(Luanda, Angola) The Extraordinary visit of the General Government to the Vice-Province of Luanda and the Assembly took place from 19 to 23 March 2018. There were altogether fourteen Redemptorist confreres of the Vice-Province and the visitors, Fr. Nicolas AYOUBA-ISSIFI Martin (General Consultor) and Zephirin Luyila NDONGALA (Coordinator of Conference of Africa and Madagascar).
The visit cum assembly began with Holy Mass at 4 pm presided over by Fr. Nicholas and followed a fellowship meal. Fr. Nicholas on the first day emphasized the need to work in collaboration with other units of the Congregation and the Redemptorist laity, and also with the Congregations who share our Charism and spirituality.
For the better running of the visitation, Fr. Leo was asked to do the translation from French to Portuguese and vice versa and two secretaries Fr. Celino Ndulo and Deacon Abel Cambueti and a moderator Alfredo Viera were nominated.
Fr. Nicolas began the session with the opening prayer followed by the introduction of the confreres present. During the introduction there was a special mention of Fr. Cipriano Jamba who is one of the pillars of vice-province today. Now his health is fragile. Though Fr. Cipriano is weak and helpless in carrying out his day-today apostolates, the confreres have been very supportive. Fr. Nicholas then presented the schedule for the five days assembly.
During the presentation, the moderator reminded the members to be brief in the presentation taking into account of time. But Fr. Nicolas told the confreres to be patient while listening to the confreres because this exercise is part of our history and it is a very important visit of the General Government.
After the presentations by the confreres, Fr. Nicolas thanked the participants for being part of the exercise, praised the pastoral works carried out in the Unit by the confreres. He asked why there are no Redemptorist Sanctuaries in Angola. Fr. Agostinho Leao responded by saying that there is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Perpetual Help of Vouga, in the Diocese of Kuito-Bie. Fr. Jerónimo Candeia, also pointed out that in the territory of the new Parish of Saint Isidro, Archdiocese of Lubango, which was entrusted to our Congregation, there is a monument of Christ the King, and we have already begun a devotion that will eventually elevate this place to Sanctuary.
Overall the work of the assembly went on very well with a good participation and contribution of the confreres. Apart from the assembly schedule, the visitors had other meetings on the agenda. They met successively, the formators, the Students, the members of the Council, the Laity of the parish and the group of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and the Redemptoristine Sisters of the new O.Ss.R monastery of Huambo, whose blessing will take place on the 4th of April.
Finally, during the evaluation, the confreres stressed the importance of the visit, the depth of the exchanges and the quality of the works. This meeting helped them to understand better the Decisions of the 25th General Chapter and the restructuring process. Hence this invited for a true conversion of hearts and minds.
Father Celino Ndulo and Deacon Abel Lutene Cambueti