On 10th August, 2015, the Sisters of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus from Africa, America, Europe and Rome converged in Lagos for the 5th African Province Assembly/Chapter 10th – 19th August, 2015.
This great Assembly/Chapter takes place every six years, on such occasions, the sisters critically examine their lives and mission as consecrated women in the Church. They expose themselves to renewal in the Spirit and set direction for the next six years.
This year’s international gathering took place in Holy Child College, South West Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria and lasted for 10 days. A total of 144 sisters took part in the Province Assembly but Chapter was attended by 32 elected delegates from African Province, the Society Leader and her Team as well as two representatives each from the American and European Provinces.
The theme of the Assembly/Chapter, “Joyfully Proclaim the Good News”, was inspired by Christ’s injunction, “Go out to the whole world, proclaim the Good News” (Mark 16:16). Impelled by this, the sisters, called and consecrated to Christ’s mission, renewed their fundamental option to promote the values of Christ as embodied in the teachings of the Church and in the SHCJ mission statement, namely, “to help others to believe that God lives and acts in them and in our world, and to rejoice in his presence” (SHCJ Constitutions paragraph 4).
The Assembly/Chapter was marked by the daily Eucharist, with time devoted to intensive personal reflection and prayer, faith sharing and several groups and plenary sessions. Areas of focus in the life of the society included Mission and Ministry, Formation, Community living, Governance and care for the earth.
In line with Pope Francis’ Encyclical urging all consecrated persons to rekindle the fire for mission and set the world ablaze with the fire of the Gospel, Participants left the chapter/Assembly greatly renewed and fired with zeal to “Joyfully proclaim the Good News with burning hearts” (Evangeli Gaudium)