A Nigerian proverb advises, “A single man cannot build a house.” And so, it was appropriate that 52 Vincentian Family members gathered, March 1-4, in Enugu, to “build their house”— to strengthen collaboration among the already vibrant family arms in Nigeria. Vincentian Family Collaborative Action Program (VFCAP) presenters were warmly hosted by the Congregation of the Mission’s Provincialate Enugu, by Fr. Cyril, Fr. Joachin Nwaorgu, and Fr. Lazarus Iwueke.
During its annual Vincentian Family Meeting, members of the seven Nigerian Vincentian branches, participated in VFCAP. Fr. Flavio Pereira Tercero, CM Assistant Co-ordinator, Vincentian Family Office, Sr. Margaret O’Dwyer DC, and Mrs. Dee Mansi, International Representative of the AIC, delivered the programme at the Daughters of Divine Love Retreat Center in Emene, Enugu. The thought-provoking presentations were well received, discussed and resulted in 14 family members willing to facilitate future VFCAP sessions.
In his welcome, Very Rev. Cyril Mbata, CM, Visitor for the Province of Nigeria, called attention to the issue of homelessness. He said, “This gathering therefore, offers us the opportunity to rub minds together in a bid to fashion ways to tackle this menace starting with our immediate environment.”
During this time, the Daughters of Divine Love participants were welcomed as the newest members to the global Vincentian Family. Their foundation is based on the Daughters of Charity constitution and they also supported their formation at their inception.
It was moving to see and hear:
- a Lady of Charity lawyer said it had been the best training session she had ever attended
- a VMY rep who was late because he had a successful job interview – a week out of college
- Stephen Ajala, CM (to be ordained July 13, 2018) deliver a summary “communique” of the entire proceedings
The overwhelming feeling was that this Collaboration must continue in the service of those most in need. “The grassroots must now be involved in this collaboration to create systemic change for the poor.”