Fraternal Visit of the Master of the Order to Archbishop Roger Houngbedji, OP

fr Bruno Cadoré, Mgr Roger Houngbédji et fr Gabriel Samba

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Songhai Centre at Porto Novo, Republic of Benin, on 1st and 2nd November 2016, the Master of the Order, Brother Bruno Cadoré made a stop in Cotonou to greet the Dominican Brothers there. During the hours he spent in the capital city of Benin, Brother Bruno shared the life of the Brothers in the convent of St Dominic: prayer, meals, meeting with the novices, visit to His Grace Roger Houngbedji and meeting with the community of Cotonou.

After Midday prayer and lunch, the Master of the Order began by meeting first the novices in the classroom of the novitiate. With the new Novice Master, Brother Elvis Appia, this group consists of nine novices of whom seven belong to the Vice province of St Augustine in West Africa, and two to the Provincial Vicariate of Equatorial Africa. These novices come from different African countries: three from Benin, two from Ivory Coast, one from Senegal, one from Burkina Faso, one from Cameroon and one from Central African Republic. Aged between 24 and 33 years old, they have taken different university courses and degrees, Bachelor and Masters. In a free exchange which took about two hours, the novices put interesting questions to the Master of the Order, seeking to know the Order better: its spirituality, charism, mission and challenges today. They listened religiously to the successor of St Dominic responding to their questions and giving them advice about living a good novitiate and about their Dominican religious life.

At 4 pm, the Master of the Order went to the Bishop’s House at Cotonou to pay a fraternal visit to His Grace Roger Houngbedji, the new Archbishop of Cotonou. The Master of the Order was accompanied by his Socius for Africa, Brother Gabriel Samba and by the prior of St Dominic convent, Brother Marcel Koudoro. In fact, Brother Bruno was not present at the episcopal ordination and installation of His Grace Roger Houngbedji as the 8th Archbishop of Cotonou, on the 24th and 25th September 2016, because of an important mission scheduled in his diary a long time before and which he could not move.

With his usual simplicity and smile, in a warm, fraternal and relaxed mood, Msgr Roger spoke about his new life, underlining the lack of community life that he always shared in the Order. He presented his huge diocese with its 414 priests, 104 parishes, 572 male and female religious, a Catholic population of 749,179, many institutions and services including schools, hospitals, etc. He spoke also of the big challenges, priorities and his action plan for this portion of the Church-Family entrusted to his pastoral solicitude. The Master of the Order assured him once again of his spiritual support and of that of the entire Dominican Family. The visit ended after two hours with a tour of the Bishop’s House guided by Msgr Roger himself.

Back at the convent, Brother Bruno met with the entire community for a fraternal exchange on the life and mission of the brothers in Cotonou. 

fr. Gabriel Samba, op


(15 December 2016)