At the school of Leadership and Management

From 17 to 19 May 2024, community leaders, bursars and all the sisters responsible for the various structures (educational, health and social) of the Vice-Province of Cameroon met at the Vice-Provincial House in the town of Maroua for a formation session about Leadership and Management.

With regard to ‘Leadership, Management and Consecrated Life’, Father Ferdinand OWONO, Provincial of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, began by defining the words Leadership as being the art of listening or the ability to lead others with a precise goal and Management as being the art of managing, directing and organising. From these definitions, we understand that being a leader and a manager is a learning process. Father Ferdinand invited us to take as our example Jesus – Good Shepherd and leader-manager, who knows his sheep and whom his sheep know. Illustrated by the parable of the Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11-16), the leader is characterised by three attitudes: being a Good Shepherd, having a sense of sacrifice and a sense of duty. The first element of a leader is to get to know the people in his charge. A good leader must ask himself questions about the quality of his gaze, the quality of his listening and the quality of his words.

Following Father Ferdinand OWONO’s talk, Sister Angèle SILIKAM, Vice-provincial, spoke to us about ‘Leadership and Management’ in relation to Chapter 9 of our Rule of Life ‘In mutual service, the service of authority’. In her view, the way we exercise leadership is closely linked to our sense of authority and the exercise of power. This reality, lived out by Jesus in obedience to his Father, requires a call to conversion of heart, to a disappropriation of oneself so that the other may grow.  Sr Angèle encouraged us to live the service of authority in daily connection with God through prayer, listening and discerning the Spirit’s calls in our lives and in our world. She invited us to cultivate the attitudes of Jesus the Servant and Good Shepherd in order to be close, attentive and caring sisters, ready to serve in the footsteps of Jesus, in the footsteps of Marie BALAVENNE and Renée BUREL, our very first sisters in the Congregation.

This training session, rich in exchanges, listening and sharing, edified and enlightened us… Each sister went back to her community with a new lease of life to continue her mission, make efforts and thus be more of a good Leader-Manager.

On Saturday 18 May, the eve of Pentecost, the sisters and associates renewed their commitments at a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Bishop Gilbert Damba, Vicar General of the Diocese of Maroua-Mokolo.  This was followed by the blessing of the Marian grotto at Galdima, site of the Provincial House, on the occasion of the celebration of 70 years of DHS presence in Cameroon.

It was an eventful weekend, full of emotion and joy!
Aware that we are ‘In an attitude of formation all our lives’ (Rule of Life), we pray to the Holy Spirit to help us to be more humble servants.

Sister Simone DONTSA, for the secretariat. Published on 3 June 2024