Young people in search of consecrated religious life

From 20 to 25 July 2022, in the community of Koudougou, BURKINA FASO, 17 girls from the 3rd to the final year of secondary school met to reflect and exchange on: “Hearing the cry of the poor and responding to God’s call”. They were accompanied by sisters Fatoumata DA, Ida MEDA and myself, with the support of the sisters of the community. “It is a handful of yeast that you throw into the hearts of these young people that will make them develop human, moral and spiritual values,” the Vice-Provincial mentioned in her letter to encourage us in the accompaniment of the youth. 

First of all, we emphasised prayer, an expression of selfexchange with God, which is so important in the life of an aspirant in order to discern her vocation. At the same time, given the context of our country where many families, in the grip of terrorism, flee their locality to save their lives, and faced with all the misery that this engenders, these young people, as aspirants, should not be insensitive to it! We have a duty to pray for our country and the families in difficulty; it is this cry of the Burkinabes that we must hear and make our own. We used God’s call to Moses to reflect on our own vocation: “When the Lord saw that Moses was turning aside to go and see, he called to him from the middle of the bush: Moses, Moses! – I am here,” Moses answered. God said to him: … I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob… I have seen the distress of my people in Egypt and I have heard their cries from their oppressors. Yes, I know what they are suffering. … Go now, then, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. Moses said to God, “Who am I to go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? – God answered, “Know that I will be with you. “ (Exodus: 3, 4-12) In the following exchanges, we discussed, with a view to a more fulfilled life, life skills: how to take care of ourselves, how to maintain our living environment, the material at our disposal and interpersonal relations in the family, in the neighbourhood, at school…  We took part in activities such as cultivating the community’s field to take care of nature, making liquid soap… The sisters of the community really enjoyed this time spent together. In addition, there was an outing to the chaplaincy of the high schools and colleges of Koudougou, where we spoke to invite the young people to get to know us better, and another relaxing outing to the courtyard of the chief of Issuka to learn about the history of the locality.

The presentation of the history of the congregation allowed these girls to discover the charism, the spirituality and the mission of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit. They were touched by the simplicity of the sisters they met in the parishes, seeing that they were in line with the way of life of the first sisters. Then they underlined their doubts and fears in the face of what they experience in the families; some mentioned the refusal of the parents to this particular desire for the future.

May the Lord consolidate the desire of these 17 young people, granting them courage, confidence and perseverance. We ended this stay in beauty with a prayer of thanksgiving and a cultural evening. 

Sister Clémentine TAPSOBA. Published on 28 July 2022