Rwanda – The work of the Team Visit continues: day two marked by the meeting between Cardinal Kambanda and Cardinal Fernández Artime

22 February 2024

(ANS – Kigali) – Wednesday, 21 February 2024 was a special day for participants in the Team Visit to the Salesian Africa-Madagascar Region, still underway at Gatenga, in Kigali, Rwanda. The day began with a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, in which the assembly prayed for Fr Jésus Benoît Badji, Superior of the Province of North West Africa (AON), whose birthday was celebrated. After two intense and rich work sessions, the day was enlivened by the visit of Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, Archbishop of Kigali.

Two key themes were brought to the attention of the participants. In the morning, the topic addressed was the Formation of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and the General Councillor for the Sector, Fr Ivo Coelho, was the speaker; in the afternoon, the topic was the Economy, and was addressed by Bro. Jean Paul Muller, Economer General.

In his presentation, Fr Coelho focused at length on the question of Salesian identity. He began by recalling the urgency of giving priority today to the formation of formators, of preparing experts in Salesian studies and of developing Salesian study programs for formation houses. He then insisted on the pedagogy of formation, proposing a participatory and synodal style. Finally, he concluded his remarks by raising the question of formation of Salesians in the responsible use of digital media.

In the afternoon, Bro. Muller, in his presentation, recalled the current situation of the constantly changing world in which the Salesians of Don Bosco are inevitably involved. Faced with this reality, he invited the Provinces and Vice-Provinces of the Region to work together to share more resources and opportunities. He vigorously stressed aspects such as solidarity, subsidiarity, honesty and transparency in economic management. And he ended his address by speaking on the theme of ecology, a topic to be increasingly taken into account in Salesian presences.

The second day of the Team Visit was enriched by the visit to the assembly of Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, Archbishop of Kigali, who came to greet Salesian Cardinal Fernández Artime. After presiding at the Vespers prayer together with the Rector Major, offering the traditional thought of the Salesian Goodnight, Cardinal Kambanda thanked the Salesians for their presence in the country and in his archdiocese and for their educational and pastoral work with young people.

He stressed that the majority of the Rwandan population comprises young people in search of a better future and for this reason he stressed the value of Salesian technical-vocational training of young people, as a solution to the problem of emigration on the one hand, and the development of Africa on the other. Finally, he asked the Salesians to think about Africa in general and Rwanda in particular.

These are some of the challenges that Salesian Africa faces today.

Photos of the Africa-Madagascar Region Team Visit are available on Flickr.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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