We do not forget the “peripheries” of which the Pope speaks so much and which were recalled to us by our Chapter of July 2016.
The “Fiftieth Anniversary” of the Daughters of Jesus in the Ivory Coast…. it has become part of our daily conversation at Daoukro, at Brobo …
We planned activities, then altered the planning x times … one has to be realistic. However, on Sunday March 5, we were able to organize an evening with the Daughters of Jesus at Brobo. It had been announced in the parish and the villages a few times already and was due to begin at 6 pm.
What a craze! The people of Brobo know us better; we are in close contact with them but it’s not the case for Christians in the surrounding villages grouped into 5 sectors also dependant on the mother parish, Brobo: they seldom see the Sisters. They were thereby happy and proud to have been invited.
The Catechists in each village had been instructed to sensitize those likely to participate … and had advised us of the approximate number of respondents. Because of the distance, one had to think of nutrition and accommodation.
Already at 3:30 a group of women arrived, happy to have made the 7-kilometer journey under a scorching sun in an overwhelming heat of 33 degrees! They were welcomed with a large glass of fresh water followed by a nap on the verandah where they stretched out on loincloths. Little by little others followed. The evening began with a meal served to all these travelers. Some women, partners or friends of the Sisters, took care of the meal: the sectors helped out in kind or in money. Christians from Brobo Center gradually joined those of the villages. Some young people helped out by carrying all the pews (benches) from the church and placing them in the yard. It’s precisely there in the yard that we all felt more at ease. We had to add many more chairs as there were at least 220 persons of all ages: adults, young folks and even children.
At 7:30 we began the formal program: a warm welcome to all, a presentation of the sectors by a Daughter of Jesus and the opening prayer by the parish priest. We then viewed the projection of a slide show entitled: “The Daughters of Jesus in the Ivory Coast”. Everybody seemed interested. The accompanying commentary being in French, a catechist translated it into baoulé.
The fact of recalling the history of the Daughters of Jesus in the Ivory Coast over the last 50 years, awakened many memories especially among the elders. Some of these knew the first Sisters or those that came shortly afterward and they appreciated them very much. They were happy to recognize certain faces…
Some other photos showed the Sisters that succeeded the first ones at Brobo and their various activities at the time, assisted by many DCC co-workers (Catholic Delegation for Cooperation). What are the Sisters doing nowadays? They are no longer seen in the neighborhoods or the villages as their predecessors were. They have full-time jobs either as teachers in the Catholic schools or as educators at the Mother of Mercy Center for the handicapped.
The host for the evening then presented each Sister. It was certainly providential that Sr Irène Kouassi, who is in charge of the Sector and Débora, a novice in training at Daoukro, happened to be present as well.
Those coming from afar slept over at Brobo and returned home the next day.
Now we look forward to the closing celebration of this Fiftieth Anniversary which is planned to take place at Brobo on July 7 -8, 2017.