Missionary of joy and hope in the Antilles
Missionary of joy and hope in the Antilles
Rome (Italy). Madre Yvonne Reungoat concluded her visit to the Province of San Jose, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico (ANT). After being received with great enthusiasm by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the four communities present in Cuba: Manzanillo, Camagüey, Manguito, and Peñalver, she continued her animation visit in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, and in Puerto Rico where she met with the members of the Provincial Council and the community animators, FMA, SDB, groups of the Salesian Family, past pupils, young people, and educators. She also visited the various works of the Province.
on February 24, along with Sr. Basilia Ramìrez, Provincial of St. Joseph Province (ANT) and Sr. Teresa Zapater, Provincial Councilor, she was welcomed at the international airport of the Americas. Waiting for her were some Councilors, the Past Pupil President, María Isabel Pichardo, and a representative groups of boys and girls who gave Mother a bouquet of flowers and welcomed her to the Dominican Island with spontaneous words. From there, she arrived at the Provincial House where there were many FMA, past pupils, and young people to welcome her. They sang the welcome song and a young student, Scarlet Valenzuela, said: “We feel your presence is like that of Mary who walks in each of our communities…just like Don Bosco saw her at Nizza”. They offered Mother a basket of assorted fruit as the symbol of the desire of the Salesian youth of Santo Domingo to be the good earth that brings forth fruits of holiness. In Church, the Provincial Sr. Basilia, presented Mother Yvonne with the keys of the house, recalling that the true Superior is Mary. Smilingly Mother added: “I am here precisely to be among you…Thank you for making me feel at home with your Caribbean joy”.
In the evening at the Good Night, Mother paused on the various situations in this moment that call for attention on the part of the Institute: the difficult social/political reality of the Congo; the persecutions of Christians in the Middle East…
On the morning of February 25th Mother listened to the sisters of the Provincial Council in order to know better the journey of the Province, manifesting her gratitude for the aspects of growth that emerged and encouraging them to advance to find the right road and to respond to the challenges of the territory. On the following days, she met with groups of the Salesian Family and the young people in formation, experiencing the warmth and the Oratorian heart in evangelizing and educating the young.
On March 1, Mother Yvonne Reungoat was already in Puerto Rico, where she was received by representatives of the three communities present to the rhythm of joy and enthusiasm shown for her arrival. At Mary Help of Christians School, Mother Yvonne was welcomed by the whole educating community with songs, applause, and much joy in an atmosphere of familiarity and simplicity. With her smile, Mother Yvonne quickly showed her closeness and joy for being in that land for the first time. The children of the school expressed their joy for this encounter through their words, and made her feel immediately ‘at home’.
During her visit, Mother had a meeting with the community animators of Puerto Rico. Sr. Araceli Reyes presented the project elaborated for the six years 2010-2017 and briefly, the work and educational mission they are carrying out, the joys and the struggles, but also much hope. Mother Yvonne encouraged them and invited them to continue to “guarantee the continuity of the Salesian mission and to revitalize the beauty of the charism and witness to it with cheerfulness”.
On March 3rd at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, the students of Mary Help of Christians and St. John Bosco Schools received Mother Yvonne with enthusiasm and Salesian joy. The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Fr. Jorge Santiago, SDB, director of the community, accompanied by other priests. In his homily, he recalled the origin of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and invited everyone to pray for vocations. At the conclusion, the children and young people performed a dance expressing their gratitude to Mother for her simple and fraternal presence.
Mother Yvonne also met FMA and SDB in the parish parlor of the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians of Cantera for a fraternal time in which she spoke to them of fraternity and unity as Don Bosco dreamed of it since the beginning.
In the afternoon, accompanied by the FMA of Puerto Rico, she arrived at the international airport for her return to Rome.
Porto Rico: https://www.flickr.com
Santo Domingo: https://www.flickr.com