On Sunday morning, December 8th at 9.00 a.m. in the Tanzanian parish of St. Noe, Poli Singisi / Arusha, a solemn Mass in honor of the Immaculate Conception began, during which ten Novice Sisters made their First Profession. The newly professed Sisters are from the first group of Novices who have completed a full two-year program of their formation in the International Novitiate, which was inaugurated on September 8th 2017. The Sisters come from Tanzania, Rwanda and DR Congo. The ceremony today was an historic event for the Congregation of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters.
On the eve of the First Profession, during solemn Vespers, the Novice Sisters renewed their Baptismal promises. The liturgy was led by Fr. Piotr Bujnowski OFM Conv. In a brief reflection, he emphasized that a vocation is a free gift from God and called on the Sisters to be joyful and loyal to the Lord and their congregation.
Fr. John Onna SAC, Delegature Superior in Tanzania was the Chief Celebrant of the Holy Mass on December 8th and gave an inspiring homily. Other priests concelebrated, two Holy Ghost Fathers with their Provincial Superior, Fr. Philipo Massawe, a Jesuit, a Franciscan Conventual and many Pallottine Fathers. The parish priest, Fr. Francis Mumburi, OFM Conv, was the Master of Ceremonies. The celebration was also enriched by the presence of many Sisters from neighboring Congregations: Our Lady of Kilimanjaro, St. Elisabeth’s, St Charles Borromeo, the Precious Blood, a Theresian and a Franciscan of the Lord. Holy Mass was animated by a mixed choir of young men and women consisting of Novices from the above-mentioned Congregations. Fr Francis said the parish of Poli Singisi is a “Little Vatican” because of the number of religious houses in the area.
During the liturgy, various languages resounded, like in the Upper Room: Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda, English, French and local dialects from Cameroon, Tanzania and Rwanda. There were also local traditions, such as the solemn enthronement of the Gospels accompanied by flaming fire and dance as well as a dance of praise after Holy Communion.
The Novices pronounced their vows in the presence of Sr. Izabela Świerad SAC, Superior General, and the Major Superiors from their respective Province and Region: Sr. Basilisa Jacob (Tanzania) and Sr. Bellancila Mukandahiro (Rwanda/Congo). Many parishioners participated in this unique celebration as well as Pallottine Missionary Sisters from outside Tanzania: Sr. Anna Małdrzykowska, General Councilor, Rome, Sr. Dolores Deko from Poland, Sr. Mary McNulty and Sr. Nancy Logue from England, Sr. Weronika Sakowska, Superior of the Delegature in Cameroon, Sr. Elisabeth Hartnick from South Africa, Sr. Cécile Bimenyimana, Regional Councilor from Rwanda, Sr. Odette Uwamariya from Uganda, and many Sisters from the Pallottine communities in Tanzania.
In her words of good wishes, the Superior General addressed a message to the Sisters, the new ‘Brides of Christ’, that they be people of peace, prayer and silence; that, following Mary’s example, they would respond to God always with their generous yes and that in their consecration they would be happy and bring the joy of the Gospel to the world.
The Mass ended at 2:30 pm. and there was no end to the celebration …
Congratulations to the newly Professed Sisters and we wish them God’s blessing!!!
May this beautiful bridal ceremony with Christ continue!!!