With the merger of the Province, the reality of solidarity is a far more wide-reaching idea than the simple elements of money and projects. In his letter on Solidarity, Bernard Couvillion, as Superior General, wrote a sentence that has great importance for us – “the poor are not our project, they are our friends.” They are also our brothers, their ministries and partners as well as the young people in their care. That outreach, interaction and support can take many forms and has across the province.
Each region of the province has long links to an era of missionaries –men who gave up all and went to the far reaches of Africa, especially, to evangelize the population through education. It maytake different forms today but still happens. Brother Chris Sweeney serves at the international community in Amatongas, Mozambique while Brother Tom Greer serves on the staff of the novitiate for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) in Lusaka, Zambia. Many others have served as missionaries and we are indebted to them for their service.
Separately, with our links to the Delegation of the Philippines, our outreach of personnel there has included retreats (Brothers Ray Hebert and Robert Breault) and visiting lecturer roles at the college (Brother Neal Golden, Mr. John Devlin, Mr. Greg Rando), and we hope these links continue.
Similarly, our schools have involved faculty and students in outreach to many areas of the province and the world. School trips to Klagetoh, service mission trips to Louisiana, Mississippiand New Hampshire, Project Respond from St. Columba’s in England to Malole and Kabwe, Zambia which also included trips for a number of years by Bishop Guertin and Brother Martin hasalso sponsored numerous faculty trips to Africa.
In recent years, the province has provided experiences in the missions of the Institute for Coindre Leadership Program participants including Zambia, Mozambique and Haiti.
We have previously welcomed and help fund the education of Brothers from around the Institute – most recently this has included Senegal, West Africa and Haiti. We have covered the medical needs of missionaries whose health could not be supported in Africa and needed extended stays and treatment in the United States.
Beyond these links of people, places and service trips, our schools and the province have also been a source of funding for various other parts of the Institute. This has included emergency funding (Haiti, Vanuatu, and now Haiti again). Some schools are twinned with schools in Africa including Bishop Guertin– Rutenga, St. Columba’s and Mount St. Charles– Shitima, Kabwe and St. Francis, Malole.
Beyond those formal links, funding from schools has included outreach to Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique, and the Philippines. Those outreach programs have included students, faculty and alumni, as in a recent gift of Brother Martin alumni to the Brother Polycarp Foundation in the Philippines.