Preparation of perpetual vows. First step: the Kimwenza-Kinshasa experience

Usually after finishing the first stage of our religious formation, the congregation organizes a series of intense formations in order to deepen our understanding of the meaning of religious life in order to begin another stage, that of the definitive commitment to religious life.

The first step of this lived experience goes from November 3 to December 21, 2023 at the Manresa Spiritual Center of Kimwenza-Kinshasa, where we have been very happy.

During this period, we received lessons from ten modules that allowed us to understand what we want to commit to and an invitation to become more aware of our daily experience.

The meaning of religious life invites us to give what we are, to love universally and to decide that others grow and be better. Fraternal life itself is a place of joy, celebration, prayer, sharing, exchange, welcome, openness, humility and, above all, forgiveness given and received. Through all these elements, it is important to evaluate and improve the quality of our spiritual life.

We also receive an invitation to the good management of our patrimony taking care of the goods we have such as: material, moral and spiritual goods taking into account the two poles that are based on the goods of the people with their qualities, their talents. respect, respect, dignity but also flaws and limits.

Self-knowledge as any base has allowed us to know ourselves and to have confidence in ourselves and in others. Certainly, we have been told that this self-knowledge is the key to managing our affectivity well and having the courage to break away from certain useless relationships.

As for the sense of belonging and apostolate within our congregation, it is first of all about knowing who I am, that is, our identity as Carmelite religious through our witness of life that identifies us with our charism and our spirituality. This identity makes us belong to a family, a congregation and a group. The social doctrine of the Church calls us to aspire to the rights and protection of all vulnerable people, and this must become our second nature, which will guide us to be able to see, judge and act.

Throughout this time we received teachings, had moments of personal and community prayer, as well as the support of the person in charge of the center, Father Gauthier Malulu, sj.

In short, this wonderful experience allowed us to re-examine our life from our entry into the congregation to our final commitment. Please keep us in your prayers to achieve our goal.

Agnès Agbegnigan, Prudence Ebengo, Sophie Metelo