General Conference in Arusha, Tanzania

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Greetings to all of you from beautiful and breathtaking Tanzania! 23 of us have gathered at the Canossa Retreat Center, located just down the street from our House of Formation and Notre Dame Academy in Arusha.

We participants in the General Conference are half waythrough our journey together. So far, we have had wonderful opportunities to get to know each other, become more familiar with all the units, and visit our Sisters here in the East African Delegation as well as visit their various ministries. Outside presenters, Fr. Anthony Gittins, Fr. Carduni (Maasai priest) and Sister M. Rashmi (our missionary to the Maasai) have opened our eyes and our hearts to the blessings and challenges of living interculturally.

It is a great gift that in addition to the presentations, workshops and discussions, we can also take time to visit our Sisters here in Arusha and learn about their ministries. We spent time with our African Novices, visited Notre Dame School and the Zinduka Women’s Center here in Arusha, and met the children from the Aloysia Program. We had a panel discussion with sisters from the Nairobi Delegation from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, and the United States, and Sister Mary Rashmi gave a presentation about the Maasai life and culture, which we experienced for ourselves when we visited Simanjiro on October 9.

Everywhere we are greeted with great enthusiasm by sisters, students, teachers and others who have a connection with our sisters. One sentence that seems to be repeated often is “Feel at home”! And indeed all are making it very easy for us to do so. Also, the sisters here at the Canossa Spirituality Center where our conference is taking place are going out of their way to accommodate us. We experience the African people as extremely hospitable and gracious.

As we move into the second half of our journey, more experiences await us as we enter into deeper dialogue regarding future directions for our Congregation. We appreciate your continued prayers.