Dear Sisters and Associates,
In February, the Executive Committee appointed a three member Exploration Team to research SCN presence and ministry in Kenya in East Africa. The Executive Committee is grateful to SCNs Vinaya Chalil from Botswana, Nancy Gerth from Western Province and Sangeeta Ayithamattam, the CL Liaison to Botswana for their generous, “yes” to serving on the committee.
For several years the SCNs ministering in Botswana have been reminding the Executive Committee and the community that it is time to consider other African countries beyond Botswana for ministries and vocations. The vision of the EC and the community in 2000 was “moving to Botswana may make stepping into another African country easier and that we leave other countries open for the future.” In addition, the SCNs in Botswana from their 17 years of experience are keenly aware that in order to have the SCN Charism take root in the African soil we need women of Africa.
Currently, there are a few women from Kenya who are in contact with Sister Nalini, the vocation promoter in Botswana. SCNs Vinaya, Ann, and Mary Michael visited two women in Kenya this year. During their time in Kenya, a few priests and a Bishop invited the SCNs to consider Kenya for ministry. God seems to be opening new avenues and inviting us to discern with openness in regard to our presence in the African Continent.
The Exploration Team has begun to do some fact finding and is in contact with several Bishops, clergy and religious from Kenya. In spite of the presence of numerous congregations ministering there the unmet needs seem to be many where the SCN charism could make a difference.
At the end of November, the Exploration Team hopes to travel to Kenya to visit a few places. Already there are some invitations from dioceses and parishes that we could consider in our discernment for possible SCN presence and ministry.
The Spirit continues to surprise and urge us to widen our horizons in the pioneering spirit of Catherine Spalding to ignite the flames of love in new ways. Thank you for holding the Exploration Team in prayerful support as together we enter into this sacred journey of exploration. As information becomes clear, the team will share with the congregation for ongoing discernment.
In the name of Executive Committee,
Susan Gatz, SCN