We arrived in the diocese of Ihosy, in the district of Ankily, on Friday, September 7, 2018. There were delegates from each community in the Region who accompanied us right to our new place of mission. The Parish Priest, his pastoral teams and a few Christians were waiting to welcome us when we arrived. On September 8, all the Christians of the district were present at the inaugural mass, presided by Monseigneur Fulgence, Bishop of the place. This was followed by speeches and blessing the house.
I would like to point out that we are the 12th female congregation in the Diocese. The Lazarist priests and the Salesions work with the diocesan priests.
The Church, the sister’s house, the presbytery and the school are a bit on the outskirts of the city of Ihosy but close to the national road n°7 going to Tuléar. The mission station is in the center of the village where you find a basic health care center and the District office.
Here, the people live mostly from the rice and peanuts that they grow. It is also the region of the zebu cattle. For the people, what makes them rich is to have a lot of oxen. And this is why this region is part of the red zone of the “malaso or dahalo” (cattle thieves).
A lot of people are still attached to idol worship and their faith in God is still superficial. Christian values are not well known.
Our principal mission is to keep the school going and to do pastoral ministry in the 9 small churches that make up the District. School began on November 19, 2018. At the beginning of the school year we took time to explain the basic rules to the parents. First of all the school accepted the youngest children (kindergarten). They number 26 and are divided into two classes: the youngest class (3 year olds) with Sr. Marie, and the older class (between 4 and 6 year olds) with Sr. Eliane. We used the work room as a temporary classroom but after 5 months two classrooms in the new school were completed. The inauguration took place on May 5, 2019. The Diocesan Bureau of Catholic Education (DIDEC) guides us and gives us a lot of help and good advice on a pedagogical level. We are now seeking approval for the opening of the school.
The parents participate in school activities and taking on responsibilities. They take interest in Catholic education.
Sr. Georgette is in charge of pastoral ministry but everyone participates when it is time to do the rounds. We take care of the Eucharistic Youth Movement, rural youth and the CVX (an adult movement).
We have facilitated meetings for those who wish to be associates and now there are 8 associates.
Even though it is difficult to establish oneself in a place, we continue with courage and we always count on divine grace and Angélique’s intercession to continue the mission.