Celebrating Milestones: 125 Years of Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood, Diamond Jubilee and Perpetual Vows of 7 sisters

Celebrating Milestones: 125 Years of Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood, Diamond Jubilee and Perpetual Vows of 7 Sisters
By Sr. Christine Masivo CPS
The Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood is an International Missionary congregation, founded by the Trappist Abbot Francis Pfanner in Mariannhill, near Durban, South Africa, on the 8th of September 1885, and Co-founder by Mother Paula Emunds. Abbot Francis Phanner having known the need of the people in Southe Africa founded the sisters and the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Marianhill a male congregation for priests and brothers.
The East Africa Region/ province of the sisters celebrated in a special way 125 years of existence since the Missionaries arrived in Gare Tanga region in Tanzania. The first four sisters arrived in Tanzania, Gare on 9th March 1898 to heed the call from God through their Father Founder Abbot Francis Phanner to spread the gospel of Christ and serve the marginalized in the society. These pioneer Sisters who defying all odds, were so passionate to make God loved and known among the African people of East Africa. The four sisters began their work in Gare Tanga Region. They were to support the Trappists who had come to Gare in 1897. Their work was to particularly educate the women, girls and children. From Gare, the sisters came to Bura Kenya at the beginning of 1909. Their beginnings were extremely difficult. The sisters dedicated their whole life and energies by starting schools and hospitals, children’s homes and rehabilitation centers in the area.
In the year 1920 during the first World War one, the sisters were forced out of the country and left for Germany and others to South Africa. Three sisters who were on the mission in Bura Kenya were forced to walk 200 km to Mombasa during the World War one. They succumbed to death on arrival. In keeping with their commitment, the Missionary sisters of the Precious Blood returned to East Africa in 1925.
We are grateful to God that we can celebrate their self-sacrifice to a point of dying. They are unnamed matry on the soils of Kenya and Tanzania whom we believe are praying for us in all our apostolate and that is why the mission is still flourishing to this moment.
In appreciation to the great work started by our pioneer sisters, it was just for the congregation to gather and celebrate these milestone and hurdles that they endured to ensure the work of God is manifested through all the world wherever our sisters are. Thus sisters from over the world gathered in Arusha Tanzani and Nairobi respectively to join the sisters in this region to celebrate this great milestone. The presence of the sisters in East Africa has contributed a great deal of evangelization and empowerment of women.
They have endeavored to run great school with high quality of holistic education from early childhood education to technical school in this region. This has contributed to great development for those who have gone through these schools are reliable members of the society. On the health services and social ministries, the sisters have not been left behind, their indelible mark is felt to the many that have gone through their hands and this has enabled people to appreciate the tireless works of the sisters.
The presence of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood in East Africa helped in the beginning of new local congregations in the region. These sisters have been guided and accompanied seven African Sisters’ Congregations till they became autonomous. They are: Sisters of Our Lady of Kilimanjaro, Huruma (Moshi) Tanzania, Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mgolole (Morogoro), Tanzania, Sisters of Our Lady of Usambara, Kwamndolwa, Korogwe, Tanzania, and the Sisters of St. Joseph, Mombasa, Kenya. This was a job well done as the congregations are still flourishing and spreading Gods love to all in the different apostolate according to their charism.
Alongside, were the celebrations of Golden Jubilee of Sr. Theresina Ndoro from Tanzania who has had the opportunity and a chance to live with a good number of our pioneer sisters who came long time ago in Africa for Love of mission. It was also a privilege for 7 other sisters to celebrate their perpetual vows on this occasion of marking the 125 years of service in East Africa. These were Sr. Dativa Kimaro, Sr. Liliani Shemweo, Sr. Odilia Shirima all from Tanzania, and from Kenya there was Sr. Caroline Mutono Mwasya, Sr. Sprinner Ngorwe, Sr. Peninah Atieno Okello and Sr. Margueritte Emme from DRC Congo.
In Colorful Eucharistic celebration, songs, prayers and dances the sisters gathered to say thank you to God for taking them through the many years and for the many mile stones they have gone through. In Arusha Tanzania the Holy mass was celebrated by His Lordship Batazari Limo, the Auxiliary Bishop from the Arch Diocese of Arusha, His Grace the Arch Bishop Phillip Anyolo celebrated the Eucharistic celebration in Nairobi Kenya.
During these celebrations the candle was lit in each country during the Eucharistic celebration, as a sign of God’s faithfulness to the sisters in the East African Region. The candle was lit for the pioneer sisters, the members of these region, those in the formation and those that God will find suitable to join our congregation. That through our ministries offered by the sisters in various dioceses where they serve, God you our creator may be glorified. The lit candle was also to present all leaders of the congregation at all levels that God may provide them the wisdom, they need to help us carry on with the spirit of our founder and the co -foundress. The lighting of this candle was to symbolically remind the sisters of their Christian calling, and commitment as vowed religious women and may their lives bear fruit into eternity.
The sisters offer services to the marginalized in the society to make the precious blood fruitful to all they meet and serve, as they fulfill their charism and mandate of mission as religious sisters in the Catholic Church. In the colorful celebration the sisters offered prayers as they commemorated their predecessors and all the great things they did to lay a foundation for mission in East Africa. The benefactors and friend were also remembered in a special way for their generous enduring support to ensure that the work in various missions is accomplished.
With their support the sisters have been able to open other mission station for mission and they look forward to keep the fire burning by ensuring that the legacy that was begun by the Founder Abbot Francis Phanner through the pioneer sisters is kept to the end. The sisters thank God for all that He has enabled them to do and what they are at this moment. They pray that the Lord may send more labourers into His harvest so that the work that He begun through the sisters may come to completion according to His Holy will. We also acknowledge that You the Almighty God who sent your only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is continuing your work of redemption and reconciliation through our presence in our various Apostolates.
We are also grateful for the sisters who accepted Gods call by responding to it and joining the Missionary sisters of the Precious Blood. We pray that the Lord may grant them the grace of perserverance and total selfgiving in their various missions.