Formation MSC in Ethiopia during this pandemic time, a hopeful step

MSC Candidates and Aspirants 

Candidates – We praise the Lord for continuing to bless our Institute by sending us young women interested in joining the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and seeking to know the Cabrinian Charism in Ethiopia.

Nowadays, we have three candidates in our Holy Spirit Region. They are all from around Wallacha, a rural area about a 1 hour drive from our Mission in Dubbo.

We have been facing some challenges to accompanying them properly in their vocational discernment in this distressing time of the Covid-19 Pandemic. In order to keep them safe, we sent them to be with their families and support them to face this time with faith and hope. The candidates are teaching the people in their parish, through visits to families, on how to protect themselves from the virus.

Even though it is a real challenge for all of us, we are seriously continuing their stage in formation through weekly phone calls, and in-person classes about the Christian Life, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the life of Mother Cabrini once a month. I have spent four or five days with them each month in Wallacha since they went back to their families. It has been a joyful and meaningful time when we are together, and it is also helping me to know them and their reality more deeply as well.

Photo: Sr. Aynalem, Abebech, Konjit, Abaynesh, Sr. Suany & Sr. Elfinesh in the garden of Wallacha Community.

Photo: Class time – Sr. Suany, with (L to R), Abebech, Konjit, Sr. Aynalem, and Abaynesh.

I am extremely grateful for Sisters Elfinesh and Aynalem, who are in the Wallacha community, for being a sisterly presence & opening their community for welcoming us each month. They have been providing all things for us so we are able to continue the formation with the candidates; & have been for the past 6 months until now. I have to say it has been a wonderful experience for me personally, because I have had the opportunity to be with my sisters, to share our community life and to do my mission with joy and simplicity. The Lord Jesus is guiding us, leading us to be flexible and creative in this “pandemic time”. With faith and hope I pray “All will be well” for the Goodness of the Kingdom of God.

(Thanks to Sr. Suany for this article)

Aspirants – In Ethiopia, we have a number of women who have expressed interest in learning more about our MSC life, with a desire to discern whether they have a call to religious life. Some of these women are what we call Aspirants ‘at-a-distance’, as they live far from Dubbo, while others are living nearer Dubbo and therefore can have more frequent personal contact. Some are finishing high school or university, and others are working already. The Covid-19 pandemic and some political instability in the country has impacted on these women as it has made travelling to Dubbo or Addis Ababa more difficult, not to mention the interruption to studies at all levels, and also fear and confusion in the general community.

Sr. Alemenesh keeps in touch with all of them via phone, sending articles to study at home for those at a distance, and for those nearer-at-hand, she holds weekly, or alternate weekly, classes of catechism, introduction to the Sacred Heart, the life of Mother Cabrini and other saints, etc. Additionally, for those in the Dubbo area, twice weekly English classes are held, led by Mr. Tilahun Honja, a parish catechist and a Director (and teacher) at the Capuchin Fathers Primary School nearby.

(Written by Sr. Maureen MSC with input from Sr. Alemenesh MSC)

Thanks to the Holy Spirit Region for this article 

Photo: Sr. Alemenesh class with Selamawit and Bethlehem
Sr. Alemenesh class with Asirat and Tihut
Three of the aspirants having English class with Mr. Tilahun Honja.




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