AFRICA/KENYA - Consecrated women in Africa: "A precious role for the Church"

Tuesday, 19 July 2022 synodality   nuns   religious institutes   women  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "The Association of Consecrated Women of Central and West Africa (ACWECA), in the midst of the Synod on Synodality, wishes to reiterate the importance of the role of religious women and the attention that congregations must devote more and more to this question. In the recent past, Pope Francis has appointed women, consecrated and lay, to key roles in the Roman Curia. Women are called to play decisive roles in the Church and if this is possible it is because they are highly trained and specialized. We are talking about economists, teachers, sociologists, people who have dedicated their lives to studies".
This is what Sister Agnes Lucy Lando, of the Sisters of Mary of Kakamega, a congregation rooted in central-eastern Africa that has its mother house in Kenya, affirms in an interview with Agenzia Fides.
Sister Agnes Lucy Lando, Associate Professor of "Communication and Media Studies" and president of the Ethics Review Committee at Daystar University, spoke in a recent webinar that brought together consecrated women from Africa, in order to examine the traditional responsibilities of women religious in the Church, share their dreams, and deepen their participation in the midst of the synodal process.
"I believe that this is a very significant moment for the whole Church - she says - and I want to underline how happy I am to be part of it as a consecrated woman. I share a deep joy, admiration and praise for the Church. This Synod is very different from all those held before, for at least three reasons. First of all, it is a very long time, two years, not a few months. Secondly, it is not reserved only for the bishops, but involves the entire People of God, the parishes, the laity. Finally, everyone is invited and no one is left out. I travel often and I meet many young people, old people, laity, priests, bishops, all of them talk about the Synod of synodality and want to offer their own contribution".
The nun highlights education as a significant element for consecrated women in order to to participate more in the activities of the Church: "One thinks of Paul speaking to the Areopagus: if he had not been educated, he would have missed great opportunities for evangelization. Here it is a question of being at the service of the Church. Sometimes in Africa there is a wrong misconception about the education of sisters. It is said: 'if we send them to study then they will leave the congregation for other services'. Nothing can be more absurd. Meanwhile, even if they leave, the institute has certainly made them better women and has favored their qualification; perhaps they will be better prepared to bring the Good News where they will live. African consecrated women can play a valuable role in various disciplines, because they understand better culture, local issues and resources. And they help build a Church in which cultures blend for the good of the universal Church". Sr. Agnes Lucy Lando notes: "I believe that we need to rethink the question of the charism of our congregations in the light of what is happening in our societies. There is a great technological progress, we are witnessing epochal changes, we must take the time to discern and dialogue more to understand who we are and what are the new areas in which we will find ourselves operating and carrying the gospel in the coming years, finding new forms of evangelization. This Synod is an excellent opportunity. In recent months I have been in Rome and met Pope Francis together with a manager of the University of Daystar where I teach. When he saw us, the Pope came to greet and encourage us. This is the style of the Church: to leave the pulpit and come to meet humanity". (LA) (Agenzia Fides, 19/7/2022)