Sister Ruthina Francis, a Daughter of Jesus on mission in the Ivory Coast, tells us about the launch of the activities of the 2021-2022 pastoral year in the parish of St Peter and St Paul of Daoukro, in the archdiocese of Bouaké.
The parish of St Peter and St Paul of Daoukro celebrated the beginning of the pastoral year 2021-2022, on Sunday, October the 31st, 2021. The Word of God for the liturgy of this Sunday of the new year invited us to “listen and love with all our heart“. (Gospel of St Mark, 12,28)
As usual, it was a pastoral re-entry lived out in splendour and high colour. Music played on the drums and several other local instruments animated the Mass. The songs, sung by the choirs in French and in Baoulé, were melodious and in rhythm with the steps of the dances.
The parishioners were dressed in colourful uniforms. The groups, movements and associations of the adult, youth and children’s pastoral groups were present in full force. It was a beautiful and memorable celebration!
The theme chosen by the two bishops and the pastoral agents of the Archdiocese of Bouaké for the year is: “Let us build united Christian families in the image of the Holy Family”. This theme will in fact be meditated on and put into action for three years. The aim underlying the choice of this theme is to support the families of the Archdiocese of Bouaké in the face of everything that opposes the family as an institution. It is also intended as a way of helping parents to take seriously their role as the first educators of their children.
It is also in line with the vision of Pope Francis, who has called for us to defend the family against anything that compromises its beauty, and above all to approach this mystery of love with wonder, discretion, and tenderness.
This year’s theme will be approached through different activities. There will be debates, liturgical celebrations, conferences for the different parish groups and movements as well as the Church Base Communities, and personal accompaniment of families. All of this is aimed at nourishing and deepening the faith of the Christian community.
The sending out
Father Alphonse LOUKOU, the parish priest of Daoukro, took the opportunity during his homily to underline the merits of family unity with the Holy Family of Nazareth as a model. He also invited the faithful to take “the Holy Family as a reference point” because “it is by truly loving one another that our families can be places of unity where everyone can blossom“. After the homily, each parish group and movement presented itself to the assembly.
In his closing words, the parish priest encouraged his parishioners by telling them that “they should be the reference points for the success of the parish pastoral year“.
“May we be witnesses of the love of Christ
and may we reach out with the help of
our heavenly Mother the Blessed Virgin Mary.
And may we work hand in hand,
in expectation and love for a successful pastoral year”
(Father Alphonse Loukou).
Happy pastoral year to the parish of St Peter and St Paul of Daoukro!
Sr Ruthina Francis, fj,
Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire