Kenya: Redemptorist Spirituality Course in Nairobi

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Group Photo with the Students of Karen.

It is an undeniable fact today that if we Redemptorists do not know, to an appreciable extent and degree, the history, charism and spirituality of our Congregation, we risk deforming our identity, mission and the reason why the Holy Spirit wants us in the Church. In line with the spirit of ongoing formation and as a way of familiarizing formators in the Congregation with these important aspects (history, charism and spirituality) of our Redemptorist life, the Redemptorist Spirituality Centre in collaboration with the Coordinator of the Conference of Redemptorists in Africa and Madagascar (COREAM), Fr. Noël Sottima, C.Ss.R, held a course on spirituality, from July 3 to July 10, 2024, in Nairobi, Kenya. Confreres from Congo, Kenya, Afrique de l’Ouest and Nigeria were in attendance.

The Director of the Redemptorist Spirituality Centre, Fr. Piotr Chyla, C.Ss.R, accompanied by Fr. Nicolas Ayouba, General Consultor, was the principal resource person and moderator of the 5-day course that touched on very important aspects of our Redemptorist life namely: SENSE OF BELONGING TO THE CONGREGATION AND MISSIONARY CONVERSION; PROPHETIC AND CONTEMPLATIVE COMMUNITY; ELEMENTS OF ALPHONSIAN SPIRITUALITY; THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY; SPIRITUALITY AND FORMATION- A POSSIBLE CONNECTION; MISSIONARY CONVERSION; THE NEW WAY OF BEING A REDEMPTORIST; SENSE OF BELONGING TO THE C.Ss.R; RESTRUCTURING IS GOOD NEWS; COMMUNION WITH THE LAITY; SPIRITUALITY OF ST. CLEMENT MARY HOFBAUER AND GERARD MAJELLA.

The aim of the course was not just to transmit knowledge but to awaken as well in the participants the zeal and passion that characterized and drove St. Alphonsus and his early companions. The course shed so much light on how we ought to live our Redemptorist life, with emphasis on the proper understanding of our charism and spirituality. Fr. Piotr Chyla C.Ss.R, during the conferences, stressed the goal of our mission, which, amongst other things, includes inviting people to be witnesses of Jesus in today’s world, giving people hope in the footsteps of the Redeemer, to teach people about the love of God and how to pray. At the centre of our missionary spirituality must be an intimate relationship with the Redeemer Himself, notes Fr. Piotr Chyla C.Ss.R.

Participants in the course were usually presented with personal reflection questions as well as questions for group reflection and sharing/presentation in each day’s conferences. The course is indeed very instrumental in the quest to discover the spiritual intuition of St. Alphonsus and his early companions and put that into life in today’s context, thus continuing the mission of the Redeemer, which is the reason for our existence.

Fr. Ejiro Henry IMONISA, Vice-Province of Nigeria