Africa: “Where ever there are consecrated people, there is joy”

on 05 May, 2016
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Koudougou (Burkina Faso), 02/0!/2016, Sisters Honorine Guigma and Béatrice Kantoro.- The closing of the year of Consecrated Life took place at Koungoudou, city of the red Knights, at the Cathedral Parish on January 28 and 30, 2015. The subject was "Year of Consecrated Life: Challenges from Pope Francis to the Consecrated in the context of Burkina Faso - Nigeria". The theme was taken from the letter of Pope Francis to all the Consecrated on the occasion of the year of consecrated life : "Remember the past with gratitude, live the present with passion, embrace the future with hope".

We had more than 400 participants coming from the different parts of Burkina Faso and Nigeria. These were very meaningful moments for the consecrated:

  • Thursday 28: Arrival, solemn reception, installation.
  • Friday 29: Workshop: Consecrated life. Evening to the popular Theater
  • Saturday 30: Thanksgiving Mass and fraternal meal.

On the day of the workshop, Fr. Innocent Gtebegan of the Order of Preachers developed the theme. We lived a moment of communion and fraternal sharing. Then we were invited to:

  • Work in order to discover the importance of our consecration in a constantly changing world.
  • Live in the love and gift of self to the others.
  • Come out of self in order to respond to the needs of the "peripheries".
  • Work for the lasting growth and development of the human being according to our vocation.

The reflection in groups helped us to become more aware of our weaknesses in community life. They emphasized that in order to build fraternal communities we must work on mutual trust and communication, sharing and valuing the gifts and talents of each other that complement and help each other. Other means are offered to us to help to give new life to our vocation by opening ourselves to the grace of God.

  • Learning how to go beyond the generation gaps.
  • Living charity with one another
  • Experience of God s mercy with each other.

Father emphasized the fact that Consecrated life in our countries is a reality, which asks from us a real encounter with Christ by accepting His Word. As consecrated, we are called to:

  • Rediscover the central place of the Eucharist;
  • Work on the spiritual renewal of our communities,
  • Give a witness with the authenticity of our life according to our vocation and be able to awaken the world.

The closing Mass was celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio and concelebrated by several Bishops among them Mgr. Joachim Ouedraoggo (Bishop of Kougoudou and president of the Consecrated Life for Episcopal Conference Burkina Faso and Nigeria.) During this Mass, two Sisters made their final commitment: A sister of the Holy Spirit and a Daughter of St. Camillus. After the Mass, the Major Superiors of each Congregation were sent on mission. After the Mass, three trees were planted:

  • The tree of the Gospel.
  • The tree of Prophecy.
  • The tree of Hope.

May the Lord, the source of our vocation to witness with our life the Good News, make of us workers of peace and reconciliation always but mainly during this year of mercy.