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May 16, 1976 - May 16, 2020, 50 years ago, the Religious of the Assumption arrived in Dahomey, now Benin. Because of the Corona virus pandemic, the celebration did not take place last year.
This year, our sisters wanted to mark the event because not giving thanks is a sign of ingratitude. Indeed, on Saturday 8 May 2021, the Good Shepherd parish in Abomey was crowded with people on the big days of the festival. The celebration of this golden jubilee of the presence of the Assumption was presided over by the local Ordinary, Monsignor Eugène Cyrille HOUNDEKON, surrounded by about twenty priests, including the parish priest, Abbé Philippe DEGUENON, and his vicar, Abbé Adolphe MAWUTON, in the presence of many of the faithful, including the Friends of Abomey and those who had come from Togo (Notsé and Sokodé) to live this time of thanksgiving in Assumption Together.
More than 50 years ago, through his pastoral care and concern, Bishop Lucien Agboka invited the Sisters of the Assumption to open a community in his diocese for the care of the sick, especially children. This foundation became effective on 16 May 1976 with the arrival of the first sisters. At the beginning of the Eucharistic celebration, the history of this arrival was sung by the choir in Fon, a local language. In his homily, the Bishop paid a vibrant tribute to the entire Congregation: "The time has come to express our gratitude to the Infinite Father in heaven... the presence of the Religious of the Assumption has enriched our life of prayer and our awareness of a mission that must be carried on. We salute the immense work of the sisters; we encourage them to continue the mission of the Bible Camps so that the children get a taste for the Word of God...".
It was a joyful and peaceful celebration to the glory of God! After Mass, a fraternal meal brought us all together; the local Ordinary offered cake and champagne to the sisters and their friends. “It is God who leads all things, and never a more loving or wiser hand could lead our destinies.” All best wishes for the future to our sisters in Abomey so that the Kingdom of Christ may come in us and around us!
Sr Marie-Madeleine AGONOU RA