“Together as one body let us go out to the encounter…” I am grateful to God who made it possible for the region of Uganda/Kenya/Congo to hold the regional assembly after a long period of waiting due to covid-19 pandemic. It was a moment of grace marked with joy of encountering each other and sharing lived experiences. It was such a fruitful assembly animated by the Holy Spirit. I express my gratitude to the general council for your presence during our assembly and for the attentive listening to all that concerns or region. I am grateful to God for the Holy Spirit who guided you hence animating the assembly in a manner that encouraged active participation, openness and a sense of belonging through clarification of some issues concerning the life of our region. I take this chance to also appreciate my sisters in the region for portraying a family spirit which really facilitated a successful proceeding of the assembly.

My experience during the assembly took me back to reflect on the words of Pope Francis in dedicating 2015 as the year of Consecrated Life, where he expressed three aims: to remember the past with gratitude, to live the present passionately, and to embrace the future with hope. In a family spirit and atmosphere of openness and respect, members shared their lived experiences with gratitude; thanking God for all that had taken place in their lives: both joyful and tough moments, with faith that God has a divine reason for all we go through. A moment set to share each one’s vocational story by use of a symbol was an important exercise which portrayed God’s unfailing presence in our lives hence praising and thanking Him for all his gifts and the for the rich charism of reparation which is evident in different contexts where our communities are inserted among the people of God.

Through sharing as individuals, communities and groups, it was evident that as members of the region, we are living the present with passion; witnessing the communion Christ urges us through the various apostolic activities and by striving to live in mutual interpersonal relationship which adds value to our community life. Through discernment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, members in the region are endeavoring to live the signs of the time by being in solidarity with refugees, sensitizing people and fighting against human trafficking and being a source of hope and encouragement to covid-19 infected and affected persons through accompaniment.

When members shared their dreams, it was clear that they were enthusiastic to embrace the future with hope by entrusting our region and the SMR institute to the loving care and protection of our Creator, “the one for whom nothing is impossible” (Lk 1:37). I believe that Blessed Emile is happy to see her followers represent her in this wounded world and though her intercession we move forward to do all for the greater glory of God.

Once again, I thank the general council for your love, encouragement and for being patient with us. Since the same call gathers us together (C. 9), I pray that united as one body we many continue to experience the joy we have shared during the assembly by being prophetic witnesses to the wounded world through the mission of reparation beginning with our communities where we live.

United in love and prayers

Jane Wairimu Gatungu smr