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We celebrate encounters with Church, religious, laity, benefactors

Kenya:

 

We celebrate encounters with Church, religious, laity, benefactors

Good Shepherd News 187

May 2006 

With joy and gratitude we acknowledge the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin, Apostolic Nuncio who presides this Eucharist celebration, Bishop of Meru Salesius Muganbi, our Parish priest Fr. Linus and all of you priests, religious and friends who accompany us today. We have the privilege to have among us two members of our Congregational Leadership Team who came from Rome for this occasion and Sisters from Ethiopia, Sudan and Senegal

One year ago, we started the Jubilee Celebration with this clear conviction: “Our memories are ways of encounter”. Yes, today the purpose of our encounter is to celebrate with deep gratitude the memories and the marvels of God during these 25 years of our presence in Kenya.

“Please mother, help us!  The establishment of the Congregation in Kenya started with this cry of Bishop Silas Njiru, and the answer to it of Sr. Bernardette Fox General Superior and the first missionaries Sisters: Josephine Cordeiro, Cristine Pinto and Sr. Hermine. We thank God today for all of them and the memories we have of their great life and work.

We celebrate today the encounter of these first Good Shepherd Sisters with the Church in Kenya. Today, your presence here, Apostolic Nuncio, is the presence of the Universal Church, as representative of the Holy Father to whom we are deeply united. Thank you for coming. Thank you Bishop Mugambi and all of you priests of Meru Diocese. The establishment and the expansion of Good Shepherd Congregation in Kenya is the fruit of your great help, continuous support and pastoral care. 

We celebrate today the encounter of the Good Shepherd Sister with so many religious congregations and committed lay people. “God’s providence and support is evidently clear through the generosity of priests, religious, and friends” wrote the first Sisters in the Annals naming concrete lays and men and women Congregations specially in Meru Diocese.

We celebrate the generous encounter with our lay benefactors, represented here by Lobo’s family. “I have a piece of land that could be given for your use…- said Peter Lobo to the Sisters – and, how many times Lobo’s family invited the Sisters or brought them nice gifts for Christmas and other feast days. Dear family, you are now a big family of many generations and for some of us it is difficult to recognize all of you. But the Good Shepherd Congregation, Lobo’s family and many other benefactors are and will be linked forever in Kenya as a sign of Christian generosity, gratitude and love.

 We celebrate the encounter of Good Shepherd Sisters with the people of Kenya, with their different realities, cultures and religions. Among them we enjoy God’s wisdom and presence in the wonderful nature of Kenya and through them we learn to go beyond the differences and to experience the new signs of the Spirit who acts in the bosom of a healthy pluralism and inter-culturalism. 

And especially we celebrate today the encounter of Good Shepherd Sisters with the women, girls and children without resources to uplift their human and spiritual dignity. They continue crying for our help because their struggles, confusion, exploitation and all kinds of unjust situations. This encounter with them is the reason for our presence in Kenya and the origin of our Congregation .

The first Sisters, benefactors and friends sowed the seed in good soil, dug and watered it not without efforts and pains. Today we are reaping the fruits of their labor. We give thanks to God for these fruits which allow us to respond to the needs of the children, girls and women in distress with the presence among them of 9 Kenyan final Professed Sisters, 7 Temporary Professed Sisters, 4 novices, 4 pre-novices and six candidates. We thank God for all the missionaries who came to Kenya and we are waiting that some Kenyan Sisters will follow their steps by answering God’s calls to go beyond our borders and to recreate and make visible the mission of Jesus the Good Shepherd in the world.

With a heart full of joy and gratitude we invite you Bishop Mugambi to welcome His Excellency and Apostolic Nuncio, to begin this Mass of Thanksgiving to God, this Great Encounter with the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, the true Center of our lives.

Sr. Paulina Diez

 

Unit Coordinator, Kenya

Download: GSN 187