The day began with the gathering of the companions for breakfast at 8am. Afterwards, the brothers proceeded to the conference hall to begin the Morning Session. This session was divided into three parts: Fr. Provincial’s address, an input on the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults by Fr. Noel Nwadike SJ, and a group sharing session on formation in the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar.
In his address, the provincial, Fr. Chukwuyenum Afiawari SJ, invited the companions to engage in personal and communal reflection on the proceedings of the JIF gathering, the financial status of the province, the Universal Apostolic Preferences and Fr. General’s call for the restructuring of provinces and regions of the Society. He further stressed on the need for the integral formation of the individual Jesuit and encouraged the companions to discern their specific vocations within the much broader mission of the Society of Jesus.
Addressing the companions on the Society’s policy for the Safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, Fr. Nwadike SJ emphasized on the need to avoid all forms of boundary violations in our relations with minors and vulnerable adults. He informed the companions that according to the stipulations of the Universal Church, any priest or religious accused of abuse would be first withdrawn from ministry until further investigations are conducted to establish the guilt or innocence of the person concerned.
The last phase of the morning session saw the companions break up into smaller groups to reflect and share their thoughts on formation in the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar. This was in a bid to gather material which would form part of the subject of discussion during the JCAM formation assembly scheduled for December 2019. Some of the major concerns which arose from the groups included: the need to be more flexible in our intellectual formation by combining philosophy and theology with other relevant degree programs and the need to have a full-time formation delegate in the province. The Session was brought to an end with a guided examination of conscience led by Fr. Hiifan Ikyondo SJ. The companions then proceeded to the dining hall for lunch at 1pm.
After a period of rest, the brothers reconvened at the conference hall for the afternoon session at 3.30pm. This session was led by Fr. Chidolue Peter SJ and was centred around the theme, ‘May those who come behind us find us faithful: Co-accountability and trust in material resources management in communities and apostolates’. Using case studies, Fr. Chidolue sensitized the companions on the Statutes of Poverty in the Society of Jesus. He discussed Poverty as understood in the Society and presented its applications for Jesuit communities and apostolates as well as for the individual Jesuit.
The evening session came to an end at 5.55pm and the companions proceeded to the chapel for mass. The mass was celebrated by Fr. Benedict Mayaki SJ. After a fruitful day of listening, learning and sharing, the companions ended the day with grateful hearts, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company over socials and supper at 7pm.