Father Pierre SCHOUVER 
(General Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit)

We consider it as a grace to work in Africa today. We believe we have been called to continue in the current situation and undertaking which is often over a hundred years old.

We have looked for our new place in the local Churches. We help them to tackle their missionary task according to the charisma of our Institutes. Even if our presence has been reduced, we are fully engaged with the local Church for the best and the worst.

One of the graces God has done for us is the arrival of African members in our Institutes. They are over 600 in my current congregation, out of 3,220 members. This fact gives us roots and gives us a new chance of being closer to African life.

Tow big orientations guide us today and also define the hope we place in this Synod:

1) We want to participate in our way in the inculturation of the Gospel in Africa. Our mistakes have shown us and taught us the importance. We experiment inculturation as death and resurrection. Missionaries who have come from elsewhere, we are lead to die to our claims to discover a new fullness of life.

We try to foster as much as possible the word and initiative of those to whom we proclaim the Gospel. We prefer the long way of fecundity of a meeting, to the one of immediate efficiency of personal action.

We try to form our young brethren in the new missionary spirit of total openness towards others to listening and confidence.

We hope that this Assembly proclaims for a bigger opening of the Church towards the African reality, greater freedom and greater confidence granted to the people of God in Africa at all levels. This is what the people of God need, it is no doubt less of new directives than a new proximity and new confidence on our part.

2) Our second big orientation is to contribute towards human promotion, establishing justice and peace in Africa.

Our Institutes today take on different commitments with the more depressed victims of the wars, economic exploitation, AIDS, refugees. Some of us also act in our countries of origin, in the north, to denounce negative consequences in Africa, economic policies of big powers, for example in the network of "Justice and Faith"-  Europe-Africa.

We strongly hope that this Assembly undertakes to fight with all its means against what causes misery, injustice, violence, war in Africa, and launches an appeal to all governments of the continent.

Original text: French


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