Catholic Sisters Return to Mozambique after 40 Years: Four decades after departing due to anti-Catholic hostility following independence from Portugal, the Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate religious Sister share their joy at returning to the African country.
Embraced by a heartfelt reception in Dómuè, Tete Diocese, north-east Mozambique, Sister Mirian dos Santos expressed the overwhelming delight of the congregation, humbled by the eager anticipation after a 40-year absence.
She said: “Seeing how much the people were waiting for our presence, after 40 years without consecrated women religious, exceeded our expectations. It was a very simple, but very generous welcome.”
Bishop Diamantino Antunes of Tete said that the arrival of the Sisters was providential.”This is something we have wanted for a long time, even dreamed of. Now it has finally happened,” he said.
Sister dos Santos along with Sister Rita Nascimento and three other members of the congregation will be carrying out pastoral work, such as catechesis, for over 100 community leaders.
“We are here to serve in whatever way we can, and we are eager to bring the good news and the joy of the Gospel to these simple people who thirst for God,” Sister Rita Nascimento said, further soliciting prayers and support.
In addition to prayer requests, sister dos Santos also acknowledged the potential need for support, including a vehicle, to reach distant communities.
Aid to the Church (ACN) in Need has supported several projects in the Tete Diocese over the past five years. ACN’s past support for the diocese was praised by Bishop Antunes.
“ACN helps in many ways: in the formation of seminarians, supporting the restoration of infrastructure, building chapels, purchasing vehicles, and, very recently, in the purchase of equipment for our diocesan radio station, so that we can improve our broadcasts,” the Bishop said.
“Thank you to all the benefactors, and to all those who make the mission of ACN possible,” he added.