Bishop, can we see you ... now?

Saturday morning. No appointments for the day. Good opportunity to catch up with things after some days' away attending an IMBISA meeting (bishops of Southern Africa).

Suddenly a call: "Bishop, we are having a meeting of delegates of the female religious communities in the diocese. We would like to see you... now."

I could not refuse the request. First because it was me who some time last year I called delegates of both female and male religious communities and ask them to organize themselves as religious like the diocesan priests do.

Second, because they were aware I will be away for three weeks from Monday and they did not want to wait. Neither did I.

Not sure if they chose to meet on this day because of any particular reason but it was indeed very appropriate. It is the feast of St Mary Magdalene, called the "Apostle of the Apostles" as being a witness to the resurrection she was sent to announce it to them. 

After the meeting we had last year, it somehow became clear that they will be journeying at different levels: as female religious (four communities), together with the male religious (four communities) but also with the diocesan priests and the whole diocese.

As I said last year, I asked them to help us all understand better what religious life is beyond the specific service they offer in our diocese. We normally link them to education and health but their call is certainly much deeper than that.

It was good to see them and I could not avoid acknowledging that women move faster than men in our diocese and this seems to happen among the religious too. 

As usual, we finished praying together ... and a group photo for the social media!

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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