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URSULINES OF THE ROMAN UNION

PROVINCE OF SOUTHERN AFRICA
THE URSULINES IN BOTSWANA
MISSION

Since Vatican II we are living in a world that provides a totally new context for missionary
activity. Today, we missionaries need to go about our work differently and we have to understand
ourselves and be understood by others through different "images".
These various images of missionaries are really concentrated theologies of mission, ways of
understanding the Church, ministry, the significance of JESUS CHRIST and the salvation he offers.
These "images" reflect like a facet of a diamond as it catches the light. No one missionary will
have all the "images" but rather one will be strong and collectively the group images many. Let's
look at some possible "images".

Mission is not about transplanting the Church from one culture to another, but about searching
for the seeds already hidden in the culture's soil.

Mission is the prophetic preaching by words and deed alike, that God who is present in every
culture is also the God who calls every culture to perfection in the light of JESUS.

Often the prophetic task of the missionary is carried out by being a grateful guest or a
respectful stranger.

Mission is making clear God's cause of calling the whole of humanity to an integral peace and
justice.

It involves the generosity of partnership and the humility needed to get the job done.
It involves the relinquishment:

·
of one's own culture;
·
of one's own certainties;
·
of one's own achievements.
It works with the wisdom of Apollo and the enthusiasm of Paul but always knows it is God who gives the growth. Mission is the continuation
of God's incarnation by people who live as God's body in the world. It is the continuing transformation of creation to become more reflective
of God's love.

We Ursuline missionaries, drawn from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, have ministered in Botswana since 1971, each with a specific
"image."
SEPHARE

A Story of a rural immersion.
The original two Ursuline communities in Botswana, namely Serowe and Mahalapye
are situated in large urban villages. In 1995 the opportunity came to begin an
Ursuline presence in the small rural community of Sefhare, a village 134 km from
Serowe. The Ursuline who began the insertion spent two years just getting to know
the people and trying to assess their needs before embarking on any projects.
Basically her ministry is one of PRESENCE as she networks between the various
projects that have emerged, namely:

·
TONTO Day Care Centre for pre-school children;
·
RED CROSS Centre for children with disabilities;
·
A sewing group for village women;
·
Nurturing two small Christian communities;
·
Companioning people that are HIV positive and seeing AIDS orphans receive the care they need.
·

By constant visiting over the ten years a web of relationships has been woven, threading together many levels within
the village community that depicts a tapestry that speaks of LIFE AND LOVE.

Tsamaya ka PULA!

PASSION AND DEATH OF AN A.I.D.S PATIENT
Can it be that I am dying?
I'm only twenty three it surely cannot be.
Is this emaciated body really mine?
The skin can scarcely cover up my bones.


Has it really come to this?
Dying here betrayed by that first kiss.
He told me that he loved me more than life.
"One day", he said, "you'll be my darling wife".

I haven't seen him since I fell so ill,
This for me, my life's most bitter pill.
And painful too the absence of my friends,
Perhaps they'll come the day my breathing ends.

They've put my food on the table by my bed.
I cannot eat at all unless they raise my head.
I close my eyes and later hear them say:
"She doesn't want to eat", then take the food away.

Death can be so lonely without anyone to care
I thought there might be angels, but even they're not there.
I only wish that I could somehow pray.
But my heart's so heavy I can't lift it heaven's way.

And yet I'm not dying on this cross alone,
The one who lives in me is also going home.
"Father into your hands I breathe my last,
It's finished now, it went so fast!"

(J. Black C.P.)