Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus who sends us.
I am grateful to God who in His mercy has graced us with good health in this time of Covid-19. The pandemic has come with many expectations and demands especially for gatherings, such as this General Chapter.
My gratitude goes to the Regional Prioress and all the sisters in Zimbabwe, in particular the Harare Communities. We are deeply grateful for the extensive and strenuous work put into the preparation for the General Chapter and the warm welcome despite the many COVID 19 restrictions.
We acknowledge the presence of our sisters who have gone before us since 2014 and on whose shoulders we stand. We place their names around the centre piece under the General Chapter candle as a symbol of their union with us. They are present among us and we know they will intercede for us as we listen, discern and respond to the needs of our time in the spirit of St. Dominic and our fore mothers.
Our pioneer sisters; Sr Amica Kilduff, Berchmans Dreier, Bonaventura Kaltenstandler, Constantia Frommknetcht, and Sr Patrick Cosgrave commenced their missionary journey from King Williams town on the 7th February in 1890 and arrived in Fort Salisbury on 27th July 1891. The journey took them one and a half years covering 1,200 kilometres by ox-wagon (Dir 57)
During this long journey, the sisters not only needed physical, emotional and psychological strength but above all, the spiritual conviction and faith in the God who called them to Praise, to Bless, and to Preach. Their source of inspiration and comfort was the presence of the Lord in the Eucharist whom they faithfully adored.
We are blessed to have the original monstrance which our pioneer sisters treasured and this is on our banner accompanying our Chapter Logo. May we be inspired by their devotion to the adoration of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
We are privileged to also stand on the shoulders of our Musami Martyrs; Sr Ceslaus, Sr Joseph, Sr Magdala, and Sr Epiphany. Pope Paul V1, named them as Martyrs of Peace and Charity.
We are confident of the spiritual support from our sisters living and dead during this General Chapter. We begin this General Chapter during these challenging times and yet these are times of new opportunities as we listen to the spirit whispering in new ways.
“There is no greater freedom than that of allowing oneself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, renouncing the attempt to plan and control everything, and instead letting Him enlighten, guide and direct us, leading us wherever he wills” (EG 280).
We believe and trust the Lord who is the Way, the Truth and the Life will Bless and sanctify the intentions of our hearts as we endeavor to remain faithful to his purpose for us as individuals and as congregation.
In the name of Jesus who has sent us, I declare the 18th General Chapter open.
United in St. Dominic, Mother Patrick and Companions,
Sr Kamfwa Mutale OP