Monday, November 7, 2016

The African Capuchin Identity and the Sense of Belonging by Br. William Ngowi.


The friars  were to live the spirit of repentance as penitent friars, who call others to repentance and conversion
They were to lead a poor community life of prayer and missionary life. All were to work together as a fraternity with equal rights and duties; having and sharing all things in common
The spirit of simplicity and minority and humility was to be a the core of their life in common.
The spirit of working with their own hands for their living and when they failed to get enough, they were to take recourse to the table of the lord.
Capuchin identity Indicators:
Poverty and ascetic or austere life for both the individual and the fraternity, living among the poor and marginalized
Life of prayer meditation and contemplation, including promotion of hermitages
Emphasis on penitential life personally and communally
People who lead simple life as minors who dwell in humble habitats that are accessible to the poor
The sense of belonging essentially depends on self-knowledge and that of the community.
The consequences of the lack of the sense of belonging:
No active participation in fraternal activities such as house chores, common meals, recreation, they remain passive and disengaged
Non-participation in fraternity meetings; rather they are very critical and vocal against the fraternity leadership.
Rare participation in fraternity prayer life, recollections and retreats; always giving excuses.
No sharing in pastoral experiences or participation in fraternal missions.
No interest in Franciscan Capuchin values, including literature or research project
No contribution to the maintenance of the fraternity, both spiritually and materially; at times they have their own bank accounts
Having more active relationships with outsiders than fellow friars that at times ay undermine the fraternity’s apostolate
SOME OF THE CAPUCHIN VALUES THAT WERE COMPARED AND APPRECIATED
1.     The gospel and evangelical values
2.     Fraternity, African sense of brotherhood versus the current Africa ravaged by tribal and political conflicts, obedience, poverty, chastity and mission.
3.     Capuchin values” peace, simplicity, minority (power mongers), penitence, prayer, preaching, joy environment
4.     Capuchin traditional values – secondary, the use of religious habit, beard, sandals, titles, special formation regulations
Values that sustain self-Identity and sense of Belonging:
1.     Recognition of personal calling from God
2.     Recognition of special vocation: inspired by the life and writings of st. Francis and his disciples as a Capuchin fraternity
3.     Having the sense of mission- proud of called to participate in the vision and mission of Jesus Christ and St. Francis
4.     Awareness of spiritual consequences that leads to self-discovery and realization
5.     Cherishing the sense of freedom, love, growth and responsibility that is found in the capuchin life.





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