From sister Xaverine Mukatabaza, Malindi Community, Kenya
I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known,
that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:26)
Sr. Edith and I were invited to Chonyi Parish in Mombasa Diocese. It was a great joy for us as MSOLA to participate in the session of WANA MARIA. These young girls had their retreat of five days and we were invited to give a session on Vocation. What a surprise to see sisters without habits! These young girls are used to seeing sisters with veils, so to see sisters without habits was a great surprise for them. They thought at first that we were members of the Catholic Women’s Association (CWA).
One of the women accompanists of the group welcomed us with the following words:
It is our joy that you sisters have come to our parish to encourage and teach our children. We are used to sisters with white habits; it is a blessing for us this year that at least, there are new faces and voices. On top of that, it is our first time to see sisters without veils. It has opened us to know that there are many different congregations, even some without habits.
The girls asked the following questions in order to understand how God is calling them: “what are the requirements and why don’t you have veils? What are the consequences of religious life? What can someone do, when you feel called but you still have doubts in you?” We had discussions with them and they fully enjoyed it and we thank God for making us who we are as MSOLA. It is a witness to many people especially the faithful of Chonyi Parish and their young ones who came to discover religious without habits through us. Thanks be to God for our presence which has given another image of consecrated women when it comes to the way of dressing.
We went to see the family of one of our aspirants at Chonyi Parish, Francisca, and they were very happy to see us, especially the mother. It was our joy to know them. We pray that God may continue to make a way for her as she discerns her vocation.