Kinshasa (RD Congo). On November 12, 2016 the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians arrived at the International Airport of Ndjili - Kinshasa (RD Congo), where she was received by the Airport Commander, Mr. Kitwa Pancrace ADB and some members of the Salesian Family who with their applause, expressed the joy of meeting her. Sr. Maria del Carmen Larai presented Mother with a shawl in the colors of the Congolese flag, to express the joy of her Daughters to have her in the RD Congo capital. Three children from FMA Don Bosco School, dressed in the clothing of the time of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello, welcomed her. The children enthusiastically offered her flowers and fruit from the Congolese land.
On leaving the airport, Mother Yvonne was given welcomed by the Kiro youth brass band, the medical Corps of Malweka, and other sisters who performed a dance.
Then they all proceeded in procession to Sanga Mamba where the first FMA community in Kinshasa is located. At Sanga Mamba, the girls of Mazzarello Work accompanied Mother to the Chapel singing. There was a short introduction by the superior of the community who interpreted the song “Love Story” composed by a Congolese song writer.
At St. John Bosco community of Kinshasa Sanga Mamba, Mass was celebrated by Fr. Jean Paul Luzolo who in his homily exhorts everyone to: “take care of their interior life which is the motor of what others see of us; to have a clear language and a loving heart for everyone”. The pouring rain stops the school children of Don Bosco from meeting with Mother. The community enjoys a lovely time of dialog with Mother on what she had lived in the region of Haut Katanga.
Later in the morning, some young people, collaborators, and parents are able to reach Mother Yvonne and greet her, thanking her for the presence of the sisters in a zone of the periphery of Kinshasa. The children offer Mother a picture, a dove, and flowers.
Unforeseen was the meeting of Mother with the Superior General of the Sisters of the Charity of Jesus and Mary. After a time of sharing together, the two Mother Generals share the joy of the encounter after the example of Mary and Elizabeth.
In the afternoon, Mother Yvonne visits Don Bosco Mastnak School 25 kilometers from Sanga Mamba, in an area of the periphery of Kinshasa where the FMA recently opened a work with a primary school, a literacy center for young people, and a bakery for professional formation. The sisters have only been living in the house built for them in front of the school for five days. The students accompany Mother singing until they reach the courtyard where a teacher reads the welcome greeting and a child offers a bouquet of flowers.
Mother meets with the sisters of the community. The animator, Sr. Hildegard Litzlhammer, explains the motivations for this new presence in an area of the periphery. Mother thanks them for their courage and daring in inserting themselves in such a difficult context for education and encourages them to go out to meet the people. After a time of conviviality, she goes to the Community of St. Joseph, of the Gombe, ‘Café Mozart’. The interns receive Mother festively and to the rhythm of a dance.
On the morning of November 13, in the Chapel of St. Joseph house of Kinshasa, Lauds is celebrated together with the sisters of Mbujimayi and of Tolo. Mother blesses the new superior, Sr. Maria Cristina De Lucia, who in expressing her gratitude for this trust, asks to be everywhere a sign of hope and service to the mission.
Mother meets the community animators and then participates in the Eucharistic celebration presided by the Apostolic Nuncio, Msgr. Luis Mariano Montemayor, who says in his homily to “have no fear but to overcome difficulties in fidelity to our first love, placing all our trust in God”.
At the end of the celebration, Mother Yvonne thanks the Nuncio for his presence and for his esteem for the Salesian Sisters of the RDC and renews the invitation to him to always visit their mission. Mother encourages the sisters to always be passionate for Christ and to live the Da mihi animas with new apostolic zeal, accompanying the young in their search for a plan of life. The only priority is the desire to be fruitful. What do the young know of our life? Let us open our houses to the young so that they can see us pray, eat, laugh and not only during school time and catechesis. Live the witness of women of God who must contagion the young. She invites them to take care of the vocation of the Cooperators as collaborators in the mission, to have the courage to suggest this vocation”. Sr. Marie Dominique thanks Mother in the name of all the sisters for her fecund and joyful presence.
On November 14, Mother greets the students of Café Mozart and the sisters who do not want to let her leave. A group of sisters accompanies Mother and expresses their joy and gratitude for having visited them.
Mother leaves the airport at 1: 45. Safe return to Rome!