Lomè (Agenzia Fides) - "This jubilee must represent for you a moment of reflection on your fidelity to the commitments made personally and collectively before the Church", said Archbishop Nicodème Barrigah-Benissan of Lomé, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Institute of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Church (Soeurs de Nôtre-Dame de l'Église, NDE) in Togo. In his address, the archbishop called on the nuns present at the Saints Pierre et Paul church in Noépé to seek mutual forgiveness, reconciliation and the strengthening of mutual love: "a love that gives itself, a love that lives for others, a indissoluble love of the cross".
In his homily, Archbishop Bishop Barrigah recalled the history of the founding of this women's order. It was founded on August 15, 1952 by French missionary and Archbishop Joseph Strebler of the Society for African Missions (SMA), the first Archbishop of Lomé, on a mission in Togo from 1937 to 1962. After the founding of the institute, which was previously called "Congrégation des Petites Servantes des Saints Cœurs de Jésus et de Marie de Lomé", Archbishop Strebler also promoted the training and promotion of the local clergy and wanted the young priest Robert Casimir Tonyui Dosseh-Anyron by his side, who would later be the first Togolese Archbishop of Lomé and succeeded him in office with his consecration on June 10, 1962 in the Sacré-Cœur de Jésus cathedral.
The current Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lomé recalled the importance of the Jubilee celebrations, which, in addition to the festive events, are above all a spiritual celebration, a moment of grace and reconciliation, forgiveness, renewal of the covenant with God. In addition to the local clergy, the celebration of the anniversary was attended by civil and traditional authorities, religious, lay people, relatives, friends and benefactors. The Institute now has more than 200 women religious in Togo. (CA/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 29/8/2022)