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URSULINES OF THE ROMAN UNION

PROVINCE OF SOUTHERN AFRICA
THE FINAL MESSAGE OF AN
AFRICAN URSULINE CONFERENCE
ON THE THEME OF:
ANGELA, WOMAN FOR AFRICA
Attended by Daughters of Angela in Africa, from:

Botswana
Cameroon
Congo
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Kenya
Madagascar
Senegal
South Africa
Rome

UNITED IN CHRIST

and

IN THE SPIRIT OF ST ANGELA

We are a group of people walking through the night, not sure where we are
going to, or whom we may meet. We fear the darkness and mysterious noises
and movements all around us in the bus. It is so dark that we cannot even
make out the features of those who travel with us.

Suddenly, we perceive in the distance a fire blazing in the night. We give a cry
of hope because the fire shows us the direction of a village in which there are
people. Our feet grow wings and we find that we have arrived.

Once we are seated around the fire, our faces are lit up and we find that we can
gradually identify our human companions.

The fire draws our eyes - what warmth it has! And what a sense of well-being and home-coming it creates! How good
it is to be together!
But what is feeding the fire? Twigs and branches that are twisted, broken,
black, seemingly useless, but here, laid together and complimenting
one another, they have become transformed into a source of life, of
light and of warmth.
The cooking pot also impresses us and we admire its great rounded form
and ample capacity. And what a fragrance
permeates the air! It comes from the food of the family that is stewing
away - food that is just right for each and
every member of the family: for the children, the young people, the
men and the women, the old, the sick, the outcasts,
strangers and the poor.

But who has prepared this nourishing and savoury food?

We watch, fascinated, the hand that stirs the pot, sometimes slowly
and gently, sometimes quickly and strongly; it is a
sensitive and wise hand, working patiently and silently.

Behind this hand there looms the figure of a woman. Her face is radiant and
she is singing joyfully from the
contemplative depths of her heart as she works. Yes, she is singing the song
of humanity; she is singing the song of
praise of the Creator for all things: the great and the small; joy and suffering;
fear of the future and courage to face it;
despair and hope; and her faith and love and compassion which can transform all things.

The longer we look at this woman, the more she becomes a prophetic sign and presence for us; a challenge that we
cannot resist.

Who is this woman, source of life and gift for Africa, gift for the Church, gift for society? It is Angela. It is you. It is I,
myself. It is us....

Angela invites us to nurture new life and to be a leaven in the African bread, to be a blessing for our people, "pula" for
our world.

(DECEMBER 1997 Krugersdorp, South Africa)

Notes:
UBUNTU
the essential goodness of humanity;
PULA
rain/blessing;
Words in bold text - relate to the charism of St Angela