Africa has celebrated the Jubilee of the 8th centenary of the confirmation of the Order of Preachers and the 40th Anniversary of the Inter-Africa OP (IAOP)

Picture: 
IAOP 2014
Body: 

The 12th General Assembly of the Inter-Africa OP (IAOP), which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 21 to 26 July 2014 under the theme " The challenges of the Dominican mission in Africa today", was the opportunity for Africa as a Dominican Region of the Order, to celebrate the Jubilee of the 800 years of the confirmation of the Order of Preachers and the 40th anniversary of the Inter-Africa OP. The celebration took place on Saturday, July 26, 2014, at Corpus Christi Monastery of the Dominican nuns in Karen, Nairobi. There was a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving presided over by Mgr Javier HERRERA CORONA, Chargé d'Affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature in Nairobi, replacing Archbishop Charles BALVO, Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya and South Sudan who was unable to come.

All the participants in the Assembly took part in this celebration. These included among others, the Superiors of the eight Dominican entities in African and their delegates, our guests from the General Curia at Santa Sabina, Rome namely, fr. Franklin Buitrago Rojas, OP, Secretary General of the Order and Coordinator General of the Jubilee, and fr. Javier Pose, op, Socius for Latin America and the Caribbean. The different branches of the Dominican Family and many other guests were also present.

The Mass began at 10:30 am with a long procession led by the nuns and the other members of the Dominican Family, to the beat of drums with singing and dancing. The concelebrants, thirty or so, had each a special Jubilee stole made by our Dominican nuns of Karen. After the welcoming word of fr. Gabriel Samba, Socius for Africa, Mgr Corona unfurled and presented the Blessing that Pope Francis gave to all the Dominicans in Africa on the occasion of this celebration.

In his homily, Mgr Javier Herrera Corona, drew the attention of the Dominicans to three important challenges: communion, inculturation and poverty. After communion, there were two speeches, one by Sister Faustina Jomoh, Coordinator of Dominican Sisters Africa (DSA), and the other by the Socius for Africa. Then came the big ceremony of sending forth for mission. Mgr Corona handed a lighted candle and a Bible to the eight Major Superiors and representatives of the Dominican Family. After saying a prayer, he sent them forth as Saint Dominic scattered his brothers 800 years ago.

The last symbolic gesture marking the regional celebration of our two jubilees was the planting of a tree in the courtyard of the monastery. This tree (Meru oak), symbol of longevity was planted by two elders of the Inter-Africa OP: fr. Emil Blaser and fr. Roger Houngbedji. A commemorative plaque placed at the foot of the tree will remind future generations of this important event. The celebration continued with cultural dances, a poem for the Jubilee and, of course, a festive meal.

For pictures of the IAOP celebration, click here.

Fr Gabriel Samba, op

 

(18 September 2014)