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7TH NATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE DOMINICAN YOUNG HEARTS MOVEMENT (DYHM),

The 7th National Congress of the Dominican Young Hearts Movement (DYHM) was held at Abbe Louis Bautain Retreat Centre, louiseville, Ijebu-itele, Ogun State, with the theme “The role of the Dominican Young Hearts Movement in the Preaching Mission of the Order: A Jubilee Call.” The congress was aimed at bringing the Dominican young hearts together for the purpose of discovering our role as preachers in the order of the Dominican family.

27TH JULY

Arrival and Registration

Members of various unit groups from different parts of the country arrived the venue of the congress at about 4pm-7pm. We had; St Thomas Aquinas unit group Ibadan, St Rose Of Lima Obigbo, Blessed Jane of Aza Guzau, St Albert de great Yaba, St Raymond of Penyafort Maforluku, Blessed Imelda Ogungbade, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Enugu.  

*Registration

Attendants to the Congress were registered and assigned rooms upon arrival. Most of them were carefully paired to ensure that they were from different unit groups. This had the added advantage of helping them meet and make new friends and foster fraternity. The facilitators and Coordinators (Religious), however, had a room each to themselves.

All in attendance had supper together that first night at 7:15pm, beginning with an opening prayer led by Fr. Collins Akhigbe, O.P. It ended with a brief address and prayer by the Moderator, Fr. Jude-Mary Owoh, O.P.

Compline began at about 8:35pm in the retreat centre chapel. The director of the Retreat Centre, Sister Victoria, welcomed all in attendance and guided gave a few words about the use of the facility. Soon after the Moderator guided the delegates and facilitators through the programme of events that had previously been printed on a leaflet for all participants. Corrections and suggestions were made and taken note of. The Vicar-Provincial, Very Rev Fr. Martin Aitsebamo, O.P. came in just in time to address a few words of welcome to all in attendance. The meeting ended at about 9:57pm.

 

28TH JULY

Rising and Morning Prayer

Rising was at 6:30am while Morning Prayer took place at 7am at the chapel. Breakfast followed immediately with an opening and closing prayer

 

The Opening Mass

The Inaugural mass commenced at 10:10am with Very Rev. Fr. Martin Aitsebamo, O.P. as the chief celebrant and it was the mass of the Holy Spirit. In his homily, Bro. Martin emphasized that just as the potter moulds clay into beautiful shapes, so too God moulds us into good Christians. He added that everyone has a place in the preaching mission of the Order. Even a broken vessel is useful for watering a dry side walk. Two incoming members (Umenwobi Chidimma Nancy and Chukwudi Osademe) from Blessed Jane of Aza Unit group, Gusau, were received at Mass. They were each invested with a Dominican cross as a sign of their call to preach.

 

              The first official meeting of the Congress began at 12:03pm in the school Hall. The Deputy National Coordinator 1, Bro. Paul Sanu, read a letter of apology addressed to the delegates by the National Coordinator, Isioma Diji, explaining the reason for her absence. The Deputy National Coordinator also expressed his wish to see the delegates deliberate and arrive at resolutions that will move the Movement forward.

Address by the Promoter of Dominican Family

Before the Promoter’s speech, the Moderator stated clearly that delegates had a right to state their opinions on issues. He, however, warned that they should have a ready solution to whatever problems they wish to highlight or keep their opinions to themselves.

In his address, the Promoter of the Dominican Family, Fr. Oluyemi Taiwo, O.P., expressed mixed feelings about the Movement stating his concerns and joys. He urges members to help move the movement forward in all resolutions and deliberations that would be taken.

  Reports were presented by members of the various unit groups in the SWOT format(Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and it was deliberated upon.  

International Dominican Youth Movement {IDYM} Report

A report was given by the international delegate in the person of Sis. Umenwobi Anthonia. She gave a chronicle of venues, events and lessons learnt from the Conference in Toulouse, France. She also provided a financial report of their expenditure. She attended the meeting alongside Dr Isioma Diji. National Council Report

The report was given by Bro. Paul Sanu (Deputy National Coordinator I).  The National Council made the following recommendations to the Congress:

This Congress should strive, with the help of the Holy Spirit to elect people who are passionate about serving DYHM and not just after a place in the Council.

This Congress should try to elect representatives cut across all unit groups, as from experience, this allows for more effective coordination than if councilors are concentrated in just two or three unit groups. He urged the national council to work as a team.

We were put into various groups where each of the reports were deliberated upon and each group representative came to give a summary of the discussion held in their various groups.          

29TH JULY

Mass and Breakfast

The Mass took place in the chapel at 6:35am. It was celebrated by the Promoter of the Dominican Family and a homily was delivered by the Moderator. In his homily, the Moderator encouraged everyone to see their spiritual life as a loving relationship with God. The scriptures in this regard is a “love story” between God and us. Reading through its passages, we become increasingly aware of God’s love for us.

Theme Speech

The theme speech was delivered by the Director of Catholic Faith Friends, Fr. Akhigbe Collins. He reflected on the theme of the Congress. In his speech, he mentioned that preaching is the mission of the youth. They do so by living out the Christian life and sharing their experiences with family and friends. The youth are advocates and catalysts of positive change and they collaborate with other arms of society to engender growth and development in every sphere of life.

He also pointed out that there are challenges that youths today have to contend with. Chief among them are: Freedom, Relativism and Subjectivism and Authenticity of life. To contend with these challenges, young people have to be conscious of their nobility in Christ. They must consider knowledge gotten from scripture as indispensable. As Dominican youths, we must also emulate the life of St Dominic.  

Plenary Sessions I & II

After a short tea break, participants reconvene for the plenary sessions. Their recommendations were added to the pool of recommendations that had already been gathered from the previous day. Discussions were slow during the plenary sessions. But after two sessions, some recommendations were eliminated for their lack of depth and practicability. The moderator working with the secretaries were asked to present the general house with a draft communique by the following morning. After supper, the moderator and secretaries worked hard to streamline the recommendations. They came up with two sets of recommendations; those that are were newly discussed at the congress and those that had been trated in the last congress or by the statutes.This made it very easy for decisions to be made.

30TH JULY

The last full day of the Congress began with Mass at 6:30 am. The chief celebrant and homilist was Fr. Akhigbe Collins, O.P. Frs. Taiwo Oluyemi, O.P. and  Br Jude-Mary Owoh, O.P. cocelebrated the Mass. In his homily, Bro. Collins elaborated that no one will be lost if they make prayer, mortification and charity an integral part of their lives. He quoted St Peter Chrysologus as saying that, “Prayer knocks at the door of heaven, Mortification opens it and Charity collects the gifts of heaven.” These three together create a hunger in us for God and sainthood.

Production of Draft Communiqué

Discussions about the content of the Communiqué began at 9:00am. During the course of the deliberation, we were visited by the Bishop of Ijebu-Ode diocese, Rev Dr Albert Fashina. He congratulated the Dominicans and expressed how fortunate they are to be under the tutelage of the Dominicans. He answered a few question bordering on issues of Divine foreknowledge and human freedom, and how to be of help to victims of violence and terror. He ended by conferring a special blessing and taking a group photograph with representatives of each unit group and members of the national council. The National Council presented him and his entourage with a gift.

Discussions continued on the content of the draft communiqué. The session went into recess for lunch and siesta, to reconvene at 3:30pm.

Prayers and Meals

The afternoon session stretched till 7:45pm. After the communiqué was adopted, the delegates prepared themselves for evening prayer and compline. Soon after, they went in for supper. A secretary and the Moderator stayed behind to put the document in a more coherent format as well as lay the ground work for the elections into the National Council.

The final draft of the communiqué was presented to the assembly and adopted.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The following are recommendations made after deliberations on the unit group reports, the address by the National Council, and the theme speech by the Director of Catholic Faith Friends.

TO THE NATIONAL COUNCIL:

The National Coordinator, in consultation with the National Council, should appoint a web master who would work in collaboration with the scribe or ambassador of each unit group.

The National Council through the web master should have the database of all Active members, ARM and Mentors. Consequently, each unit group should open an ARM register of their names, locations and numbers (cf. no. 33, 2014).

We recommend that there should be a web team consisting of a web master and ambassador or scribe of each unit group.

Create the office of a Deputy National Scribe. His/her duties should be as follows; act in place of the national scribe; attend all national gatherings of DYHM; works to maintain the DYHM secretariat with the scribe; be a signatory to the National Bank Account { Cf. Article 8.73v }.

TO UCON:

Unit groups, as part of their report, should provide a full breakdown of their numerical strength indicating the number of ARM, RAM, newly received members, and incoming members.

The UCON with the help of the Coordinator should ensure that delegates sent to the National Congress have a sound knowledge of the Statute and the previous communiques of the National Congress.

We recommend that SAP should be guided by the theme of the previous NaCon.

We recommend that unit group Coordinators should be more actively involved in the recruitment of new members into the unit groups.

TO THE PROMOTER OF DOMINICAN FAMILY:

The promoter of the Dominican family should sensitize the family about DYHM its history, place in the Order and mission.

We propose a Promoter of Lay Dominicans who should be in charge of Lay Fraternity and youths as a full time apostolate.

ABOUT THE STATUTE:

We recommend that the reception formula be made elaborate. This should be considered in the next revision of the statute.

DYHM LOGO:

We propose an adoption of the newly designed DYHM logo.

 

ELECTION OF NATIONAL COUNCIL MEMBERS

The Moderator highlighted the section of the Statute concerned with elections and the duties of elected officers.

Amongst other things:

Only delegates are expected to vote. There are 26 delegates in attendance.

A person is elected by two-third major of the votes. At least 17 votes.

Person nominated for this offices are to be discussed briefly before voting.

Seeing that time would be a constraint, if it is impossible to get two-third majority after three ballots, the fourth ballot would be by simple majority. This was agreed upon by the delegates.

In election to the offices of National Scribe and Syndic, the candidate with a two-third majority is elected to the office, and the candidate with the next highest votes assumes the office of deputy.

A separate election for deputies to the office of National Scribe and Syndic will he held if the votes between the runners-up are close.

Elected officers and their votes:

Umenwobi Anthonia (National Coordinator)

Roseben Anyanwu (Deputy National Coordinator I)

Fr. Jude-Mary Owoh, O.P. (Deputy National Coordinator II)

Sis Chiamaka Ukachi (National Scribe)

Sis Jovita Agu (Deputy National Scribe)

Vincent Ude (National Syndic)

Ogechi Eze (Deputy National Syndic)

The office of the Webmaster is reserved for appointment by the National Coordinator in collaboration with the Council.

Delegates to the African Congress (ACon) taking place in Cameroon in 2017 are as follows:

Bro. Valentine Ejiofor;

Bro. Everest Ikpo;

Sis Umenwobi Chidimma Nancy.

 

31st July

The last day of the congress started with mass by 7:00am co celebrated by Fr Oluyemi Taiwo OP and Fr Jude Mary Owoh. After the mass, we went for a brief photograph outside the hall and after that we went for breakfast where a mini variety morning took place where some members gave some presentations. The new elected national council had a brief meeting where some quick issues were discussed. At about 11:00 am, bus came over to convey members to their respective locations.

 

 


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