Father General with the members of the Council
From 1 to 15 February 2023 the Cardinal Emile Biayenda Region had the honour of receiving the visit of Father Eugênio Barbosa Martins, the Superior General of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Being in the context of a canonical visitation, this was an important and valuable occasion for the religious of our Region.
Indeed, this visit, which can be described as “Kaïros” (favourable time), took place while our Region was in the process of entering into its new dynamic: that which entails working towards realising a change in its Status. Concretely, the visit of the Superior General offered the opportunity for all the religious to reflect on: “the Province of the future and the future of the Province”.
Thus, the Superior General’s canonical visit to the Region was structured in three significant phases.
1. Meeting of all the religious individually in their respective communities
The Cardinal Emile Biayenda Region comprises 6 communities, of which 3 are in Brazzaville (Saint Peter Claver, Sebastian Mpahou in Barrage and Saint Benedict of Nganga Lingolo), 1 at Pointe Noire (Holy Spirit of Mpaka), 2 in the Cameroons (Yaoundé and Bertoua).
So, the day after his arrival at Brazzaville, Father Eugênio, accompanied by Father Jean De Dieu Passy (Regional Superior), began his visit at Pointe Noire and ended at Brazzaville. He conducted this by meeting the religious individually. As regards meeting those in the Cameroons, he did this from a distance.
In the course of his various visits, the Superior General was able to meet the aggregates of our various communities and some ecclesiastical authorities, such as Monsignor Javier Herrera Corona, the Apostolic Nuncio to Congo and Gabon, Monsignor Bienvenu Manamika, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Brazzaville and Monsignor Miguel Angel Olaverri, Metropolitan Archbishop of Pointe Noire.
2. The General Assembly
The second phase of this visit consisted in holding of a General Assembly in the Sébastien Mpahou community at the Barrage. This large meeting, which followed seeing the various religious individually, was of fundamental importance.
To guide the smooth functioning of this assembly’s work, the Superior General suggested following the method: See, Judge and Act. This effective method enabled participants to perceive and identify the ills from which the Region is suffering, to examine diligently all its situations, and finally, to propose solutions to which each one in particular and the Region in general would become committed.
Hence, the openness and the invitation to engage in a process of individual and communal conversion through coming to an awareness that would develop in each one the sense of belonging and sharing in common.
3. Exchange with the members of the Regional Council
Finally, the Superior General held a meeting with the members of the Council, with whom he conducted the process of a meticulous and rigorous work of discernment regarding what had preceded. He also offered the consultors many other perspectives concerning sound administration, especially pertaining to this period of ascent towards becoming a “future Province”.
While acknowledging that the Superior General’s visit to Congo Brazzaville was successfully carried out, through its application we hope to reap the fruits.
Father Divin Maboundou Ngongo, sss