545 - June 2014
April 30th, 2014 - May 31st, 2014

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AFRICA-MADAGASCAR

Training youth in hotel services

The provincial treasurer’s office and the Saint Eloi Guest House have organized a training session in hotel services for young men and women. Thirty young people received the training.

The Provincial, Fr. Habell NSOLO, conducted the closure of this training by giving the participants a certificate attesting to their ability to serve in hotel services. Among them was Brother Romeo NSAMA, Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate, who is already serving at the Saint Eloi Guest House.

With this program, the help afforded these unemployed youth will enable them to render service to society and to take care of themselves a bit. Education is of great importance for the people whom the Lord sends us. In the words of our Holy Founder, Eugene De Mazenod, in 1826: “We must lead men to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.” (Chroniques OMI-Congo , March-April 2014 )



For the world, for the church and for the youth!

A tale of good tidings in the Oblate World and particularly in the Oblate Province of Cameroon! Today in Cameroon and precisely at the Oblates’ Yves Plumey Scholasticate the love of St. Eugene de Mazenod for youth lives on in the hearts of our young Brothers, priests and formators. Almost spontaneously, they have chosen to return to the source and replicate St. Eugene’s mission to youth, in order to salvage the Cameroonian youth from decadence through a youth apostolate known as “Jeunesse Oblate.”

It is an initiative the same as that of times past! What was it at first that induced Fr. Gaby CRUGNOLA (formator and former Interim Provincial) and Fr. Clement OBOITE (student of Business Administration and Management at the Catholic University in Yaoundé) to think of such an important apostolate which today often occupies the least place in the mission of our Units?

In the course of my chat with Fr. Gaby, who has been involved in formation for a better part of his missionary life, I noticed the passion with which he spoke of the younger generation, the concern he has for them and the desire to get them, in the words of St. Eugene de Mazenod, “to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.” He told me how he shared his ideas of reviving the youth apostolate with Fr. Clement. Then they called for volunteers amongst the scholastics who have a love and passion for youth. Though this holy enterprise is still in its conceptual stage, however, there have been activities within the group, and meetings are regularly held to see how to touch the greatest number of youths in the nearby parishes. Just like in the days of the Founder, the group began by enumerating the numerous challenges the youth of that locality are faced with:

  • Lack of opportunity to participate in the political activities of their society (leading to complete indifference);
  • Intellectual poverty;
  • Lack of profound doctrinal knowledge;
  • Material poverty, alcoholism and sects;
  • The banalizing and relativizing of evil; loss of a sense of the sacred; a lack of mentors; the conflict between science and religion;
  • Lack of a listening ear;
  • Lack of sufficient and proper education;
  • Absence of family life; the exponential rise of one-parent families;
  • Corruption and an easy life style;
  • Lack of or erroneous sexual education;
  • Adrift amidst the artificial and the virtual: telephone, internet, television, etc.

Those challenges, according to the group, are classified according to their order of pastoral priority. Optimism is high, as is the desire to revive this apostolate, now that the Congregation is going back to its roots in order to renew the founding spirit and to refocus on our “first” energy: youth, which gave dynamism and youthfulness to the Congregation at its beginning. St. Eugene’s spirit lives on, even after the 200 years of the Congregation! He reappears today in different forms and inspires audacious acts targeted at those who today are the most vulnerable, the most complex, the most frail and perhaps the most ignored, neglected and marginalized class of society. (Emmanuel YOUNGTEN Temswang, Secretary, AMR)



The first stone for the Marian grotto
Soon, Christ the King Parish in Meiganga will have a Marian grotto. Fortunately, the rain which soaked Meiganga all day long on Thursday, 11 April, did not impede the laying of the first stone in the construction of the grotto. Presiding at the ceremony was Fr. Anicet Tchoutsema ZEOU, parish pastor and episcopal vicar for the pastoral zone of Mbéré, together with his associate, Fr. Thomas BANG, and several parishioners.

This ceremony, brief but full of hope, was meant to energize the faith of the Catholics during Lent, and especially at a time when the city of Meiganga is experiencing some difficulties, for example: the phenomenon of torturing children to death; juvenile delinquency; the cut off of water for over a month, just to mention a few. The Marian grotto will be a place of prayer, of listening and of dialogue with the mother of the Lord, a place of comfort and hope. (www.omicameroun.com)



Oblate voices concern for abducted girls

Nigerian Oblate Fr. Cornelius ALI NNAEMEKA writes about the plight of the abducted schoolgirls in Nigeria, prays for the girls and urges more actions to free them. Fr. Cornelius is currently doing parish ministry in the Imo State, Nigeria.

We pray for the abducted Chibok schoolgirls and with hope that one day they will embrace their parents, families and friends at home.

Nigeria, in the eyes of the world, has become a nation where more than two hundred girls could be kidnapped and nothing is done. In fact, it is almost the only news trending on all the social communications media. It has even overshadowed the Ukrainian crises and the World Trade Forum going on now in Nigeria. This case however did not just crop up over the night. It is as a result of abandoned and neglected situations that have mired our national integrity over the years.

There are, therefore, certain reasons that brought us to where we are today. What the world perhaps does not know is that Boko Haram has been causing other very serious havoc in Nigeria over the years. The only problem is that for many reasons, we have been dying in silence. Only this year, for example, these men have sent more than one thousand Nigerians to early graves. And the worst is that, due to lack of national unity, we have always failed to address this matter appropriately.

Politicians, for example, always put their political interest before our national unity and security. An increase in religious fanaticism in Nigeria has also not helped the matter. There is division practically among us all: division between Christians and Muslims; between Catholics and Protestants, etc. There is also a serious failure in national security that has made lawlessness and impunity the order of the day in Nigeria.

The worst is that our religious leaders show no grief over the social situation of our nation. A practical example is their silence in the midst of this current raging situation. Unfortunately, no important religious leader has made a public declaration till now. Neither the Sultan nor the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has deemed it right to take a stand on the matter.

In brief, the plight of the Chibok girls is the true reflection of the cancerous heart of our nation. (http://missionary-oblates-jpic.blogspot.com)



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