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Energy in Africa: Twinning, Formation, Vocations

From twinning to formation to vocations, three recent initiatives in Africa provided enriching experiences for Lasallians to bring home.

Students at St. Paul’s Secondary School in Marsabit. Courtesy Maryann Donohue-Lynch

Prior to the first International Lasallian Center (CIL) held in Africa, three Lasallians from the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) visited twinned ministries in Kenya to renew relationships and learn about new initiatives. Maryann Donohue-Lynch, associate executive director of the Office for Mission and Ministry in the District of Eastern North America (DENA), Brother Michael Andrejko, FSC, director of Contacts for DENA, and Chris Swain, director of the Office of Lasallian Vocation Ministry at Christian Brothers Conference, visited St. Paul’s Secondary School in Marsabit, Mwangaza College and Child Discovery Centre in Nakuru, St. Mary’s Secondary School in Nyeri, and St. La Salle School in Karemeno.

“The Lasallian mission in Kenya is thriving! The Brothers and Lasallian Partners are providing an education that attends to the needs of the entire person,” said Donohue-Lynch. “The young people we met were enthusiastic and committed to their education. It is exciting to experience the deepening of the twinning relationships and how those relationships accompany and support the Lasallian mission that indeed changes lives!”

The RELAN CIL participants, from left, Brother Chris Patiño, FSC, Chris Swain, Maryann Donohue-Lynch, Brother Michael Andrejko, FSC, and Kenenna Amuzie, with Brother Robert Schaefer, FSC, (DENA) Secretariat for Formation.

Following the twinning visits, Donohue-Lynch, Brother Michael and Swain joined Lasallians from 27 countries for the CIL, which was hosted at La Salle Catholic Primary School and the Lwanga District Scholasticate in Nairobi, November 5-16, 2018. Kenenna Amuzie, director of Young Lasallians for the District of San Francisco New Orleans (SFNO), and Brother Chris Patiño, FSC, director of Vocation Ministry for SFNO, also represented RELAN. The Institute’s Secretariat for Formation organized the gathering with the theme “Walking with Young People: A Call to a Gospel Adventure” to address topics related to youth, youth ministry and vocation ministry. 

“Through this CIL experience, we have discovered, in a tangible way, the great diversity that is present in the worldwide Lasallian family,” said Brother Chris. “Even given our unique contexts, we are unified by a shared common mission, a mission of God that unites us beyond borders in beautiful, challenging and life giving ways.”

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Brother Chris Patiño, FSC, far right, takes part in a discussion during the vocations meeting.

Following CIL, a five-day meeting of District leaders of youth and vocation ministry took place in Nairobi, which the International Lasallian Vocations Committee organized. It offered an opportunity to work on practical efforts, primarily through the Institute/Region/District lens to continue to live out the calls of the 45th General Chapter and to look toward the next General Chapter in 2021.

“It’s inspiring to see our unity and diversity as an international Lasallian family and the passion we each bring to our ministry of fostering a culture of vocations in our local contexts,” said Swain, chair of the International Lasallian Vocations Committee. “Reflecting on our days together, it’s clear as Lasallians, we all share a responsibility to walk with one another in our life’s journeys, especially with young people as they discern their future. I’m hopeful for the practical strategies being shared, as well as the ongoing formation efforts to equip each of us with the tools to accompany young people and meet them where they are.”

CIL and the vocation ministry meeting were part of the Year of Lasallian Vocations, which officially begins December 2, 2018.

More on the Lasallian vocations meeting >