‘He who has called you is trustworthy and will carry it out’ (1Th 5:24)
On this Friday, 4 August 2023, the Province of Our Lady of Kibeho celebrated two great events which are, the final vows of two sisters, Sr. Alice Habanabakize and Sr. Léoncie Nyiraneza, and the Thanksgiving Mass for the elevation of the Region to the status of a Province. The Holy Mass was celebrated at Masaka Parish where the provincial house is located.
The main celebrant was His Eminence Antoine Cardinal Kambanda, Archbishop of Kigali. In his homily, he reminded us that the consecrated life is a gift given to the Church by the Lord himself and it is out of love that it is lived. Then he encouraged the sisters to be marked with joy in their lives as religious and to be grateful to the Lord for this gift given to them.
Sr. Angeline Kambugu, Regional Superior received the vows of the sisters and with gratitude thanked God for the gift of their vocations, and she thanked them for their self-giving to the Lord and to the congregation. She reminded that: “Consecrated life consists of announcing the good news of Christ’s love that is experienced and lived out in our daily life. It is that love of Christ that pushed Sr. Alice Habanabakize and Sr. Léoncie Nyiraneza to pronounce their vows to the Lord in the congregation of Pallottine Missionary Sisters for their whole life on this 4 August 2023.”
As from 25 March 2023, our Lady of Kibeho Region was elevated and has become a Province. This historical event was celebrated officially at the Provincial level on the same occasion. All the sisters rejoiced at this event and in the same spirit thanked the Lord who supported the sisters who came from Poland to start the mission in Rwanda and who gave this mission the opportunity to develop to this status of Province. The Archbishop thanked the Pallottines Missionary Sisters for their zeal and commitment to the missions of the Church in Rwanda and especially in the Archdiocese of Kigali.
Sr. Rafała Raś, who is among the first Pallottine Missionaries who came to Rwanda in 1977, was delegated by the Polish Province, our Mother Province, to take part in this event. Sr. Weronika Sakowska, who both worked in Rwanda and D.R Congo for some years came to represent the Cameroon Delegature. The England-Tanzanian Province was represented by Sr. Agripina J. Mmassy, Vice-Provincial and Sr. Agnes Joseph Ganus. In her address, Sr Rafała said that it was a great joy for her and Sr. Veronika to come again to the mission place of their youth. She added “Starting the Mission in Rwanda was not easy, we met with different difficulties but we thank God who assisted us and who made this mission possible’’. They were happy about the changes that have happened and thanked the first sisters who collaborated with them and accepted the formation.
Among the guests, there were the priests, Pallottine Fathers of the Holy Family Province, sisters of other congregations, family members, lay members of the UAC, our collaborators in the apostolates, and other friends. After Mass there was an agape in the convent of Masaka and different dances, poems and testimonies colored the day.
Our Lady of Kibeho Province is grateful to the Generalate Government for accepting its request to become a Province and for issuing the decree on 25 March to become a Province of what used to be Our Lady of Kibeho Region. This decree was read during Holy Mass. May Mother Mary, Our Lady of Kibeho intercede for us all always.
Sr. Adelphine Nisingizwe, SAC
Photos: Nsengiyumva Steven