Kalundu Study Centre

Time to Move
         Beginnings and Endings... 





As Missionaries, we are called to make ourselves redundant - to hand over and to let go.  The 29th January 2004 was an important day for the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa in Lusaka, Zambia. This was the day for the official handing over of the Administration of Kalundu Study Centre from the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa to local Zambian Sisters of the Congregation of St. John the Baptist.  The Thanksgiving Eucharistic Celebration which was attended by more than 200 people, included a beautiful handing over ritual - passing on the fire and the light.  All then enjoyed a lovely lunch and this was followed by speeches and presentation of many gifts.  It was truly a wonderful celebration.

For 29 years the Franciscan Sisters ran this Centre and for 27 years organized a year long Course on Formation/Leadership for African Sisters from many different countries.  818 Religious women, including 218 from Zambia were trained and these came from 37 Nationalities and represented 138 Congregations.  As vocations to Religious Life are plentiful in Africa, it is recognised that there is a great need for adequate and appropriate training for those who will be the future Leaders and Formators in their respective Congregations.  Due to the internationality and cross cultural aspects, the Sisters have been enriched by each other as they shared their experiences and learnt from each other.Image

In her address as Chairperson of the Zambian Association of Sisterhoods, Sr. Dominica Mwila, O.P., who is herself a Kalundu Graduate, thanked the Sisters for their great contribution and said "Sisters, you can be proud of having contributed to quality formation and shaping of the future development of Apostolic Religious life in Africa.  Kalundu trained us to be ready to shoulder the responsibilities of our own Congregations...  As we have taken every opportunity to learn from you, our elder Sisters!

ImageDuring the 29 years different Franciscan Sisters served tirelessly at Kalundu, each bringing her own gifts and helping to shape the Course, as it updated to current trends.  Great things usually start with a humble beginning and so it was that thanks to the insight, vision and wisdom of Sr. Alice Martin and others with her, that their dream of became a reality.  When the first Programme started in 1977, no one could have guessed that it would still be in existence 28 years later.  The Sisters were ably supported by a wonderfully dedicated auxiliary staff who ensured the smooth running of the Centre.  Kalundu is well know to many for providing a warm Franciscan spirit of hospitality where all are welcome.

So the celebration was above all a time to thank the good Lord who blessed the work of our hands and allowed the seed that was planted in 1977 to grow into a big tress which is still bearing fruit in various parts of Africa.  As Missionaries, we are happy to hand over this successful Programme and wish the Sisters of St. John the Baptist every blessing as they take up the challenge and welcome another group of 33 Sisters from 12 African countries for the 2004 Course.  We can bow out gracefully as we thank the Lord for all He has achieved through our Congregation, in the knowledge that with God's help, the good work we start will continue.

                                                                                         Sr. Maria O'Brien, F.M.S.A.

Lighting the fire and Passing on the light to Sr. Mary Gloria Mwila the new directress of Kalundu