Youth and vocation ministry in our region is everyone’s business!
We have created the Youth and Vocation Ministry Commission, appointing two sisters to be in charge. Moreover, each sister in the region has been invited and made aware of her responsibility towards the vocation ministry and its promotion. We have decided to no longer wait for young people in our communities, but to reach out and meet them in their own environment (schools, parishes, dioceses, universities, etc.).
In our schools, our presence is active. The sisters who teach seize the opportunity of the classes, especially religion (catechesis), to speak about vocation. There are ways of stimulating this pastoral work, through the celebrations of the Congregation and by listening to and welcoming young people. Break times, at 10 am or at midday, give us the opportunity to answer the questions and concerns of the young people about their lives and their vocation. The key question is always: “Sister, why did you become a nun?”
At the parish, we are present in the various youth groups and movements. We lead monthly recollections and evening meetings during the week of prayer for vocations. We also participate in activities organised at our dioceses (conferences, youth days, etc.). During these days, each congregation presents its religious family. We also take this opportunity to distribute our brochure to our diocesan priest and consecrated friends, as well as to seminarians and young people who wish to receive it. Our aspirants constitute an effective support for this pastoral work.
In Cameroon, we always participate to the diocesan vocations camp, whether in Yaoundé or Bafoussam, or even in dioceses where we are not present. We also talk about the Congregation in the different parishes, either by invitation or by our own initiative.
Social networks like Facebook are excellent means for this pastoral work. The sisters as well as the aspirants and postulants are involved. We have welcomed aspirants through this medium. The videos sent by the RA JC.vivit secretariat and posted on our page raise many questions from the young people, who contact us to get to know us better.
The communities organise a recollection one Sunday per month and welcome aspirants who wish to join in. We also invite them to our retreats in preparation for Christmas and Easter. In addition, our doors are always open to those who want to get to know us. Each community takes time to share and reflect on the way in which youth and vocation ministry is taking place.
We also do pastoral work with families when a young person expresses the desire to join us. We take the time to explain to the parents or the family the meaning of religious life, its demands and particularly our life as sisters of the Assumption.
Sharing the experiences of some aspirants
My name is Renate, I am a 21 year old third year student at the Higher Institute of Pedagogical Sciences in Kinshasa. I got to know the sisters of the Assumption through two sisters who were studying with me and was then invited to the recollections. At the moment, I am doing my professional training at the Mpiko high school (School of the sisters of the Assumption). I spend three days a week with them, participating in their prayer and community life as well as in the manual work of the community. I am happy with this experience. I ask God to help me so that one day I will be one of them.
My name is Micheline, I am 22 years old and I come from North Kivu. I have a Bac in Nutrition. I met the sisters of the Assumption through an Assumptionist brother. The sisters were ready to welcome me but my parents didn’t really support my choice. To discourage me, my father forced me to work for a year to help them. So I worked for a year as a salesgirl, applied again and was accepted. In Kinshasa I joined the group of trainees. I am very happy with the life of prayer (adoration) and my apostolate at the school and parish. I am also happy to serve Christ in this congregation.
My name is Myriam. I am from a Christian family and come from the diocese of Idiofa. My cousin put me in touch with a sister of the Assumption. After a period of accompaniment, I am happy to share my life with the sisters and aspirants as well as to work at the school, in contact with the girls.
This is our way of working towards youth and vocation ministry. May Mary, our mother of the great Yes, help us in our daily journey to follow her Son.
SISTERS BIBIANE MARIE AND CLÉMENTINE MYRIAM
Kinshasa. Central African Region