Second African Congress of Dominican Youths

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Deuxième Congrès Africain de la Jeunesse Dominicaine
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“Youths, how to take over the 800 Years of Preaching Truth and Mercy in the light of current challenges?” It was on this theme that the 2nd African Congress (ACon) of Dominican Youths was celebrated at the Major Seminary of Yaoundé, Cameroun, from 24th to 30th July, 2017. The ACon brought together one hundred and four (104) participants from Cameroun, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, Kenya, Central Africa Republic, Zimbabwe and Rwanda. Also present at this ACon, frs. Orlando Rueda Acevedo, OP, Socius for Apostolic Life, Rui Carlos Antunes, OP, Promoter General for Laity, Gabriel Samba, OP, Socius to the Master of the Order for Africa. The International Coordinator of IDYM, Mr. Benjamin Rodil took also part in this ACon.

The Congress was declared open with a Mass, presided over by fr. Jean-Paul Kamameu, OP, Vicar Provincial of the Vicariate of Equatorial Africa. He was surrounded by three friars as concelebrants: Aristide Basse, OP, Promoter of the Dominican Family for Cameroon, Alain Zibi, OP, National Chaplain of the Dominican Youth of Cameroon, Didier Akonwounkpan, OP, National Chaplain of the Dominican Youth of Senegal. Many Dominican Sisters who serve the Dominican Youth groups as Religious Assistants were also present.

After an exciting Opening Ceremony, the Youths received a very enriching talk from fr. Aristide Basse, on the topic: “To Live and Preach Mercy as Lay Dominicans”. The following days were marked with series of activities, talks and workshops. Of special note were the Theme Speech presented by the African Coordinator, Dr. Isioma Chukwuka-Nwodo on the topic: “Dominican Youths in Africa and Future Prospects: What are the Challenges?”; workshops on “How to Evangelize with Art” and “First Aid”. The reports of the Regional Council and the respective local groups allowed the Youths to discover and appreciate the apostolic activities of each other and learn how to preach from the experiences of others, and be effective evangelizers of Truth and Mercy in Africa. Furthermore, the ACon empowered the Youths with the tools to evaluate their vocation as Young Dominicans over the past 3 years, and to amend the Statutes of the African Dominican Youth Movement. The 29th of July was a day of outing. All the Youths set out on an excursion to the Basilica which goes by the name: “Basilique Marie-Reine-des-Apotres de Mvolye”, and paid a visit to the National Museum. A representative delegation of Youths visited the elderly blind in Nlongkak. A cultural night was also organized at the end of the Congress.

The 2nd African Congress of Dominican Youths was indeed a spiritual summit for Dominican Youths in Africa wherein their zeal to live out their Preaching Mission as Young Dominicans was rekindled. It also afforded them the opportunity to learn more about and interact with the cultures of members from different parts of Africa, especially the host community – Cameroun. The Congress came to a close on Sunday, 30th July with a Mass presided over by fr. Gabriel Samba OP, in the chapel of the Seminary, during which the final communiqué of the Congress was read out. Good will messages were also received from the Master of the Order, fr. Bruno Cadore, OP, and the Promoter for the Dominican Family Nigeria and Ghana, fr. Emmanuel Taiwo OP. All participants were handed their Certificates of Participation and special gifts prepared by the host community.

Behold the new Regional Council elected at the end of the ACon for the next three years:

- African Coordinator: Isioma Chukwuka-Nwodo (Nigeria)

- Scribe/Promoter for Communication: Kudakwashe Joshua Mufandaedza (Zimbabwe)

- Promoter for Finance: Carine Dongmo (Cameroun)

- Promoter for Formation: Sharon Awiti (Kenya)

- Promoter for Mission: Anthonia Chinazo Umenwobi (Nigeria)

Kenya, which will host the next International Meeting of the Dominican Youth Movement in 2020, was also chosen to host the 3rd African Congress the same year.

fr. Gabriel Samba, op.

 

(16 August 2017)