The Blessing and Opening of Dominican Contemplative Nuns Monastery in Kabwe, Zambia

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The Blessing and Opening of Dominican Contemplative Nuns Monastery in Kabwe, Zambia
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After the celebration of the feast of our father Saint Dominic, on August 8, 2017, with his 86th successor as Master of the Order of Preachers, fr. Bruno Cadoré, OP., on his first visit to Zambia, the Dominican Contemplative Nuns of Kabwe in Zambia have experienced another great event. On 28 August 2017, the feast of St. Augustine, they celebrated with joy and thanksgiving the blessing and opening of their new Divine Mercy Monastery. The ceremony took place during the Mass presided by His Lordship Clement Mulenga, SDB, Bishop of the Diocese of Kabwe, in the presence of His Lordship Jan De Grouf, M. of Afr., Bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem, in Africa; diocese from which the sisters came from to Zambia, four years ago. Sister Joyce Rita shares the joy of this celebration.

Among the many who came to join us for this occasion were priests and religious women and men, and Laity. Five nuns from the founding monastery of Corpus Christy in Nairobi, Kenya came accompanied by Mr. and Mrs Martin Koigu, an Anglican couple and friends of the nuns. Their words to the people were truly inspiring when the opportunity came to greet them. The choir, the liturgical dancers, and altar boys came from our St. Charles Lwanga Parish.

During his homily Bishop Clement Mulenga centred his message on love because love is equated with God. He called upon us all to love the people we live with and encounter in the spirit St. John is speaking of in his letter we had just read, agape love that has no conditions. He brought to our attention the respect we receive from the people as bishops, priests, consecrated people. This should constantly remind us that we are sent among God`s people for service and not to take advantage. The bishop concluded by bringing to our attention that one knows that dawn is here not when we can differentiate objects but when can see a brother/sister in the face of another.

After communion, the two bishops accompanied by the nuns went to bless the building and its surroundings after which the Blessed Sacrament was reserved for the first time. As bishop Jan de Grouf had to catch the plane that evening, he left but not before thanking God for having made it possible to be here for the occasion and giving a strong reminder to the nuns to keep their promise made at the time of leaving South Africa, always to pray for him and the whole diocese of Bethlehem.

Sister Joyce Gabriel, the Vicaress of the prioress of the founding monastery in Kenya gave a word of gratitude to, bishop Clement Mulenga, priests, religious and all the people of God, benefactors in and outside the Order of Preachers, for their support since our arrival in Zambia in numberless ways. While sister was speaking, a telephone at the reception announced that the Poor Clare Nuns are stuck in town coming for the celebration. A sister rushed to town and brought back three nuns who had begun the journey from Lusaka to come and show their solidarity with us. It was beyond expectation. They missed the Ceremony but the joy of their presence in our monastery was boundless. That truly sealed God`s overwhelming blessings for the days beyond the Blessing Day.

Before moving to Zambia, we were originally in Senekal in South Africa. Rev. Bishop Clement Mulenga, SDB, who welcomed us in his diocese saw our coming as direct quick answer from God for his prayer for contemplative nuns to come into his diocese which was only two years old, and himself as Bishop, at the time of our arrival in August 2013. Since then, we were living in a rented house which did not have a monastic set up. Finally God has accomplished the desire through the generosity of the diocese of Kabwe, benefactors within and outside the Order.

Sr. Joyce Rita, op.

 

(9 October 2017)