Workshop on Leadership and ongoing formation for Major Superiors of Nigeria

It was indeed quite refreshing as the Major Superiors of Nigeria Conference of Women Religious (NCWR) and Conference of Major superiors of Nigeria CMSN (Men), gathered together from different parts of Nigeria for a workshop aimed at improving themselves as Consecrated persons and offering a more effective and productive leadership to their brothers and Sisters in their various Religious Institutes, the Church and humanity. The three-day workshop which was centred on, "Leadership and Religious Life and Ongoing Formation for Major Superiors was held from 18th to 20th April, 2018. It was sponsored by the Secretary to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Rome, Most Rev. Rodriguez Carballo, OFM

During the workshop, Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Akinrimisi, OSA, The first facilitator on Leadership and Religious Life emphasised the need for self awareness as an essential quality of good leadership. He described the duties of the Major Superiors as Sanctifying, teaching and governing. He led them in identifying the three top short term priorities of their congregation, the three top long term priorities of their congregation, their three priorities as Major Superiors and the three top priorities of the Local superiors. There was group discussion on minimizing obstacles to shared vision/Mission, Mutuality and accountability, dealing with Generational Gap and authentic community/communal life, preparatory formation/ongoing formation as against mere informative formation and receiving of courses or tourism.

The second Conference which was delivered by Sr. Rose Uche Nwosu, SHCJ was centred on the topic: Ongoing Formation for Major Superiors. In her presentation she emphasised the need for continuous evaluation of self, listening to the call of Christ daily, ongoing conversion of heart and openness to the transforming grace of God, until Christ is fully formed in us. She reminded the participants that formation is a life-long process in which we are called to see and accept our one and only life-cycle as a whole; physical, psychological and spiritual, ending with our personal face to face encounter with our loving God. She however, encouraged the participants to pay attention to the following four pillars of formation: Human, Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral. In addition, she proposed some important aspect of ongoing formation which can be of help to the Priests and Religious and as Major Superiors. These are:

a. Deepening personal prayer that goes beyond just the praying of the Office of the Church.
b. Ongoing spiritual direction / mentoring
c. Journaling
d. Spiritual Intimacy
e. Develop Self-care
f. Relaxation and Recreation

She concluded the session by encouraging the Major Superiors to organise workshops of this nature from time to time for a better awareness of self which is an important tool towards productive leadership that leads to fulfilment.

At the end of the workshop, some members of the Joint Executive Council of the Conference paid a courtesy visit to the Most Rev. C. V. C. Onaga, the Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Enugu. During the Visit, he commended the efforts of the Major Superiors of Nigeria and encouraged them to ensure that proper formation is given to candidates before granting them permission for Religious Profession of Vows. He further emphasised the need for the Conference to assist pious Association in their formation process.