The opening of the seventieth anniversary in the Province of Africa

The website team in Africa shares with us how the different communities In the Province celebrated the opening of the jubilee of the arrival of the Daughters of Jesus on African soil, throughout the month of April.

Take your places!

We’d like to take you on a journey through the Province of Africa.  Let’s start at Mvolyé in Cameroon.

The “mother” community of Mvolyé in the capital, Yaoundé, marked the opening with a very profound and prayerful Eucharistic celebration attended by 34 people – Sisters, postulants, aspirants, and visitors.

Some of the most important and symbolic moments of the celebration included :

  • the decor: footsteps on a path, with expressions or experiences of our predecessors.
  • the reading of an overview of the 70th anniversary written by Sr Thérèse Le Carrer, a former missionary in Cameroon.
  • the Universal Prayer, where each person brought a symbol and expressed what he or she wants to live in this Jubilee Year.  It was a very prayerful moment with even the visitors and the celebrant taking part!
  • After the communion each person collected their symbol and then stepped forward to receive a “message of life for the year “and the prayer to St Joseph, which the assembly then prayed together.
  • This magnificent celebration ended with the fraternal sharing of a meal together.

Now off to Chad

The community of Laï celebrated the opening of the anniversary during a mass presided over by Monsignor Nicolas, bishop of the diocese, in the presence of priests, Sisters, and laity from the town’s three parishes.

During the Mass, the parish community and the Sisters gave special thanks to the Lord for Sister Colette Girot, for all the work she had accomplished, and for all she had been for the diocese. May her soul rest in peace. 

Direction the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Here, the community of Kinshasha gave thanks to the Lord for all the Daughters of Jesus, living or dead, who, over the last 70 years, have taken to the boat and passed over the shores of Africa to bring the Gospel of love to their brothers and sisters. During the course of a Mass celebrated by a Salesian priest, the community shared the arrival of the first Sisters in Cameroon and how they lived out our charism with the assembly which included members of CEV and Associates.  The beautiful symbol of a boat, signifying our availability for mission brought us all together.  To conclude, the community presented this prayer to the Lord:

« Lord, may the fire that animated our pioneers continue to burn in our hearts so that nothing of Christ’s mission may be lost. »

We take off again for the Ivory Coast

We stop first at Daoukro

Here the community marked the opening of 70 years of existence of the Daughters of Jesus on African soil with a thanksgiving mass presided over by Father Alphonse Loukou, in the presence of some members of the MCPE (Catholic Movement of Education Personnel), Associates, and Christians from the various communities of the parish of Saints Peter and Paul in Daoukro.

 At the start of the celebration, the community gave a brief history of the arrival of the sisters in Cameroon and then explained the symbol of the banana tree chosen as a sign of continuity and life.

 «  Following in the footsteps of the pioneers, we must continue to be bearers of life,
signs of hope and unity, keeping the flame of the charism
and the mission of humanisation always burning. »

This was their message for today!
 

En route for Brobo

The opening of the jubilee was marked by a Eucharistic celebration attended by the Associates and several young people in search of their vocation. During this celebration, the community shared the story of the arrival of the first Sisters, their mission, and how, in recent years, the charism has been lived out in several fields – educational, social, health –  seeking in everything to Honour the Sacred Humanity of Christ.

 The community also expressed its joy at seeing that “after so much effort by their elders, the seed has germinated to allow for the young African sprouts who are still carrying on the mission“, and that “as the needs are felt, so the charism continues to be enriched as we work in simplicity and charity with those who are the most vulnerable and “little” of our time.”

At the end of the celebration, the Lay Associates with whom the Sisters share their mission spoke of their life with the Sisters and their conviction that they need “to work together, with them, on the paths of humanity, for more life“. The beautiful celebration ended with a time of sharing and conviviality.

We come back now to Cameroon

Landing at Soa

Here, the community marked the opening of the jubilee year with the university parish of Soa. It was a wonderful celebration and a great way to share with the students! The Sisters retraced the history of the arrival of the first Sisters on Cameroonian soil followed by a sharing supported by a PowerPoint presentation that illustrated some of the events experienced by the Sisters.

Followed by Bini-Dang

The community of Bini Dang experienced the opening with the Christians of the parish on 19 April 2023, the very day of the anniversary! At the start of the Mass, one of the Sisters took the floor to say that the Daughters of Jesus were entering into a jubilee period: celebrating 70 years since the arrival of the first three Sisters in Cameroon, in what is now the diocese of N’Gaoundéré, and giving thanks for the missionary work carried out by the Sisters.

On the following Sunday, the entire Christian community was informed and invited to join in the prayer with a view to the closing of the jubilee in December at N’Gaoundéré cathedral.

Sunday 23 April also marked the launch of the 70th-anniversary celebrations at the autonomous parish of Mbidjoro, where postulants and a sister go on mission every week. This small Christian community was founded by the Daughters of Jesus; some Christians still remember the Sisters who worked there. During the celebration of the Eucharist, Abbé Silvère, the chapel’s parish priest, invited Christians to accompany the Sisters with their prayers during this period of preparation, and young people to approach the community to discover religious life. A vocational group could be set up next September to mark the jubilee.

We finish in Karna

A weekend for the opening of the jubilee! Why not? Karna was the third foundation in 1955! The sisters and postulants from Bini Dang who were free that day came to join the community.  Using theatrical scenes, children, young people and mothers brought to life the call of the Sisters to Kermaria, their arrival in Ngaoundéré, Karna and their mission up to the present day! The presentation of the history and charism was followed by testimonies, including that of the “Honourable”, the Member of Parliament for the district, a former pupil of Sister Clémentine! She thanked the Sisters for all the good they had done for the local population. The atmosphere was wonderful, with singing and dancing!

On Sunday morning, at the thanksgiving Mass attended by the Associates, Father Ghislain Simo spoke to families and young people about the Lord’s call! Of course, a time of conviviality brought together Sisters, Associates and those involved the previous evening.

« How beautiful are your works!

How great are your works, Lord!

Lord, you fill us with joy! »

A bouquet of thanksgiving has just been offered to the Lord for our predecessors, calling us to continue on the path that has been opened up!

Reported by Srs Marie Thérèse Catusse,

Estelle Koffi, Pauline Nkoy djs

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