Rev. Sr. Dr. Speranza Namusisi is the Mother General of Ggogonya sisters. While she thought God had called her to ‘sing’, she instead became a teacher. She shared her journey to this religious calling. Part II
Please share with our readers the charism and spirituality of your congregation
The Institute of The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Reparatrix – Ggogonya (IHMR) is an indigenous institute of consecrated life.
As sisters of IHMR, our charismatic identity is in the spirit of Reparation; for we were born in the environment of racism and discrimination. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the spirituality of reparation / restitution was realized by our founders Archbishop Henri Streicher, Sr. Maria Majella Nambi and Archbishop Louis Joseph Cabana. Our spirituality of Reparation centers on Restitution and we are called to take God’s mercy and compassion to people whose dignity has been denied them. We meet them mainly through women and children ministries, health services, education, and social services.
Our life is grounded on contemplative prayer, the Eucharist – daily adoration of the exposed Blessed Sacrament, uniting with the Blessed Virgin. In this way, the two hearts: the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary united in the work of reparation to restore the broken relationship between God and humanity. In all our missions, we do evangelization to bring back to the people the dignity they lost or which society deprives them of.
How would you describe your role as Mother General and that of the General Council?
I was elected Mother General on 15th October 2019; it is now five months of service in this position. The role of Mother General, I would say is a moment of forgetting self and paying attention to God and the members of the Institute. It calls for inviting God all the time to safeguard the life of the members of the institute. I have to pay attention to their spiritual, moral, social, physical life and their formation. In fact, it is a daily offer of service to the whole institute. One has to think about all the affairs of the institute including the finances and assets in addition to the day to day affairs. You care for the health of the sisters. You focus on the life of each individual no matter how many they are. It is attentiveness to the Holy Spirit daily that can only drive the day. As a human being with my limitations, this is not possible. The Holy Spirit has to take control over every situation for everyday has its take.
The councilors are a very supporting hand in this calling. Each one has a role to play and a natural talent to share. This makes life manageable. We pray together and discern together.
What are the significant experiences in your mission so far?
So far, it has been a beginning and learning how to operate in this office; not much has been experienced apart from a few happenings below:
The institute’s day of profession of 4th January was my first big day as Mother General. I received the vows of the sisters and hosted important people now as the mother of the house.
As a leadership team, we have also completed the sensitization workshops in Uganda for the 11th Ordinary General Chapter. This brought together all the members of the Institute and cemented our solidarity.
What challenges have you faced as the Mother General
Challenges are part of life. One does not have to be a leader to face them. However, as people who have just started work in such an office of an Institute, we are learning a lot. We are learning to focus on the whole that is made up of parts, and each part being essential and distinct. This is a big lesson which manifests itself as a challenge but leads to growth.
We are learning more to stand in the center and feel the presence of every individual. With the help of God, everything will be possible. Hope drives us every day. Togetherness and prayer are the major tools we are employing in this work.
What is your advice to young people who wish to join religious life?
For the young people who feel the calling to religious life, I say, they should not give up. Being a calling, it is in their hearts and there is an attraction therein. Let them listen carefully to the inner voice and what it says. They may have external attractions like the habit or the music, but deep down, there will always be something that remains. That is the point of attention. One should ask herself/himself a question: ‘why do I want to be a religious?’ An answer to this will ignite their calling.
These young people should also get in touch with people who can guide them in discerning their vocation. Let them talk to their parish priests, religious in their vicinity and other responsible people who can help them to listen properly to the voice within them. A life of serving the Lord is a life worth living.
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