“The harvest of the Lord is abundant, but the labourers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to the harvest.” Matthew 9: 37,38
The 9th of June was a memorable day for the Institute, because it was increased by the acceptance of ten (10) new Brothers.
Indeed, the ten members of the novitiate group (called the Saint Francis of Assisi Group) had completed two years of formation (2015/2017) in the novitiate of Notre Dame de Grâce in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) during which their motto had been ‘The novitiate, a gospel adventure!’ They now wagered their lives freely on the gospel, with no thought of looking back, and undertook to follow Jesus Christ by making their first vows of religion.
The table gives the names of the ten young Brothers, their chosen symbols and Districts of origin
|N°||Christian Names and Family Names||Symbols||District|
|1||Brother Samuel Brice ETOUKA LEMBA||The shoe||District Central Africa|
|2||Brother Jeannot Patrick ANDRIATSIFERANTSOA||The compass||District of Antananarivo|
|3||Brother Julien Emile RAFENOMANANA||The dove||District of Antananarivo|
|4||Brother Jean Augustin RATSIMBAZAFY||Sand||District of Antananarivo|
|5||Brother Jean Eric RINKAN||The bee||District of Antananarivo|
|6||Brother Michel PANZU MAVUNDA||The star||District of Congo-Kinshasa|
|7||Brother Julien NIMUSABIMANIZATWUMVA||The eyes||District of Rwanda|
|8||Brother Eli Louis ATIKPO||Water||District of Gulf of Benin|
|9||Brother Teko Christophe EKOUE||The earth||District of Gulf of Benin|
|10||Brother Elysée LARE||The egg||District of Gulf of Benin|
The festivities started with a Mass at 9 o’clock in front of the novitiate chapel presided over by Father Pascal Sawadogo, a Carmelite, and in his homily he gave the young Brothers three counsels of advice chosen for the day to help them keep up their religious commitment.
After the homily, there was a dialogue between those about to make vows and Brother Paulin Degbe Visitor of the District of Gulf of Benin in the presence of Brother Julien Diarra Visitor of the District of West Africa. The young Brothers then made their first vows.
Next, in the course of the Mass, there was an event to encourage the newly professed. Brother Antonio Ródriguez gave thanks to the Lord for his fifty years of fidelity to his perpetual vows which he then renewed.
The celebration concluded with words of thanks from the ‘chosen’ of the day and from the Brothers Visitors, and then came the final blessing.