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Young people united in the development and promotion of the works of the Marist Brothers

04/12/2007: Dem. Rep. of the Congo

Last Sunday, October 28, as the official recognition of our 47 Spanish Brothers martyrs was taking place in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome, here in Goma, a city standing to the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the association JUDEPROFM (Young people united in the development and promotion of the works of the Marist Brothers) met with Brother Valentine Djawu to discuss the future of their association.

JUDEPROFM is a young association that was set in motion on June 2 2007 in Bobandana (Congo), and it has its headquarters in Goma. It is an association built around Marist values, and has as its objective the promotion of the works of the congregation throughout the whole country. Its members are, for the most part, former students of the Lwanga Institute, a centre directed by the Brothers in the Goma diocese, in north Kivu. From the very beginning, the association was supported by Brother. Masaandi Justin Kisuku Lez, who was then Director of the Institute, and by Brother Marcel Bossuyt, a Belgian missionary and collaborator in the religious houses of formation in Goma.

The meeting on October 28 took place in one of the classrooms of the Ndahura Institute, and its purpose was to provide information and encouragement to the associates. Taking advantage of Brother Valentine being in town, they contacted him to discuss the prospects of their association. The young people were concerned because they did not yet have the recognition of the Marist province of East-central Africa, and they were anxious to acquire more knowledge concerning the role of the laity in the Institute and, in short, the future of their own association. Was there a future for them? The topics and texts presented at the meeting were as follows:

1. The post-synod apostolic Exhortation Christifedeles Laici of Pope John Paul II dealing with the vocation and mission of the laity in the Church and in the world.
2. Project of life of the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family, aimed at helping the associates to discover the process required for the foundation, approval and operation of the association as a fraternity of the Movement, and at the same time being aware of the development of the Movement.
3. International Assembly of the Marist Mission. Reflections on their conclusions, so that we could be filled with the spirit that animated those who took part in Mendes.
4. The final document from this Assembly.
5. The beatification of our 47 Spanish Brothers Martyrs, and the Year of Marist spirituality.

In conclusion, we have a task in front of us. There are numerous people who are looking for enlightenment concerning the vocation and mission of the laity within the Institute and in the Church in general. The harvest is great and the labourers few.

The meeting finished with some words of encouragement for this fraternity JUDEPROFM which is still growing. In conclusion, we prayed to our Good Mother in our Marian prayer. And like the family we are, we then shared an enjoyable meal together.

Brother. Djawu Lungumbu Wambo

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