GENERAL COUNCIL F.I.C. - Prins Bisschopsingel 22, 6211 JX Maastricht, The Netherlands  Phone: *31 (0) 43 3508373
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11.10.2019 16:46:37 509x read.
Report Leadership Workshop/Congregational Conference, The Netherlands (Day 7)

Report Leadership Workshop/Congregational Conference, The Netherlands

Today is Wednesday, the 9th. October, 2019. In compliance with the programme, the province of Indonesia shall be in charge of the prayers the whole day. This means they shall say prayers at morning devotion, opening and closing of sessions, meal times and mass.

The chapel of the C B sisters is located on this first floor. From here, I cannot see the sun although it is already fifteen minutes after seven. I am told that this is autumn weather when the sun decides to hide in the clouds. Truly, truly, I should revive my geography because in Malawi I only know of the rainy and dry seasons.

I proceded into the chapel to gaze at some symbolic sun.The reflection today was about gentleness. Specific readings on forming community (const.37), and (const. 38) on Imperfect Beings formed our inspiration. Moreover, a reading from Luke 15: 11-24 on the Loving father was read.

In the reading, the younger son disconnected himself from his Father, family and community. He realized his bankruptcy and desired to belong. His father had given love which had not been reciprocated. The son made a first move towards reconciliation. The prayer service encouraged us to make amends. We belong to God by our profession.

After breakfast, we continued to listen to the strict and broad interpretations of cannon law. Today, Bro. Daru concentrated on separations. Within the constraints of cannon law, there is voluntary and involuntary departure. Voluntary departure consists of transfer (cc. 684-685) and exclaustration (cc. 686-693). There are differences in the exercise on those with temporary commitment and the finally professed. For those with temporary commitment, an opinion by the major superior could be adequate while for those with final commitment, consultation with the pontifical commission is necessary. The FIC constitution has not been exercising an indult for those without perpetual vows.

Cannon law fosters better life in the religious. The rights and obligations of religious are codified within the supreme law of the church. The final part of the discussion focussed on administration of goods (c.668-670). There should be absolute dependency on the congregation. There however ought to be adequate dialogue in ceding inherited property to the congregation in respect of traditional practice

The next session spanning one hour and half introduced the topic on Servant leadership. This was given by Bro. Remy Nyukurong. A Gospel passage from John 13: 1-17 was read to augment the explanation. It was discussed that the basic motivation for servant leadership should be love. Jesus washes the feet of his disciples for love. Servant leadership runs contrary to regular norms. To this extent, Finze (n.d.) defines servant leadership as when a leader cares more about the good of the team than his or her own enrichment.

Servant leadership reduces distance between governors and the governed. There is every need to serve each other. Adopt humility in practising servant leadership. Mother Teresa is quoted, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. Traditional leadership is management from top to bottom and exercises power and control. Servant leadership is above all service rather than control and focusses on people by sharing power. It is putting the needs of others first and helping people to develop and perform to their highest potential. Paul is emphatic and says, preaching devoid of love is empty and reminiscent of noise making.


The servant leadership of Jesus values diverse opinions. He accepts contrary and new opinions as he surrounded himself with a diverse group of followers. Jesus creates a culture of trust and takes a person’s word at face value. He even trusted the apostles with the overwhelming task of establishing the church and spreading Christianity.He usually taught that followers should live by example. He took a group of fishermen, farmers and tax collectors and turned them into revered evangelists. Jesus further encourages his followers, helps people with life issues and thinks long-term. He acts with humility and never loses sight of the mission. Regardless of persecution, he forges ahead and accomplished the mission that God had called him to complete.

Bro. Augustine Kubdaar, using an intervening roleplay, in the ensuing hour, discussed communication. It was stressed, effective communication should be pursued at all costs. Communication itself is a process of encoding, transmitting and decoding intended messages. We communicate ideas, opinions, concepts, instructions, feelings and experiences. Communication is further facilitated through purposeful listening. Positive thinking predisposes attentive listening.

Communication can only be fair if it is executed with mutual consent and sticking only to the present. Only the subject at hand should be discussed and not hitting below the belt. An effective communication should desist from win over and entertain no violence. Respect crying.   It is encouraging however if the council feels connected to each other, mature and create a respectful environment.

Bro Augustine continued with another talk on Dealing with differences. He cited three things that we may do nothing about in our personality and these include our history, physical reality and chances in life. The fourth component of choices and decisions is vital and feeds the afore-mentioned three. There are what are referred to as cognitive distortions which further alienate people to tackle differences.

There are peculiar dispositions to be countered. There the premonition that something is either solely correct or wrong. There is also overgeneralisation where a single negative aspect is exaggerated to mean all else.  There is the mental filter and discounting of the positives, jumping to conclusions, emotional reasoning, magnification or minimisation of issues, labelling and personalisation. The above listed are antecedents to a failure to heal differences. There should be untwisting of thinking.

In order to untwist thinking, there is need first of all to identify distortion and examine corresponding evidence. The double-standard method may initiate personal dialogue before engaging the experimental method to test validity. There is the urge to think grey before survey and semantic method. It is encouraged to consider all the factors and modify the self-defeating beliefs. This was apparently the last topic of the day. Thereafter, participants requested explanations and gave comments.

At exactly 6.25 p.m. Bro. Thomas Chikoti from Malawi province in collaboration with the pianist of the group, Bro. Anton of Indonesia provoked piano music. Thereafter, there was animated singing. I am not sure if we sung out of tune during the mass but we loved singing along. Even the presiding celebrant nearly missed his bus because he sat a while to enjoy the angelic music a little bit more.

At 9 o’clock, we gravitated to the water hole and managed to end the day fashionably.

Compiled by Bro. Andrew Makocho

Malawi Province.

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