Author Archives: Alessandra Ferri

“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labour in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.” [Ps 127:1] Sharing from Sister Scholastique These words spring from my heart today, in thanksgiving for the work of God in my life. Without his mercy and his infinite love, I could never have reached such a commitment with my own strength. The Lord will remain faithful to me and I know that without his grace, I could do nothing on my own. This is why I am grateful to the Lord for the gift of my religious and missionary vocation within the Church in the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa. Truly, Jesus is faithful to anyone who trusts him. When I think of my vocational journey, I see that the Lord has been a faithful companion in my vocation.…

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“… It is necessary to continue our training. The times of spiritual and professional deepening will only bear fruit if they are linked to a continuous personal effort, which knows how to exploit the means, even modest ones, within our reach. (Constitutions No. 86)” From the beginning, our congregation has been very attentive to the study path of the young people who wanted to join us. Alongside doctrinal studies, there has always been a mandate to form us in professions that could enrich our apostolate with specific methodologies and tools for our mission. First and foremost there has always been the study of local languages ​​and dialects. At the beginning it was Arabic and the dialects of North Africa and some sisters had acquired such a mastery that they became teachers and professors. As for the professions, at the beginning they were all provided with practical courses to face the…

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Collaboration is a process that enables people or individuals to work together to achieve a defined and common objective. Our Ukusijoni Common Project at the service of the refugees from South Sudan is a great and challenging mission. To accomplish this, we are privileged to be part of the team that consists of three Missionaries of Africa and the three of us MSOLA. We were sent together to achieve a common goal in participating in the Mission of Christ among our brothers and sisters now known as refugees. To be able to live this mission in a life-giving way, we got the opportunity to come together as the two institutes to spend some time together in Nairobi and to get some fundamentals that would help us in our ministry. Indeed, we treasured this time of formation. It gave us an occasion to see as a team the vision and the…

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This article is an extract from MVA/MSOLA Network Letter n° 25  “Come and see” is a stage when a young woman who is interested in religious life comes to stay in our community. Just as Jesus did with his disciples when they asked Him “Master where do you stay,” He told them to “come and see” (John 1: 39). Here is a testimony shared by young Sphiwe Gervazio who stayed at our house in Lilongwe with three other girls, from 17th to 20th December 2021. Dear sisters! Receive our greetings from the warm heart of Africa! We are very grateful to God for the warm welcome we received from the sisters, the joy and peace we have experienced, the kindness and openness they showed us during our stay in their community. We came to the sisters and witnessed how they live their religious life. This increased the desire to join…

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On December 7, 2021 Sr. Maria Carmen celebrated 25 years of missionary commitment among the sisters, families and friends. Next day the celebrations continued with our brothers the Missionaries of Africa, Fr. Stephen Ofonikott, Fr. Stanley Lubungo, Fr. Stéphane Joulain who also celebrated 25 years of commitment with their missionary oath. The ceremony presided by Bishop Claude Rault took place at the Generalate. Here is an extract from an article on Sharing Trenta Aprile that Maria Carmen was kind enough to share with us. My vocation story begins with a spiritual experience through God’s words to Abram in Genesis 12: “Leave your native land and your father’s house and go to the land that I will show you”. Since then, it has been a journey in which the verbs “leave”, “go” and “show” have been an essential part of my life experience. LEAVING: I have always found it difficult and…

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I am preparing for my visit to the prison. The sheets of the Word of God for next Sunday. The list of prisoners. Currently there are 20. Objects requested by others. Messages from families; super important to stay in touch, to continue to live with the family, often also to reconcile. In the end, I enter a lot into the lives of families. I discover people through relationships with their loved ones, wives, children, parents, friends. Saturday 2 p.m. I am ready. I go to the chapel. I ask the Lord: Send me. I’m going in your name. I leave the house, I walk towards the prison. It is a way of prayer, I say the rosary. It’s Saturday, so I’m still meditating on the glorious mysteries, life is reborn, joy after pain… I’m also talking to the angels to prepare the way ahead of me. I walk through the…

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    The Rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Africa, José Maria Cantal Rivas, asked us to join in the Basilica’s 150-year jubilee in 2022. “We would like to show the impact and influence of the basilica throughout the world and to update the links between it and different places.We “White Sisters”, the MSOLA have contributed the letter which we share with you below: Dear friends, We are happy to join in the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Basilica of Our Lady of Africa! Although we are known as “White Sisters”, the founder, Cardinal Lavigerie gave us the name which expresses both dedication and devotion to Our Lady of Africa: Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa. When the founder no longer believed in the possibility of life for the young congregation, Mother Marie-Salomé and her sisters went to pray at Notre-Dame so that the congregation…

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The Tunisian Arabic lessons given by the White Sisters have a long history! After the courses given by the White Fathers at IBLA, the White Sisters organized a basic plan of more intensive courses from 1937. A Learning Centre was founded in 1957 in Montfleury (a district of Tunis) as well as a library for secondary school students. Intended initially for young White Sisters studying literary and dialectal Arabic, with training in Islamology, the language centre has gradually opened up to other foreigners living and working in Tunisia. The first candidate was a doctor who felt the need to speak Arabic with patients and their families. The Learning Centre ensured the teaching of Tunisian Arabic to foreigners and training in Tunisian culture. In 2017, the “Maison d’Etudes de Montfleury” closed its doors and the Tunisian Arabic lessons were transferred to Tunis, to the premises of the Prelature, near the cathedral…

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Volunteering with one of our communities is a way to get to know our charism better and to have an experience full of faith and conviviality. Here is the account of the experience of two girls who wanted to spend a few months as volunteers in our community of Dar-es-Salaam We are two young business school graduates. Before beginning our professional life, we wanted to take a few months to share what we had the chance to receive during our studies. We have chosen to take part in a project to support women entrepreneurs in Dar es Salaam. We are therefore leaving for 3 months to meet the Tanzanians, and particularly the four women that we accompany. Each of them has a project with a social or environmental goal. During this stay, we are fortunate to be welcomed by the Community of the Sisters of Our Lady of Africa: the…

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With happiness in her eyes, Christiane Baulieu talks to us about the sand rose, its extraction in the desert, all that it represents for her today. “If by chance you come to see me in my room at Chevilly Larue (which would make me happy!) you will be able to see above my cupboard, a beautiful stone, the one we call “Rose des Sables”. All Saharan people know about it. The “sand rose” is different depending on where it is found. Thus, that of El Goléa is different from that of Ouargla made of gypsum crystals. Sand roses were and still are very popular with tourists. Just see as soon as they arrive, the crowd of small sellers rush towards them… Because in fact, it is their livelihood. But can you tell me, where do they find these sometimes very large pieces of rock? In the desert? Yes, but only…

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