After the erection of the Monastery ofthe Blessed Sacrament, Ilorin, the Master of the Order, Brother Gerard Timoner, O.P., accompanied by his Socius for Africa, Brother Charles Ukwe, O.P., undertook a fraternal visit to the Province of St. Augustine, West Africa from June 28 – July 1. They visited St. Dominic Convent, Abidjan,Cote d’Ivoire, a formation community, where they met with the student brothers, the formation council, the conventual chapter, the provincial council and the Dominican laity. The studentate had students from six different IAOP entities. The Master was pleased with this collaboration among the IAOP entities. He encouraged them to remain faithful to their vocation.
They had an extensive visit of the Songhai Project at Port Novo. Brother Godfrey Nzamujo, O.P., took them on a tour of the Project. It was a massive Project that puts into practice the thoughts of Pope Francis expressed in Laudato Sii. He had the foresight to begin this project over 35 years ago. He maximizes production while conserving the environment. There is a harmonious ecological food chain where nothing is wasted. The waste of one organism on the food chain is the food for another. The yields are very impressive. The Project is home to crop farming, animal husbandry, the production of different kinds of edibles and beverages, soap, honey, cassava and yam flour, bread, biscuits, and so on. There is a section formachines and tools fabrication as well which are sold to farmers from some African countries.
BLESSING OF THE DOMINICAN COLLEGE, ABUJA
The Master and his Socius returned to Lagos on July 1. The next day, they flew to Abuja, the Federal Capital, for the blessing of the newly-built Dominican College. The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Ayo-Maria Atoyebi, OP. It hadmany Dominicans and few diocesan priests in attendance.
In his homily, the Provincial of Nigeria and Ghana, Brother Richard Ogedengbe, O.P., said that the blessing of theDominican College on the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle is a testimony that Divine Providence cannot bestopped by our human lack of confidence. “Our doubts and fears cannot change God’s providence throughthe generosity of kind-hearted people who believe in the vision and mission of the Dominicans.”
He reiterated that the objective is to ensure a holistic formation of the young by providing quality education to be madeavailable to children of both the rich and the poor. To achieve this, the college has undertaken the option for the poor by including in its plan the establishment of indigent scholarship fund to take care of out-of- school-children and indigent students. At the end ofthe Mass, the Master of the Order performed the ceremony of blessing of the College.
During the reception, speeches were made by the benefactors and benefactresses who had contributed immensely to the building of the Dominican College. One of the sponsors of the buildings of the College offered to give a six-year scholarship to a couple of students.
For the vote of thanks, Brother Steve Ogbe, O.P., the President of the Society for Vocation Support, whocoordinated the raising of money and the building of the College, expressed his appreciation towards all whomade monetary contributions to the project, particularly, individuals who sponsored particular buildings, halls and the school gate.
Br. Charles Ukwe, O.P.