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VISITING A NOVITIATE AT HARVEST TIME!

Thomas Malipurathu, SVD

ere’s just a brief account of a recent visit I made to our novitiate house in Nkwatia-Kwahu in Ghana. “Harvest Time” is used here in a metaphorical sense. Although we have a good bit of agricultural land around our house in Nkwatia, and there are various crops there at different stages of growth, the reference here is to the crop of 16 young men who completed their year-long novitiate and were excitedly waiting for their first profession and to the batch of 14 new entrants who were waiting to begin their novitiate journey with equal enthusiasm. I visited them at a significant time because for those who completed their novitiate the profession day was less than a week away. And for those who would form the new class, the launching of the novitiate year was close at hand. The air was thick with youthful excitement! Unfortunately due to conflicting schedules I could not stay long enough to witness these memorable events which took place on July 12. I had to return to Rome because of other commitments.

Our novitiate in Ghana has been international since long. The present batch of 16 newly professed belong to five different AFRAM countries: Ghana, Kenya, Togo, Benin and Madagascar. The new batch that begins their novitiate has an equally diverse national provenance. This exposure to internationality at such an early stage of formation has many beneficial effects. Such close interaction among brothers of every “tribe and language and people and nation” really broadens one’s mental horizons and, I believe, prepares one for one’s eventual intercultural life and mission!

I met the two batches together for a tete-à-tete along with their novice master Fr. George Clement Angmor. I told them briefly about the general formation scene in our Society and about the various challenges we are facing in the area of formation. They were eager to know about the growth of the Society in different parts of the world. Before leaving the place the following morning I celebrated the Eucharist with them during which I wished them God’s blessings for the great occasion they were readying themselves for.