INTERVIEW WITH THE SUPERIOR
Br. Mark Anokwuru ...
We would like to know where you have been in your mission before coming to MIC
Br. Mark: I finished as the novice master in Ghana in 2014. From 2015 to 2017, I was loaned to the Daughters of Divine Love Con-gregation to begin their offshoot men Congregation of Brothers called, Sons of Divine Love. After two years stint with the Sons of Divine Love, my superior sent me to Comprehensive College Nteje, where I served for two years as the dean of student’s affairs before coming to MIC.
When you were appointed to come to MIC as the Administrator, what was your reaction? Did you accept it or not?
Br. Mark: Sometime in January this year, my provincial told me that I may likely go to MIC to work as a formator and that I should start getting prepared. My response was, “Yes Brother.” I started getting my papers ready. In July this year, and on one fateful morning, he called me from Nairobi to say that I have been appointed as the MIC superior. My reaction was, “Oh my gosh!” Oh my gosh in the sense that I know that to be the MIC superior is not an easy task. In the final analyses, I said to myself, “That God who has called me to work in his vineyard, will give me the grace of office.” And God is already on top of it.
Mary our Mother
student Brothers, I will say that they are happy to have me
Br. Mark: It has not been rosy though, but I am grateful to God for the kind of Brother formators he has given me to work with. Honestly speaking, the Formators are cooperating and we are working hard to understand one another. On the side of the student Brothers, I will say that they are happy to have me as their superior and they have shown this by the way they relate to me, listen and cooperate with me.
The College was affiliated to the Pontifical University of Urbanian in Rome
We would also like to know how you see MIC of today as compared to the one you had as a Student Brother.
Br. Mark: A lot of difference. I came to MIC as a student Brother in 1992. That time, we had a rector who was in charge of the Community and the College. But today, we have the principal who serves the students in the University and the superior who serves the Brothers in the Community. The College was affiliated to the Pontifical University of Urbanian in Rome, where courses were only limited to religious studies. But today, the College is a constituent College of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, where the Brothers have variety of science and art courses to choose from. This for me, makes it a holistic formation.
In the past, the use of mass media was strictly out of bounds for Brothers in initial formation at MIC. The most visited place that time was the letter box in the main refectory. But today, that letter box is better removed because it doesn’t have customers any longer. At that time, those who were caught with phone or camera followed the next possible flight to their districts/provinces. But today, there is a paradigm shift. The Management Team of MIC with the approval of Conference of Superiors of Africa and Madagascar (CSAC) have realized that the world is a global village and that the Brothers, who are going to be apostles of the youth in this global village, should be conversant with the use of mass media. Today, every young Brother is permitted to own a phone. Furthermore, every young Brother is entitled to a laptop to facilitate his formation at MIC
For me, what has remained constant is the fact that MIC is a formation Centre, a place where apostles of the youth are prepared for mission. MIC has remained the cultural, spiritual and apostolic heritage of Africa, as well as the focal point for young Brothers in the continent of Africa.
Rome was not built in a day
What are some of the challenges you have experienced so far at MIC?
Br. Mark: There is challenge in every sphere of life, MIC not different. The first challenge I faced at MIC was to know the names of 90 Brothers. The challenge continues till today. If we have 90 Brothers at MIC, then we also have 90 personality traits. To establish relationship with everyone is not a child’s play. But I believe that if you rub two stones together, initially, the experience will be rough and chaotic, but with time, they would smoothen. So far, the two stones have not completely smoothened, but progress has been made. It is a process. Rome was not built in a day. When this is done, there will be a relationship of trust and when this is established, these 90 personality traits will turn into 90 different gifts and talents which will go a long way towards enriching the community. We are different but complementary.
Due to the fact that you are new at MIC together with other members of formation team, how are you cooperating with them, the Brothers in initial formation and PSI students.
Br. Mark: Like I have already mentioned, we are 90 Brothers with 90 different personality traits, coupled with the members of the Psycho-Spiritual Institute (PSI). I want to make it clear that I am not alone. In the first meeting of the MIC Formation Team, responsibilities were shared and everybody is faithful in his own responsibility. Everybody is being respected in his own area of assignment.
Any other thing you would like to share
Br. Mark: I pray for the grace to learn how to be friendly, understanding, tolerant, patient, and to be alert to give service. More so, to cul-tivate those little virtues that can invigorate family spirit in community such as, I am sorry, forgive me, I appreciate to mention but a few. I think that good human relationships such as those mentioned above can be of help. I rely heavily on God’s help, and on Mary’s and Champagnats’s intercessions.
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Marist brothers in africa
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