Centre Lasallien Africain (CELAF Institute)

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Official name Centre Lassallien Africain (CELAF Institut), B.P. 359 cidex Abidjan Riviera 03,

Celaf@aviso.ci www.celafinstitut.org

Country / Continent Ivory Coast / Africa
Director of the institute Fr. Pierre Ouattara, director, Fr. Anicet Poda, vice director, head of the department of studies, Sr. Michelle Yoni Sonia, commissioned director CERP, Fr. Emmanuel Mboua, director CAFOP, Fr. Géniaud Lauture, secretary general.
Legal holder of the institute Fréres des Ecoles Chrétiennes, founder of the centre, big chancellor

I`UCAO/UUA, archbishop of Abidjan, responsible for doctrine and discipline

CELAF INSTITUIT (normative, N. 8). Conference of Fréres Visiteurs of the Francophone African sub region, responsible for the normal function of the CELAF INSTITUT over an executive committee. Conference of

the Superior generals of the religious orders of Ivory Coast, founder of

CERP.

Sponsor of the institute Missio, Fréres des Ecoles Chrétiennes, SECOLI, PROYDE, Porticus.
Year of foundation September 1991
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) 93
Staff members of your institute The permanent members of the direction’s team are made up of religious men and women. They plan the courses and secure the different places where the students do their teaching practice.

Most of the times they are also responsible for the training centres of their congregations.

Contact B.P. 359 Cidex 03

Abidjan – Riviera 03

Ivory Coast

Tel: +225 22 47 49 08

Fax: 225 22 47 02 59

ouattaraspierre@yahoo.fr

celafinstitut@aviso.ci


Contents

Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

Centre Lassallien Africain (CELAF Institut), B.P. 359 cidex Abidjan Riviera 03,

Celaf@aviso.ci www.celafinstitut.org

Director of the institute

Fr. Pierre Ouattara, director, Fr. Anicet Poda, vice director, head of the department of studies, Sr. Michelle Yoni Sonia, commissioned director CERP, Fr. Emmanuel Mboua, director CAFOP, Fr. Géniaud Lauture, secretary general.

Legal holder of the institute

Fréres des Ecoles Chrétiennes, founder of the centre, big chancellor

I`UCAO/UUA, archbishop of Abidjan, responsible for doctrine and discipline

CELAF INSTITUIT (normative, N. 8). Conference of Fréres Visiteurs of the Francophone African sub region, responsible for the normal function of the CELAF INSTITUT over an executive committee. Conference of

the Superior generals of the religious orders of Ivory Coast, founder of

CERP.

Missio, Fréres des Ecoles Chrétiennes, SECOLI, PROYDE, Porticus.

Vision / mission statement

Motto: “Signum Fidei in Africa”. The intention is to prepare ordained men and women, priests and lay people for their mission of evangelisation in the area of education in Africa. Slogan: Christian teachers, engaged for a new Africa.

A charitable institution, that favours the spirit of commitment and service.

Main areas of work

“The life and intellectual work of the students and teachers is to strive to conduct themselves as a living presence of the gospel in the community through which they try to develop the possible means of salvation in the African cultures.” House order Art.

The basic education peculiar to ordained women and men with the intention of deepening the roots of religious life in Africa (CERP). Training in educational studies and religious sciences (ISSPR). The training of primary school teachers who decided for the catholic education (CAFOP).

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

Priests and lay people, religious men and women who are sent from the dioceses and international congregations and the dioceses of the whole African francophone. They are called to contribute through practices and research in the parishes, in the private and state schools, of local and national standard during and after their studies. Almost twenty nationalities are represented every year.

Year of foundation

September 1991.

Organisational structure of the institute

See the organisation’s plan at the end of the document. .

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

Teachers 2009 – 2010: four religious women, 15 religious men, 12 diocesan priests, 9 religious priests, 34 lay people. Altogether 74.

Administrative and assistance workers: a priest, 7 ordained men, 3 religious women, 8 lay people. Altogether 19.

Staff members of your institute[2]

The permanent members of the direction’s team are made up of religious men and women. They plan the courses and secure the different places where the students do their teaching practice.

Most of the times they are also responsible for the training centres of their congregations.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

The training of the members of the direction’s team is first of all the responsibility of their individual congregations. However, the institute supports the ongoing personal training through the organisation of seminars, conferences, and the establishment of part-time working conditions with flexible working time.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

We feel obliged to the pastoral options of the local church and above all to the churches of Africa. In summary it involves taking care to prepare religious men and women for a preferential option for the poor.

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

The consolidation of the basic education of religious men and women.

To integrate in the education a sense of strictness and professionalism, justice and peace. To awaken in the laypeople the call to be Christian teachers.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

Pastoral and catechetical practices are obligatory for all students.

It involves especially the teaching teaching catechetical courses in the parishes, to take those are who commissioned to teach catechesis, to assist and to advice the catholic youth movements as well as to teach religious courses in the institutions.There are also further social-pastoral practices among street children, housemaids, and school children who have difficulties in learning.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

The relevance and credibility of the religious witness will also be imparted through the professional discharge of his duties. It involves giving religious men and women, especially those who are working as trainers, free hand to attain professional competence.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

The different apostolic activities mentioned below run through the whole academic year. They are an integral part of the academic programme of every year. It is important to add that we choose a theme every year on which we concentrate our efforts. The theme of this year is: “Christian teachers, we profess our faith for an Africa of justice and peace”.

What does this mean for the areas of catechesis, deaconry and liturgy?

(The question is not clear to us.) What goes on before explains the fact that we cannot leave the highest points of the liturgical year. We had our Eucharistic celebration at the beginning of the school year on 15th October. The theme for the year was explained during this celebration in the spirit of the year’s pastoral theme of the diocese .A volume of the important courses and a supplementary material for the training in basic catechism, in catechetical education and liturgy are planned. Introductory courses in social and ethical questions and about the social areas of education of the church are already in the programme. One studies in CELAF not only to acquire diplomas, but also to deepen one’s faith.

What notion of God inspires your work?

The idea of one God, who is caring, and who wishes to make us his sons and daughters in the same family, moves us to contribute in Africa to the building of the church, which is the family of God.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

There is no Christian spirituality except there, where the Holy Spirit is heard.

And also except there where dialogue and a life of communion with the church, as well as awareness of the signs of the time, will be made.

It is our work to incarnate the spirit of Christ in Africa.

What processes do you use or develop to analyse reality? How are these elaborated and how are they linked to pastoral care? How do you pass these processes on?

The instruments that are used to analyse and to translate the processes into reality are the so called human sciences: sociology, psychology, history, philosophy and evaluation in the training.

What prophetic approaches does the institute put into practice with a view to shaping society?

Promotion of the prophecy of religious life. There is no dichotomy in the training of the teachers, the human sciences and the religious sciences. The preparation of the would-be administrators, managers in educational areas and researchers of education.

What does the work of the institute involve exactly? (Framework conditions? Publications? Courses? Lectures? Congress?...)

The academic year is divided into two semesters, in which two exams will be taken. There is a continuous assessment of the individual performance of the students during the theoretical courses, in the areas of exposes, seminars and in practical. The students will be given at least a week’s break before the exams. The courses take place mainly in the morning hours. The afternoon section is for practical and special exercises of the different congregations.

The academic life of the institute is made up of cultural, liturgical and sport activities which are organized by students` committee. A working group of volunteers, called “Agora”, published their “reflections in a yearly bulletin over the theme “Training in Africa. We have four major general events in the year: an opening school ceremony, the mass at the beginning of the school year, the family feast and the feast of the consecration of the church. The administrative team has two general assembles with all the students and two meetings with the assistant staff.

What magazines, periodicals, books, manuals, work aids, methodological instructions etc. does your institute publish?

Every year the institute offers two academic programmes,one for l`ISSPR and CAFOP and one for CERP. A house order, which is regularly brought to the newest standard, is handed out to the students. The regular revision of the statutes allows the adjustment and clarification of the organisation and its persued aims. Didactic publications for catechese, pedagogics and methodology have been realized as booklets, the «Cahiers du CELAF INSTITUT». A manual of studies in CELAF INSTITUT has been planned. Some selective publications about theology and philosophy are offered to the students. We have a website: www.Celafinstitut.org (is regularly updated).

What do you consider to be the most important service of your institute?

The training to religious life and a basic training as place for evangelisation.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

On the occasion of the evaluation of private highschools the ministery of high education of Ivory Coast classified our school as the second best and afterwards as the third best. We were successful in making progress and adjustment, although we rejoice over our good high publicity, everything remains very fragile.

What are the most important developments that you are dealing with at present?

To increase our admission’s capacity. To reach the height that some ordained people can do their studies up to doctorate, to implement the LMD system (Licentiate, master, doctorate) to the fullest. To establish a solid, efficient leadership team

What are the main difficulties your institute is confronted with in its work?

As a result of the social-political crisis we live in a difficult, unhealthy, administrative, economic and social conditions. Continuity in the leadership and administration of the institute.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

To plan a special course for licentiate in religious sciences. To reach a relative autonomy regarding the teaching staff. To be able to take over the financial problems. To maintain the canonical recognition of ISSR from Rome. To have recognition of licentiates and masters through the African and Madagascar Advisory Board (CAMES) for elevated high education system.

What hopes, dreams and visions do you have for your institute?

The opening of an experimental School in an already acquired piece of land. The establishment of a magazine for educational sciences. The opening of doctoral studies. To develop in to university status with many faculties, as a credible alternative to the failing state of high schools. This will be an opportunity for the church to have a strong voice in the area of high education.

To what extent does your institute support laypeople in the Church and in society?

CELAF promotes the laypeople in the church and the society through the different models of education which it offers.

How do you communicate your experiences and results to the respective local church, to neighbouring local churches and to other addressees (e.g. institutions affiliated to you)?

The occasion of the diocesan pastoral return of ordained men and women offers an opportunity for the exchange of experiences.

Through the yearly meeting with the authorities of the communities who admit the students our yearly reports appear on the UCAO/UUA and the ministry of high education and also on our web site. Equally we communicate our experiences through the celebration of mass at the beginning of the school year and also through the opening lectures...We have enormous exchange of experiences with different partner institutions.

To what extent does cooperation with the Bishops’ Conference of your country or with your diocese take place?

The archbishop of Abidjan is the big chancellor of UCAO/UUA Strictly speaking; we work together with the diocesan and national directories of catholic education.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

Uncertain question? Of the churches´ level? In large extent? We apply to the project of the bishops’ conference of West Africa, a university that is splitted in different local university units.

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

Renewal of an uncertain question. We apply to the network of the international union of the universities of La Saliennes and also the united catholic universities and institutes of Africa and Madagascar (ASUNICAN)

What kind of interreligious cooperation does take place with non-Christian religions?

There is no formal inter-religious cooperation with non-Christian religions excepting of one or two Muslim students or teachers in the department of primary school teachers` training.

What kind of ecumenical cooperation does take place with non-Catholic churches?

There is only a formal cooperation with non-catholic churches. However we have some Christian non-catholic students or teachers.

Which theological mergers/associations are you affiliated with (personally or as an institute)?

We cooperate with the theological faculty of UCAO/Unité Universitaire of Abidjan.

Also we are working with the theological institute of the Compagnie de Jésus. The centre of the missionary training of Abidjan.

How can we assist you with your intercontinental exchanges and with exchanges between the continents?

Financial support for publications. Organisation of colloquiums.


  1. It would be interesting to know among other things whether course participants are active at parish, diocesan or supra-diocesan level and whether courses are attended by priests, religious or laypeople.
  2. It would be interesting to know among other things whether the staff members of the institute are priests, religious or laypeople.