The ceremony of missioning at the Little Daughters of St. Joseph Spirituality Centre comes at the conclusion of three months in the Orientation Programme or OP. For the last twelve weeks, twenty-one Christian Brothers have engaged in an experience of renewal and transformation. Now, they were leaving to return to their home Province or District.
The opening hymn in Kiswahili (Hii ndiyo siku) which translated said, ‘This is the day which God has made. Let’s sing for joy to praise God – a fitting beginning to a moment where Brothers express their gratitude for the three-month experience of the OP.
Br Sean McManus (from Oceania) welcomed the invited guests who had been part of the journey of renewal during the OP.
Jim Catterson (from England), Kephas Ndalama (from Zambia) and Ceddy Andrade (from India) stood at the various banners posted on the walls of the meeting room while the Congregation responded with: “We are standing at the edge, willing and ready to enter a radically different way of being disciples of Jesus and followers of Edmund.”
Vincent Mallya (from Tanzania), Phil Grundy (from Oceania) and Jerry Ekka (from India) shared their experience of the OP and how it has impacted on their lives.
The missioning ritual followed where the Brothers were called by their mentors to be anointed with oil as a sign of being consecrated for the mission of Brotherhood. Sister Alba, and Brothers David, Donal and Sunil have walked with these Brothers in this journey of renewal. Each Brother received from Francis Hall (from England) a certificate of attendance at the OP and from Tony Shanahan (District Leader of East Arica District) a travel bag with the words ‘Journeying Together’ blazoned on its side. The Brothers then entered into their community groupings at the centre of the meeting room.
Sunil Britto (from India) invited David Gibson (from Ireland) to share a message of support to the participants as they return to their homes.
The congregation then offered a Pilgrim prayer for the Brothers: “O God, who guided the Hebrew People across the desert, we ask that you watch over these Brothers as they move in the love of your name to their communities” (Based on the ancient prayer for pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela).
The Brother participants in turn sang a blessing song for the invitees and expressed in gestures their wish that vision and truth will companion them as they too return to their homes or communities.
Br Simon Kaswahili (from Tanzania) offered a vote of thanks to the invitees for coming and to the TST for their work in organising the OP.
The missioning ceremony concluded with the Galilee Song as the participants mingled again with the congregation. They sang: ‘So, I leave my boats behind, leave them on familiar shores’, to indicate their commitment to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and Edmund.