Inter-congregational JPIC Training Session for Anglophone East Africa
We, 33 men and women religious from eighteen (18) Congregations working in five (5) African countries converged at St. Augustine’s Centre for a most inspiring training session on Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC). This training session was initiated by the Major Superiors based in Rome and Fr. Philip Massawe,CSSp, and Fr. Jim Greene, MAfr, travelled to Kampala to conduct this session in conjunction with the JPIIJPC Centre in Kampala. The two facilitators were Fr. John Patrick Ngoyi Kasonga, CICM. and Sr. Evelyn Namakula, Cannosian Daughters of Charity.
For the second week we had guest speakers, consultants in their own specialities. The topics they covered were: Conflict Resolution, Gender/Cultural Issues and the Legal System, Dialogue and Encounter with other Religious Traditions. Fr. Lazaro Bustine, MAfr, enlightened us on the work of John Paul II JPC Centre in Kampala, Uganda. Fr. Philip Massawe presented VIVAT International as an organized network at the UN of some religious congregations and Fr. Jim Greene presented Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network AEFJN. The importance of networking, lobbying and advocacy were emphasised. All through, the faith perspective was in the forefront with the realization that because we are rooted in God we are impelled to take action for Justice - Faith Doing Justice!
The process used was participatory with story telling, input followed by group work and then sharing in plenary sessions. The issues that surfaced from our story telling – Gender discrimination, corruption as it rears its head in its many forms and in many places, environmental degradation, etc.- were developed fully through a process of social analysis and Theological reflection following the Pastoral Cycle methodology. This led us into our country groups to work on our plan of action, articulating our vision, mission and steps for the way forward. This was a stimulating experience and showed us the necessity of networking with each other as resource persons, with other national and diocesan JPIC, other organizations and institutions, both Church and NGO’s.
All the participants benefited much from this JPIC training which was really a retreat in fact. We are grateful to our Major Superiors who recommended and supported us and therefore we recommend that:
Finally we want to thank the Major Superiors in Rome for initiating this training for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. We are grateful to Frs. Philip Massawe and Jim Greene for their tireless patience and commitment as they steered us through the two weeks. And finally our gratitude to Fr. John Patrick and Sr. Evelyn for their expertise which they shared and the skills they imparted to us with so much commitment, focus, enthusiasm and good humour. The four certainly inspired us to remember what Oscar Romero prayed: