Opening Prayer and Meditation at Africa Book Event in Nairobi, Kenya.

Opening Prayer and Meditation

Book Event — Three New Books on Africa

Hekima College — HIPSIR

Nairobi, Kenya

Saturday, 15 October, 2016

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

This morning our meditation is on African Christian Conversation Theology in the context of the Pastoral Cycle or Pastoral Circle – the experience of “See,” “Judge” and “Act.” Let us compare the process of our own pastoral experience and theological reflection in Africa with Chapter 6 of the Gospel of St. Mark. In verse 7 Jesus sends out the 12 disciples two by two to preach and to heal. Here we encounter the disciples’ mission experience. What is our own practical experience of missionary discipleship in Africa?  (PAUSE FOR SILENT REFLECTION). Then in verse 30 “the apostles rejoined (gathered together with) Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.” In prayer and meditation do we share our own pastoral, missionary and theological experiences with Jesus Christ? (PAUSE FOR SILENT REFLECTION). As we share our stories with each other there is active dialog and intensive listening and learning from each other – what we call “listening in conversation.”

African theologians listen to the real life stories of the African people. Stories are not just anecdotal. African Storytelling is a way of living, a way of listening, a way of being theologian. Thus real storytelling is storylistening. Creative listening is deeper than just hearing. It is listening on a more fundamental level. It internalizes our experience. We participate in a theology of listening. This involves a critical analysis of our society and the Catholic Church. Based on yesterday’s challenge to be prophetic, do we do quality critical analysis of our society and the Catholic Church? (PAUSE FOR SILENT REFLECTION).

Then in verse 31 Jesus says, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Silence is an important part of pastoral reflection and the theological process. Do we give quality time to silence in our lives and ministry? (PAUSE FOR SILENT REFLECTION). After a period of rest, the disciples started a new action. In our pastoral activity and theologizing in Africa we participate in this same experience in the cycle of “see,” “judge,” “act” and then start a new action.


Rev. Joseph G. Healey, MM

Maryknoll Society

P.O. Box 43058

00100 Nairobi, Kenya


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