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H eventTuesday, 28 September 2021

"The Lord has humbled himself. He looked upon the earth. We contemplate his face".

Dear brothers and sisters,

The Novitiate Community of Saint Marie Eugenie in Yaoundé rejoices with you in this time of grace. We invite you to join us to see with the eyes of faith the wonders of the Lord in the present reality of our world.

Yes, the Lord has humbled Himself and He has looked upon our Region in its lowliness. The reopening of the novitiate in the Region is a cause for thanksgiving for us.

In August 20, 2020, Sister Françoise returned from the Novitiate Community of Bobo Dioulasso, West Africa, to assume responsibility for the Community and the formation of the novices here. We thank her for her availability.

On August 30, 2020, Sister Thérèse Nyiranzinza left the Community in Yaoundé for good, after more than 20 years of service, to return to her Province of origin. We thank her very much for her participation in the life of the Region. May the Lord grant her health and many blessings as she continues her journey.  Through her, we say thank you to the Province of Rwanda-Chad for the journey we have made together.

On September 1, 2020, we contemplated the Face of the Lord in our Community which was effectively opening its doors to six young girls, wishing to follow in our footsteps in the consecrated life and to carry with the Congregation, the charism bequeathed to us by Mother Marie Eugenie of Jesus.  In fact, among the six young people, the novice Rose arrived from Bobo Dioulasso, where she began her novitiate, to join us. We say thank you to the Province of West Africa who welcomed her and began to initiate her steps in the following of Christ in our religious family. The five others (Angèle, Falonne, Gemima, Miflore and Trinité) made their postulancy in the Communities of Yaoundé and Bafoussam. They know how to express their joy in living together and are gradually discovering the life of the Novitiate. May the Name of the Lord be blessed forever.

An official reopening Mass for the Central African Novitiate took place on September 10, 2020 presided over by Abbot François Xavier OLOMO, chaplain of the novitiate and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Yaoundé. In his homily, he exhorted the novices to live humility, simplicity and openness in their accompaniment and formation. Emphasis was also placed on the inner freedom that allows each one to be herself and to give a personal response to God. 

The Lord looked upon our Community in the welcome and the official installation of the Novitiate. After this, the novices began the courses of formation in Community. They discovered the course on the Rule of Life as a particular mark of the novitiate stage. This course opens them to a better understanding of the spirituality of the Congregation and to better integrate it into their daily life. It also helps them to give the right place to the Virgin Mary. Bible reading helps them to become familiar with the Holy Scriptures and to know the History of Salvation better. The preparation of catechism classes helps them to deepen their life of faith and to take their mission seriously with the young people they are responsible for. Other courses are carried out in the Inter-Novitiate and others are programmed in sessions. We now let the novices share their experiences with us.

On October 9, 2020, the opening Mass of the Inter-Novitiate took place and the first contact with other Congregations and young people who, like us, are seeking to give their lives to the Lord.

The courses at the Inter-Novitiate actually began on October 13, 2020 with young people from 22 Congregations. It is a very significant experience that enriches us and allows us to grow together in the search for God today. It is also a way for us to live charity in the Church, because, instead of each Congregation looking for its own teacher for the same course, we combine forces to build our Church family.  We take part in these Inter-Novitiate courses twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Some themes are programmed in sessions and so far we have taken part in two sessions :

  • the session on prayer and reconciliation has made us aware that our family history is part of our being and we are invited to integrate them without choosing the parts we like, since there is no spirituality for a body in conflict.
  • the session on sexuality and affectivity in the Consecrated Life helped us to come out of our ignorance of the word "sex" since every being is gendered. We understood better that sexuality forges our whole person and determines our personality. And as young people, aspiring to the Consecrated Life, a good mastery of our sexuality and affectivity opens us to the sacredness of our bodies, for our body is the temple of the Spirit and the place of an intimate encounter with God.

"The Lord lowered Himself" in our community on the Solemnity of All Saints' Day when the postulants entered the Novitiate. As they often express it, the celebration allowed them to feel peace in their inner journey and the challenge to the love that stimulates them every day.  The symbol chosen by each one is a guiding thread in her life during this stage of the novitiate.

We closed the first quarter in the Inter-Novitiate on December 22nd with a beautiful Eucharistic Celebration of Christmas, followed by a family feast: dances, poems, sketches, etc. ... crowned by a meal prepared by the novices from the different Communities. We discovered the artistic and culinary talents of our novices. This ceremony ended with the discovery of invisible friends organized by the Inter-Novitiate. 

May the Lord continue to make our efforts bear fruit and may His Kingdom be known and loved through these efforts.

Once again, we wish you a Happy New Year 2021, full of the Lord's graces for each and every one of you.        

The St. Marie Eugenie Novitiate Community in Yaoundé      

Sisters Astrid, Françoise, Célestine Allégresse, Solange Immaculée, Angèle, Falonne, Gemima, Miflore, Rose and Trinité