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Formation Program for the newly Professed Sisters

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The five newly professed Sisters of the International Novitiate/Tanzania (8 December 2020) had the privilege of an extra three-month program after their Profession on December 7th, 2020. It was organised in Poli Singisi/ Arusha/ Tanzania by the General Council and guided by Sr. Liberata Niyongira and Sr. Honorata Lyimo, our General Councilors. This was to cover some topics which were not taught during the Preparation Course due to Covid -19 pandemic, which limited the movements of their Novice Mistress who was forced to stay in Rwanda for several weeks as the borders were closed. The Sisters needs were met through the planned program which included different courses about community life and intercultural living, commitment and the evangelical counsels, discovery of true freedom and discernment, history of the Congregation, New Testament and images of God, Church and Missiology, self-knowledge and emotional management. Deeping the Our Way of Life (Constitution) brought a sense of belonging and living the charism as consecrated women.

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To foster their mission spirit and apostolic zeal, the program included special visits to the members of a support group called ‘ASIZI’-HIV/AIDS.. The group meets at the Leadership Centre in Arusha and is under the care of the Pallottine Sisters in Tanzania. Ten people living in different places were visited. They were happy to receive the Sisters in their homes and were made to feel that they too are beloved ones. All of us Sisters could see how much people are in need to be listened to. We shared our love and gave time to them and with all trust they shared with us everything, mainly all the sufferings, that they carry in their hearts. Once a person started to share their life experience, the one listening had to give them their full attention. We experienced how each human being is so vulnerable and so precious and so is time too!

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In the Gospels we see how Jesus met people in their joys and in their sufferings. He had compassion for those in pain, like the family of Martha when they were mourning the death of their brother Lazarus. He was also with those in joy like at the wedding at Cana of Galilee. As another kind of apostolic experience, the participation in different events such as funerals and celebrations was a good occasion for the Sisters to touch the suffering people of God and to share joy with them. In this way we realized what Pallotti tells us: others are waiting for us.

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These apostolic experiences were a source to understand more fully what Pope Francis suggested to Consecrated people, when he asked them to leave their comfort zone so that they can meet persons in need of them. The support that the others need from us is not only material goods but more; they need our time and our presence, our love, and prayers. This program surely deepened the Sisters’ awareness that, like the first disciples of Jesus, we Pallottine Missionary Sisters are sent by Him on mission. It also strengthened their commitment, belonging to the Church and to the Pallottine Congregation, so that they can live faithfully and joyfully their call.

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The Sisters: Sr. Mary Grace, Sr. Lidya, Sr. Rebecca, Sr. Valeria and Sr. Beatrice are very grateful for this opportunity they received.

Sr. Liberata Niyongira, SAC