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Marie Balavenne Day. Nigeria


The Exhibition Phase 1 day in honour of the celebration of the year of Marie Balavene was carried out on the 3rd of Septemeber 2016. The assembly declared open by the vice-provincial Sr. Monica Anyi. The activities of the day were facilitated by sr. Esther AMOWE, one of her councillors.

The morning mass was celebrated by Very Rev Fr Michael Okodua.  This was followed by  breakfast and the sisters all gathered in Renee Burel hall to begin the activities of the day. After the Morning Prayer, the first session began with the celebration of Marie Balavenne Day. Every sister was dressed in the vest (T-shirt) specially designed for the celebration. The organizing team gave the introduction with a short drama presentation on the life history of Marie Balavenne. This led gradually to a film show which all sat quietly to watch. The film titled “Humane” -de Yann Arthus-Bertrand-, came from the last council of congregation through the vice provincial superior to us. It was for us all to listen to the cry of the poor in our world today as Marie Balavenne and Renne Brel did in their time. We watched the film together, and reflected together o the poverty of our world, the suffering of the human race! The closing remarks were given by Sr. Hannah Okoliko followed by group photographs outside.

The second part of the celebration was the exhibition of items associated with our charism, spirituality, history and life generally as Daughters of the Holy Spirit. There was a display of Products, almost like artefacts from the archives of each community which reminded us of our humble beginnings in Nigeria. There were games on display for sisters to relax together in the spirit of Maria Balavenne our foundress. Writing and drawing materials were made available for writing of articles, photo galleries/archives on displays and a lot more. Various products form communities were displayed and all had fun. The writing materials made available enabled sisters to put down their thoughts and reflections on Marie Balavene, the woman of our time. The Holy Spirit surprised us as all these articles and drawings were put together to make a special edition of the magazine of the vice province of Nigeria -The Talking Drum- which had been out of circulation for some time!  We quickly prepared ourselves for Sunday mass which was said on Saturday evening because of the shortage of priests at the time.

The Eucharistic celebration for Sunday was officiated by Rev Fr Cyril Ogbonna. During the mass, every sister took part in the prayer of the faithful in a simple format. We all said a prayer together in honour of Marie Balavene for our world.

After the Mass, all processed out for the next part which commenced with the cutting of the birthday cake of Marie-Balavenne. Interestingly, Marie Balavenne visited us from heaven dressed in the white habit of the white sisters of Brittany and the Quaff. She was present to cut the cake of her 350th birthday! There was a great sound of joy and jubilation among the sisters, eating and drinking. Dancing! Dancing! Dancing!

During this weekend of exhibition phase 1 we received a special gift of prayer commpanion: Sisters were given another privilege to randomly pick a name of a sister each from the basket in which we have papers with all our names written on, we are to pray for the sister whose name we pick for the whole year.  

The meeting celebration came to an end by prayer led by Sr. Esther Amowe. Our vice provincial superior, sr. Monica Anyi thanked all for their participation and encouraged us all to keep living in the spirit of the celebration of our foundresses throughout the year.

Sr. Esther Amowe & Pattience Effiong. Published on 16/09/2016



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