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Two Provincials come to town

provincials_01Wojciech Ziółek (right in picture), Provincial of the Southern Polish Province, was in Dublin this week. While struggling with English he managed to convey his gratitude to the Irish Province for hosting so many Polish scholastics. Apparently ‘most’ enjoyed their stay very much. The Provincial for the East African Province, Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator (left in picture), also visited Ireland briefly last week and gave a wonderful talk to a group of Jesuits in the Milltown Park residence, voicing gratitude for the Irish contribution and a description of the complex and rich nature of the EAP. Fr. Orobator, an ecclesiologist from Nigeria, had been working as lecturer and rector of Hekima College in Nairobi when, to his great surprise, he was appointed to the EAP as provincial.  (View video; listen to podcast). Conall O’Cuinn SJ remembers him vividly. Read his account below.In 1990 as a scholastic in Kinshasa in the Congo Republic, Orobator showed himself to be a brilliant final year student at whose feet the professors sat. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator grew up in a traditional Nigerian family near a Jesuit Parish. At age 14 he became fascinated by the baptism of young people during the Easter Vigil. Two years later he was baptized and, at age 19, he entered the Society of Jesus. Throughout formation he demonstrated a great ability for learning; he studied in the Congo, Kenya, the United States and Great Britain. There he earned a doctorate in Systematic Theology focusing on the Church in Africa. He was then assigned to teach at the Jesuit school in Nairobi, Kenya, Hekima College. Presently he is provincial superior of the East African province. He speaks about the future of his province with 70% of its members in formation; he describes the visit of Father General to his province several months ago, and about the recently concluded meeting of the African provincials (JESAM) in Rome.

— Conall Ó Cuinn