On 28th April 2024, in the salesian community of the scholasticate blessed Michel Rua – Don Bosco Kabgayi,  four members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) and six salesian cooperators made their promises.

The festivities started with the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Fr Pierre Célestin Ngoboka – Provincial AGL accompanied by Fr Anaclet Munyankindi – Director of Don Bosco Kabgayi, Fr Jacques Verheyden – Vicar, Fr Jean Bosco Biziyaremye – Economer, Fr Felix Nyagatare – Master of novices, Fr Raphael Katanga – Parish priest Rango Parish,  Butare, Fr Jean Claude Asifiwe Mbonyi – IFAK.

During the solemn mass, four members of ADMA namely Calista Kayigirwa, Jérôme Rumanyika, Rita Iradukunda, Christine Uwera and six members of the Association of Salesian Cooperators, namely Marie Ange Nishyirimbere, Aurea Kanziga, Antoinette Uwimana, Elina Umutoni, Maurice Ngabonziza, Marie Paul Dusingize, made their promises. Also in the same celebration, 32 members of ADMA and 24 salesian cooperators renewed their promises.

In his homily the main celebrant Fr Ngoboka exhorted the members of the two groups to build bonds of unity, charity and fraternity as Don Bosco wished. He further urged them to follow the path of the salesian mission and everyone should strive to be good Christians and honest citizens, in order to have model Christian families characterized by holiness and love.

He said “These ones have come to collaborate with us in educating the young people, so that we may have model Christian families characterized by holiness and concrete human values. In starting these branches, Don Bosco wanted the families where his young people came from to be holy families that give holistic education and gospel values to their children”

The Salesian cooperators and ADMA are among the 32 branches that make up the Salesian Family. The Association of Salesian cooperators started in 1876 and the group of Don Bosco Kabgayi started in 2010. ADMA started on 16 April 1869, and the ADMA group of Don Bosco Kabgayi started in 2015 on the initiative of Fr Pierre Célestin Ngoboka.

After making their promises, the new salesian cooperators and ADMA were given the medals and their “Project of Life” as holy instruments of their respective branches; and each member signed that he/she wanted to live according to the contents of the document.
For someone to be welcomed in the group of salesian cooperators, he/she is required to participate in a two-year formation course about the life, mission, rules and regulations of the cooperators. For ADMA, the candidate has a one-year formation period.

After the celebration of the Eucharist, the festivities continued with a fraternal meal. The members had contributed to buy a few token gifts for the Salesians who had devoted themselves to their formation and accompaniment. The Provincial was given special recognition, as it was the last time we would meet him as provincial, as his six-year mission would be coming to an end in a few weeks’ time.

Heavy rain during the meal couldn’t dampen the joy of the day.

Richard Dickson Mugasho, sdb.