Thursday, 18 April 2019

Is Interculturality a new Oblate Charism?

As a young black missionary priest from the Southern Hemisphere 
Residing and working in this extensive and beautiful northern biosphere
I am on a regular basis confronted by series of new and diverse challenges 
And the more I face those challenges the more they come with new packages  
And though I’m intrigued by the complexity and intricacies of their intersectionality 
I am consoled by the new dimension of our congregation's approach to interculturality 

On the level of intersectionality, the challenges come from our multicultural diversity 
But that multicultural diversity has become our source of blessings is now a new reality 
Observe carefully our known and sometimes dreaded regional multi-generational landscape
We have come to regard it as a great richness that will eventually give our region a new shape 
For the youths are happily learning from the elderly the beauty of perseverance and resilience 
And the elderly are encouraged by their missionary initiatives and awesome pastorale brilliance 

At the beginning, I thought interculturalism to be seen mainly from the point of view of ethnicity 
But my experience is that such believe was not just naive but also a form of ethnocentricity 
And the misconception originates from the inability to distinguish it from multiculturalism
This is why every international community should avoid the enthronement of ethnocentrism
As every effort to promote ethnocentrism and  foster a community of perfect homogeneity 
Is a step towards killing the richness and beauty in diversity of every religious community 

There exist another fact often ignored while forming a community with rich diversity 
And that is, the benefits of members having talents and lifestyle that differ in variety 
Those with multicultural backgrounds bringing along their great sense of communal life 
While those from more industrialized culture, their respect of time to the last paragraph 
And even those that struggle with time bring sometimes their sweet sense of humour 
For the only thing worst than a religious community without some humour is a tumour 
 
This is why for all the regions of our congregation, interculturality is all the more relevant 
And in all the oblate units, the creation of intercultural communities has become prevalent

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