Abidjan (Ivory Coast). On 5 August 2022, the date of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, in Abidjan, at the provincial headquarters, the welcoming Eucharistic Celebration for the Provincial, Sr. Yvette Badini of Mother of God Province (AFO) was held.

In an atmosphere of joy and celebration, the ceremony began in a traditional way with the solemn announcement to the FMA and the members of the Salesian Family of the official installation of Sr. Yvette, followed by the parade of the flags of the seven countries of the Province – Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Togo – with a comment on symbolism and colors, to recall the inculturation of the Salesian charism in these Countries.

A statuette symbolizing unity was then brought to the altar, represented by people carrying a pot with holes and trying together to fill the holes with their fingers. This symbol, inherited from the Kingdom of Dahomey, recalls the importance of a synodal work in the construction of the Province, with the grace of the Holy Spirit.

The ceremony continued with the proclamation of the decree appointing Sr. Yvette Badini as Provincial by Sr. Yolande Kikange, the outgoing Provincial, who gave her a statue of Jesus the Good Shepherd so that, following the example of Christ, she could be a shepherd according to the heart of God. A light was also given to the new Provincial, so that Jesus may be the light and guide for her during the six-year term.

Sr. Yolande Kikange then thanked the Province, the FMA of the Provincial Council, the collaborators, the Educating Communities, the laity, and the members of the Salesian Family who work in the mission.

This was followed by the Liturgy of the Word from the Gospel of John (Jn 10:14). The passage from the Good Shepherd is an invitation to take care of the flock like Jesus, forgetting self in order to give life. Following Christ, the new Provincial is called to generate life in the Sisters, so that they in turn may be witnesses of Christ among the young people and children.

After listening to a brief commentary on the Gospel, Sr. Yolande handed Sr. Yvette the key to the 150th anniversary received during the morning Eucharistic Celebration. The new Provincial placed the large key at the feet of the Virgin Mary, as a sign of abandonment and trust, like St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello, who said: “Mary is the true superior“.

Sr. Yvette in her talk thanked the Mother General, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, her Council, and the whole Province. She expressed the fear that animates her, but also her trust in God, who asks her to lead the Province for the six-year period 2022-2028, and the desire to work with the Sisters in a spirit of synodality.

Subsequently, the new Provincial received the blessing of Fr. Paul Adjibodé, Salesian of Don Bosco, Treasurer of the Province of Our Lady of Peace (AFO) and gave to each Animator the materials for the animation of the Communities, including the Acts of the General Chapter and the Six-Year Programming.

At the end of the celebration, Sr. Yvette experienced a moment of fraternity and welcome with the FMA, the members of the Salesian Family, and her family, represented by her younger sister with her husband and daughter.


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