General Promoter of Justice and Peace & Permanent Delegate to the United Nation
Until his appointment as the General Promoter of Justice and Peace and Permanent Delegate to the United Nations, Aniedi served as the Executive Director of the Washington DC based Africa Faith & Justice Network (AFJN) and as a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at The Catholic University of America. His key engagement at AFJN focused advocacy for just US-Africa policies and on formation and training of Civil Society Groups based on Catholic Social Teaching, the techniques of contextual social analysis, and mobilizing the groups for practical advocacy on issues that impact their communities.
Previously, he served as the Coordinator of Ethnic Ministry at the United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and as Vicar Provincial for North America and the Caribbean of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph the Worker, Nigeria & Ghana.
Aniedi has diverse pastoral ministry experience in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the United States, including serving as youth chaplain, chaplain to the Nigerian Federation of Catholic Students, associate at St. Ambrose Parish Boston Massachusetts, Chaplain at the University of Ife, Nigeria, Chaplain to the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius, and chaplain at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville Pennsylvania.
Aniedi has taught at several universities in the United States and in Nigeria. For many years, he conducted workshops and seminars on cultural orientation for international pastoral ministers and intercultural competency program for immigrant professionals.
Expectations as Promoter of Justice and Peace and Delegate to the UN
I feel it an honor to be called upon to serve the Dominican Family in this capacity. I am grateful for the trust given to me. My first task at both Rome and Geneva is to get to know the terrain. I need to learn about what has been done by my predecessors over the years, how each undertaking was done and how effective these activities were.
So, in effect, my priority number one is to be educated about the Commission, about the diverse contexts where members of the Dominican Family minister, the challenges they face in their different contexts and how they are negotiating around these challenges. That will take some time, given the diversity within the family and the divergent context where we serve, realizing too that we are spread across 120 countries.
As I get to know the terrain, I hope to continue to build and strengthen the coalition within the family but also try to link these coalitions beyond the family to others who have similar mission or could be incentivized to be part of the mission of justice. There is strength in numbers. An African – Ethiopian proverb has it that “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” The more we collaborate to tackle issues, the better our results.
We live in particularly challenging times. On the one hand we have growing trend toward of globalization and suspicions about a “one world agenda”, and on the other, we have entrenched nationalistic and exclusivist trends that see the world in us-them category. And yet, as COVID-19 pandemic unveils, the reality is that we are indeed connected in this world together. What happens in far away distance should concern me.
The question then is how do we as a family negotiate around these trends? How do we collectively reflect on appropriate ways to impress upon people that that we are indeed one family of God, spread across diverse contexts, regions, geographic zones, but nonetheless one family.
Pope Paul VI emphasized that our connectedness is such that when one member of the family is diminished, we all are diminished; and when one member is elevated, we all are elevated. This interconnectedness is very apparent in the global impact of COVID-19, so we must begin to imagine our world in terms of our connectedness and our interdependence.
The Dominican family is blessed with a rich heritage, a wealth of resources, talent, and experience. My focus will be to work together with the family to generate innovative ways, including training in contextual social analysis and advocacy, to facilitate effective ways of mobilizing the treasure within for grater results.