MBARARA, Uganda- After a successful mission in Malawi, the Assistant Superior General, Fr. Arnold Suhardi, SMM landed in Uganda in the wee hours of Sunday, 14th October this year. Almost at the same time of his arrival in Mbarara Community, the zealous Montfortian missionary hit the road again for Kabuyanda parish, a Montfortian parish where he spent a night. On Monday, he concelebrated during the morning Mass at the parish. He was introduced to the parishioners briefly before returning to Mbarara to start the workshop.
Every confrere in East Africa is here in Mbarara Community in attendance, except Fr. Andrew Kaufa, SMM who sent an apology and the scholastics who are having classes.
In his introductory remarks, Fr. Arnold, SMM said he has come with a heart full of love and prayers. He introduced the topic: “Montfortian Style of Leadership” something he finds relevant for us not only because it is part of the Acts of the General Chapter, but also because “leadership as an act of service is not an option- it is a mandate.”
We are all called to be servant-leaders in the footsteps of Fr. de Montfort, our founder and Jesus himself as our ultimate leader. The workshop is meant to remind us and encourage us to put into practice Jesus’ leadership style that is exemplarily lived by Fr. de Montfort. We are drawn vividly to the leadership styles of both Jesus and Montfort by some practical experiences in their respective ministries. For example, Montfort was admirably able to mobilize peasants to erect a cross at Pontchâteau that not even a prince with all his money could easily accomplish. One key to servant leadership is that we should learn to harmonize our words and deeds. According to Fr. Arnold, “coherence between words and deeds contaminates,” is very essential for any credible leader. Some of the following questions have kept us reflecting: whom am I following and how am I leading…Jesus came not to be served but to serve, do I want to serve or to be served?
The workshop continues in day two (Tuesday) with a sharing on the four domains of a leader; namely heart, head, hands and legs.
The session was followed by a fruitful Anglophone East Africa Member’s meeting before our evening prayer to close the day.
-Br. Innocent Mwanoka, SMM