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78 Brothers from the Three African Novitiates

18/03/2009: Kenya

The Marist International Center was started in Nairobi, Kenya in 1986 for the training of all the young Brothers from different African countries. The selection of the location was based on a search for a location which would offer the proper conditions for both academic and religious formation, good communication facilities and, above all, a temperate climate. The property consists of 11 hectares (about 27 acres) divided into areas for community and academic studies.

The buildings for the community were planned so that there would be a balance between small group living (fraternities) and an area for the whole community. Dining and chapel areas are in common. There is room for about 100 Brothers in post novitiate formation. Right now there are 78 Brothers from the three novitiates in Africa: Ghana, Ruanda and Mozambique. Some 50 religious men and women from other congregations and 320 lay persons also attend classes at the MIC. Besides their academic formation, the Brothers also receive apostolic formation through specific groups that attend to diverse apostolic fields.

The Academic Center (Marist International University College) is oriented to teacher education with specialization in religious education and catechetical youth ministry. The courses are recognized by the Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) and, ipso facto, by the civilian University of Nairobi. Presently, courses in business, economics and social development have also been started.

The MIC is under the jurisdiction of the Conference of the Major Marist Superiors of Africa. The formation team has gone from being an international group to one composed entirely of African Brothers. Despite the challenge posed by joining Brothers of different countries and cultures in one center, for the most part the MIC has eventually led to a greater understanding and esteem among the African countries, and to mutual enrichment. The ample facilities of the MIC have made it the center for numerous international Marist meetings.

Source: Hoja Informativa Marista, nº 100

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