ALLIANCE INTER-MONASTERES

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1 ALLIANCE INTER-MONASTERES AIM SPRING 2016 During the last six months, AIM has received some fifty requests for help to foundations of the Benedictine family. All these projects, combined with visits to the monasteries made by members of AIM and participation in monastic meetings in different continents provide us with the possibility of giving here some account of the life of the monasteries concerned and of various initiatives on different continents. AFRICA WEST AFRICA Benin The Association Électriciens du monde (Electricians of the World) has undertaken to renew the system of electrical supply at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de l Étoile. The AIM has taken this oppportunity to propose a renewal of electrical supply for the monks and nuns of the

2 monasteries of French-language monasteries of Africa. For some fifteen participants this programme will take place in the coming May. Ivory Coast The two-yearly session for the monastic formators of West Africa took place in January at Bouaké on the Ivory Coast. There were some twenty-five participants. Sister Christine Conrath, of the International Team of the AIM, acted a principal animator. The theme was The Relationship of Spiritual Help and Accompaniment in the Formation of the Young according to the Rule of St, Benedict. CENTRAL AFRICA Democratic Republic of the Congo The monastery of Mvanda, founded in 1991 by l Étoile Notre-Dame (Benin) and taken over by the Abbey of Vitorchiano, has for several years been proposing a preliminary school in the monastery for young people being formed in monastic life. It is hoped that this will include also neighbouring monasteries (Kazanza, Mambré, l Arbre de Vie). It would also be of interest to other Trappistine communities of West Africa. This formation concerns history, the Bible, self-knowledge, community life, speech, music, and the basic concepts of religious life. It has spread to religious, male and female, postulants, aspirants of the neighbouring apostolic communities. It is open only to those who have spent at least one year in a community as aspirant or postulant. This initiative is a real service to our monasteries of the Church in the West of Congo-Kinshasa.

3 Session in India for Superiors of Central Africa AIM is supporting an interesting initiative of contact between monasteries of the Southern Hemisphere. Several superiors of monasteries in Central Africa are planning to travel in July to the monastery of Kappadu to get to know this monastery and other communities, and to follow a course given by Abbot John Kurichianil of Kappadu, who was already active last year in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Uganda Help was also given to complete the building of the monastery of the Holy Trinity at Arua in Uganda. This is a monastery of sisters of perpetual adoration of the Holy Trinity, near the cathedral of the diocese of Arua. The community was founded in 1960 by the first bishop of the diocese and Mother Anastasia Fumugalli. It later joined the Benedictine Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Currently it is composed of 25 sisters. The community supports itself by the work of its own hands, the manufacture of liturgical vestments, hosts and candles.. EAST AFRICA AIM contributed to the purchase of agricultural materials for the communities of Namibia and Uganda, as well as for the construction of a poultry-farm in Nigeria ASIA Help given to the monasteries of Asia consisted primarily in a formation-budget, in the form of twenty bursaries for study or for the organisation of a session. PHILIPINNES Mindanao

4 The group of Benedictines and Cistercians of the islands of Mindanao (Mindanao Benedictine-Cistercian convention, MBCC) includes ten communities : Trappists of Guimaras, Trappistines of Polomolok, Benedictine nuns of Cogon and the sisters of Davao, monks of Sankt Ottilien at Digos, Benedictines at Malaybalay, two Tutzing communities at Mati and Marihatag, Benedictine sisters or Malaybalay and Linamon. This group meets regularly with an animator, who this year was Father Patrick Mariano, the new Prior of Digos. There have also been contributions to building projects. INDIA Kottayam (India) AIM contributed to the repair of the roof of the monastery of the Vallumbrosians of Kottayam. This is a fine and fairly recent building. Unfortunately the intention was to roof the terraces. However, there is a very heavy rainfall and inevitably the terraces took on the water. So the community settled for a classic two-level roof above the terraces. This monastery runs a well-known College with a large number of students, many of whom come from very poor families of the neighbourhood. LATIN AMERICA Help to the monasteries of Latin America consisted chiefly in ten bursaries for study in Peru, Brazil, Italy or France. BRAZIL Notre-Dame of Guadalupe AIM contributed to the acquisition of materials for an icon-workshop in the monastery of the Benedictine nuns of Notre-Dame of Guadalupe at St Mateus, founded in 1994 by Petropolis. This workshop is one of the sources of income for the community, which consists of ten nuns.

5 VISITS AND JOURNEYS Members of the International Team of AIM took part in several visits to communities and in meetings. Latin America: Colombia, Costa Rica, Equador, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela, Cuba The limited spread of the Catholic Church in this region made it a difficult time for the communities of Latin America, In Brazil women s communities seemed to be in a better position than those of monks. In the most recent bulletin of AIM Abbot Paul Stonham gives a somewhat alarming picture of the situation of monasteries in other countries of Latin America than Brazil. Africa: Meeting of BECOSA (South Africa) ; visit to Uganda and Tanzania; the meeting of formators of West Africa. Asia: Meetiing of BEAO in Korea (Association of monasteries of South-East Asia); formation meeting in the Philippines. United States of America: Following a journey of the President of AIM and Fr Mark Butlin to a dozen American monasteries last year, Fr Mark Butlin attended a meeting of American abbots in January, to make a presentation to them of the activities of the International Team of AIM. Europe: AIM took part in the meeting of the CIB in France. Participation in the meeting at Rome in February of the Commission for China.

6 Thanks to each and to all for attention to the vital support of monasteries of the Benedictine family. There are still many projects for the coming six months. We will report to you soon about future plans. With warm fraternal greetings in this Easter season, Fr. Jean-Pierre Longeat Alliance Inter-monastères

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