The Region of Rwanda is surging ahead with the installation of a new regional team. The consultation process leading up to it had begun in the first week of January with Sr. Scholastique Meta and Sr. Lucy Jacob as its facilitators. After a period of prayer, reflection and discernment, Sr. Dénise Buanga Futi is appointed as the new Regional Superior. Sr. Denise is assisted by three councilors: Sr. Thérèse Mukandoli, Sr. Marie Mukambayire and Sr. Mary Paul Vadassery.
The new team has been installed on 12 January 2013.
The Region of Mali is surging ahead with the installation of a new regional team. The consultation process leading up to it had begun in the first week of January with Sr. Isabelle Ilunga and Sr. Anne-Marie Berckmans as its facilitators. After a period of prayer, reflection and discernment, Sr. Suzy Spaenhoven is appointed as the new Regional Superior. Sr. Suzy is assisted by two councilors: Sr. Marie-Madeleine Kabwiz and Sr. Marguerite Tubale Matandu. The new team has been installed on 11 January 2013.
The province of Pakistan is surging ahead with the installation of a new provincial team. The consultation process leading up to it had begun in the first week of September with Sr. Scholastique Meta and Sr. Anne-Marie Berckmans as its facilitators. After a period of prayer, reflection and discernment, Sr. Sophia Patras is appointed as the new provincial. Sr. Sophia is assisted by four councilors: Sr. Maria Teresa Ujaggar, Sr. Martin de Porres, Sr. Magdalen Yacub and Sr. Sabina Barkat. The new team is installed on 27 September, on the day of our patron saint, St. Vincent de Paul.
Following is an extract of Sr. Arsen’s letter ….
This is to offer you once again our heartfelt gratitude for the constant assurance of your prayers and concern over the worst ever floods creating havoc across the country, especially in the Southern Punjab Multan Diocese and at the same time to give you some account of our visit to one of the vast hit area of Multan Diocese by the floods. You know what we hear and what we see has vast difference.
On 28th August, 8 SCJMs from three communities – Lahore, Gujranwala and Yohannabad, set out to Multan Diocese. We reached Multan at midnight and having a few hours rest, along with the Bishop of Multan and Fr. Mani went to three villages which are totally washed away. The day of 29th August, we visited the flood affected people. Started our journey back at 5.30 pm and reached Lahore at 2.45 am. (some photos will soon follow)
These floods, hill torrents and torrential rains have killed thousands and destroyed everything in their path. But another bigger disaster lies in wait, that is, death by hunger, diseases, malnutrition, contaminated water and lack of basic human facilities. The human desperation and struggle for survival, the rush for food and medical help and countless other horrific scenes of human misery have put everyone in a state of shock.
We were able to visit three villages and distributed provisions to 166 families. It was like heart wrenching to experience terrible mass misery of the people. The human desperation and struggle for survival. At the moment all are trying to reach out with humanitarian concern to bring some comfort and consolation to the suffering but the aftermath is to be feared. It is sad to say that many selfish people instead of helping are filling their pockets. A lot of looting is going on and in the disguise of help are abducting especially the female children.
Luckily, our truck with provisions was protected from being looted, as we were escorted well by the police in front and at the back and a team of Caritas though at one point there were hundreds of such people ready to attack.
We have seen some villages, farms houses totally submerged in water, the devastation and destruction of livestock. We are shocked and very much disturbed by the magnitude of this flood catastrophe, as this translates a very bleak future of our people. And there seem to be no end to the rains and rising of water in the rivers.
We, SCJMs are very grateful to God that none of the family members of our Sisters are affected by the floods. We are trying our best to exert every possible effort to reach out to affected areas.
Today another group of Major Superiors have gone to another venue. Each time we go we discover new needs and accordingly we buy the provisions.
So this is some new news of how each group is reaching out.
Triest Year Celebration: A number of events are chalked out to mark the 250th birth anniversary of our founder Cannon Peter Joseph Triest.
Each SCJM province is having various events to make year 2010 special and meaningful for the Congregation. A lot of activities are planned to bring alive the spirit and works of our founder and to make it relevant in today’s context.
In Belgium, the Township of Lovendegem and the ‘comeet’ (Cultureel Overleg Meetjesland) have jointly taken the initiative to celebrate this great event by erecting a monument in his honor. The unveiling of the statue will take place on the 22nd of August. The project is co-sponsored also by the three Congregations founded by Fr. Triest, namely the Sisters of Jesus’ Childhood, the Brothers of Charity and the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary. The Eucharistic celebration, an academic session on Fr. Triest and an exhibition of the different works of the Triest Congregations are the highlights of the day.
On the 26th of September, the three Congregations founded by Fr. Triest come together in Brussels for a meaningful celebration.
This week marks a month since the flooding in Pakistan started, and it has destroyed or damaged 1.2 million homes and affected 17.2 million people. As flood waters continue to travel south through the country, tens of thousands of people are being displaced each day. ’The floods are outrunning our relief efforts. We move faster and faster, but the finish line keeps moving further ahead,’ U.N. spokesman Maurizio Giuliano said. The UN in Pakistan has described the humanitarian situation caused by the flood disaster as critical. An estimated four million people have now been displaced in the city of Sukkur alone. We are in deep solidarity with the suffering people and are determined to do whatever we can to come to their aid.
Provincial Chapter: All the provincial and regional chapters, in preparation for the coming General Chapter, have finished except that of the Anglo-Irish province, which will take place from the 13-17 of September. Let us continue to invoke the Spirit of God upon the province.