A personal journey of 10 years of reunification: ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

A personal journey of 10 years of reunification: ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

A personal journey of 10 years of reunification: ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

A personal journey of 10 years of reunification: ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

A personal journey of 10 years of reunification: ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

A personal journey of 10 years of reunification: ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

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By Sr Francisca Kameli, Kenya (Province of Eastern Central Africa – ECAP)

I’m not sure where to begin but I am sure that I have every reason to be grateful to God for how far we have journeyed as a Congregation – especially now as we celebrate 10 years since our reunification.

My experience is one that has been filled with ups and downs requiring strength, courage, determination, and prayer through challenges and disappointments and ongoing reflection on what the Lord wants of me in this particular time of our journeying together. I have always held great hope through my belief that there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Everything was joyous for me following reunification. When I received the cross and the constitution, it was a new beginning for me which reflected the very day when I made my first profession. I felt energized to keep the fire burning given that we were now many in number, something I presumed would greatly facilitate the mission and bring life to all our communities.

I remember thinking “It’s finished, we’ve done it”. But we were not done, and we are not yet done because “we are still evolving”, still looking at ‘structures’, ‘new governance’, ‘more life-giving communities’, etc.

Over these last few years, I made a personal commitment to maintain my zeal for ministry and take personal responsibility to contribute to community living.

This has not always been easy in a province that has experienced some rupture following reunification in which some sisters decided to continue their journey at a different pace or along a different path altogether.

I have witnessed that aspects of community life have become marked with fear and suspicion. This experience has not been easy for me and has, at times, greatly unsettled me – but I could still see some light at the end of the tunnel!

Despite all these challenges, I have been so happy to witness the flourishing of vocations in ECAP, to see so many sisters make their first and perpetual profession, to rebuild our life together through shared in-person and online gatherings, to revive and strengthen our policies, and to fortify our structures.

All the efforts from sisters and partners-in-mission have revived within me so much hope, joy, and trust that reunification was not in vain. Despite the challenges, it is bearing much good fruit – not only in my Congregation but in the Church as a whole.

What has been most life-giving for me is my decision to embrace a life of reflective prayer and spiritual nourishment through forgiveness, reconciliation, and open-mindedness, in which I learn to take risks, become flexible, and let go without unnecessary resistance – softening my heart to share my truth and let others also bring out their truth for us to meet at some point.

Reunification has opened opportunities for me by allowing me to create new relationships with sisters from other Units and learn about what they do i.e. their mission, their numbers, their culture, the beauty of their countries, and also their challenges.

I believe that the benefits of reunification far outweigh any struggles we may be going through, such as changes in structures, administration, finances, etc. This is a lifelong journey along which we must continue to build life-giving relationships among ourselves as a Congregation in the knowledge that our experience is the same as other congregations who have journeyed through reunifications over the years.

With time, I realize that, “our whole is more than the sum of our parts”, and that our journeys can witness the possibility of unity in a world marked by alienation and conflict.

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