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Perpetual professions in Sri Lanka and the Congo

Sri Lanka

On 8th December 2023, Sisters Rasamary Rasaratnam and Thilini Fernando made their final commitment as a Sister of Charity of Jesus and Mary (SCJM) during a Eucharistic celebration at St. Joseph’s Convent, Kegalle. The chief celebrant was Rev. Fr. Shamindra Jayawardana, the Prior of the Benedictines.

Sister Thilini Fernando shares with us her experience of the preparation for the final vows:

Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be His, through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before Him. (Eph 1:4)

I too have kept this word in my life. Seven years ago, I decided to follow Christ according to the SCJM’s lifestyle. Living my life as a junior sister; I received many opportunities to deepen my relationship with Jesus, to witness to the primacy of God’s love, to serve God’s people and to live the spirit of ’Cor Unum Anima Una’ in the communities. I was able to forgo my old patterns through renewal programmes, retreats and days of recollection.

The moment has arrived for me to wholeheartedly and willingly commit myself to God’s eternal grace. I respond to God’s call freely and with utmost sincerity, bidding farewell to the world as I embark on this spiritual journey. Sister Rasamary and I started our preparation programme in September. Under the guidance of Sister Pradeepika Perera, our Junior Mistress, we spent the day delving into a profound and transformative experience of the burning bush encounter. It was a spiritually enriching journey that left a lasting impact on all of us. I could find myself in Moses. I too was reluctant to say yes to God at times because of my weakness. But God has put me into his plans.

We had sessions on inner healing, to re-evaluate the consecrated life, to have effective community living and fruitful ministry, and affective maturity. We were open to the present context of religious life and to live life to the fullest. We had different experiences with the people who are suffering due to various reasons, such as landless people, people who have lost their loved ones due to the Easter attack. We grew spiritually, mentally, socially and with values in every session.
We had thirty-day retreat to energize our call. Rev. Fr. Gerald de Rosairo, O.M.I., directed us to focus on ourselves, our charism, and the humanness of Jesus. We revisited our charism in a deeper way. I could see Jesus as a human in his mission. I felt the need for conversion to adapt myself according to the present context. Rev. Fr. Gerald repeatedly said: “This retreat is not to discern your vocation but to energize you to journey with him”. I can say that I realized Jesus is the hub in the cycle wheel of my life. God’s love is my inner source.

The long-awaited day came for us to say yes to the Lord for all eternity. It was 8th of December 2023. We had the Holy Eucharistic celebration at St. Joseph Convent, Kegalle. Our families, Sisters and Priests join with us to praise and thank God. Rev. Fr. Shamindra Jayewardene mentioned in his homily: “You have a beautiful charism which is ‘God is love’. You are to witness to the primacy of God’s love in your life according to your call”. We promised to God to live our life to the fullest with the heavenly blessings.

I thank God for His accompaniment and presence at all times in my life. I thank our families, formators, Sisters who have helped me to be who I am today. I thank Rev. Sr. Jayakody Visuvasam, former Junior Mistress and Rev. Sr. Pradeepika Perera who were God’s instruments to help us make full pledge in SCJM family.

Sister Thilini Fernando

 

 

Celebration of Perpetual Vows and Silver Jubilee in Kananga

From left to right: Sisters Rosalie Kapinga, Angèle Benabiabo and Elisabeth Kanku

On Friday 15th December 2023, the Province of Saint Bernard celebrated the perpetual vows of Sisters Rosalie Kapinga and Elisabeth Kanku, and the silver Jubilee of Sister Julienne Mputu, in the Pro-Cathedral of Saint-Clément in Kananga, Kasai-Central in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Mass was celebrated by Mgr Kasanda Lumembo Léonard, Bishop Emeritus of Luiza.

At the call of the Provincial Superior, Sisters Rosalie and Elisabeth moved forward while dancing, expressing their "Yes" to willingly follow Christ. Their parents accompanied them, holding lighted lamp and candle, symbols of Christ as the Light of the world. They wished them to become other Christs, to be at the service of anyone they meet.

It was with great joy that the sisters expressed their sense of belonging to the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary (SCJM) as full members. They did not hesitate to express before the people of God their willingness to love and serve the least of their brothers and sisters, even unto death. In this way, they paraphrased St Paul when he said: "... Neither death nor life, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of Christ...".

From left to right: Sisters Julienne Mputu and Angèle Benabiabo

Strengthened by this passage, Sisters Rosalie and Elisabeth pronounced their perpetual vows to God before the Church, Sister Angèle Benabiabo, Provincial Superior and delegated by the Superior General.

This great event brought together several sisters from our different communities.

Sister Julienne Mputu received her diploma of fidelity and the blessing sent by Pope Francis on the occasion of her silver Jubilee.

After the celebration, the participants in the mass - students, parents, consecrated persons and collaborators - were invited to share a festive meal in the main hall of the Buena Muntu secondary School. Father Triest’s friends were also honoured in their dining room, where they were served. We congratulate our three sisters and wish them perseverance in the Lord’s vineyard.

Sister Julienne Elameji


News Update

Celebration of First Profession in Kimpese

Perpetual professions in Sri Lanka and the Congo


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