Implement mission-oriented programmes: Unum Omnes urges member societies
THE Executive Committee of Unum Omnes (International Council of Catholic Men) has asked all member organisations to implement more mission-oriented programmes.
That, it said, will help them play a proper role in the transformation of themselves and all levels of their societies.
A communiqué issued at the end of its meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, also stressed the need for members to be apostles of mercy in their families, jobs, and societies.
Sir Kt Bro. Eddie Prah, who is a Past Substantive Supreme Knight of the Knights of Marshall, is the currently the President of Unum Omnes. He is the first African president of the 68-year-old organisation
It said members should also think about youth formation and called member organizations to implement different programmes to offer a better understanding of the Church and their role in the youth apostolate.
“In the light of the encyclical “Laudato Si”, the gathering in Nairobi called all members of Catholic men’s movements to care about the environment as God’s creation in our daily lives and remember that we all must be responsible for this as co-creators of God,” it stated.
Read below the full communiqué issued at the end of the meeting.
Communique of the Executive Committee Meeting of Unum Omnes
I.C.C.M. – International Council of Catholic Men
(17-24 September 2016, Nairobi, Kenya)
From 17 to 24 September 2016, the Executive Committee Meeting of Unum Omnes, I.C.C.M. was held in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme of the gathering was “God’s mercy for all creation.” The meeting was hosted by the Catholic Men’s Association of Kenya and took place at the Spiritual Center of the Little Daughters of St. Joseph (Karen-Nairobi, Kenya). Participants from Austria, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Ireland, and Lithuania, Nigeria and Ukraine and representatives from dioceses of the Catholic Church of Kenya were present. The decision to hold the Executive Committee Meeting in Africa was made because in 2015, first time in the history of Unum Omnes a representative from this continent (Eddie Prah from Ghana) has become president.
On the first day of the meeting guests from outside of Kenya visited the Catholic cathedral in Ngong (a diocese close to Nairobi) where they attended Mass. After that, they had an opportunity to visit the city center of Nairobi, the Cathedral Basilica of the Holy Family and different parts of the city of Nairobi.
From 19 to 20 September, all the participants took part in the thematic section of the meeting which was dedicated to the encyclical of Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si” in the context of the Jubilee Year of God’s Mercy, proclaimed by the Pope. On 19 September two talks were given to the participants: God’s Mercy – by Fr. Dr. Peter Mbaro (Catholic University of Eastern Africa) and another talk on «Laudato Si» by Fr. Dr. Charles Odila (National Executive Secretary, Pastoral and Lay Apostolate – Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops). After both presentations, opportunity was given to the participants for short reflections.
On the second day of the thematic section, there were two workshops moderated by one of the vice-presidents of Unum Omnes, Deacon Paul F. Röttig from Vienna. During the first part of the discussions, all participants were invited to reflect in two separate groups on the differences between the compassion and mercy, about mercy and terror, the measure of God’s love and the need of translating the traditional works of mercy into our today‘s language. In the afternoon session the groups’ discussions focused on the theme of the papal encyclical “Laudato si”. The main question of this section was: What can I personally do to be merciful to my Creator‘s creation? Both groups also reflected on the continuation of the dialogue Pope Francis has initiated by his encyclical in particular societies, about the necessity of “translating” «Laudato Si» into our children’s and grandchildren’s language. All group discussions were very active, and participants shared their experiences and practices of caring about God’s creation in their home countries. After the workshops Prof. Stephen Mbugua (Egerton University) presented a talk on the History of the Catholic Church in Kenya.
As main result from the discussion, participants formulated some inspiring proposals for their brothers from different organizations which were represented in the meeting in Nairobi or were not able to attend the conference. First of all, participants of the meeting called for the consideration of each member organization to reflect on how we can look with mercy and compassion on all God’s creation, first of all on all those who are being marginalized in our cities and countries. Partakers of the meeting suggested that all member organizations reflect on deepening the adult formation with more mission-oriented programs which will help them play a proper role in the transformation of themselves and all levels of their societies. They also stressed that we all must be apostles of mercy in our families, jobs, and societies; thinking about youth formation, participants of the meeting called member organizations to implement different programs to offer a better understanding of the Church and their role in the youth apostolate. In the light of the encyclical “Laudato Si”, the gathering in Nairobi called all members of Catholic men’s movements to care about the environment as God’s creation in our daily lives and remember that we all must be responsible for this as co-creators of God.
On 21 September, the Statutory Meeting of Unum Omnes was held. During that section reports from the President, the Secretary General, the continental representatives, and member organizations were presented. It was also announced that the next Executive Committee Meeting in 2017 should take place in the city of Vranov, Czech Republic.
From 22 to 23 September participants from the outside of Kenya visited the Nakuru Diocese and the Nakuru National Park, the community of “La Arche” in the Nyahururu Diocese and