Secular Franciscan Order

Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

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1st AFRICAN OFS / YOUFRA CONGRESS
(FRENCH SPEAKING-EAST AND CENTRAL REGION)


A historical event has happened for the Franciscan Youth of the African continent – the 1st African Congress of the OFS and YouFra of the east and central regions (French speaking countries) in Kigali, Rwanda as from the 6th to the 13th of July 2013.

 

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1st AFRICAN OFS / YOUFRA CONGRESS
(FRENCH SPEAKING-EAST AND CENTRAL REGION)
Rwanda-Kigali, 6-13 July 2013

 

A historical event has happened for the Franciscan Youth of the African continent – the 1st African Congress of the OFS and YouFra of the east and central regions (French speaking countries) in Kigali, Rwanda as from the 6th to the 13th of July 2013. The different African countries present were: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Chad, Togo, Madagascar, Central African Republic and Mauritius. The objective of this congress was to reflect on the essential elements which define the identity of the Franciscan (OFS / YouFra / Spiritual Assistant) in African culture, to improve the communication among different Franciscans (locally, regionally, nationally and internationally) and to find solutions to the language problem faced in Africa.

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During this week, the different participants shared, within plenary discussions and group works (including one especially for the YouFra), their difficulties, sufferings, happiness, hopes and living experience within the Franciscan family in their particular countries. This sharing has enabled us to enrich ourselves and created bonds with the other participants. We have also been formed on different topics such as: International fraternity, the spiritual assistance (all levels, role and responsibility), the YouFra, the Franciscan Rule and Constitutions, Profession and our responsibility in our service within the Franciscan family. We have also lived a special moment in our pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Kibeho, the spiritual place in Rwanda, where we have offered prayers for the different fraternities in Africa and the world to God's mother.

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This congress has also been used to present the "African Project" proposed by the CIOFS aiming at establishing an animation and coordination system between the Secular Franciscan fraternities of the African continent and this idea has been well received and approved par the participants.

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More than one month has passed since this congress and some of the aims have been achieved. Our sisters and brothers in the French speaking African countries are communicating and sharing news from the Franciscan family across the world as well as information and knowledge through various means of communication. We are connected among ourselves through communion and prayers. Each and every delegate has gone to his country to share with the other Franciscans what he/she has received and the participants are also putting in practice what they learnt. This congress has enlarged our vision of the Franciscan family across the world and shown us that we are not alone.

Michat Legrand – Raout

YouFra Mauritius