The Meeting of Sisters with Temporary Vows
Delegation of Africa
Yaounde, 17-19 April 2015
The meeting was held in the community of Jesus and Mary, Mendong , Yaoundé ,Cameroon, precisely on Friday evening ,17 April ,2015 at 5.30pm, with the presence of eighteen sisters ,fourteen sisters with temporary vows among these was Sr Valle Chias who is on mission in Malabo community, Guinea and four sisters from the council of the delegation of Africa. Theme of the meeting was; “Our daily spirituality”. It was backed up with the sayings extracted from a chapter of The little Prince “that which is attractive to the desert, it’s that which hides a well somewhere” The aims of the meeting were; the integration of the priorities of the congregation, deepening of self knowledge and the creation of a one delegation.
The meeting began with a joyful atmosphere for self presentation as the sisters were introduced to the agenda of the day, they expressed in turns their expectations of their presence which was in line with a beautiful commentary conversations of the “Our Father” shown, this touches the realities of daily situations our communication with God and others. Where would I find God? this question which was in line with the Ignatian spirituality and was animated by Sr Linda Abicha, she started by defining spirituality as a way of living in relationship with God and this involves finding God in all things and all things in God which touched five important occasions that can give rise to spiritual growth which are ; at work ,in difficult relationships, our weaknesses, in loneliness, and pleasure, bearing in mind that we are contemplative sisters in action, she emphasized the need of daily examinations of conscience which entails gratitude, review of the day, sorrow, forgiveness and grace .Relying on the power of God and our simple acts of following Jesus who did not finish on the cross, but on the new life of the resurrection where we find patience, endurance, and determination remaining engaged in our objectives despite the difficulties .
Living discernment with regards to the rules of Saint Ignace was delivered by Sr Sile Crowley, who explained the differences in spirits, the good and the bad spirits, the good spirit helps us to move towards God while the bad spirit draws us away from God ,while taking awareness of our interior movements in order to take up good decisions .The human aspect was also touched by Sr Judith Dossa, to start with “Who I am” deepening of self knowledge with relation to work, constructive communication, self esteem(worth) towards positive statements and creative thoughts which can be very effective to the realities of the daily situations of life.
Furthermore, the contemplative dance was introduced to the sisters by Sr Encarna Viarnès, this open our minds and hearts to a new perspective of dance, on subsequent days in the chapel ,we had a simple choreography, which brings the mind progressively to silence ,serenity and interior prayer, it was done mostly in circle, which gives way to working in communion ,respond to love, announce joy, peace ,equality in relationships, respect and fraternity .This was an avenue where one finds herself in a laboratory applying these new attitudes to our daily situations of life which comes from the depth of our hearts as we communicate with Heaven and Earth in thanksgiving, blessings, consolations and reverence in the Lord’s presence. In addition, the life of St Claudine was not left out, Sr Encarna made known the sixteen letters of St Claudine with relation to her daily sensitivity, these were not religious, but act with respect to her realities, her true feelings towards her family and which was seen in her vocation as an educator .
In conclusion, the three days meeting came to an end on Sunday 19 April 2015, with a film titled “Journey to Emmaus” this deepen our sense of belonging in union with the risen Jesus, saying with the disciples: Were not our hearts burning within us… as we listened and participated in this programme? Filled with grace we are invited to live this experience in our respective communities and wherever we find ourselves in the spirit of joy, hope and love.
A heartfelt thanks to the council of the delegation of Africa and warmth hospitality received from the community of Mendong, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Christiana Omonjeva, rjm.