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05.11.2021 17:40:04 4472x read.





DATE: 30th – 31st August, 2021



The Brothers FIC, Ghana Province, is privilege to gather for a two day workshop on the theme: Servant Leadership and Followership. Mr. Emmanuel Tambala(a pre-novice) said a short prayer to begin the workshop at 8:30pm. The Provincial Superior, Bro Seregeous Dery, warmly welcomed 52 participants present. He expressed a special welcomed to the facilitator, Rev. Fr. Alphonse Amanor, SVD, who sacrificed his time and energy to come all the way from Prampram, in the greater Accra Region. He also acknowledged the presence of the Provincial Councilors.

In his welcome address, Bro Seregeous Dery, commended that the call to leadership in the church and religious orders is as challenging as what pertains out there; and that it requires much skills and sacrifices to stay on course. He said the current Provincial Council had been enjoined by the 2018 Provincial Chapter resolution 23, to take up steps to stimulate and motivate brothers to readily accept leadership positions in the province. The chapter demand, he continued, is made in the hope that leadership courses would enrich our human development and empower both leadership and followership for better community living and apostolic management.

Bro Seregeous lauded that, as PC, part of the responsibility in leading the province is to find ways and means in whipping up the leadership skills of brothers. In this regard, the Council, he continued, has given notable attention to the following:

  • Further studies of the young professed brothers.
  • Encouraging brothers to take advantages of rolled out courses by their employers.

In his conclusion, the Provincial Superior expressed a strong hope that many brothers would have had the privilege in participating in various leadership training programs. In spite of that, he continued, familiar leadership theories may be floated but the approach to content delivery and shared experiences would differ with the goal of offering someone the new insights to becoming better leaders and followers. He expressed a heart fell gratitude to everyone present and a very best success in the workshop.

Introduction of Facilitator

The Vice Provincial Superior, Dr. Bro.Clement Aabezane Naapire (PhD), took a singular honour to introduce the retreat preacher, Rev. Fr. Alphonse Amanor, SVD. Fr. Alphonse, Bro. Clement exalted, is a well pronounced retreat preacher, a highly learned person with various spiritual and qualified credentials. He is a stress Management consultant, a Clinical Psychotherapist, and once a Provincial Superior of the SVD.


 (Participants at the workshop)


Being enthusiastic and gladly taken over the mantle, the preacher began with an explanation of Leadership in the religious dimension. He said it is a process where one entity (the provincial and councilors) are selected to guide, guard, defend and protect the congregation under the leadership of Jesus Christ; with tutelage from the founding fathers, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to avoid a collapse (Death). He enumerated many scenarios to streamline this definition.

The zealous preacher in further explanation stated that Leadership has to do with how ‘enthusiastic’ one is; and the question: ‘how am I enthusiastic to lead?’, is explained in an acronym LOVE as below.


L- Lifting self-dignity, the dignity of the community, and of the dignity of the congregation.

O-On spot for one self–available to oneself…to the community and available to the congregation.

V-Vivacious - put life into yourself, life in to the community, and life into the congregation.

E- Embrace - to embrace oneself, the community and to embrace the congregation.


In effect, you are enthusiastic to lead when your LOVE is as explained above.

The preacher also simplified the explanation of leadership as below:



L- Loving

E- Encouragement

A- Affirming

D- Dedication

R- Reassurance

S- Sensitivity

H- Hearing - lead to understanding

I- Inspiring/ inspirational

P- Patient, Prayerful, Prudence



Before the preacher continued to present Servant leadership, he explained various segments of the human person which have influence on our response to situations in life. These segments are:

  • The Mental segment: with the tool as the Brain and the process been Thinking
  • Psychological segment; the tool as the Mind and the process is Decision
  • The Emotional segment: with the tool as the Heart and the process been to Desire
  • The physical segment: with the Body as the tool, and the process is to Do,Perform or Act.
  • Spiritual segment: the tools are the Brain, Mind and the Heart with the process as Relationship.


Participants had break for lunch and rest from 12:30pm. The next session began in the evening at 4:00pm


SERVANT LEADERSHIP: is one who is sensitive to the needs of the congregation, community and of self. For this type of leadership, one’s sensitivity starts for the congregation, to the community and of self; whereas that of LEADERSHIP is the vice versa. The preacher in his down-to-earth explanation affirmed that both LEADERSHIP and FOLLOWERSHIP have the same goals with the aim to SAVE the congregation not to collapse and die.



Having actively engaged participants in his pragmatic presentations, the preacher grouped participants for discussions. Participants were put in 8 groups of 6 to discuss the following questions.


The group discussion and presentations were compiled and meant to be distributed to the communities for their study. There were also general contributions.

v  There is the need to always observe reflective communication: what/where/why/how to communicate is very crucial

v  Each brother should focus on vocation promotion; for that is the future of the province. It shouldn’t be the preserve of the vocation directors.


v  It is a good workshop and well attended.

v  There was active participation and open sharing.

v  There was good and balance presentation with rapt attention from participants.

v  It was good each group involved a formee during presentation

v  The sharing were rich, broad and thought provoking

v  Everyone should build some leadership skills

v  Everyone should play some leadership role in the community, province and the congregation at large.

v  The fruits of the workshop should be reflective in our lives and the community.


v  I am glad I facilitated this workshop.

v  I appreciate your involvement and active participation.

He concluded by teaching participants a song in title: “I am better than what people think”

Motto of the workshop: FIC! We are serving to save


Bro. Paul sabogu gave the vote of thanks on behalf of participants.




(participants at the workshop) 


THEME: Prayer and Community Life as the Centre of Our Apostolate Engagements





Opening Session: TUESDAY 31st August 2021.

Another time has come when the Brothers FIC, Ghana Province, is privilege to converge for a common Annual Retreat. A good number of 43 participants were present for this spiritual encounter. Bro Lambert Batogbee gave a short prayer to begin the opening at 8:00pm.

In his welcome address, the Provincial Superior, on behalf of the PC and the LC warmly welcomed the retreat preacher, Rev.Fr.Alphonse Varghese, OFM Cap., and the participants from their various communities. He said a retreat in the life of a religious is an indispensable refreshing need: a time to withdraw from the busy world in order to listen to one inner self as well as to listen to the voice of God in your life journey. He expressed the hope that the theme for the retreat: Prayer and Community Life as the Centre of our Apostolate Engagements would benefit the desire to find spiritual renewal in this retreat.

Dr. Bro Clement A. Naapireh, VPS, took his turn to formally introduce the retreat preacher. He said Rev.Fr.Alphonse Varghese, OFM Cap., is a spiritual director and a renowned retreat Preacher. He came to Ghana some years back and had since been preaching retreats in many parts of Ghana. It was one of his good directions in Sunyani for Councilors that appealed the attention to invite him for this retreat.

After the brief introduction, Retreatants looked and adjusted the time table to meet their taste. Other practical issues were equally noted for attention before the start.

The Retreat preacher began with a keen declaration that a retreat preacher is not usually the one who directs the retreat but the Holy Spirit. For him what that is expected of one is to make complete stillness for the Holy Spirit to come into you. This silence would be the period to detach from emotional anxieties and social issues in your life. He gave various scenarios which disallowed one from making fruitful reflection such as whatsApp, twitter, face book etc. He emphatically made numerous biblical quotations to portray the urgent need of stillness in one’s life for the Holy Spirit. To affirm this opinion, he lauded the Chinese maxim which says: “It is only in calm water that one can find his reflection.”

The opening session ended well with a short prayer at 8:40pm. There was optional adoration/ prayer in Chapel before bed.



 Day 2 of the retreat started with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist after hours of a heavy downpour. In the celebration, two brothers, namely Bros Jonas Porekuu and Edmund Mopuuru rededicated themselves to the service of God in the FIC way of life. Bro Seregeous Dery, the Provincial Superior, received their vows on behalf of the General Superior, Bro. Augustine Kubdaar. Individual Brothers congratulated them after the mass service.

The topic for the first conference of the day was Community Life. The Preacher took Retreatants through the dynamics for community livings. Below are some captured ones:

v  The joy of staying together in a community

v  The difference between Religious community and secular community

v  Communion and community

v  Religious community as a gift of the Holy Spirit

v  Community, a mystery rooted in the Holy Spirit

v  Personal freedom and community  priority

v  Community as a permanent place for formation.

We also looked at Communication as a tool in living together. The following were talked about as a hindrance to community living, Social media, family interference, perfection and negligence.

In conclusion, the preacher outlined some signs that show that, one is living his community life well. They include the following:

v  Being present in community prayer

v  Being present during mealtimes

v  Being present for community  recreation

v  One attitude towards community apostolic

v  One attitude towards Community projects.

The Participants break for lunch and rested for some time


The preacher also took us through some forms of prayer. They include the following: Intercessory prayer, Prayer of adoration, Meditative prayer.


The last activity of the day was a one hour adoration held in the chapel where brothers spent some time with the Blessed Sacrament after which they retired to bed.



In a quiet and composed mood, Retreatants began the day with the Lauds and the Eucharist. This was followed by breakfast at 8:00am. Subsequently, Retreatants converged at the hall for the first conference on the theme: Our Apostolate and the Cross of Discipleship.

The preacher started in affirmation that prayer life, community Life and Apostolate are the three pillars of a religious life and must be given much attention. He ardently expressed that most religious for one reason or the other do give much priority to the apostolic life as compared to the community and prayer life, and this can generate a lot of negative impact on our living as religious. For him the apostolic spirit is strengthened by our prayer life and community living in some of the following ways.

v  We pray for strength and protection to be able to carry out the work in a fitting manner.

v  We share our joys and sorrow from our work places with our community members.

v  We show concern and encourage one another to have the zeal to forge ahead.

In a quest to give some responses to the question as to why one is at his apostolate place, the preacher gave details that each and every religious is at work for reasons that can be seen as:

v   to represent both God and my Superior.

v   to work according to the charism of the congregation.

v   to present God to the people through my commitment to work.

v  to be available and ready to cooperate with our workers and others. 

The second conference for the day was on the theme: ‘the cost of discipleship’. According to the preacher, our call as religious is known to come from God as free gift. But this gift is accompanied by a cross that we must be ready to carry if we are willing to accept the call. The preacher further explained that this cross comes in three different dimensions according to the Gospel of Luke.

v  We have the denial of family and even self.

v  The denial of possessions and

v  The readiness to carry one’s own cross to follow Christ.

He said the readiness to follow Christ by carrying our crosses may also include: Loneliness, misunderstandings, disappointments, sickness, our daily works and our vows. For him, when we are able to carry out these crosses daily and faithfully, then we can be the true Disciples of Christ. In effect, Retreatants were very impressed and in deep reflection as the Preacher concluded his presentation with a short prayer. Vespers and supper came at the usual times. The day came to a close with an adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 8:30pm.


Saturday, Day 4 of the retreat also started with lauds at 7:00am in the chapel solemnly by all Retreatants. It was followed by breakfast at 8:00am. The day’s share of the conference began at 9:00am led by the preacher. He took participants through the gift of forgiveness and the need to forgive guided by the word of God. The topic was particularly meant to get Retreatants ready for the sacrament of reconciliation.

At 12noon the Eucharist was celebrated. Lunch was at 12:30pm for those who could not fast. The sacrament of reconciliation lasted from 4:00pm to 6:00pm making way for supper at 6:30pm.

 A well-organized adoration led by the preacher was held at 7:30pm in the chapel. He led retreatants through life and growth and healing of the conscience. He encouraged everyone to write on paper aspects of life that each faulted and wanted forgiveness and change of heart from God. The written grievances were presented to God on the altar and later burnt. Retreatants retired to bed at 9:00pm.


 Day five of this spiritual journey began as usual with lauds and the Eucharist followed by breakfast. The first session started after an inspiring spirit-filled song and a short prayer at 9:00am. The theme was Obedience – a call to discipleship. The preacher, in throwing lights to the theme admitted that as religious we are called by God to serve him through obedience; and in every aspect of human life too, there is obedience. He used biblical quotations to portray that:

v  Obedience leads us to freedom while disobedience to enslavement(Jn 1:38-39)

v  Obedience protects us from self-love and helps us to develop our freedom as human beings(Jn 6: 38)

v  Obedience puts us in the right track to do God’s will

The preacher continued to explain that ‘listening’ is an aspect of obedience. If one is to obey, he/she has to develop the attitude of listening to authority and others.

In the second session after a break for lunch, the preacher smartly handled the topic: the concept of ‘poverty’ in religious life. He plainly explained that religious poverty is different from the secular poverty. The concept of poverty in the religious realm, he clarified, has to do with the following among others.

v  It is about living a shared life of Jesus and his apostles

v  It comes from dependence from God

v  The dependence is also from the community

The day ended with the vesper and super and a solemn veneration of the cross in the chapel from 8:30- 9:30pm.


The day began with the usual morning spiritual exercise. After that, Retreatants readily convened in the conference hall after breakfast for the first session. The first conference was on Pope Francis’s Encyclical: "CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT ". The Preacher highlighted a great need to take care of our environment. For him, the document pointed out some important things that we can do to show we have open eyes for the environment.

v  We must show ecological concern towards the mother earth.

v  We should cultivate the culture of planting more trees with less destruction.

v  Ecological education and spirituality:

v   Development of intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the ecology.

The theme for the last conference of the retreat was ‘AUTHORITY’. According to the preacher, authority in the religious sense means discerning the will of God and to the service of humanity. It is an act of faithful service to mankind than to hang it over others as the world views it. He stressed that one of the things we should take into consideration is that, authority does not suggest superiority rather, it has to be seen as an act of shepherding your people entrusted into your care. It is, in the religious sense, the spirit of responsibility and accountability to the people God has given you to lead. The preacher further clarified that authority has three spheres namely, the civic, home and the church authority.

In conclusion, the preacher wished all Retreatants a successful stay in their community living. He also thanked them for their co-operation in observing silence throughout the retreat period. He solemnly made a pause for Retreatants for self-expressions. They were happy to express few clarifications and appreciations in regard to his energetic presentations.

Bro Linus Delle was called upon by the Vice Provincial Superior, to formally show appreciations to the Preacher on behalf of all the Brothers FIC, Provincial Council and the 43 Retreatants in particular. He gallantly assured the preacher of fruitful results in the communities in regard to the inputs during the retreat. Following this was a celebration of the Holy Eucharist to bring the 2021 Common Retreat to a close and also to mark a ceremony of transition. 






In the spirit of thanksgiving, the Brothers FIC, Ghana Province, were happy to have a lovely Eucharistic celebration to mark a week-long annual retreat of 43 participants. The celebration was held under the theme: “Call to live in the Foot Step of Christ” Innate this celebration was the ceremony of transition.


In his welcome address the Provincial Superior, affectionately hailed the preacher of the just ended retreat, Rev. Fr. Alphonse Varghese OFM Cap., who as well, was the celebrant of the Eucharist. He equally welcomed the Retreatants and the candidates slated for entry into canonical and practical year of novitiate, not forgetting all brothers from nearby communities. For him, the theme for the retreat: “prayer and community life as the centre of our apostolate engagement”, will continue to daily permeate the life of brothers in their communities” He acclaimed the need for all other brothers who could not be part of this common retreat to find times for their private retreats before the end of the year. He noted that the aim of the celebration was to thank God for varied reasons:

  • To formally bring the retreat to a close and thank God for its success, and for the gift of Rev. Fr. Alphonse, the retreat preacher.
  • To thank God for the gift of Brs Elija Abugri, Jonas Porekuu and Edmon Mopuuru, who renewed their religious vows recently.
  • To witness the formal migration of John Vienney Aabeyir, Frederick Kyiileyang, Prince Kob, Charles Divical, Emmanuel Tambala and Patrick Kamwendo from pre-novitiate to the canonical novitiate
  • To witness the transition to 2nd year novitiate of Brs Peter Baguovi,Calistus Donnipuor and Williams Sortuor
  • To thank God for the lives of Brs. Alocious Porekuu and Gracious Sangber- Dery who on 10th January, 2021, marked their 40th anniversary of religious profession as well as Br Jos van Dinther, for his 50years of fruitful service to God’s people as a missionary in Ghana.


In his brief sermon, Rev. Fr. Alphonse gave an inspiring story that tells the rejection of Jesus by his people. In this regard, Fr. admonished brothers to be cognizant of this in our society.  He concluded on a reference that Jesus himself asked in (Luck 18:8) whether the son of man will find faith on earth when he comes.

After the Eucharist, there was supper and recreation in the ISTC dining hall after which everyone retired to bed. The day was well celebrated and in strict observance and compliance with the COVID -19 protocols.

  Bro. Amatus Taalo (FIC)


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