Ivory Coast). On the occasion of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the publication of the Document on “Consecrated Life”, the Union of Major Superiors organized a national pilgrimage for consecrated life. On 6-7 February 2021, religious men and women from all over the Ivory Coast participated in this ecclesial event at “Our Lady of Peace” Basilica in Yamoussoukro in the Ivory Coast.
The Provincial Sr. Kikange Yolande of the West Africa Mother of God Province (AFO) together with Sr. Joséphine Bawissi, Sr. Mary Matthew, Sr. Marie-Clautilde Razanadrasoa, and Sr. Keita Colette attended representing the Church of the Ivory Coast.
Like the elderly Simeon on the day of the Presentation in the temple of Jesus, Light that reveals Himself to the nations, so too, the participants gathered to give thanks to God for the great gift of consecrated life and to renew the commitment to be light in the world. In the current context, marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is a sign of hope and testimony that “where there are consecrated persons there is true joy”!
The Bishop of the Diocese of Grand Bassam, Msgr. Raymond Ahoua presented the theme of Cultural Integration in the light of the Jerusalem Council. He stressed that “cultural integration is one of the greatest challenges for consecrated life and is the foundation for the formation of consecrated persons to generate community. Like the disciples, Jesus calls and sends to ‘make all peoples my disciples’ (Mt 28:18). The religious are called to go out to meet their sisters and brothers. For this it is necessary to pass from ‘I’ to ‘we’ and to bear witness to universal fraternity. Why are we here together? God asks to respond to this question with: Where is your brother or your sister?”
The participants were able to study the theme of consecrated life in various workshops: music, song, dance, and listening to concrete experiences of the life and mission of consecrated persons.
The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by the Bishop of Agboville and the Apostolic Administrator of Yamoussoukro, Msgr. Alexis Toably. In his homily, the Bishop reminded consecrated people that they must be like Christ, light to illumine the world.
An atmosphere of prayer, joy, and reflection was created. At the end of the meeting, the consecrated persons expressed the renewed joy of belonging to Christ by committing themselves to be light among the people. The FMA shared in the community the richness and beauty of the experience lived of consecrated life.