Cabinda (Angola). On 31 August 2022, the day of the commemoration of Don Bosco, the first stone was laid for a new work of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Queen of Peace Preprovince (ANG).
The FMA have been present in Cabinda since 2010 at the request of the then Bishop Filomeno Vieira Dias. The Diocese has offered the community a home, but above all a lot of pastoral work in different areas: Coordination of Catechesis, Youth Ministry, oratories on the outskirts of the city, teaching in the Secondary School of the Diocese.
After a few years of prophetic presence in that area of Angola, the Community looked for a place to ‘set up its tent’ and found it on the outskirts of Cabinda, where everything is still missing, but there is an abundance of people and above all of children. The land, donated by Bishop Belmiro Cuica Chissengueti in 2020, is located in the Simindele district, in the parish of Saint Monica.
On 31 August, the ceremony of laying the first stone took place in the presence of Mary Help of Christians Community of the FMA; the Superior of the Preprovince, Sr. Natalia Miguel; the Economer Sr. Zvonka Mikec; and Sr. Sharon Algar, Councilor.
It was a simple ceremony, presided over by Fr. Carlos Mbambi, with the presence of the SDB of St. Peter Community of the Vice Province of Mamá Muxima (ANG). Also present were the Engineer, owner of the construction company, who will work on the building, the traditional authorities of the neighborhood, the local authorities and Administration, the children, who are eagerly awaiting to know what will happen in that land, and some neighbors.
The Engineer underlined his satisfaction working with the FMA Institute, a Congregation that deals with education. He presented the complete project which includes first, the construction of a nursery school with refectory, kitchen, and administrative area, and a Chapel, which can be open to the population. The FMA House and other educational structures will follow on the other half of the land.
After the blessing of the land, the symbolic laying of the first stone took place at the foot of a tree left specifically as a sign of commitment to Laudato Si’, by Fr. José Agripino Filho, Episcopal Vicar and parish priest of Saint Monica.
Sr. Natalia Miguel, the Superior, thanked Providence for having collaborated in the realization of the dream of the FMA and of many people, especially the children who await this educational space. “We believe in education and, after these years of significant permanence in this reality, we will finally be able to have a space – our PRESENCE – where we can go to realize our dream of forming good Christians and honest citizens,” she said.
The construction of the Chapel is also significant, where one can nourish oneself with the Word and the Bread of Life and, at the same time, praise the Lord, with gratitude towards the Korean benefactress who finances this sacred place.
On the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the FMA Institute, we entrust this first stone to Mary, to accompany the work and every educational project, thanking God for the gift of the Salesian charism and for how it is growing little by little among the people of Cabinda.