Nairobi, Kenya
November 5-23, 2018

Walking with Young People: A Gospel Adventure

The first ever International Lasallian Center (CIL) hosted in Africa has begun! CIL, an annual formation gathering of Lasallians, is happening for the first time outside of Rome, hosted at the De La Salle Conference Center in Nairobi, Kenya, November 5-16, 2018. Our DENA participants, Maryann Donohue-Lynch and Br. Michael Andrejko, FSC, will be sharing via social media and the website during their time at CIL.

Updates from CIL

Sunday November 11
Reflection by: Brother David Garcia, District of Mexico North

Day of culture and knowledge visiting the National Museum of Nairobi and Bomas of Kenya. In the first place we were amazed by the history, culture and natural heritage of Kenya thanks to the detailed explanations of our guides. In Bomas we had the opportunity to meet traditional homesteads and enjoy dances, clothing, music and traditional songs of the main tribes of the country, such as Mijikenda, Luo, Taita, Embu, Maasai, Kikuyu, Kamba, Kalenjin, Luhya, Kisii, Kuria, among others.

Thought for the day: “Our diversity is our wealth.”

Saturday November 10
Reflection by: Brother David Garcia, District of Mexico North

We visited the Kangemi slum and there we went to a community centre whose staff helped us as guides. In small groups we toured and interacted with people and institutions of the neighborhood, where we witnessed the pressing needs of the population. At the same time we discovered the immense value of the service provided by Kangemi Resource Center through education, community organization for production and marketing, water purification, library, among other resources. Right there we had lunch and celebrated the 50th birthday of Brother Agustin Ranchal, to close the day with the Sunday Mass in the Regina Caeli parish.

Thought for the day: “we are God’s hands.”

Friday November 9
Reflection by: Brother David Garcia, District of Mexico North

The day was about Vocations and Youth Ministry, and we studied the topic trough this: 1) Presentations about the programs of San Francisco – New Orleans District by Miss Kenena Amuzie, Antananarivo District by Br. Bruno Rakotomavo, and ARLEP District by Br. Jorge Sierra. 2) World Café for reflecting and sharing of our best practices that leaded to dialogue and new ideas, and established the basis for the next momento. 3) Lenguaje groups to work on propositions for formation and activities about faith, service and community.

Thought of the day: “We have received a treasure to share it.”

Thursday November 8

The topic for today was Culture of vocations. The sessions were conducted by Brothers Joseph Félix and Chuy Rubio. The morning prayer was focused on the call of the first disciples Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip and Nathanael. We praise God for our various calls and ask for His blessing for all who share the Lasallian Mission.

In the morning sessions we had first a welcoming video and an animation song by Brother Felix, and then the presentation on the “understanding and practice of vocations” in the five regions of the Institute followed by personal reflection. Each Region practices were presented by CIL participants coming from every Region: br. Jacques Monchébi for RELAF, br. Chris Patiño for RELAN, br. Eder Polido for RELAL, br. Zohaib Gil for PARC and Ms. Elenora Munaretto for RELEM. They spoke about the different levels of understanding and a variety of vocational culture practices according to cultures and ways of understanding, and they showed the diverse realities of their respective regions and districts.

Thought for the day: “The one who does not sow anything, does not harvest anything.”

Wednesday November 7

This day was dedicated to the topic “Young people, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”: three morning sessions and two afternoon sessions.

We began this day with a Prayer on the parable of the Good Samaritan. We were invited to remember the names of people with whom we experienced love of neighbor. The names of these people were mentioned during the prayer.

Mr. Keane Palatino started with a singing game before heading to the conference room. During both sessions he gave a wonderful presentation on the context and needs of today’s youth. In a first video we watched a young female talking to an audience her painful story and invited adults to look at young people with greater empathy; to receive them, to listen to them, to understand them and to accompany them to find answers to their problems. In a second video, an expert offered new approaches for walking with young people to help them find meaning in their lives.

This presentation led to personal reflection and then to sharing in language groups at the end of the morning. Before that meeting in linguistic groups, a joyful moment was organized by the students of the De La Salle School: diverse musical, dance and speech performances were presented by talented and elegantly dressed children.

In the afternoon Mrs. Stella Quintos addressed an animation on the basketball court. Then she presented how to enter into dialogue with young people about the challengues that have impacted their lives. Above all, she emphasized the religious crisis experienced by young adults, manifested by his disaffection with the Church. They have great need to talk an adult. In summary, we can remember that we Lasallians are invited to be good Samaritans for young people who are like the wounded and abandoned man on the road. Mr. Keane pointed out that Jesus is the true good Samaritan. It is the parable of the Good Samaritan who served for the prayer in the linguistic groups.

Thought for the day: “Anyone who wants to travel by plane, should go to the airport.”

Tuesday November 6

This morning we had a very interesting lecture by Brother Paulo [Dullius, FSC]. I particularly enjoyed his placement of our mission, our accompaniment of young people and vocation “work” clearly within the context of God’s mission and the manifestation of that mission in Jesus Christ.

Additionally, he provided an interesting framework for us to consider our own personal motivations and desires in being part of this Lasallian mission.

Monday November 5

Greetings to all! A long day…but certainly a rich one. I will begin this brief reflection with a quote from Brother Chuy Rubio  “We dreamed a lot about this program, this special program for the year of Lasallian Vocations. We took the marvelous risk to leave Rome and travel to Nairobi, Kenya. We are very grateful to the great partnership and support from the Lwanga District to make this CIL session happen. For all of us here in Nairobi for this session, this is holy ground.”

And so we began…the group consists of 61 participants from 27 countries representing all five Regions of the Institute. The majority are Brothers with 3 Sisters, 6 laywomen, and 9 laymen. The preparation on the part of the Lwanga District, the communities at the Scholasticate and the Lwanga-Rome planning committee is nothing short of remarkable. A new building was constructed that will function as part of the current La Salle Catholic School, spaces at the Scholasticate transformed into meeting areas, the Chapel has been renovated post the recent fire. Everyone is engaged, the staff of the school – all of the Brother present on this campus-just outstanding!

The title for this CIL is: Walking with Young People: A Gospel Adventure. The schedule is an ambitious one but as with most CIL sessions there is room for a bit of adaptation as we move along.

For today, it was primarily getting oriented, introductions and instructions in the early morning session however the conversations began in earnest after the following reflection:

“Open Your Eyes”

We were asked to consider two dynamics:
1. religious freedom and secularization in our culture
2. the “tension” in Pastoral Ministry of Vocations for All Lasallians.
For the second point, we were asked to consider the work of vocation ministry in our District or educational ministry and place ourselves within a quadrant. (graphic attached) We then identified people that were outside of the quadrant where we placed our self and engaged in conversation with them in a type of “round-robin.”

The conversation was meant to be “touchstone” in nature as we will be exploring these topics more extensively. However, some commonalities 1. Young people are searching for meaning and where the Church is listening and responding there is vitality 2. Young people are seeking relationships (inter-generational) that will provide guidance and accompaniment. 3. They seek to understand Jesus through service to others. 4. Secularism has greater influence in western (style) countries while religious intolerance is present everywhere but seems to take a greater hold in developing nations. ( point 4 is a vast generalization but an observation from the limited conversations I had today on these topics so we shall see how they continue to develop)

The “tension” in Pastoral Ministry for Vocations.
Of note were the places in the Institute that are just developing intentional vocational outreach programs to young men, inviting them to consider a vocation to the Brothers. Formation for partners varied greatly from Region to Region.

“Open Your Heart”

The day concluded with small group conversation regarding our own vocational call- touchstone moments in our lives. I am in a small group with 4 Brothers. An interesting outcome of the conversation were the commonalities we discovered in our personal discernment process- such as trust, risk,  “encounters”, prayer, bravery …I am sure you can resonate with these as well.

I am going to sign off now as it is after 10:00 pm here.  However, I will leave you with this quote shared by a Brother from India, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

Thank you for accompanying me on this CIL journey. Good night.

Social Media

Eleonora Munaretto presenting on her vocational journey at #CILNairobi2018. An inspiring presentation on vocation and accompaniment of young people through service. #300LaSalle #Lasallianfaces @RELEMYL @younglasallians @DeLaSalleOnlus

#CILnairobi2018 « Marcher avec les jeunes une aventure évangélique » =>>>>>

#CILnairobi2018 | “Walking with Young People: A Call to a Gospel Adventure.” => Daily on

#CILnairobi2018 | Lasallistas de todo el mundo están reunidos en África en el CIL 2018 =>>> Crónica en

Great meeting at Scholasticate with these Brothers that are taking the DENA Online Faith Formation for Lasallian Educators courses. Information @fscDENA #Lasallianassociation #Lasallianfaces #300LaSalle #cilnairobi2018 @lasalleorg

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Come & Be Twinning Visits

Maryann Donohue-Lynch and Br. Michael Andrejko, FSC, accompanied by Christopher Swain, also visited the Twinning School in Kenya ahead of CIL, to renew relationships, and learn about the schools’ new initiatives.