Kinshasa (Agence Fides) - "Remembering, celebrating, starting with Christ" is the theme around which the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM) celebrate the centenary of their presence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. To begin this jubilee year, a thanksgiving mass was celebrated in the church of Notre Dame de Fatima in Kinshasa on Saturday 30 November.
His Exc. Mgr. Ettore Balestrero, Apostolic Nuncio in the Democratic Republic of Congo, presided over the Eucharist. Inspired by the readings of the day of St. Andrew, he recalled the need for a true passion to follow Christ; passion that animated Saint Andrew in his life as an apostle. It is also this passion that inspired the ICM sisters during these 100 years of service in the DRC and that they will have to show more to continue the work of Christ in Congo.
In her speech, the superior provincial nun reiterated the call that Mother Marie-Louise de Meester, founder of the ICM, launched to the first missionaries sent to begin the mission in Congo: "being a missionary is more than dedicating oneself to the needy, it is essentially giving one's life, so that others can experience the life-giving grace of Christ".
A large crowd of collaborators, families and the sisters' friends enriched this celebration with their presence and testimonies. The collaborators recognize in these sisters, among other things, the spirit of initiative, love for the work well done and, above all, concern for the well-being of young people. It is this concern that justifies the fame of the Kabambare, Movenda and Toyokana high schools in Kinshasa, schools run by the ICM sisters, whose results are always satisfactory.
The sisters of the ICM were previously called canonical of St. Augustine. In the DRC, in addition to education, they also work in the field of health and pastoral care. They are present in the archdiocese of Kinshasa and in the dioceses of Boma and Lisala. (M.P.B.) (Agenzia Fides, 4/12/2019)