At the heart of all Spiritan Mission is evangelization of the poor! Spiritan missionaries are called by virtue of their vocation and commitment to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the marginalized, downtrodden, abandoned and oppressed. Being the defenders of the defenceless, therefore, remains the integral part of our Spiritan calling. The Spiritan Foundation of Nigeria South-West is not excluded from this global Spiritan mission.
Hence, in our first Chapter as a Foundation held in December 2010, the renewed call to be on the side of the poor as witnesses of the gospel and workers committed to the holistic development of the poor was of topmost priority. And geographically speaking, the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria remains a perfect ‘battleground’ for realizing our Spiritan Dream of being “friends of the poor.” It’s not surprising therefore that our Chapter Document (CD) of this great assembly promulgates the following
“Ecological matters in the Niger-Delta will be of primary interest” (CD 1.1)
“The foundation will strive to make Escravos an independent mission” (CD 43)
“The confreres working in the Escravos mission are encouraged to put in high degree of commitment in their mission” (CD 44)
The Situation Oil exports from Nigeria began in the 1950’s, and now account for about 90% of the foreign exchange earnings, and 80% of the federal government revenue. Over 90% of these come from the Niger Delta. Yet, the Ijaws and all the other tribes from the Niger Delta live in abject poverty and in inhuman conditions, with no portable water, no hospitals and clinics, sewage system and tarred roads. Moreover, their farmlands, rivers, streams and creeks are being polluted, causing unimaginable Illnesses.
The Spiritan presence and mission here is therefore a mission of presence, a mission of solidarity – a mission centred on compassion. It is our commitment to uplift the human condition here.