ACLDF Africa

General Assembly of Lay Dominicans in Africa

From Thursday16th to Sunday 19th November 2017, the first General Assembly of Lay Dominican Leaders in Africa was held at the Convent of the Dominican Sisters of Aåfrica, Rebero, Kigali – Rwanda. We’ll just give you a short summary.

ACLDF 2017

INTRODUCTION: The African Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities has amongst its responsibilities the mandate to ensure that Lay Dominicans in African fit within the proper structures in the Dominican Order and Family. It is for this reason that this meeting was organized by the present members of the Council (ACLDF).

INPUTS: The Promoter General, Fr. Rui Carlos Lopes op, Joyful Felix Foko, the regional president of the ACLDF and his councillors present took different turns to facilitate the conferences during the four-day meeting.  The Religious promoters and other participants contributed positively in the discussions and at the end arrived at the following resolutions:-

  1. That all Lay Dominicans should refresh themselves on the Rule, the Acts of Argentina, the Declaration of the Master of the Order and other relevant Church documents in order to situate themselves very well within the Dominican spirituality.
  2. That the leaders present at this meeting should facilitate the understanding of the proposed draft Directory for Africa amongst their members and make suggestions where necessary to the ACLDF for any amendments.
  3. That all the Provincials/Provincial Vicars should be officially informed of this decision immediately. Each entity should make sure that this is done as soon as possible through their Religious Assistants and/or Promoters.
  4. That we should be reminded of the forthcoming 3rd International Congress of Lay Dominicans Fraternities in Fatima Portugal from 4 to 10 October 2018.

In this respect:

  1. All professed Lay Dominicans shall be welcomed.
  2. All Religious Assistants and promoters shall be welcomed.

Only two Lay Dominicans from each country shall have an active voice. The choice of these two shall be given to the leaders.

  1. All Lay Dominicans should pray and organize community prayer sessions for the success of the Congress.
  2. When questionnaires towards the preparations of the Congress are made available, we should contribute promptly to help the commission leaders in their preparations.
  3. Those who would wish to participate are encouraged to indicate to the Regional President through their chapter leaders before March 2018. This will help to request invitation letters early enough and to acquire low cost air tickets and to avoid inconveniences such as those that happened towards the 800-year  Jubilee  celebrations when many Lay Dominicans from Africa were denied visas to Rome /Italy.
  4. All should be involved to participate in the activities of the Dominican Month for peace as per the letter of the Master of the Order of 11/11/17 (attached). This will begin on the first Sunday of Advent 2017 and runs throughout the month of December.
  5. We all should improve our communication and interaction within and outside of our communities.
  6. We should pray, reflect and make suggestions towards the organization of a Congress of Lay Dominicans in Africa, preferably to be hosted by any country within the Western zone-Benin or Côte d’Ivoire.
  7. In the course of the activities, the Council had a closed-door session with the Promoter Fr. Rui and discussed other sensitive issues especially related to discipline and administration. In the next review of the directory, these issues shall be further considered, but worthy of note are:
  8. We should be very careful in selecting members for advancement to profession, especially by ensuring that they are in Communion with the Church, especially in matters of discipline and sacraments.
  9. In the event that a member loses communion with the Church, automatically he/she also loses his/her Profession and in the event that the situation has been rectified, the person concerned, if he/she wishes to come back, will make a fresh profession.
  • The directory will be amended to give further clarifications on this and on cases of members who may deliberately and silently withdraw from active membership.

ORGANIZATION AND GRATITUDE

Rough statistics indicate that about 700 Lay Dominicans are present in 27 countries in Africa today.  Since the foundation of the African Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities (ACLDF) in Bamenda, Cameroon 2004, the Rwanda meeting of leaders is the first ever assembly/gathering of Lay Dominican Leaders from more than three countries at a time.

Seven countries were present, three sent reports and three whom the council had been working with (Nigeria, Côte D’Ivoire and Burkinafaso) were absent.  In all, at least the Council had so far been able to interact with 13 countries.

Much gratitude was given to Rwanda for the organization and warm reception of the delegates, despite the short notice.

Equally, the Provincial Vicar for Rwanda and Burundi with the Dominican Friars in Kigali and Nyagatare were very much appreciated for their co-operation and support.

The participants noted with gratitude the presence and inputs of the Promoter General Fr. Rui Carlos Lopes OP, and the promoters from the Southern Africa and Equatorial Africa Frs. Raphael and Aristide; and the dynamism of the Regional President Joyful Felix Foko op and his team for their instrumentality and sacrifices.

The bilingual ability of many participants was a resource that facilitated and reduced the cost of organization.

The Dominican Sisters of Africa in whose convent the assembly was  held were also very much appreciated for their hospitality.  Participants while evaluating their interaction on the last day noted with satisfaction that this was a unique moment to renew their preaching mission. The social evening, the tour of Kigali city and exchange of experiences together with the rich inputs exposed the beauty of the Dominican vocation.

In his last statements Fr. Rui thanked all the Fraternities in Africa for what they are doing for the Church and the Dominican Order.  He urged all to deepen their spirits within the Dominican spirituality.  He further re-iterated that when we live in communion we overcome all obstacles to our lives. “Be faithful to your Profession and remain faithful to St. Dominic’s vision and Christ’s Mission”, he concluded.

Joyful Felix rounded up by thanking all for their sacrifices and hoped he meets all again in the forthcoming events. All delegates departed happy, determined and hopeful.

 

1ST CONFERENCE  PRESENTATION (B) THEME:    ORGANIC STATUTE OF THE LAY DOMINICANS WITHIN THE ORDER OF PREACHERS

  1. Laity in the church
  2. Lay Dominicans: origin
  3. The Rule
  4. Our mission

LAITY IN THE CHURCH

“Among the Christian faithful, men and women living in the world, in virtue of their Baptism and confirmation, partake in the Royal and Prophetic Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  They have to testify at the heart of humanity to the presence of Christ so that divine salvation might be known and accepted by all….”

 

LAY DOMINICANS: ORIGIN

Many religious movements appeared in the 13th century (Milices, Confraternities, Penitents) and constituted a basis for the creation of the Third Order in the Church.  Thus Munio de Zamora, the sixth Master of the Order of Preachers, in 1285 established the Third Order of Saint Dominic with a “Rule” of 22 chapters (from admission into the Third Order, prayer life….). In fact, the Rule of Munio was inspired by “the Memorial Propositi Fratrum et Sororum de Poenitentia” signed in 1221,  because at that moment the Church was to give a rule to those men and women who lived a life of penitence.  It was after six centuries, in 1923, that the Rule of 1285 was modified and amended.  I will chronologically mention the Rule of 1923, 1964, 1972 and 1985.

A major change occurred for instance in the terminology, Third Order was replaced by Fraternity after the approval of the new Rule signed on December 20th 1972 in Rome.  And for the first time the word Laity appeared in all its meaning drawn from the Second Vatican Council documents especially A-A (Apostolicam, Actuositatem).

After the Vatican II (1962-1965) the then Master of the Order of Preachers Fr Aniceto Fernandez in 1969 promulgated a text for the new Rule “ad experimentum” by the Holy See and approved in 1972.

Later in 1983 the General Chapter of Rome gave mandate to the Master of the Order to convoke an International Congrss for Lay Dominicans, for the adoption and the implementation of the Rule of Lay Dominican Fraternities.  Thus from 24th to 29th June 1985 in Montreal Canada the 1st International Congress for Lay Dominican Fraternities took place, and adopted the text.  This was approved on 15th January 1987 by the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes, and promulgated in Rome on 28th January 1987, Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, by Fr Damien Byrne, the then Master of the Order of Preachers.

Thus Lay Dominican Fraternities are found in the five Regions in the world: Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

In Africa the First Official Meeting of the African Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities (ACLDF) took place from 5th to 9th February 2004 in Bamenda/Cameroon.

At that meeting six countries were present:-

  • Afrifa from Ghana, the Coordinator
  • Rwanda (Yvette Ndeze from East Africa)
  • Benin (Epiphane Yelome from West Africa)
  • South African Late Rita Lithuli,
  • Nigeria, (Gaston Santos from West Africa) and
  • Cameroon with Marcus Kejungki, Felix Foko….).
  • After that meeting the ACLDF met again in Kenya 6th – 9th August 2010 to create a New Zone, the Central Africa Zone with Cameroon.

We met again in Cameroon 12th – 15th April 2012 and the last meeting was 6th – 8th June 2014 in Nairobi/Kenya.

Nowadays there are five zones in the Region (the East, West, Central, Southern and Northern Zones) with about 27 countries with about 700 Lay Dominicans.

THE RULE

The organic statute of the Lay Dominicans is basically founded on the Rule.  The Rule is divided into three parts with 24 Articles.

  • The Fundamental Constitution of the Lay Dominicans (Rule I – Rule 7).
  • The life of the Chapters (Rule 8 – Rule 14)
  • The structure and government of the Chapters (Rule 15 – Rule 24)

The Rule is the same for all Lay Dominicans in the world.  But to address local realities there are Directories.  Thus, we have had since 2012 during the ACLDF in Yaoundé/Cameroon a draft state for the African Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities drawn from the European Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities, and the Directory of the Lay Dominicans of the Province of Nigeria and Ghana.  Today the draft has been translated into French and harmonized.

We should take note that the statutes which govern the Lay Dominicans are:

  • The Rule (Fundamental constitution,…)
  • The General Declarations of the Master of the Order and General Chapters.
  • Particular Directories.

OUR MISSION

Within the church we have a distinctive character in both our spirituality and service to God and neighbour, as members of the Order of Preachers; we participate in the apostolic mission through prayer, study and preaching according to the state of the laity (Rule 4).

Thus we have an imperative task to carry out our activities wherever we are.

 

General Assembly of Lay Dominicans in Africahttp://www.fraternitiesop.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/ACLDF-01-1024x768.jpeghttp://www.fraternitiesop.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/ACLDF-01-150x150.jpegadminChronicleEnglishPromoter GeneralSlider
From Thursday16th to Sunday 19th November 2017, the first General Assembly of Lay Dominican Leaders in Africa was held at the Convent of the Dominican Sisters of Aåfrica, Rebero, Kigali - Rwanda. We'll just give you a short summary. INTRODUCTION: The African Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities has amongst its...
From Thursday16th to Sunday 19th November 2017, the first General Assembly of Lay Dominican Leaders in Africa was held at the Convent of the Dominican Sisters of Aåfrica, Rebero, Kigali - Rwanda. We'll just give you a short summary. <a title="ACLDF 2017" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/146444855@N08/albums/72157663061112058" data-flickr-embed="true" data-header="true"><img class="alignleft" src="https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4537/37959962134_fbe20f8313_z.jpg" alt="ACLDF 2017" width="360" height="640" /></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script> INTRODUCTION: The African Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities has amongst its responsibilities the mandate to ensure that Lay Dominicans in African fit within the proper structures in the Dominican Order and Family. It is for this reason that this meeting was organized by the present members of the Council (ACLDF). INPUTS: The Promoter General, Fr. Rui Carlos Lopes op, Joyful Felix Foko, the regional president of the ACLDF and his councillors present took different turns to facilitate the conferences during the four-day meeting.  The Religious promoters and other participants contributed positively in the discussions and at the end arrived at the following resolutions:- <ol> <li>That all Lay Dominicans should refresh themselves on the Rule, the Acts of Argentina, the Declaration of the Master of the Order and other relevant Church documents in order to situate themselves very well within the Dominican spirituality.</li> <li>That the leaders present at this meeting should facilitate the understanding of the proposed draft Directory for Africa amongst their members and make suggestions where necessary to the ACLDF for any amendments.</li> <li>That all the Provincials/Provincial Vicars should be officially informed of this decision immediately. Each entity should make sure that this is done as soon as possible through their Religious Assistants and/or Promoters.</li> <li>That we should be reminded of the forthcoming 3<sup>rd</sup> International Congress of Lay Dominicans Fraternities in Fatima Portugal from 4 to 10 October 2018.</li> </ol> <em>In this respect: </em> <ol> <li>All professed Lay Dominicans shall be welcomed.</li> <li>All Religious Assistants and promoters shall be welcomed.</li> </ol> Only two Lay Dominicans from each country shall have an active voice. The choice of these two shall be given to the leaders. <ol> <li>All Lay Dominicans should pray and organize community prayer sessions for the success of the Congress.</li> <li>When questionnaires towards the preparations of the Congress are made available, we should contribute promptly to help the commission leaders in their preparations.</li> <li>Those who would wish to participate are encouraged to indicate to the Regional President through their chapter leaders before March 2018. This will help to request invitation letters early enough and to acquire low cost air tickets and to avoid inconveniences such as those that happened towards the 800-year  Jubilee  celebrations when many Lay Dominicans from Africa were denied visas to Rome /Italy.</li> <li>All should be involved to participate in the activities of the Dominican Month for peace as per the letter of the Master of the Order of 11/11/17 (attached). This will begin on the first Sunday of Advent 2017 and runs throughout the month of December.</li> <li>We all should improve our communication and interaction within and outside of our communities.</li> <li>We should pray, reflect and make suggestions towards the organization of a Congress of Lay Dominicans in Africa, preferably to be hosted by any country within the Western zone-Benin or Côte d’Ivoire.</li> <li>In the course of the activities, the Council had a closed-door session with the Promoter Fr. Rui and discussed other sensitive issues especially related to discipline and administration. In the next review of the directory, these issues shall be further considered, but worthy of note are:</li> <li>We should be very careful in selecting members for advancement to profession, especially by ensuring that they are in Communion with the Church, especially in matters of discipline and sacraments.</li> <li>In the event that a member loses communion with the Church, automatically he/she also loses his/her Profession and in the event that the situation has been rectified, the person concerned, if he/she wishes to come back, will make a fresh profession.</li> </ol> <ul> <li>The directory will be amended to give further clarifications on this and on cases of members who may deliberately and silently withdraw from active membership.</li> </ul> ORGANIZATION AND GRATITUDE Rough statistics indicate that about 700 Lay Dominicans are present in 27 countries in Africa today.  Since the foundation of the African Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities (ACLDF) in Bamenda, Cameroon 2004, the Rwanda meeting of leaders is the first ever assembly/gathering of Lay Dominican Leaders from more than three countries at a time. Seven countries were present, three sent reports and three whom the council had been working with (Nigeria, Côte D’Ivoire and Burkinafaso) were absent.  In all, at least the Council had so far been able to interact with 13 countries. Much gratitude was given to Rwanda for the organization and warm reception of the delegates, despite the short notice. Equally, the Provincial Vicar for Rwanda and Burundi with the Dominican Friars in Kigali and Nyagatare were very much appreciated for their co-operation and support. The participants noted with gratitude the presence and inputs of the Promoter General Fr. Rui Carlos Lopes OP, and the promoters from the Southern Africa and Equatorial Africa Frs. Raphael and Aristide; and the dynamism of the Regional President Joyful Felix Foko op and his team for their instrumentality and sacrifices. The bilingual ability of many participants was a resource that facilitated and reduced the cost of organization. The Dominican Sisters of Africa in whose convent the assembly was  held were also very much appreciated for their hospitality.  Participants while evaluating their interaction on the last day noted with satisfaction that this was a unique moment to renew their preaching mission. The social evening, the tour of Kigali city and exchange of experiences together with the rich inputs exposed the beauty of the Dominican vocation. In his last statements Fr. Rui thanked all the Fraternities in Africa for what they are doing for the Church and the Dominican Order.  He urged all to deepen their spirits within the Dominican spirituality.  He further re-iterated that when we live in communion we overcome all obstacles to our lives. “Be faithful to your Profession and remain faithful to St. Dominic’s vision and Christ’s Mission”, he concluded. Joyful Felix rounded up by thanking all for their sacrifices and hoped he meets all again in the forthcoming events. All delegates departed happy, determined and hopeful.   1<sup>ST</sup> CONFERENCE  PRESENTATION (B) THEME:    ORGANIC STATUTE OF THE LAY DOMINICANS WITHIN THE ORDER OF PREACHERS <ol> <li>Laity in the church</li> <li>Lay Dominicans: origin</li> <li>The Rule</li> <li>Our mission</li> </ol> LAITY IN THE CHURCH “Among the Christian faithful, men and women living in the world, in virtue of their Baptism and confirmation, partake in the Royal and Prophetic Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  They have to testify at the heart of humanity to the presence of Christ so that divine salvation might be known and accepted by all….”   LAY DOMINICANS: ORIGIN Many religious movements appeared in the 13th century (Milices, Confraternities, Penitents) and constituted a basis for the creation of the Third Order in the Church.  Thus Munio de Zamora, the sixth Master of the Order of Preachers, in 1285 established the Third Order of Saint Dominic with a “Rule” of 22 chapters (from admission into the Third Order, prayer life….). In fact, the Rule of Munio was inspired by “the Memorial Propositi Fratrum et Sororum de Poenitentia” signed in 1221,  because at that moment the Church was to give a rule to those men and women who lived a life of penitence.  It was after six centuries, in 1923, that the Rule of 1285 was modified and amended.  I will chronologically mention the Rule of 1923, 1964, 1972 and 1985. A major change occurred for instance in the terminology, <u>Third Order</u> was replaced by <u>Fraternity</u> after the approval of the new Rule signed on December 20<sup>th</sup> 1972 in Rome.  And for the first time the word <u>Laity</u> appeared in all its meaning drawn from the Second Vatican Council documents especially A-A (Apostolicam, Actuositatem). After the Vatican II (1962-1965) the then Master of the Order of Preachers Fr Aniceto Fernandez in 1969 promulgated a text for the new Rule “ad experimentum” by the Holy See and approved in 1972. Later in 1983 the General Chapter of Rome gave mandate to the Master of the Order to convoke an International Congrss for Lay Dominicans, for the adoption and the implementation of the <u>Rule of Lay</u> <u>Dominican Fraternities.</u>  Thus from 24<sup>th</sup> to 29<sup>th</sup> June 1985 in Montreal Canada the 1<sup>st</sup> International Congress for Lay Dominican Fraternities took place, and adopted the text.  This was approved on 15<sup>th</sup> January 1987 by the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes, and promulgated in Rome on 28<sup>th</sup> January 1987, Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, by Fr Damien Byrne, the then Master of the Order of Preachers. Thus Lay Dominican Fraternities are found in the five Regions in the world: Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia-Pacific. In Africa the First Official Meeting of the African Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities (ACLDF) took place from 5<sup>th</sup> to 9<sup>th</sup> February 2004 in Bamenda/Cameroon. At that meeting six countries were present:- <ul> <li>Afrifa from Ghana, the Coordinator</li> <li>Rwanda (Yvette Ndeze from East Africa)</li> <li>Benin (Epiphane Yelome from West Africa)</li> <li>South African Late Rita Lithuli,</li> <li>Nigeria, (Gaston Santos from West Africa) and</li> <li>Cameroon with Marcus Kejungki, Felix Foko….).</li> <li>After that meeting the ACLDF met again in Kenya 6<sup>th</sup> – 9<sup>th</sup> August 2010 to create a New Zone, the Central Africa Zone with Cameroon.</li> </ul> We met again in Cameroon 12<sup>th</sup> – 15<sup>th</sup> April 2012 and the last meeting was 6<sup>th</sup> – 8<sup>th</sup> June 2014 in Nairobi/Kenya. Nowadays there are five zones in the Region (the East, West, Central, Southern and Northern Zones) with about 27 countries with about 700 Lay Dominicans. THE RULE The organic statute of the Lay Dominicans is basically founded on the Rule.  The Rule is divided into three parts with 24 Articles. <ul> <li>The Fundamental Constitution of the Lay Dominicans (Rule I - Rule 7).</li> <li>The life of the Chapters (Rule 8 - Rule 14)</li> <li>The structure and government of the Chapters (Rule 15 - Rule 24)</li> </ul> The Rule is the same for all Lay Dominicans in the world.  But to address local realities there are Directories.  Thus, we have had since 2012 during the ACLDF in Yaoundé/Cameroon a draft state for the African Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities drawn from the European Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities, and the Directory of the Lay Dominicans of the Province of Nigeria and Ghana.  Today the draft has been translated into French and harmonized. We should take note that the statutes which govern the Lay Dominicans are: <ul> <li>The Rule (Fundamental constitution,…)</li> <li>The General Declarations of the Master of the Order and General Chapters.</li> <li>Particular Directories.</li> </ul> OUR MISSION Within the church we have a distinctive character in both our spirituality and service to God and neighbour, as members of the Order of Preachers; we participate in the apostolic mission through prayer, study and preaching according to the state of the laity (Rule 4). Thus we have an imperative task to carry out our activities wherever we are.  

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