“Building a New Covenant Community of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd in Africa, Isles and middle East”
To each of my sisters gathered in Angers on 6th -23rd August 2016; From Our Region (Africa, Isles and Middle East), and all the facilitators, translators from different places. I take this opportunity on behalf of the RIMOA Unit Leaders, and on my behalf, to extend a warm welcome to all our participants to this session.
A special welcome to each one of you and a note to all the sisters from our region for whom this session has brought them for the first time to Angers. Welcome.
This session accords you a chance, as sisters of Rimoa Region to congregate not as villagers, not as business associates, not as countries, not as units, but as a covenant community of faith to celebrate and share our oneness as a family as a congregation; our faith in God through our congregations history, traditions, charisma and spirituality which are the cord that binds us together as one body of Christ. We remind ourselves who St. John Eudes and Who St. Mary Euphrasia were, what kind of life they lived and what preoccupied them both as a free man/woman and at the same time as missionaries, leaders who valued and treasured collaborating with mission partners in mission during their time.
We are a unique Region owing to the fact that we are largely drawn from various diverse cultures, backgrounds; our units are young, there is a lot of new life, new energy, new beginning, we have vocations and have hope for mission expansion.
My sisters, these are among the many graces that have been bestowed on us by God and the challenge to consolidate and built on them for our growth rests on all of us. You as a community coordinator, a member in the community, a formator or project administers. It is my desire and hopes that as you gather in Angers you renew your commitment to hold steadily onto what bids us together for the growth of our communities, unit, region and the whole congregation.
In spite of the challenges that we still face as a young Region, we positively look to the future with confidence because we count on our growing numbers of vocations, the increased level of participation of many of us in international meetings, and the support we continue receiving from our congregation. May God’s grace be upon us all and may this session strengthen the bond of unity as a Region as a family as a congregation.
One way to capture this is to begin by looking at ourselves during these days as women connected by faith and remembering that the deepest relationship of life is not merely a blood or racial or tribal relationship; it is the relationship of mind to mind and heart to heart. It is when people have common aims, common principles, common interests, and common goal that they become really and truly kin. Let our kinship rest on Faith that unites us as a family of God.
I therefore encourage each of you to make this session a learning experience, a sharing covenant community and share with each other your giftedness, talents experiences, and faith, create new relationships, networking, make new friends and have fun. Enjoy every moment. May God’s blessings continue to be part of your daily experiences during these days.
HAPPY SESSIONS OUR DEAR SISTERS
“God calls you to make definitive choices and he has a plan for each of you: to discover that plan and to respond to your vocation is to move forward toward personal fulfillment. God calls each of us to be holy, to live his life, but he has a particular path for each one of us. Some are called to holiness … many preach the importance of enjoying the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, “forever”; because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you instead to be revolutionaries, I ask you to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage ‘to swim against the tide’ and also have the courage to be happy” (Pope Francis- July 28, 2013.)
THANK YOU, ASANTE, MERCI, OBRIGADA, MUCHAS GRACIAS
SR. FLORENCE M. KISILU –KENYA PROVINCE
COORDINATOR – RIMOA REGION