Auteur: Kathleen Gallagher, OP
The months of July and August 2015 were marked by priestly ordinations in the Vicariate General of St. Pius V, D. R. Congo, in Kinshasa and Kisangani respectively. This full story from Brother Joseph BARAKA.
July 19th, 2015 was a day rich in events in the St. Pius V Vicariate General in D.R. Congo. Three brothers of this entity were ordained to the ministerial priesthood by The Most Reverend Edward KISONGA, Auxiliary Bishop of Kinshasa, in the presence of the Master of the Order, Brother Bruno CADORE, and his Socius for Africa, Brother Gabriel SAMBA. The names of the newly ordained are: Brother Don de Dieu KATSHIKUMA, Brother Joseph BARAKA and Brother Frederick MWINDILAY. The ceremony took place in St Dominic’s Parish Church in Kinshasa in the presence of about 500 people: members of the family of the ordained brothers, their friends and members of the Dominican family living in Kinshasa and parishioners. The mass which had started at 11am ended at 2pm. The reception followed on the lawn of the garden of the St Dominic’s priory. Who are these newly ordained friars?
Brother Don de Dieu made his simple profession on August 8th, 2006 and his solemn profession on August 8th, 2011. He is currently the dean of studies of Pierre Nengende Secondary School in Kinshasa. He has degrees in Philosophy and in Theology from the Catholic University of Congo (CUC). On his souvenir card the brother wrote: “If you want to serve the Lord, brace yourself for trials…” (Si 2, 1-2).
Brother Joseph made his simple profession on August 8th, 2006 and his solemn profession on August 8th, 2011. He has just completed his licentiate in Philosophy at the CUC where he also got a degree in theology and his university certificate of profession teaching at higher level secondary schools. On his souvenir card one can read: “If I speak in angelic tongues… without charity I am nothing.” (1 Co 13, 1ff).
Brother Frederick made his simple profession on August 8th, 2007 and his solemn profession on August 8th, 2012. He is starting his second year of licentiate in theology (Scripture) at St Augustine University of Kinshasa, after his degree in Philosophy at the CUC. The brother wrote as his motto on his souvenir card: “His mother said to the servants; Do whatever he tells you.” (Jn 2, 5).
In their speech, the brothers displayed their immense joy to serve from now on the people of God as religious and priests. They also underlined the fact that they were overwhelmed by joy and delighted to have the Master of the Order and his socius for Africa with them on that blessed day, a very rare phenomenon.
As for Brother Jean de Dieu GUMETE, he was also ordained to the priesthood, on Sunday the 16th of August 2015, at St. Camille Church, Kabondo, Kisangani, by His Grace Marcel UTEMBI TAPA, Metropolitan Archbishop of Kisangani. The brother was ordained together with three priests of the Archdiocese of Kisangani, one religious from the Comboni and two deacons of this local church.
May those ordinations bring to the St Pius V Vicariate General in D. R. Congo a new breath! That should be the most living wish of everyone taking into consideration the urgent journey of this entity towards the level of Vice Province.
Brother Joseph Baraka, OP.
(31 August 2015)
Article date: Sunday, August 30, 2015Date overload: Sunday, August 30, 2015Category Home: Life of the OrderCategory Location: AfricaCategory Tag Topics: News from AfricaSpirituality / prayer / liturgyRising newsletter: Rising newsletter
A Conference of Dominicans of the countries of the Great Lakes of Africa (Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda ) was organized from 13-17 July 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya to explore how the Dominican Order can contribute more towards building peace in the region that has suffered wars for many decades. The Coordinator of the meeting, Fr. Mike Deeb (The Dominican Delegate to the UN and the Order’s General Promoter of Justice & Peace) reminded the delegates that this meeting was the materialization of one of the resolutions made during the first meeting of the Dominican Promoters for Justice and Peace of the whole Dominican Family in October 2013 in Johannesburg (South Africa). The meeting was warmly hosted by the brothers, sisters and lay Dominicans based in Nairobi and it was facilitated by Mr. John Katunga of CRS (Catholic Relief Services).
Of the 37 participants (26 men and 11 women), 16 were leaders or representatives of the Dominican entities present in Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda (8 friars, 5 sisters and 3 lay Dominicans), 8 were coordinators of Dominican mission and Justice and Peace at the global and African levels (5 sisters, 2 friars and 1 lay Dominican), 4 were Church leaders (including 2 bishops) from Rwanda, Tanzania, DRC and Burundi, 3 were Civil Society representatives involved in peace-building initiatives at the local level (from DRC, Rwanda and Uganda), 2 were local experts (one Jesuit and one Dominican) with one expert from the United Nations (UN), along with the facilitator and two interpreters. 6 of these also constituted the local organizing committee.
This three-day conference provided an opportunity for the Dominicans of the region to share what they are already doing to build peace, to deepen their analysis of the causes of the conflicts together, and to identify mechanisms to develop common or concerted actions for peace that would complement what others are already doing in the region.
In a context of great complexity with the presence of many different armed groups (more than 60 in the Eastern DRC alone), the root causes identified were: the struggle for control of land and resources; poor and undemocratic political leadership at all levels which does not respond to local issues (rooted in self centred interests as well as colonial models and postcolonial support for “friendly elites”); and the manipulation of ethnic divisions and nationalist prejudices to justify military action and assert dominance. The supply of mineral resources in the region that are vital to the economic interests of the USA, countries of the EU, China and an increasing number of other countries, including those of the Global South, results in a proxy war being waged to ensure access to these resources. The ongoing acceptance of impunity for criminal leadership, the lack of political space for discussion and healing, and increasing poverty and inequality are key obstacles to a peaceful solution.
There are many positive Church and Dominican initiatives to promote dialogue, reconciliation and peace in this context, through peace-building and reconciliation training and actions, support for refugees, civic education and the promotion of economic development and capacity building. However, our Dominican brothers and sisters have limited communication amongst themselves, are often restricted to traditional apostolates (in parishes, schools, health care and prisons), and lack the necessary expertise to engage in justice, peace, healing of memories and human rights advocacy.
Priorities identified for future Dominican action to promote peace-building were: Coordination of the peace-building efforts of all Dominicans in the region; the need to network and collaborate closely with other groups in the Church and Civil Society engaged in peace-building initiatives; to take advantage of our presence in many areas by providing regular information of what is happening on the ground, through documenting stories of actual events and diffusing this information through our Dominican network at all levels; and to provide formation to Dominicans in peace-building to enable them to play a more effective role in the region.
The following decisions were made to ensure that the process is taken forward
1. A structure of coordination is to be established.
a. Fr. Emmanuel Ntakarutimana from Burundi was unanimously chosen to be the focal person to coordinate Dominicans for Justice and Peace in the...
Auteur: firstname.lastname@example.org (Vivian Boland OP)
Auteur: Fr. Louis-Marie Ariño-Durand, o.p.
Auteur: Mary Jeremiah Gillett, OP
Auteur: Fr. Louis-Marie Ariño-Durand, o.p.
At the main office of the Dominican Sisters of Peace in Columbus, newly elected leaders are committed to living up to their name — in all things.
So much so that Sister Anne Lythgoe stopped herself this week when she referred to “two birds with one stone.”
“Piece of bread,” she quickly corrected. “You can’t say stone around here. You know, Dominican Sisters of Peace.
“So we don’t use bullet points, we use buttons. Isn’t it fun?”
Lythgoe is one of two new leadership-team members who took office this month and will serve a six-year term. The other is Sister Pat Twohill, the congregation’s new prioress, who oversees 528 sisters in 25 states and three other countries.
Re-elected were Sisters Therese Leckert, Gemma Doll and Gene Poore.
It’s the first leadership change for the Dominican Sisters of Peace, established in 2009 by the merger of seven formerly independent Dominican congregations. An eighth congregation came into the fold in 2012.
Over the first six years, “we have become one,” Twohill said.
“Finding unity in diversity has been really the foundational work of the last leadership team,” she said. “We’ve come together, and we’re still growing in that identity. We’re benefiting from expanding our horizons by incorporating eight different cultures.”
As they look to the next six years, leaders hope to take what is now a well-oiled operation and deepen the congregation’s identity and advance its mission by strengthening its outreach, Twohill said.
Among stated goals: to study, contemplate and preach God’s love; to promote nonviolence, unity in diversity and reconciliation; to perform outreach to the marginalized; to create welcoming communities by inviting others to partner with the congregation; and to advocate policies that reduce the impact of global climate change.
“We want to always be asking ourselves, ‘How can we be clearer images of Christ’s peace and bring that peace to others?’” Twohill said.
Since its founding, the Dominican Sisters of Peace had been overseen by Sister Margaret Ormond, the congregation’s first prioress. She is now the first president of Dominican Academy, a high school for girls in Manhattan in New York City.
Ormond said her goal is to increase diversity by continuing to “provide opportunities to those who otherwise wouldn’t have them because of economic or ethnic constraints.”
Ormond received a concrete sign that unity had been achieved under her leadership of the sisters when delegates meeting to elect the new leaders no longer identified themselves with their premerger congregations.
“They said, ‘I am a Dominican Sister of Peace.’ That kind of solidification of our identity was a great joy for me,” Ormond said.
“I think the cultural cohesiveness was a great gift of the Holy Spirit and a great gift of the leadership and also of all the sisters who jumped into this new congregation.”
Dominican congregations seek to preach the Gospel to everyone and carry the credential O.P. after their names, representing the “order of preachers” founded by St. Dominic in the early 13th century.
The Dominican Sisters of Peace have motherhouses in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Kansas and Louisiana. Sisters have founded colleges, primary and secondary schools, adult literacy centers, health-care and housing facilities, ecology centers, and retreat or spiritual-outreach operations in 10 states: Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee and Virginia.
Sisters also serve in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
They work in parishes in 37 U.S. Roman Catholic dioceses and have missions in Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru.
But they don’t do it alone.
They have many lay employees as well as volunteers and 600 Christian “associates,” generally laypeople, who support their ministries. They also collaborate with other religious and community organizations.
Twohill had joined the convent after graduating from college, first working as a teacher at Holy Spirit Catholic School in Whitehall. After taking her final vows as a sister, she earned her master’s degree in systematic theology and began working to help welcome women interested in becoming sisters.
Most recently, she had been serving in her native New Haven, Conn., establishing a multicultural, multigenerational, multilingual “House of Welcome” at an unused convent attached to St. Stanislaus Parish.
With 80 being the median age of the congregation’s sisters, Twohill said it is unlikely that incoming women will keep...