Wednesday, January 5, 2011

No Sign

Looks like there is no sign of crisis in the Congregation of Little Servants of Blessed Virgin Mary Conceived Immaculate. Neither in local vocations in Africa, nor in their financial wellbeing. Tomorrow three young women will participate in a thanksgiving Mass in their home parish in Shirati in the northwestern part of diocese of Musoma, as they are the very first Tanzanian women who entered that congregation and just recenty made their first vows in Kasisi, Lusaka, Zambia - the headquarters of the African Province of the Congregation...

Them, Mother Provincial and other people came all the way from Lusaka by one of their school buses to Shirati (it took them like four days or something on the road). My sisters from Kiabakari, two of them are already there since a few days helping. The rest goes today or tomorrow.

I helped them in translation of the ritual of the first vows from English to Swahili as they wanted to repeat the vows in front of their home crowd in Swahili. But this is about all I am intending to do in regards to this feast in Shirati. I won't go myself, not only because my health denies me the freedom to go, but also, and mainly because I am not entirely sure if this kind of celebration is necessary and helpful.

In the situation I am covering the whole world looking for funds to finish  the convent for my sisters in Kiabakari and still lack substantial amount of money to be safe, in the situation I have to go all over the world to ask for help to finish John Paul II Center for Education and Formation in Kiabakari, I need any support I can get, and from the recipients of my work - the Sisters themselves - at least a moral and spiritual support which I find hard to see, to be honest.

Yet at the same time, this feast in Shirati. I would perfectly understand if this was done for the final vows. But for the first vows? It is the same kind of life situation as if someone was chosen to study in the prestigious university or us, priests, in the seminary, the day we are given the cassock to wear, knowing though that the garment does not 'make' a person, knowing that we haven't achieved anything yet! It's still early days... Still a long way to go...some nine years till final vows!

I doubt this is a proper way to promote vocations in the modern world. Those young women will get used to the queen treatment in such early stages of their vocation journey... Humility is the proper way to go. Even in final vows we rely entirely on God and His Mercy at the end of the day...

And I guess, the title of the congregation means something and teaches something. The Little Servants. And this is precisely what these young Tanzanian women should be learning to be from the very beginning of the vocation journey. To be the little servants of their folk... Not something else...

Jesus, when they wanted to make Him a king, He chose to run away... The only instance He deliberately agreed people's cheers and shouts of joy and praise, was the Palm Sunday...on the way to the Cross.

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