60 YEARS OF PRESENCE TO THE SERVICE OF THE DEAR NEIGHBOUR
In October 2019, during the Regional Assembly, we proclaimed with joy and enthusiasm the opening of our Diamond Jubilee, which we planned to close solemnly in December 2020.
The committee had big ambitions which revolved around three pillars:
- Thanksgiving celebration;
- To remember and revisit our history;
- To give a message centered on our Charism for today’s world.
Because of the pandemic and its restrictions, all our dreams faded away. Every community was asked to mark this important event of our history according to its possibilities.
We now share with you a short summary about what we experienced in Tambacounda.
On October 6th, 2020, the sisters of the Senegambie/Congo Region, especially those working inTamba, the foundation house, remembered and celebrated the 60th anniversary of the arrival of the SSJA in Senegal.
With immense joy and united with all the sisters of the Region, we celebrated the Mass in the chapel of Tamba (la colline). It was during this beautiful and colourful celebration that the sisters gave thanks to God for all the wonders achieved from the arrival of the first sisters to this day.
In his homily, the celebrant told the sisters : "In the Church, consecrated life has a mission. By following in the footsteps of your predecessors, you will ensure the continuity of your Charism and enrich the Church of your time."
At 5 p.m., the sisters went to the cemetery to visit the three graves of the sisters, one of whom was among the founding Sisters, Sr. Marie de la Salette, who arrived in 1960, and died in a traffic accident. A time of deep remembrance and prayer in front of the tombs was observed.
After the visit to the cemetery, the pilgrimage continued to the former foundation house, led by Sister Ailbe, our oldest missionary. It was a great opportunity for us to remember the first steps of our founding Sisters.
Sister Ailbe, who arrived in Senegal five years after the founding Sisters, gave us her impressions in these terms: "Tambacounda, a deep experience of belonging, a family experience. A family which has its roots and its history. An experience which makes one exist and to grow in a lineage which embraces the reality with its lights and shadows. An experience of communion in remembering 1960 on this hill where three missionaries, filled with love and hearts set in fire begin an adventure. Today, we have the grace to participate in this adventure, to go further. May they intercede for us. "
Today as we celebrate our founding Sisters, women of great faith, zeal and courage, let us ask the grace to remain faithful and to follow always in their footsteps. We also ask them to intercede for the intentions we dearly hold for our Region. May we, who have known them in their daily lives, draw inspiration from their example, of love, faith and hope. May we always keep our smile like them, despite the difficulties of life.
At the end of this pilgrimage, in procession and singing, the sisters went to the chapel for the evening prayer in thanksgiving for what had happened during the day. A festive meal was offered for the occasion. Everything went well with joy and fraternity of the daughters of The Little Design. Sr. Marie Pitie