Today, the door is open

Today, the door is open


Interview with Sr. Bella Doreen Mwakaliku, Superior General, Little Sisters of St. Francis during the UISG-USG Joint Meeting in Sacrofano (November 22-24, 2023).


I'm seeing a very big hope for the religious life in East Africa and in Africa and the world at large, because, as I've heard of the document, it talks of working together, just as the word “Synod” says. 

There has been a very big invitation to work together, to respect each other and to accept each other as human beings. I like that idea of walking together as a baptised Church. 

This Synod is a continuation of the teachings of the Vatican II and especially the Lumen Gentium, if I'm not mistaken. I like the idea that in the Vatican II the windows were opened, but now it is the doors which are open. And when the doors are open, there is a big opportunity. When the door is open, it means so many people can enter and so many new ideas also can enter and change the world. Maybe we are working in one side now. We can be transformed. We can be converted into the new way of seeing things, the new way of accepting each other, especially when we talk of the poor. I've been so much touched by the poor, because most of the time we look at the poor is at the lower side. Those who have not, those whom we have to give, we are the one to give and look down on them. When the poor were asked: what do you want, what do you need from the Church?, their answer was not: we want money or we want diamond. They said: we need love, we need respect. 

I'm so happy for this meeting and it's the first time I think we are meeting together with the men religious. The world is one, we have the same challenges. We are walking on the same road. So, for me it's another open door, because now it's like we are starting to practice the synod itself: we are starting working together with the men, sharing our differences and challenges. But also I'm seeing it as a challenge to me in my constellation, because when I talk of Tanzania, we have not yet been able to come together.
Each party is working alone, solving their own problems and things of that sort. For me, it's an invitation to come together as religious life, men and women, to solve our problems together and to go for holiness together, because that is the call for each one of us.

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