The Master of the Order visits the Dominican Family in Zambia

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The Master of the Order visits the Dominican Family in Zambia
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The Master of the Order of Preachers, Fr. Bruno Cardoré, OP, accompanied by his Socius for Africa, Fr. Gabriel Samba, OP, visited Zambia, from August 6th to 8th 2017 for a fraternal visit. He was warmly welcomed at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka by the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with songs, dances and flowers. During his visit, the Master of the Order celebrated the Solemnity of our Father St. Dominic with the Dominican Family in Zambia, at the new monastery of the Dominican Contemplative Nuns in the diocese of Kabwe.

The joy was beyond for the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to receiving the first visit of a Master of the Order, after 93 years of waiting since their coming to Zambia. Up in Kabwe, the Dominican Contemplative Nuns and the Friars counted the minutes. On Monday 7th August, at 4:00 am, two of them were on the road to Lusaka to welcome and bring the Master to Kabwe. By 7:00 am the Dominican Family in Zambia was sharing a special breakfast in true fraternity before leaving Lusaka via a visit to the Sisters’ Common Novitiate for Zambia, Zimbabwe and Kenya, and arrived in Kabwe for Lunch.

The Dominican Contemplative Nuns, who came to Zambia four years ago had just moved to their new Monastery ten days before and as the Master arrived, wardrobes were being removed from the vehicle. There was much left to put together in the new home. For the nuns, the dream had come true, a visit of the Master so soon in our monastery was a blessing beyond expectations as we welcomed him with great joy and appreciation. That afternoon by 16 hours, the Master was welcomed by the Rev. Clement Mulenga, SDB, Bishop of Kabwe at his new residence, and by 17 hours, the Dominican Friars who have just arrived to Zambia from Nigeria, were running over with joy as they welcomed the Master in their house. Brother Bruno had a meeting with the brothers.

Back to the monastery, after supper, it was the nuns’ turn to sit and listen to their Father. We were deeply touched by the Master`s interest in our community. He was very interested in the directions and future of the building of Dominican contemplative life in this new land the Lord had brought us. Brother Bruno very much encouraged us to persevere in the path we had undertaken. He invited us to be available to working with others on areas that enhance our preaching mission in our different ways of carrying this out as preachers.

On 8th, the sun rose as usual but for the Dominicans in Zambia, this was a very unique way as the family began to arrive early from, Lusaka, Fatima, Ndola. The sisters were accompanied by some students, and the primary school had a big surprise for all. Our Bishop Clement Mulenga presided at the Eucharistic celebration and the Master of the Order gave the homily. The novices and postulants led us with liturgical dances where applicable. After Mass the primary school students who were no more than six to ten years surprised us with the masters piece of Art of St. Dominic drawn by a very small student using rice. Those little ones explained the picture of the founder of the Order in a very unique way. Everyone was moved. It is within this moment that one of the children began to cry and could not take her part. The heart of the Master of the Order became open to us all as he walked over and took the little girl in his embrace to console her. It was so moving.

After our bountiful feasting and cutting of the very special cake by the Master and leaders of the three branches of the Dominican Family in Zambia, it was time to say goodbye as the Dominican Sisters on Lusaka route felt the privilege of taking the Master with them for the Airport. The sun set but our memories are still living the event. As Bishop Mulenga tol the Master, “Father Bruno, always feel welcome to Zambia and in a special place in Kabwe, even after your mandate is over.” Always WELCOME!!

Sr. Joyce Rita, op.

 

(27 September 2017)