Final wishes

“My soul exalts the Lord… “ Saturday 29 October 2022 in the Christ the Saviour parish of Domayo, Maroua, CAMEROON, will remain forever engraved in our hearts and in our memories. After eight years of following Christ in the Congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, we took our final vows to follow Christ in chastity, poverty and obedience, and according to our Rule of Life. Ann ALMODOVAR, our Superior General, received our vows before the people of God gathered for the occasion.  The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Bishop Bruno ATEBA EDO, Bishop of the Diocese of Maroua-Mokolo. It was a great joy to see the participation of several priests, religious, seminarians, friends, acquaintances and faithful Christians who came from different parts of the country to express their closeness to us.

The day before, during the prayer of recollection, we shared with everyone our experience of God’s merciful love in our lives and our deep desire to be, in our turn, channels of this love for all those we meet in our daily lives. It was also an opportunity for us to renew our confidence in allowing ourselves to be led more by the Holy Spirit in the love of God and of others.  In fact, in addition to the time of postulancy and novitiate, eight years of spiritual journey allowed us, with the different formations, to understand our choice of life following the chaste, poor and obedient Christ. Then the immediate formation to the definitive commitment gave us the opportunity to understand that our total donation to the following of Christ in the consecrated life is not only the result of a long journey of discernment, of human and Christian formation and of spiritual rooting, but also a disappropriation of ourselves on a daily basis on a journey of freedom.

We chose as liturgical texts Ph 1, 18b-26 and Lk 14, 1.7-11: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” because they were relevant to our personal and Christian history. And Bishop Bruno, in his homily, invited us to be more at the service of our sisters in community and at the service of our brothers and sisters in the mission in the manner of Christ who came to serve and not to be served, as the words of the song say so well: “Like Him, to know how to set the table, like Him to tie the apron, to rise each day and to serve out of love, like Him”. The bishop repeated, in other words, the words of Article 9 of our Rule of Life, describing what should characterise every Daughter of the Holy Spirit: “a spirit of simplicity and uprightness, of humility and gentleness”, of fraternal love and apostolic boldness. For him, these are the conditions for the members of the community to constantly reflect the beauty and joy of the Gospel.

Ann ALMODOVAR, our Superior General, who reminded us that from now on we are responsible for the vitality of the charism with all the other Daughters of the Holy Spirit. After our commitment, we received from Sister Ann the rings, blessed by the bishop, as a sign of our definitive belonging to the congregation, and then we signed the register. In an expression of joy, surrounded and supported by all the Daughters of the Holy Spirit present, we sang the Magnificat “Blessed art thou, Lord, for having created me, hallelujah, amen, hallelujah”, while performing dance steps with the whole Christian Congregation.

The celebration ended with songs of thanksgiving and photos taken, greetings, shouts of joy, applause and cheers. We lived this celebration with great joy, peace and thanksgiving to the Lord for all the good things He has given us. We are also grateful to our Congregation for its trust and to our families who have given us the freedom to make this choice of life.

We commend ourselves to your prayers to be, day after day, witnesses of Christ in our increasingly wounded and disoriented world. May the Holy Spirit always be ahead of us in everything: “For us, … it means allowing ourselves to be led by the Spirit in the love of God and of others. It is to recognise and celebrate the living presence of Jesus Christ at the heart of this world. RV. Art. 33, 2.

“Eternal Lord is your love, do not stop the work of your hands” Psalm 137.

Sister Anne-Marie ABIONO (originally from the diocese of Bafia and on mission in the community of Touloum-Diocese of Yagoua) and Sister Vedette NDAOKAÏ (originally from the diocese of Yagoua and on mission in Ngaoundéré).