“Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5)
At the beginning of this year from 25th January to 10th March 2023, the Region of Our Lady of Kibeho, had the privilege of having Sr. Josephina D’ Souza, SAC, our Superior General accompanied by Sr. Maɫogozata Wyrodek, Vicar General for the visitation of the Region consists of Rwanda, Congo, Uganda, and France countries.
They were welcomed warmly by the Regional Superior and the sisters of the community in an African traditional way to express the joy and sentiments of our gratitude for the visitors who come to live among us. During this time the visitation plan was well prepared so that they can travel to the communities in different countries without any obstacles. The visitation began with a theme of XXI General Chapter “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5).
At the outset, they visited five communities in Rwanda, one community in Goma (DR-Congo) and one community in Masaka, Uganda. Unfortunately, due to unstable situation of Goma, DR Congo, it was not possible to visit the community of Rutshuru, but the sisters had an opportunity to travel to Rwanda to meet the Superior General.
The Sisters of the Region in different countries engaged in the apostolate of health, education, spiritual centers, pastoral care, and street Children projects. Some of the ministries are in collaboration with the diocese and Pallottine Fathers. Sr. Josephina and Sr. Malgorzata had an opportunity to meet Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, Archbishop of Kigali, and many bishops of different dioceses were our sisters established their missions.
They also met the Pallottine Fathers, UAC lay members and collaborators of Health Centers and Schools which are managed by our sisters. Generally, it was a joyful moment for the visitors to witness the dedication and commitment of our sisters towards our apostolic aim in carrying out corporal and spiritual works of mercy. They were very much touched while visiting the refugee camp in Goma, Congo. In spite of the uncertainties, it is amazing to see the joy and simplicity in the eyes of the poor, needy and neglected brethren. It was a heart touching scene, knowing that our sisters in Goma are journey together with these people towards the promised land.
Sr. Josephina had the opportunity to meet each sister of the province and listen to the significant stories of their faith which helped them to grow in their religious life. As the Region is in process of becoming a Province, at the completion of the visitation, there was a zoom meeting with all the sisters of the Region, physical meeting with young temporary professed Sisters and Regional Council meeting. These gatherings provided an opportunity to reflect on the present reality of the region, as well as opened an invitation to all the sisters to be co- responsible in implementing the Pallottine Charism according to the signs of the time.
Another significant event that took place during the visitation was the blessing and Inauguration of St. Vincent Pallotti School in Kassoka village, Masaka, Uganda. Together with Sr. Josephina and Sr. Malgorzata, there were sisters of the Region and invited guest who took part in this celebration. The event began with Eucharistic celebration by Bishop Serverus Jjumba followed by an official opening of the school by Bishop and Sr. Josephina D’ Souza our Superior General. It was an excellent opportunity for the sisters to involve in this education of the children through which they can engage themselves in family evangelization. At present there are 47 children in kindergarten and primary section. Since it is only one month-old school there is a great hope for the future development.
In February, Sr. Marie Claire Mukeshimanna was also delegated to do the visitation of the sisters in Osny and Quistinic in France who belong to the Region of our Lady of Kibeho. Here there are five Sisters who are engaged in the ministry of education and pastoral care. This apostolic engagement is in collaboration with the Pallottine Fathers and the Diocese of Vannes.
We the sisters of Our Lady of Kibeho Region are ever grateful to our Superior General and the Councillors for their dedicated time for listening and dialogue. Every conversation, sharing and celebrations were enriching and encouraging for our Consecrated life and mission in our land. Their love, care and concern for our growing entity will be ever cherished in our hearts. May God bless you dear Sr. Josephina, Sr. Malgorzata and Sr. Marie Claire. May you be guided by the Holy Spirit in your mission to our Pallottine Missionary Sisters all over the world.
Sr. Epiphanie Mukamusonera, SAC
Photos: Sr. Josephina D’Souza, SAC and Sr. Marie Claire Mukeshimanna, SAC