Celebrating at Sakania
Celebrating at Sakania
Sakania (RD Congo). November 6, 2016, was the day of celebration and festivity for the 90 years of FMA presence in RD Congo.
Mother General and the Provincial, Sr. Maria Domenica Mwema, left from Lubumbashi by car and went to Sakania, the place where the first FMA had arrived to begin the Salesian educational mission work in the Congolese land. After a short stop at Mokambo, where there was a joyful welcome from the community and a small surprise: the presence of six FMA from Zambia who came to share the feast of the 90 years and to meet Mother Yvonne.
Mother and the Provincial arrived at the train station of Sakania, a stage of the trip of the first missionaries: Sr. Matilde Meukens, Sr. Herkens Valerie, Sr. Ughetti Seraphine, Sr. Vleurinck Rachel, Sr. Van Assche Maria, and Sr. Wolkenar Hubertine. There they were welcomed by numerous young people, AEFMA, children, and the people of Sakania, all taken up in an atmosphere of joy and festivity. After a brief welcome greeting by Petronille Sambrwa, AEFMA, they went in pilgrimage to the Salesian Parish of St. Dominic Savio to thank God for the gift of the Salesian charism.
The sisters, young people, adults, and children took their places under the shade of the flowering ‘flambotant’. The Mass of gratitude was presided by Msgr. Gaston Ruvezi, Bishop of the Diocese of Sakania-Kipushi and concelebrated by many Salesian and Diocesan priests among whom was the SDB Provincial, Fr. Jean Claude Kayumba.
The songs and dances proclaimed the marvels of God during the ninety years lived in the educational commitment for the Congolese young people.
At the conclusion of the liturgical celebration, Mother General spoke words of gratitude, leaving everyone with her message of hope and of life. On every occasion, the power of the charism that renders the whole Salesian educational mission fruitful was emphasized. Present at the ceremony were also the Police Captain, the Director of the ANR Agency, the President of the Tribunal of Sakania, and the Rector of the Lubumbashi University, Professor Kishiba Gilbert.
After a time of conviviality, the ceremony of the constitution of the official commission of SYM (Salesian Youth Movement) took place in the afternoon. Mother Yvonne exhorted the young people to follow Christ and to be a gift for other young people.
In the evening, Mother visited Mary Help of Christians Medical Center and, on the occasion of the 90 years, presided at the inauguration of the new clinic and emergency room. There was time for an exchange of gifts while Mother distributed the African Bible to the medical and nursing staff.
On her return, Mother Yvonne was together with all the FMA, Aspirants, and Postulants for a time of dialog and sharing. The Postulants sang the hymn of the first missionaries composed by Sr. Maria Josée Lungo. With her Good Night, Mother gave each of the communities a frame with the picture of the first missionaries in the Congo.
On the morning of November 7th, Mother gave the Good Morning to the students of the maternal, primary, and professional school. She gave an African Bible to the teachers of Sakania and the students of the final classes.
Mother Yvonne continues her pilgrimage to Mokambo, Kafubu, Ruashi, and Kinshasa to meet with the FMA, the educating communities, Salesian Family Groups, children, and young people of the various educational works.