Starting The Formation Process
Agnes Mwikali Kitaka
My name is Agnes Mwikali Kitaka from Machakos Diocese. I am 26 years old, a fourth born in a family of five and trained as a Primary School Teacher. I had been experiencing a desire to live a life of prayer and to serve God and people in a special way.
Meeting the Sisters of Mercy in High School and College the word Mercy touched my heart and the charism of being a compassionate presence to the poor, sick and uneducated. The act of serving God in the person of the poor is what inspired me most to join the Sisters of Mercy.
I joined the congregation on February 2014 at Makadara, Nairobi.
Left to Right: Anne Itotia, Agnes Kitaka, Sylvia Matanda, Regina Kariuki and Margaret Casey
On the 30th of August 2015, I was received into the Novitiate along with two of my Sisters, Sylvia Matanda and Regina Kariuki.
It was an extraordinary occasion as we had the privilege of having our Congregational Leadership Team with us, led by Sr. Margaret Casey. The Provincial Leadership Team together with almost 99% of all the Sisters in the Province were present to witness this occasion. We had a very lively priest, Fr. Santulino Ekada, O.C.D. who also made the occasion very memorable. He was very keen on the readings of the day as he addressed all of us during his homily.
Focusing on the law from the Book of Deuteronomy 4: 1-8 we were reminded that there are so many laws that surround us both written and verbal. He said “I invite you to remember all the laws surrounding our lives which we had at home and in the convent/church, especially from the Novice Mistress!!!” All laughed as we recalled the many do’s and don’ts in our Novitiate at different stages of our religious formation. He reminded us that the Ten Commandments summarise the laws of God’s people as it was written. They act as a compass for our lives.
Speaking on the Gospel of Mark 7 Fr. Santulino reminded us of the Pharisees. They would wash their cups from outside and leave them dirty inside. They also honoured the Lord with lip service whilst their hearts were far from him. He challenged us, the Sisters of Mercy, to be genuine in our relationships with each other and with God. This should be applicable both in community and in our apostolates. He reminded us that we are called to be the face of mercy and compassion especially as we prepare to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy. He concluded by saying “Let us be slow to judge others and let’s strive to forgive them in their weaknesses.” After the homily the Provincial Leader, Sr. Anne Itotia, together with her team carried out the Rite of Reception. This involved questioning us and the signing of the five senses with a sign of the cross by different team members. Candles, a wooden cross and the Mercy Constitutions were then presented to us. Sr. Anne Itotia, then called forth Sr. Rosemary Wanyoike, who is to journey with us in the Novitiate at Nakuru.
Congratulations, claps and smiles filled the entire chapel as all the Sisters went forward to welcome we three new Novices into the Congregation. All glory goes to God as we continue celebrating and nurturing this new life in mercy. We thank Sr. Patricia O’Meara for journeying with us for the past year and a half.
Left to Right: Silvia, Agnes and Regina planting their tree
On 28th April, 2018 myself and two of my fellow Sisters, Regina Wanjiru Kariuki and Sylvia Nasimiyu Matanda also made their First Profession that day. It was a very colourful and joyous occasion with Sisters travelling from as far away as Turkana, Nuu and Mutomo to be part of the celebration.
A tent was erected in the grounds of Villa Maria (Provincial House) to accommodate everyone. The ceremony was presided over by Rev. Jose Emmanuel, Missionary of Africa.
After the ceremony we three newly professed Sisters planted a tree in the grounds and had our photograph taken with the temporary professed Sisters who were so happy to see their group growing.
We then had a beautiful lunch and the cutting of the cake during which Sisters chatted, bonded and had fun together. It was the rainy season but God blessed us with a beautiful fine day.