11th Zonal Assembly held in Kinshasa, D.R Congo 20th-26th February 2019
The SVD Centre Liloba 2 in Kinshasa (CNG) graciously hosted the 11th AFRAM Zonal Assembly, which came to a close with the concluding Eucharist celebrated by Fr. General Budi Kleden on Monday Feb 25th. The participants at the assembly were the PRM Superiors, members of the Zonal Coordination Team as well as the invited representatives of the confreres of CNG, SSpS of Africa, and the SVD lay partners. In all, we were 26 participating in the assembly, without counting the secretaries and the local facilitators’ team, 19 participants had voting rights.
The CNG provincial, Alpha Mazenga, heartily welcomed all to Kinshasa. The ExeCom chairperson George Angmor gave the general orientation to the assembly, which in fact began on Wednesday Feb 20. Renewal as Religious in the African Context was the running theme that guided the members of the assembly. Congolese Jesuit Fr. Willy Moka shared with the assembly his reflections on the theme in the light of the 18th General Chapter call for personal and communal renewal and transformation. Enthronement of the Word of God in the hall and daily Bible sharing remained the hallmark of the assembly.
Fr. General Kleden and Fr. Peter Dikos, the Procurator General, gave input sessions on ways and means towards the process of renewal at the zonal level. This triennial gathering was also the opportune moment for the PRM superiors and the Coordination team members to present their reports, which included matters on the follow-up of the General Chapter call to renewal in the Society, with its particular application at the PRM levels. They shared with the assembly their experiences in the continued implementation of the Congregational Directions, while touching on some of the Best Practices that remain inspirational. The SSpS and the lay partners delegates shared with the assembly their collaborative efforts with the SVD at the continental level in general and at the local levels in particular.
The Assembly deliberated on several current affairs concerning formation, which still remains the zonal project, the other Areas as well as the characteristic dimensions dimensions, and the ministries of the confreres putting them into practice in their lives and mission. A certain number of resolutions and recommendations (as well as reminders flowing down from the previous assemblies) were formulated, keeping in mind renewal of personal and community lives as the prime objective. A new zonal coordination team and ExeCom members were elected; dates and venues for a series of Area-wide and other meetings were proposed for the coming three years. All these are tabled presently with the Superior General and his council to review them for approbation.
The CNG province really rose to the occasion in receiving the assembly members wholeheartedly to their capital city and its communities. Three confreres of the CFC Kinshasa professed their Final Vows before Father General, and they were ordained deacons the next day by the Archbishop of Kinshasa – that was really a weekend filled with a renewed sense of community and much joy. It enabled the assembly members and others to look forward with hope for renewed life and mission within the AFRAM Zone.
Joseph Kallanchira, SVD