12 Jun “Karibuni Africa” – The 2018 PCO Begins
The sound of African drums began at 3:00 pm on the 12thof June, 2018 in the beautiful garden of the Dimesse House of Spirtuality, Nairobi, Kenya, and so began the Opening Liturgy of the Plenary Council of the Order. Led by the rhythm of drumming and singing, the participants moved in procession to the Main Hall where the Liturgy was concluded.
In his address of welcome, Br. Michael A. Perry encouraged the friars to return to their early love. His words were inspired from the Book of Revelation:
“…do not become discouraged. But, I hold this against you: you have turned aside from your early love. Keep firmly in mind the heights from which you have fallen. Repent, and return to your former deeds…Let him who has ears heed the Spirit’s word to the churches.” (Rev. 2: 2-5. 7)
Br. Carmelo Giannone, Minister Provincial of the host Province of East Africa, then spoke and thanked everyone involved for choosing the African continent to host this fraternal gathering. After giving a brief history of the Franciscan presence in Africa, he then inspired the brothers by showing how this entity is growing, not just in number but also in the quality of fraternal life. He ended by welcoming the brothers using the different languages of Africa. In Kenya they say in Swahili, “Karibuni Africa” or “You are welcome.”
The Council Members were introduced to each other in a fun and novel way. Using the theme of the upcoming World Cup, a football was thrown to a friar at random and then he was ‘interviewed’ —before himself throwing the football to the next friar to be asked about himself!
The 2018 Plenary Council began on a joyful and energetic note.