We wish to share with you a beautiful Thanksgiving Day message from Sr. Victoire, one of our missionary sisters in Tanzania. Originally from Cameroon, Sr. Victoire moved to the United States with her family as a young teenager. She completed her high school studies in Maryland where she was very involved in her local parish, and then began university studies at Mount Saint Mary’s in Emmitsburg. Discerning a call to religious life, she entered our community in 2009, and received her initial formation in our Province. Sr. Victoire studied theology at our International Juniorate in Italy last year, before being assigned to our mission in Ushetu Tanzania this fall. We were blessed to offer her a small “sending off” from our convent in Washington during her home visit in September.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Dear friends and family,
In the work of inculturation, as stated in our directory of Missions Ad Gentes, one must be able to penetrate the culture, in such a way as to assume everything in it which is good, and to reject, or purify (depending on the particular cases) the elements which are not compatible with the Gospel of Christ.
In my short time of inculturation into the American culture (7 years), two things I have assumed in a more specific way are chocolate brownies and Thanksgiving Day! For, the virtue of gratitude is proper to Christians and to the religious man – religere – to ponder over and over the wonders the Lord has done.
Today, within this short chronicle, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the many benefits which I have received from God, and to thank all of you for your continual assistance.
In our Religious Family, we have a tradition of giving thanks every Sunday for the graces we have received during the week: graces as individuals, as a community, and also as a religious family.
And here, I want to express my thanks to all of you who have helped and supported me by your prayers, examples of life, and also financially in my many necessities. One thing is to rejoice in a good internally, as I am sure the nine lepers in the Gospel rejoiced to be healed, but another this is to express our gratitude to the One to whom belongs all things – Jesus Christ, as did the one leper who returned to give thanks (Luke 17:11-19).
This Thanksgiving Day is, of course, not like the previous ones: there is no turkey!!!…or cranberry sauce…or stuffing…One could almost say there is no Thanksgiving if you are looking only at the accidental things. But like I mentioned, even without all these things Thanksgiving Day still remains in its essence, a day of gratitude to the Lord and to all one’s benefactors.
First, I am thankful to God, who in His mercy has called me to the religious life, and who daily grants me the grace to persevere in it.
I am thankful for this new mission in Ushetu, Tanzania, which the Lord has entrusted to me: to plant the seed of the Gospel. I am especially thankful that I can collaborate in the evangelization of my own continent. [Sr. Victoire offered herself for the mission in Africa from the time of her novitiate, began learning Swahili in her free time, and studied and gave presentations on Africae Munus (2011) to the sisters.]
I am thankful for all my formators, the superiors and prefects who have greatly labored to hand down the charism of the Religious Family. All those who have worked to teach me the way of perfection, and who have truly been mothers to me, teaching me especially by their examples. And how can I not mention the many priests who helped me and who continue to help me in the way of perfection? Many thanks to all of them! I am thankful to my parents and siblings who continue to support and assist me in my mission.
Not wanting to exclude anyone, I would like to thank all, sisters and brothers in religion, family, friends, benefactors – for all your prayers for me, for your examples of life and for always being prompt to help me. Many more things to be thankful about, which time does not allow me to write down at this present moment.
May God be praised in all things, and may He reign in all things.
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and be assured of my prayers for you always.
With love in Jesus and Mary,
SSVM Missionary in Tanzania
God Bless you, Sr. Victoire! And many thanks to all of those who support our missionaries in Africa by their prayers and financial support!
If you would like to make a donation you may use PayPal to make a tax-deductible donation to the Tanzania Mission.
(Your mailing address only will be used to send you a thank-you letter with our tax ID number for your records.)
Or send your charitable donations payable to “Servants of the Lord” (MEMO: Tanzania mission):
Servants of the Lord
Attn: Tanzania Mission
28 15th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003