4 Nov. 2022
By Sam Kalimba
The Catholic Sisters from around Africa have been called on to sustain their identities and Charisms in order to bring the people closer to Christ. The African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) Alumni are in their 2022 annual meeting at an event taking place virtually attracting over 90 participants from countries like Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The meeting is running from 4th to 6th November.
The Executive Director of ASEC Sr Mary Cecilia Drau of the Congregation of Little Mary Immacualte of Gulu commended the participants for their commitment and the facilitators for their enlightenment that focused on the theme ‘Sustaining our identity and Charism in our Congregation to the people we work with and beyond.’
She went deeper to explain the meaning of identity and charism as light. She encouraged the participating Sisters to ensure remaining in the light of the Lord all the time.
“The children of darkness are smarter than the children of light. They have tricks to capture everyone while those of us who are children of light fail to capture everyone to light. Sometimes it is us the children of light who open windows of darkness to allow others sin,” she explained.
According to the co-facilitators, Rev. Fr. Israel Madziakaphwa, Dp and Rev. Sr Enelesi Chimbali from Malawi, the identities and different Charisms are there for the Sisters to work better than to confuse themselves and others.
“In Many Charisms that Institutes have, there is always a relationship to the people you are serving. One practical reason for that is that we want to bring people closer to Christ through what we do through our own identity,” one presentation reads.
The same presentation further says that there is richness in the differences in identities as formed by the different founders.
“The difference between congregations should not be based on the habit or they type of veil you put on, it should rather be based on the activities that you do in this world among the people of God,” reads part of the presentation slide by Fr. Madziakaphwa.
Fr. Israel further argued that it should be about the effects of their existence in a community and the impact that they make which cannot be made by others because it is only their field. He said that the only reason there are many congregations is that each of them answers to a different need of the Church and not the world.
ASEC is a non-profit organization from America operating in 10 African countries with the aim of Empowering Religious Sisters through Education. It offers scholarships for sisters to study in Institutions of higher learning like in Malawi at the Catholic University. Sisters going to college and secondary schools also benefit from ASEC scholarship programs. ASEC also provides skills development in Computer Basic Technology, Financial management and Administration. In Malawi, in the area of skills development sisters attend courses at AWRIM SECRETARIAT for a period of three years.