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Formators and vocation promoters from five african circumscriptions gather in Nigeria

Updated: Feb 22

Fr Joe Farrell, responsible for the International Commission for Initial Formation and Augustinian Vocation Promotion together with Fr Alex Lam (who could not attend due to visa issues), tells us about the course of this week of dialogue, exchange and new challenges to further strengthen formation and vocation ministry in Africa.


Over the third week of January, the first face-to-face workshop of Augustinian Vocation Promoters and Formation Directors of the African region took place in Abuja, Nigeria. 


A series of talks, conference sessions, meetings and discussions, were organised in the retreat centre run by the Sisters of Divine Love in the Nigerian capital, and where Fr Farrell, Vicar General and Councillor for North America, took part with, among others, Fr Anthony Kanu, Provincial of Nigeria.


"I am very happy with the engagement of the friars from across the region," Fr Farrell told the communications office, “They are fully involved in the discussions of the different experiences that each one has. There is an active participation, and a very healthy climate of dialogue, where varying approaches are being explored."


The good design and running of this meeting shows the desire of the Planning Committee, in the words of the General Councillor, "to continue having these face-to-face and regional workshops" that serve as a complement to the online training that is also being carried out. 


You may recall that this is the second face-to-face regional meeting. The first one was held last November in the Province of Villanova, in the United States, bringing together representatives from the three North American provinces. 


Augustinian pedagogy and leadership: the central themes of the encounter. 


The week in Abuja began with a talk by Fr Gary McCloskey from the Province of Villanova, speaking on Augustinian Pedagogy, followed by Fr Matthew Ngimbi from the Vicariate of Kenya, who presented his thesis on Augustinian Leadership in our time. Moderating the various talks and debates was Fr Jude Ossai from the Province of Nigeria and collaborator of the Institute of Augustinian Spirituality. 


The friars from Kenya, Congo, Togo, Belgium and Nigeria were therefore enabled to dig deep into the subject and fully explore the initial formation programs for the Region of Africa. 


Next stop: Bogota, Colombia 


Bogota, Colombia will be the host city for the next in-person meeting, scheduled for March, while the last week of these workshops will be in the city of Iloilo in the Philippines, in May. This project has been made possible thanks to the collaboration between the Institute of Augustinian Spirituality and the International Commission for Augustinian Initial Formation and Vocation Promotion. 

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