Let us look at the past with gratitude
as we enter the first phase of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of our Institutes.
R/ Praise and glory to you forever.
Let us thank the Lord for the intuition and vision of Cardinal Lavigerie. As bishop of Algiers he realized he needed men and women apostles to bring the Good News to Africa.
Let us thank the Lord for his intuition saw the birth of both our Institutes with the same charism and a common mission. We thank you for this one pearl of great price that we both received. R/
Let us thank the Lord for our first brothers and sisters who were moved by Cardinal Lavigerie’s vision and dared make it their own, pushed by a passion for God and for humanity. Among them we want to thank you for Mother Marie Salome, and Mgr Livinhac. We want to thank you for the courage and resilience of the first generations who dared go into the unknown to bring the Good News. R/
Let us thank the Lord for generations upon generations of sisters, brothers and priests who responded to this same call, giving it various colours according to the contexts and the needs that they met. R/
Let us thank the Lord for Africa and its people, for the rich cultures, the different religions and the many languages to which we have been exposed.
Let us thank the Lord for our brothers and sisters who have studied the language of the people they were sent to, writing the first dictionaries and grammars, becoming close to the people by their way of life.
Let us thank the Lord for the contribution He has allowed us to make for the establishment of the African Church, the formation of the local clergy and of twenty-two female congregations.
Let us thank the Lord for our brothers and sisters who have been engaged and are still engaged in Muslim-Christian dialogue everywhere.
Let us thank the Lord for the African peoples we have been present to and with whom we were allowed to collaborate for the sake of development, of education, formation and health care.
Let us thank the Lord, recognizing that this common story has forged us and made us who we are today, men and women of faith, deeply in love with Christ, and with the people to whom we are sent.
8th December, 2015