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16/9/2011 - RMG - Sisters of Charity of Jesus, pioneers of the mission in Africa
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(ANS – Rome) – Among the missionaries attending the course provided by the Department for Salesian Missions, this year there is also an unusual presence: a small group of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus. Of the 7 Sisters taking part 5 will be going to the missions in Southern Sudan to open the first community of their Institute in African. We have spoken to them.

The 5 pioneers are Sr. Cypriana Ryu Seon Ja, a Korean who  will be the Superior; Sr Bruno Kim Soon Hee and Sr Redempta Song Won Sim, also Koreans; Sr Terezinha Nakagawa, from Brazil; and Sr Maria Bosco Shimisaki Yuko, from Japan. Coming from different Provinces and offering themselves as missionaries they agreed to go to Southern Sudan, the only place proposed this year by their Institute to support the missionary project in Africa.

Immediately after receiving their missionary mandate on Sunday 25 September, they will leave for Kenya, where they will continue their study of English. Eventually they will reach their final destination, Juba, the capital of the new State of Southern Sudan. Here the 5 Sisters will work side by side with the community of the Salesians already there, in a medical dispensary: in fact 2 of them are nurses and all will be involved in the health care of the people.

“I have got some information about the country from the internet and from the TV, and I am not too worried about the situation in which we will find ourselves. Also in Brazil there are many situations of poverty. I am more worried about the heat,” Sr Nakagawa says. Sr. Shimisaki also appears calm and determined: “I have no fears about leaving. In fact I really want to go!” Sr. Ryu, who has already twice visited the mission in Juba and in the group is the only one with missionary experience (in Papua New Guinea and in the Philippines) has more to say: “In Papua New Guinea it was difficult at times; and sometimes I feel more concerned, also because as the Superior I will have more responsibilities. But I volunteered and I know I am going with my Sisters.”

Basically their missionary vocation has come from the witness of other missionaries: “When I was in the Philippines, in 2007, I met many missionaries who returned for the mission lands most of them in Asia, even with atheistic  regimes. I was fascinated by what they had to say and I felt the desire to go myself” Sr Shimisaki says. “In my case the invitation came from Fr Piccoli, a Brazilian missionary in Angola, who suggested I follow him in the missions. Although at the time the Province could not send me because it was still too small, the missionary desire grew in me.”

The training offered by the missionary course is preparing them for future challenges, with reflection, sharing and practical suggestions. “It is very useful. It explains the things we will meet and on the basis of past experience it makes us ready to face the  problems we might come across,” Sr. Nakagawa says.

But the main reason for their calm approach to their mission is a profound faith in God: “We are following the will of God. He does not always choose the most capable, but he makes those he chooses capable,” she adds.

Published 16/09/2011

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