Jean-Hérick Jasmin, OMI (OMI-JPIC Director, Rome)
The General Service OMI-JPIC organized its General Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya from June 13 to 18, 2022. It was attended by the regional animators, Miguel FRITZ, Maciej DRZEWICZAK; Benedict LENADIMAI, Daquin IYO; as well as the delegates of the Mission Commission Guillaume MUTHUNDA, Peter STOLL, Ramon BERNABE, [via zoom]) the representative to UN and Organizations, Daniel LeBLANC and the Director General, Jean-Hérick JASMIN.
For more than a month prior to the meeting, Fathers Fidèle MUKIELE, Gerry CONLAN and Daquin IYO, have been putting everything in place to make this assembly a total success. June 14, all the members of JPIC General Services were already on site at the Kenyan mission campus. This was made possible by an excellent reception plan from Jomo Kenyatta Airport.
We stayed in the two-story administration complex, located in the serene neighborhood of Karen, well known by all as “the little Vatican of Kenya”. It is also fair to mention that this building was recently blessed by the Provincial of OMI-Lacombe, Fr. Ken THORSON, on January 17, 2020.
In this warm environment, the scheduled tasks of the JPIC team were carried out as planned. It was a week of deep reflection and discernment in community in a synodal spirit and thanks to a well-distributed agenda accepted by all. The seriousness of the team in the tasks entrusted to them and the good organization of the meetings fills us with joy. We are happy to have shared with the Karen communities the warmth of their cultures and their ethnic diversity.
During the working sessions, we also made some field experiences, such as visits to other communities that are close to us in terms of projects on the protection of the environment and our “Common Home”. We also visited the leaders of the Catholic University of Nairobi, which not only has a Center for Social and Ethnic Justice but also engages students in the task of planting fruit trees in the green space of the campus for sustainable ecology.
Two other activities completed our General Assembly in Nairobi: firstly, a visit to the city center of Nairobi – a place that contrasts sharply with the poor outskirts where half-built houses are perched on the hills at the entrance to the city – secondly, we participated in a symbolic demonstration organized by local leaders of the ecological protection communities.
In addition to the beautiful experiences we had during the recreational sharing sessions that prolonged our working day, we can’t forget to mention that the food served daily at table was tasty, of a hundred percent organic quality and of a great variety. In fact, the fresh vegetables that were served at our meals came from the community’s garden.
Finally, the Eucharist celebrated every day with the presence of the local community, was for all of us an act of recollection of our daily life and of thanksgiving for the blessings received from the Lord during this OMI-JPIC Assembly.
We send a warm thank you to the whole team of the administrative house of the Kenya Center and to all the cleaning staff. A very special thanks to Fidèle and Daquin for encouraging us to discover this beautiful country of East Africa; a thousand thanks to Gerry for his fraternal availability.