Our Congregation Leader, Br Martin Kenneally and the Anglo Irish Province Leader, Br Walter Hurley, returned recently from a visit to the Presentation Brothers Community and Presentation Brothers Secondary School (PBSS) in Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi State, northern Nigeria.
The community consists of Br. Edwin O'Sullivan (Community Leader), Br. John Guinane (Principal of Presentation Brothers Secondary School and founder of the mission to Nigeria), Br. Paul Atole (our first Nigerian finally professed Brother, who is Vocations Director and Bursar) and Br. Godfred Beteryel who teaches at PBSS.
During the week long trip Br Martin conducted a staff development workshop and addressed the students at morning assembly.
"Two years ago, when I visited the same place, it was bush – there was nothing there," said Br Martin. "Great credit is due to Br. John Guinane for founding the mission, building the house and school, and leading the first phase of our presence in Tafawa Balewa. This is a clear example of 'Signing to the Lord a New Song'.
Br. Edwin, in taking on the role of Community Leader in recent months, brings with him much experience of life and mission in Africa. His background in formation work will also be invaluable as candidates and 'Come and See' people present themselves.
"Br. Paul Atole is very committed to the important work of vocations ministry. We wish him every blessing in this important challenge.
"Br. Godfred Beteryel is very committed to his role as a teacher in PBSS and contributes greatly to the life of the community and school. He will soon be inducted as Deputy Principal."
The turmoil of the political and social situation in Nigeria impinges on the life of the community and school. Tafawa Balewa is a Christian enclave where Christians have had to struggle in the Muslim state of Bauchi, which is under Sharia law. Some weeks ago there was severe Muslim/Christian conflict in the nearby city of Jos and many hundreds of people were killed.
"Despite all these obstacles, our Brothers are showing great faith and generosity in their service of the people. I believe also, by God's grace, that many good Nigerian candidates will join our Congregation," Br Martin added.
Photo 1: Students at Presentation Brothers Secondary School