Each year, the Daughters of Jesus of the African Province meet for an assembly in Yaoundé, Cameroon. This year, the preparation for the 2022 General Chapter gave a very special aspect to the meeting.
The assembly for all of the Sisters took place from the 21st to the 24th of December 2021 and the general assembly of perpetually professed sisters from the 26th to the 31st of December at the provincial house in Mvolyé.
A colourful pagne
The Province of Africa wove a beautiful pagne with the highlights coloured by the striking reflections and cheerful motifs expressed in the songs and dances of the twenty-four sisters present from the eight communities.
Two General Councillors, Sisters Patricia and Colette, joined us, as well as Associates of the Congregation. Six from the Ivory Coast and five from Cameroon participated in the first two days. The twelve postulants and three aspirants joined us for morning prayer and the Eucharist.
Sr Chrescence’s welcome
In her welcome, our Provincial, Sister Chrescence, announced the absence of our two collaborators, Father Oscar and Sister Julie, one of whom was affected by COVID. She advised us, however, not to let this worry affect us.
As a consequence, the Provincial Council and our two General Councillors took over to guide us during these two important moments for the Province. After these words of encouragement, Sr Chrescence opened the meeting with the song «The First on the way«. This song, which speaks of Mary on her way to join her cousin Elizabeth, was a true model for us, Daughters of Jesus, on our way to the General Chapter.
A journey already begun
Sister Patricia Guillet, then reminded us in her fraternal greeting that the journey has already begun. We are in a process of listening :
- listening to the word of God
- listening to others
- listening to events in the world.
All of this allows us to enter into a spiritual experience that will help us to discover the other as a «treasure».
With these words of motivation from our Sisters, we began to weave the cloth. Our first task of reflection was to evoke the urgent calls to «honour the Sacred Humanity of the Son of God» (Rule of Life no 3) in our world. A reflection worked on personally, in small groups and in the large assembly. with the presence of the Associates, we did not only start out on our search from religious life but also from the life of couples and families. This gave a rich colour to the pagne
The theme of «integral ecology» had already been worked on in community and with the Associates. We made proposals for commitments to the poorest, to respect for life and to the safeguarding of our common home, in line with the call of Pope Francis in «Laudato si». A simple lifestyle and solidarity within the Congregation also brought colour to the cloth.
At the same time, the Associates, reflecting on their collaboration with the Daughters of Jesus, underlined their readiness to live the charism in their environment. In this way, they printed another beautiful motif on the page.
Together in the joy of Christmas
The assembly of the perpetually vowed Sisters which followed the Chapter forum allowed us to live fraternally together in the joy of Christmas and the New Year.
The Covid also came to disturb us! In these moments we were able to measure the attention paid to one another. In spite of everything, we did not lose our sense of humour, positive attitude and confidence!
It was a beautiful pagne and a beautiful experience of discernment on our journey towards the General Chapter!
«We recall with gratitude
the charism of our Founders.
We want to be led
by the same Spirit of Jesus
who inspired them,
and to renew our desire
to continue in today’s world
what they began.»
Rule of Life no 1
Sr Ruthina Francis dj
Daoukro, Ivory Coast