Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

First ECYD Camp in the Ivory Coast 

Regnum Christi members and Legionaries organized a week-long camp for teenagers in the Ivory Coast this July. 

Dr. Alain Kouamelan, a member of Regnum Christi’s first team in the Ivory Coast gave a little background: “Ten years ago, my wife Roselyne began directing the NET program with the first collaborators we had here.  See now that after the crisis this restarts and grows in the ECYD it is very beautiful.” 

Brice Hervé Kouadió, Bernadin Ossohou, Gervais Onené and Rosa Maagné are members of Regnum Christi of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. They organized, on July 7-15 the first formal ECYD camp in Africa, in Bonoua, Ivory Coast. Br. Melchior Poisson, LC, directed the camp. 

Fr. Alejandro Páez, LC, chaplain of the camp, explained: “The objective of everything was to introduce children to the ordinary life of a member of ECYD, to show the goodness of work, the apostolate and team life, as well as present the type of relationship that a member of ECYD has with Christ.” 

Fr. Alejandro Páez, LC, continued with plans, “Next Holy Week we are going to start Missionary Youth with the young women’s section and we also continue working with the  families at the Kindergarten. The field of mission in Africa is vast and is an extremely fertile land with souls of great size, capable of a commitment that truly moves.  I hope that this first ECYD camp will be the beginning of a great evangelizing work in what the Popes have called the continent of hope.” 

The idea of Africa being a “continent of hope” comes from John Paul II in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Africa. The Pope said to the Christians of the African continent: “Today you are the hope of the Church that is two thousand years old: being young in the faith, you must be like the first Christians and radiate enthusiasm and courage, with generous dedication to God and neighbor; In a word, you must take the path of holiness. Only in this way can you be signs of God in the world and revive in your countries the missionary epic of the primitive Church. And you will also be fostering a missionary spirit for the oldest churches.” 

Back to the camp, each day, the 23 boys and girls who participated in the camp prayed the ECYD prayers, attended a guided meditation and participated in Mass.  ECYD and its spirituality were covered in talks, such as: (1) What is ECYD? (2) the pledge of friendship with Christ, (3) ECYD’s mission, (4) charity, (5) holiness, (6) the Eucharist, (7) love for Mary, etc. 

Apart from the recreational and spiritual formation activities, the teens were offered various workshops such as theater, guitar, cooking, singing, dancing, and movies with discussions. 

At the end of the camp, the teens’ parents were invited to participate in a closing ceremony to present ECYD and announce the launch of the year’s activities.  On that occasion, those who participated in the theater workshop presented the parents with a work representing the life of the camp and “one day in ECYD.” The participants of the singing workshop lead the songs at the closing Mass and those of the cooking workshop prepared the dessert for the meal with the parents after the mass. 

Fr. Jean Baptiste Akwadan, diocesan chaplain and one of the first members of Regnum Christi in the Ivory Coast, commented: “It is very beautiful to see that ECYD organizes the children into teams where they can continue to form and carry out the apostolates that they have learned in the camp. This is something that we have not seen in Africa in a long time and that, without a doubt, will help to form Christians who are more active and aware of their evangelizing mission.” 

Read the original on Regnum Christi news in Spanish. 

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