Light can emerge in the very heart of the night and, in this time of the COVID 19 pandemic, the signs of life can surprise us and give us reason for thanksgiving! After three months and more without any gatherings, the containment measures in both Rwanda and Chad have been eased and activities are gradually resuming. Most of our churches are open (at least where we are) even if we still have to respect the required protection measures. Many of our missions have resumed and others are gradually starting again, always with the agreement of the government, which checks and approves the implementation of measures against COVID 19. In Chad, one year after the foundation, our sisters of the Saint François de Béré community are gradually integrating the reality of the place and are engaged in different services to the population and within the diocese of Lai. With the start of the last school year, it was a new beginning; our two sisters officially took on the mission of directing two schools in the diocese: Sister Bernadette Marie has since then been the director of the Collège Saint Anselme de Béré, while Sister Beatrice Thérèse is the director of the primary school Saint Marie Marguerite de Béré. As our sisters express it, "The harvest is abundant". Certainly, we pray that the master will send workers while making us available to the calls he never ceases to make.
Yes, life is beginning again and Heaven fills us unceasingly with its graces: On the 28th of September, on the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, we had the joy of celebrating the temporary profession of our sister Marie Chantal. The ceremony took place in the Novitiate in the presence of the Provincial and some of the Sisters of the Province. We say thank you to our sister Marie Chantal for her Yes to the Lord and thank you to all of you who joined us with your presence and prayer. Also at the Novitiate, from 22 to 26 October, nine young candidates for religious life at the Assumption had a session animated by the members of the Commission for Youth and Vocations Ministry. It was this group that gave us 5 aspirants who are preparing to enter the novitiate on January 18, 2021. Let us continue to pray for these young people.
In Gikondo, Provincial House, the construction work on the second floor of the house is progressing. "The joy of seeing our house grow bigger makes us forget the noise and dust that follow us everywhere" say the sisters of the community who have remained on site during this time of work.
In Kabuga, the community has taken over the animation of CENETRA (National Centre for Transformative Education) in its mission of welcome and formation at all levels. Clients come little by little. The weekends are more fruitful because we sometimes have weddings and people for the evening "barbecue"! The reception of groups for training started tentatively; those who take the risk can be counted on the fingers of one hand as the Rwandans say! As the schools have reopened, we hope that the youth groups of MY CULTURE (Ministry of Youth and Culture), will resume their habit of coming to us regularly to receive their training. This has been a "lean" year for CENETRA !!!! But we share everyone's fate because the Covid-19 pandemic spared no one. We are very grateful for the support of the Congregation which helps us in moments of trial such as those we are going through today.
On October 25th, we received GOOD NEWS, surprising, interesting for the history of our country and our Church in Rwanda. It was the nomination, by His Holiness, Pope Francis, of Mgr Antoine KAMBANDA, the Archbishop of Kigali as Cardinal. He is the first Rwandan Cardinal in the 120 years of existence of the Church of Rwanda. On November 28, a significant date of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Kibeho (Rwanda), the Catholic television, PACIS TV, allowed Christians to follow live and join in prayer with those participating in the consistory in which the 13 new cardinals were publicly and solemnly created. What a wonderful opportunity for many to discover this ceremony! May God accompany and support his messengers.
We will never cease to give thanks to God for the gift he has given to our congregation of working closely with the laity. From the very first attempts, we have always had surprises from the laity of Assumption Together, and from those close to us. The Bible camps have won us the trust of parents who have the joy of seeing their children open themselves to the richness of the Holy Scriptures. Most of these little ones, seduced from this first contact, no longer leave the Assumption; as teenagers, we see the same faces again among the animators of the bible camps and the group of young Assumptionists. We were beginning to get used to this before we noticed another reality that after their marriages many young Assumptionists became lay people in Assumption Together. In addition to this, the taste for the Assumption goes from generation to generation: today the daughters of our lay Assumption Together are asking to enter the congregation to become Religious of the Assumption. We already have a Religious and a postulant who will soon begin the novitiate. "He who plants is nothing, he who waters is nothing; but he who makes it grow is God" 1Cor 3.3. To Him all thanksgiving for these marvels. We give thanks to God for his action everywhere through the Assumption, in what can be seen or not seen.
In short, COVID19 has slowed down several activities, but we continue our journey, lay people and sisters, each in her own particularity and reality, to realise Marie Eugénie's dream of building together a more just and fraternal society
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