Mother with the pupils
Mother General arrived at Kigali International Airport on August 26th, 2019 at 8h00 am for a two-day visit. She was accompanied by Sr Gisèle Ndekezi, the provincial of AFE province, from Nairobi- Kenya. She was welcomed by the provincial of the SDB, AGL province, Fr. Pierre Celestin Ngoboka, Sisters, and the representatives of parents, teachers, pupils and the volunteers of Don Bosco. Arriving for the very first time in Rwanda she was very happy to see the country and for the warm welcome she was given. She said:
“It is so wonderful to be here, I am touched by your joyful presence here at the airport”. The mother continued direct to the community of Kigali. By 10h30 am, pupils and teachers welcomed her at EPMA (Ecole Privée Marie Auxiliatrice) with a well prepared event. She was very happy to be received at the gate of the school with a colorful and organized moment, whereby all the pupils were waving small flags, beating drums to welcome a mother. Her first day started with a short prayer, thanking God for her safe arrival. Seeing a mother among the children, it was fitting for us to sing the Magnificat, thanking God for the wonders He is working in her life and making everything possible for her in order to carry all the members of the Salesian family in her heart. We entrusted her to Mary, that she may be her teacher and guide in her time of visitation.
That same morning, mother general met the pupils. They welcomed her with songs, poems and traditional dances. In her remarks she presented her own greetings and the greeting on behalf of the global community to the pupils of EPMA and the educators who were present. These were her words: “I am so impressed to meet happy children, welcoming and very attentive”. She promised to pray for each one of them. She gave this lesson to the pupils : Speak like Jesus, think like Jesus, serve like Jesus, walk like Jesus, give like Jesus, smile like Jesus and do everything as Jesus did. She made the gesture of looking at the face of each one of them to show that she will remember each pupil in her prayers.
In her meeting with the teaching and non teaching staff she gave this message to them: “Whatever enters in the hearts of the children will remain forever; our work as educators is not only a profession but a mission of life. A person who does not give quality education ruins life, society and the whole world. Don Bosco found the best way to cure the society and reconstruct it through education. It is on that basic conviction that he was capable of helping the young to educate themselves in order to be protagonists in the change of the world. Educating as a community gives a chance for continuity; the unity among you is strength, though it is not easy to educate in today’s world with rapid change. In order to educate one must love education; we need the witness of an authentic life of everyone. Let us live like Don Bosco by making our education being felt by everyone you encounter. I encourage you to cultivate social network open to the whole world. EPMA is an excellent school because its vision is concrete; creativity always opens the mind and makes it alive. Continue with the same spirit. Let us be the light, from inside to outside”.
The following day, on the 27th, Mother general met the representatives of the students of Gisenyi community (St Mary Dominica Mazzarello TVET school), in the Kigali community. Mother gave this message to the students of Gisenyi saying you look all happy and your happiness comes from the relationship you have with Jesus through the sisters who are taking care of you. She continued encouraging them saying : ‘be truthful to yourselves, avoid wasting your time because life is a gift from God to be celebrated and appreciated, so invite God in your lifestyle and you will see miracles. Remember that Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello school is your home; after your studies keep visiting your home, share your experience with the sisters because you are already Salesian family members, do not be afraid to share your stories, remain attached to Jesus He will never abandon you. Keep praying for the sisters, teachers and your parents.
Sister Hilarie, FMA
Mother with the students of Gisenyi community.