A retreat like no other

From 1 to 9 August 2022, all of us, Sisters of the Vice-Province of Burkina Faso, were gathered in the monastery of Bafo. In this year of the celebration of 25 years of our presence in this country in the Diocese of Diébougou, we lived a retreat different from those we were used to. So instead of registering for the various retreats organised by the Jesuits or others, this time the retreat itself came to us!  Sister Françoise LELIEVRE, Daughter of the Holy Spirit of the Province of France-Belgium-Holland, came to lead the retreat with her own special touch. To do this, she allowed herself to be led by the Holy Spirit, basing herself on the Holy Scriptures and using the Rule of Life as well as the book “Bouquet de la mission”, the work of Dom Jean Leuduger, “our good father” as she called him.

Day after day, Sister Françoise made us relive the call we received from Christ “Come and follow me”, a call to which we responded “yes” and which led us to enter this congregation, “linked to those whom God has associated with us”. If the Spirit has brought us together, it is so that we may participate with others in God’s mission of love in the world, for it is together that we bear witness, since we are the Body of Christ and each one is a member of that Body.  For the good functioning of this mission of love, our good father Jean Leuduger has this formula: “You must pray often: our Lord tells us: You must pray without ceasing (Luke 18) … Finally, always carry in your heart the desire to please him, and in this you will always pray. However, prayer is not only desire and word, it is also action; we must therefore make our own the spiritual and corporal works of mercy as the Gospel of Mt 25, quoted on the first page of our Rule of Life, is a perfect illustration: “… I was hungry and you gave me food, I was sick and you visited me.” For at the end of time, we will be judged on love!

Throughout the retreat, we prayed for vocations, learned new songs and dealt with some topics that concern the Vice-Province in this year of the celebration of 25 years of our presence in Diébougou. On Saturday we benefited from God’s mercy through the sacrament of forgiveness and on Monday 8 August, at 5.30 pm, we celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving for the good progress of the retreat and the many graces received. During this celebration we renewed our vows and received from the hands of Sister Françoise and Sister Silvie ROAMBA, our Vice-Provincial, a copy of the book “Bouquet de la mission” and a portrait of “our good father” Jean Leuduger

Thank you to the Lord for this retreat and for his servant Sister Françoise through whom he has nourished us: may he give us the opportunity to gather the fruits and to preserve them carefully. We express our gratitude to Sister Françoise for having led this retreat with great interest and love. Thanks to Sister Philo AC’H, Provincial of the France-Belgium-Holland Province and to Sister Ann ALMODOVAR, our Superior General, for having supported this important time.

 By Amélie ZOUGMORE, Daughter of the Holy Spirit. Published on 15 August 2022