Nemi (Fides News Agency) – On July 9, 2023, the XVIII General Chapter of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Apostles (NSA) opened in Nemi, Rome. The opening Mass of the Chapter was presided over by Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization.
Together with the outgoing Head of the Congregation, Sister Mary Theresa Barron, from Ireland, and her council at the end of her mandate, 47 delegates - from the different countries where the Institute is present - gathered.
In the course of the work, on July 25, Sister Mary Teresa Barron was reconfirmed for another five-year term, while the 3 Councillors were elected on July 27. These are Sister Marie Hélène Gourdon, French; Sister Anne Falola, Nigerian and Sister Emilienne Tougouma, from Burkina Faso. Sister Barron is also the Vice President of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) and President of the Service of Documentation and Studies (SEDOS).
"It is the word of God that sustains this great stage in the life of our missionary Institute", Sister Diyâne Audrey Rema, NSA, writes to Fides News Agency, straight from the Chapter themed: "One heart, one mission, we are witnesses of God's Love in the world". “Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?" (Isaiah 43,19).
"The General Chapter is an assembly of study, research and discernment inspired by the Spirit," Sister Rema explained. The celebration of the Institute's life is for all the Sisters too, because it tends to give new impetus and dynamism to their Mission within the Church. It is a meeting that is not only useful to the newly appointed - she adds. In addition to being an opportunity for meeting, friendship, sharing, it is a moment of discernment regarding the mission and life of the entire Institute for the next five years, as well as a verification of the steps taken."
The final day will be held on Saturday, August 5, the day of the dedication of St. Mary Major, with the Mass to be celebrated by Father Antonio Porcellato, Superior General of the Society for African Missions.
Founded on May 1, 1876 by Father Augustin Planque, a priest with the Society of African Missions (SMA), the Institute of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Apostles (NSA), which aims to evangelize all peoples, particularly in Africa, was elevated to the status of Congregation of Pontifical Right by decree of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide of June 17, 1904.
Currently, the NSA has 624 Sisters, 37 novices, 31 postulants present in 21 countries and 20 different nationalities spread across 4 continents.
(AP) (Fides News Agency 2/8/2023)