Nairobi, 20 December, 2019 / 3:24 am (ACI Africa).
Against the backdrop of changes in mission contexts globally and especially in Africa, members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) involved in the formation of candidates for their diverse Church ministry under the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM) held a weeklong formation assembly last week during which 70 participants from across the continent, Jesuits and lay, deliberated on the situation of formation in their 485-year-old Society and sought to develop appropriate ways of forming their candidates for the contemporary mission.
The organizers of the weeklong assembly described the vision of the gathering as a deliberate attempt to “develop an integrated and seamless programme of formation in Africa and Madagascar in view of forming Jesuits for the apostolic mission of the Society in the 21st century,” a vision that would be achieved through “discernment, collaboration and networking”
“We need to understand our current situation, we need to understand the changes that are happening in our world, we need to understand how that affects us not only as individuals but as the Church, as a Society,” the Socius (executive assistant to the provincial) of JCAM and Formation Delegate, Fr. John the Baptist Anyeh in an interview ahead of the weeklong Jesuits Formation Assembly that concluded December 14 in Nairobi.
“We need to understand all these upheavals that are happening in the world today and then see how to respond to that,” Fr. Anyeh added regarding the Assembly that was held under the theme “New Wine, New Wineskins: Transforming the Mission of Formation in Africa and Madagascar in the Context of Faith and the Universal Apostolic Preferences.”
He confirmed that the assembly gathered “all those who are involved in the formation of young Jesuits, from Provincials, to formation delegates to Novice masters to Rectors, Principals and deans of formation houses and also to spiritual Fathers, and our Jesuits in formation.”