The fragrance of our charism of communion is Spreading in the soil of Rwanda
“Go forward there is nothing that can stop you.” PBN
According to the words of our Good Father, the sisters of Rushaki community took the initiative to begin the group of our Holy Family Lay Associates in 2013. Sr.Scholastique started accompanying them, later in 2019 Sr. Vincentia continued until now when they were able to commit themselves. On 14th of November 2021 18 Holy Family Lay Associates made their commitment. All of them were a couple making a total of nine couples. The whole Rushaki parish witnessed this beautiful event of generous self-giving of lay people to God through our Charism. Their joy was beyond expression. The journey of reaching this day was long but they never faltered on the way. They kept going with joyful hope that one day God will fulfill his promise in them.
The intensive preparation for their commitment was commenced on 7th of November with 3 days of retreat which was guided by Fr. Biabandi Deogratias. The theme was “Eucharist” since we are in the process of preparing for our Bicentenary of Miraculous Benediction. Sr. Vincentia prepared them on the practical activities that were necessary for the celebration. The last day was facilitated by our unit leader Sr.Julia MABITSO who emphasized the importance of self-giving for mission. She said this self-giving requires a deepening of the spirituality of every member of the Holy Family which consists of imitating Jesus, Mary and Joseph whose lives were centered on God Alone. Our Founder’s Motto: “Glory to God Alone, through Mary and Joseph” needs to be a way of life for each member of the Holy Family. She also spoke of the importance of the Eucharist and the Word of God in the life of all the members of the Holy Family. Sr. Julia also stressed that all the members of our five vocations are Full members of the Holy Family. She told our Lay Associates that they are NOT just associated with us the Sisters. Now that they were making a commitment, they are full members of the Big Family that is founded by Pierre Bienvenu Noailles.
Then on 14th the Holy Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Bishop Bahujimihigo KIZITO who was assisted by the parish priest of Rushaki Fr. David. The Bishop spoke eloquently about the Holy Family of Nazareth, the model of all family life. He made an exhortation to the whole congregation to implore the Holy Family to heal us from this pandemic of Covid 19. After their commitment each one was given the beautiful icon of the Holy Family and the Image of our dear Good Father.
To add joy to the celebration and to witness to the family spirit, some sisters and the associates from Gikongoro also joined them. During the reception the representative of the lay associates of Gikongoro expressed their joy by gifting our lay associates the image of the Holy Family. Like the birds that sang in one voice on the tree in the dream of our Founder, his motto was repeated every now and then by our lay associates of both groups, Rushaki and Gikongoro: “Glory to God Alone! Glory to God Alone, through Mary and Joseph.” The lay associates who made commitment felt they were ready to go and spread the fragrance of our Charism to other families in their places. Many who witnessed the celebration were in a rapture of Joy and amazement. Some started making enquiries of how to join this beautiful family. We truly thank God for all that has been.
Glory to God alone in Jesus Christ, through Mary and St. Joseph.
Thanuja VENISMERIN, Gikongoro community-Rwanda