We are all preparing for the 8th December, our family feast. On this day, we can look back on our first year of preparation for the 150th Anniversary of our foundation which started on 30th of April 2016. Let us thank God for the reflections and prayers we were able to hold together. The rereading of parts of our common history has led us to gratitude for our common charism and to reconciliation among ourselves. Wherever this happened, our ties have been strengthened. This movement leads us naturally to the theme chosen for the second year that will begin on 9th December 2016: “To live our common charism together today with passion”.
We understand this as our willingness to be prophetic in our way of living and in our way of acting.
This year, both our Institutes have taken a long loving look at the present and discerned what God could be asking of us today. How can we actualize our charism? During the General Chapter, for the Missionaries of Africa, and during the Enlarged Council, for the Missionaries of Our Lady of Africa, both Institutes discerned the apostolic choices to which we feel called today.
The areas identified were: “dialogue and encounter”, “care of the environment”, “modern slavery and human trafficking”, “migrants”.
Together we want to become even more conscious of what is happening, where we are in relation to the above, what are the calls that we perceive. As members of the same Lavigerie family, we want to collaborate so as to seek solutions and ways of acting together. We want to make prophetic gestures which do not always need to be very extraordinary, but which are meaningful and can be seen as such by others. We want to involve, where possible, the groups of collaborators, friends, and associates. It is for us an opportunity to fortify our missionary spirit together.
We know that in many countries, our communities come together to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, you could program when to meet throughout 2017 in order to discern the calls you feel in your context and to think of prophetic gestures that can be carried out together.
The coordinating committee will help us celebrate this coming year.
We are sure that in this way, Cardinal Lavigerie and Mother Marie-Salomé will recognise their sons and daughters. Happy feast day on the 8th December, and may Christmas be for us a call to live with passion our charism today!
Your sister and brother in the Lord and in Lavigerie.
Sr. Carmen Sammut, MSOLA Fr. Stanley Lubungo, M.Afr
Superior General Superior General