Rwanda – Elective National Chapter of the OFS
In the convent of the Friars Minor at Kivumu (Rwanda) from the 25th to the 31st of July 2012 the fraternal, pastoral visit and the celebration of the Elective National Chapter of the emerging National Fraternity of OFS in Rwanda took place. The honourable Visitators who were present were Michèle Altmeyer, the Councillor of the Presidency of CIOFS for the French speaking and Br Ivan Matic, OFM, the General Assistant of OFS-YOUFRA. There were about 50 capitular members who participated at the Chapter and their National Assistant Br Kizito Ngomanzungu, OFM, a diocesan priest and two Religious sisters who serve as spiritual assistants.
The first part of the Chapter was dedicated to listening to the reports of the outgoing National Council, and this was followed by work in groups to determine priorities for the next three years. The morning of the second day dealt with these themes: vocation and mission of OFS (presented by Michèle) the spiritual and pastoral assistance (presented by Br Ivan) In the afternoon the elective process got underway, during which the capitular members elected the new National Council. Faustin Ngendahayo was re-elected as Minister.
During their visit and stay in Rwanda the Visitators, always accompanied by the members of the National Council, conducted several meetings: with the community of the Poor Clare Sisters, the local Fraternity of OFS of Muhororo – the latter render special service of assistance to handicapped children. They met with members of OFS and YOUFRA, also with Religious: brothers and sisters who are involved in spiritual assistance. After the Chapter there was an opportunity to meet with many Franciscan groups of children and youth and members of YOUFRA of Kuvumi. Another occasion was the meeting of Michèle and Br Ivan – accompanied by members of the National Council- with the bishop of the Diocese of Kabgayi Msgr Smaragde Mbonyintenga.
Together with the new National Council, the Visitators participated in the pilgrimage to the Shrine of “Our Lady of Sorrows” of Kibeho. Before the heavenly Mother they presented the National Fraternity of OFS and all the Franciscan Family in Rwanda. They prayed for peace and reconciliation, which remain always necessary in this beautiful land which was subjected to tremendous suffering, pain and trauma, where the wounds of the genocide of 1994 are still hurting and yet to heal. During the visit to the Shrine they also met Nathalie Mukamazimpaka – one of the visionaries – living at the Shrine serving the pilgrims. She gave a beautiful testimony.