Viatorians live and work in 13 countries around the world, advancing their mission of “raising up communities where faith can be lived, deepened and celebrated.”
One of those countries is the Ivory Coast, located in West Africa, where there is much unrest as its presidential election approaches. But the desire to be welcomed into the Catholic faith remains strong.
After three years of preparation — working with Viatorian professed and associates — some 64 students at Abidjan University were baptized and received their first communion on Sept. 20.
“It was a very emotional celebration,” said Fr. Carlos Orduna, CSV, “the crowning of a long journey of preparation over three years.”
Fr. Orduna is one of the leaders of the formation process, as part of the Viatorian Scholasticate Community. These catechists include 12 professed Viatorians and eight associates. They meet with students once a week at St. Albert le Grand Parish, which is located near the university in Abidjan, the largest city in Ivory Coast. Some of these Viatorians teach at St. Viateur College, while others, like Fr. Orduna, teach at the university. Still others in the group are students.
The Viatorians of the Scholasticate live in a neighborhood close to the university. They were sent by the Archbishop to serve in Abidjan, starting in 1987, as collaborators of this parish team, working in liturgy and university catechesis.
“A common factor for all of us is to be involved in catechesis either in the university parish or in other parishes in the city,” Fr. Orduna adds. “It is truly Viatorian work.”