Allamano house is an international community made up of 31 community members. 28 students, two formators and one residing priest. Besides having new formative team (Fr. Symphorien Kapumba as the Rector and Fr. Josephat Mwendwa deputizing), we also received 7 new members from both the Sagana and Morogoro noviciates.
Most of the members reported back on 5th of August from their long holidays from different missions where they were posted. Some non Kenyans who had gone home for holidays were back as well. For any community to move on well, the Community Plan of Life should be in place. Since we never had an updated one, we embarked on making one on the 7th of August for a period of four days. It was an endeavour done with a lot of commitment, love and passion. It was clear at the back of the mind of each member of the community that it was the life they were looking forward to, hence the full commitment.
Having solved the puzzle of our life in the community, we now needed the spiritual ignition to keep on well as a religious family... Therefore, on the 12th of August after the night prayers, we had the introduction to the theme of our annual retreat, “THE PROPHETIC CHARACTER OF RELIGIOUS LIFE”, that was preached by a Redemptorist priest, Fr. Raphael Kitheka, CssR.
In our annual retreat, four of our confreres who are doing their year of service in some of our communities here in the region of Kenya had joined us.
On the first day, he brought forth the aspect of the vocation of a prophet as a man chosen and inspired by God. He acts as a bridge between God and man and witness by preaching the word of God authoritatively. Despite all these effort, there is always opposition, this should not be a source of discouragement. He encouraged us to be a public holy presence, witnessing to the Kingdom.
A prophet being a man of prayer, the second day took the theme of prayer. As truly is, he put it clear that through prayers we as religious come to understand our vows better and nothing should ever frighten us. The third day covered the challenges of religious life and how to over grow them. Among the many ways that were mentioned, prayer as a communication to God who is the source of all our solutions still stood out and was confirmed to play a central role. The forth day came down as we looked at the evangelical counsels. Here we were reminded to take Jesus Christ as our model. It is him that we should look up to.
As we keep on preparing ourselves, the theme of Mission could not be left out. This theme took the last day of our retreat. It was evident that we are consecrated for the mission, and the mission of the church is evangelization. Our retreat Master, would everyday remind us of our constitutions and Charism, by making bold references to this precious document of our religious and missionary family.
Pope Francis’ phrase of staying awake in order to awaken the world was adopted.
All the beauty of the retreat was climaxed with the renewal of our religious vows in the Eucharistic celebration presided over by our vice regional superior Rev.Fr. Mathew Magak Arose, IMC. In his homily, besides giving us a brief of the events of the institute, he encouraged us to remain committed for the mission is waiting for us. He asked us to cooperate with the new formation team and take advantage of this opportunity given to us.
The day was crowned with a common supper and we were set and energized to begin a new formative/academic year.
As we make our journey together, we request you to accompany us in this missionary project with your prayers.