,’ ‘’by this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples’’ (const 15,21).Sharing in the one bread and one cup, strengthen our bonds of communion.
In the afternoon of the first day,the delegate superior presented the resolutions of the thirteenth General chapter with astonishing clarity.The delegation members listened with rapt attention, asked questions and nodded in approval in unison as did the Israelites ‘’ whatever Yahweh[the chapter] says we shall do’’ (Exd 19:8),bearing in mind that it is incumbent upon the General Chapter to examine life,activities,determining the aims and norms of our Congregation (Const no 110).The theme of this presentation was revitalization of the congregation and each member in particular in relation to what St. Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians‘’ your minds are to be renewed in spirit so that you can put on a new man that has been created on God’s principles, in uprightness and holiness of the truth (Eph 4:23).
The second day opened by liturgy of hours in the morning.The small chapel of the seminary resounded with the different voices in praise of God with psalms. It was the big feast of St. James the Apostles.Yes as stated in the constitutions, the community of the members of the delegation during this morning became the voice of Christ, who entreats the Father for salvation of the World, and carry out the motherly mission of the Church, which is to bring all people to the Lord’’ (Const no 66).Bearing in mind the words of Augustine,and as taught by the Founder, ‘’if the psalms sighs, sigh; if it prays ,pray; if it rejoices,rejoice; if it hopes,hope;if it fears fear’’,the missionaries deeply expressed this during the liturgy of the hours.The figure of Apostle James reminded the delegation members that missionary work is a drama of charity,heroism and sacrifice which makes the Church great and holy.
The first siting on the second day opened up by more input from the delegate superior, presentation on the financial situation of the delegation by the Administrator Fr. James Mwigani.Fr. Mathew Ouma then led the deliberation on the property owned by the delegation. At mid-day, all gathered in the chapel to pray the Angelus.
The arrival of the Cardinal Wilfred Napier to grace this august gathering and presiding over the Eucharistic celebration was indeed a singular design of providence. In his address to the members on revitalization, the Cardinal frankly stated that it all begins with the personal renewal. Moments of celebration immediately followed after the Eucharist, marked by the famous braai (grill meat) and farewell to Brother Mario Bernardi. This was an event marked by brotherly love, whereby the words of the Psalmist, ‘’ how good, how delightful it is to live as brothers all together’’ (133:87) found their expression in action.
By ORERO CHARLES imc