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Sunday, March 3rd marked the official start to the 5th Orientation Programme at the Little Daughter’s of St. Joseph Retreat Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.
The ceremony of welcome began in the early afternoon with many friends of the Brothers, and Brothers from the local Christian Brother communities in attendance.
The theme of the ceremony was "Standing at the Edge, Willing!" highlighting the invitation to the 15 participants to enter fully into the OP.
From the India Province there was Ajay Dang and Jayanti Chauhan; from Sierra Leone was Christian Hazeley, Francis Ngaujia and Samuel Amara; from Ghana came Anthony Bangura; from Kenya were Alphas Odoyo, Amos Kutwa, Constantine Sunday, Daniel Kyalo, Martin Khaemba and Stephen Wandabusi, and from Zambia came Jackson Mubela and Marvin Phiri, while Hugh Moloney comes from Ireland but has been in Zambia for many years.
The choir from Edmund Rice Catholic Education Centre led the singing with Sunil Britto as the Master of Ceremonies.
Tony Shanahan, the District Leader of the East Africa District welcomed the guests and Brother participants, expressing the hope that the OP would be for the Brothers a moment of real change.
David Gibson gave a brief explanation of the significance of the Moses painting as a backdrop to the project Journeying Together.
The key element of the opening ceremony was when each of the OP team members – Lynette Rodrigues, Sunil Britto, Donal Kirk, and David Gibson called each of the Brother participants and asked if they were willing to embark on the OP journey, to which the Brothers replied, "I am willing!". Then, each of them received a shawl and a welcome letter together with a card with each Brothers’ favourite gospel quotation.
John Casey, a member of the Congregation Leadership Team, offered a word of encouragement to the Brothers as they set out on this road of renewal.
Finally, Lynette Rodrigues and Br Tom Kearney led the blessing prayer, and the choir concluded the ceremony with the song, Follow Me.
After the ceremony all were invited to some light refreshments.
Overall, this was a wonderful day of Brotherhood as we begin this 5th Orientation Programme.
If you wish to follow the progress of the group, please connect with their website: