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Network of Catholic Lectors Elect Executive

Jun 18, 2008, 6:52 AM | Article By: By Augustine Kanji

What started barely a year plus five months ago have elected their executive to steer the affairs of the Lectors in the country. The interim executive put their affairs straight and has been recognized by Catholics and the Bishop of Banjul. They are a set of people who proclaim the Word of God in Church and outside the Church as the need may be. They were commissioned by Bishop Robert Patrick Ellison at Kunkujang given the orders to proclaim. Their interim executive headed by Ernest Anthony Mendy moved the Network ahead and has been seen as a force to recon with in the Church. They have a new executive and are now forging ahead in the right direction.

Austin Kanjia, the Networks interim Secretary General recounted their successes for the past One year and five months in office. The elections then followed suit.

Austin Kanjia says, "The idea of the Network came about during the exchange that existed between St. Therese and St. Charles' Lectors. The idea was sold to St. Kizitos's, St. Charles and Star of the Sea. A few dedicated members were sent to go and sell the ideas to these sister churches. This was a sure sign of success from the onset.

Holy Spirit Church, St. Michael's parish and Holy Cross parish could not still reply whether they want to be part of the Network or not. But we have not relented still.

During the course of the year, we tried hard to meet every month to organize churches to partake in the proclamation of the Word of God in different churches, which has earned us a remarkable name and have been recommended by many, making us a force to recon with in the diocese.

When we noticing its success, we wrote formally to the Bishop of Banjul, Bishop Ellison, introducing ourselves, the executive invited in his office to talk about the idea formally. He embraced it and was then to operate formally in the name of the Church

The interim executive made it possible for over Two Hundred of its members to be formally instituted during the 8th of December 2008 Kunkujang Mariama pilgrimage. This sent the signal to all that we were here to stay and to make a mark in the life of our dear Church.

We had the quest to strengthen other members who have not had the chance to join the Network or are in the network but are full of constraints. We have dispatched members to Brufut and are now proud to say that they have been empowered and are now going ahead with what they gained from the Network. We also sent members to St. Peter's Lamin but it has not yielded any fruit to write home about yet, our friends there should wake up. Kololi and Holy Cross are in the pipe line for the visit. We have it to visit Star of the Sea, Cathedral, Holy Family, Blessed Sacrament and others too.

Our commitment has brought us recognition and are now included in diocesan functions. Meanwhile we have organized one big retreat for our members at the Holy Family Church at Bakau and there were recommendations from that retreat that we train our members and modalities are put in place for the training which would be passed onto the new leadership to continue. The Network has also worked assiduously for the formulation of a constitution which we are going to adopt today."

We have been able to bring lectors around the Kombos together to formulate something substantial for the network in The Gambia. The Network further has plans of expansion to the ends of The Gambia and this is part of the new mandate of the new executive.

The Bishop has been informed of our intention of asking Fr. Edu Gomez to serve as our Chaplain, which he is yet to respond to.

In a close contest for the positions, the following emerged as winners and were duly elected into office in joy. Ernest A. Mendy -President, Mary Kanu-Thomas, Vice President, Secretary General - Austin Kanjia, Assisted by Madeline Sambou of Divine Mercy of Brufut, Treasurer-John Nance of Resurrection, Social Secretary-Harriet Njie of Blessed Sacrament, assisted by Veronic Kujabi of St. Peter's, Auditor- Peter Gomez of Holy Rosary of Lamin, PRO-Oluranti Oyeneye of Holy Family and was assisted by Theresa Adekunle Kanjia of Star of the Sea, Religious Secretary-Peter K. Rogers of St. Charles assisted by Angelic Nakui of the Blessed Sacrament at Kanifing.

The new president thanked all for re electing some of the interim members showing that they worked hard. He thanked all parish priests, Fr. Edu Gomez for his interest in the group the Bishop and those who always assist the Network. He urged those who are not yet members to try and be part of the Network for the good of the Church. "I call on your support and member participation. Success cannot be achieved without you and it entails sacrifice. The group meets on the 11th July 2008. All are urged to be here with new members as well."