Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Sr. Virginia Kaingi Kasai

Novice Story

I am Virginia Kasai. I am 25 years old and I come from Kitui Diocese, Kenya. I was attracted to the spirit of Mercy among the Sisters who taught me at Mercy Commercial College. I joined Mercy in 2004 and I am a second year Novice.

 

First Profession – 6th December 2008

Srs. Catherine Dooley and Marie Louise White with newly professed Sisters Catherine Wamboi Mmanyi, Risper Namarmba Ouma, Juliana Kpadoo Yarkwan and Virginia Kaingi Kasai

On Saturday 6th December 2008,  Virginia Kaingi Kasai made her First Profession at Villa Maria, Nairobi. Sisters from the Northern Province, the Nigerian region and the Kenyan Province gathered for the occasion. Sr. Maire McGann from Nigeria, Sisters Anne Lyng, Rose Marie Conlan and Gabriel Stuart from the Northern Province attended.    It was a wonderful occasion for the Kenyan Province too, as the young Sister took her first vows as a Sister of Mercy. Sr. Liz Fletcher, Provincial Leader, received her vows.

Fr. Niall Martin S.P.S celebrated the Mass. He highlighted the message of the Gospel Mark 1:14-20 “Follow me I will make you fishers of people” – comparing the ongoing commitment of a Sister of Mercy to challenging task of a fisherman; his work in endless, and he often has to make hard choices.

The liturgy for the Profession was enhanced by the singing led by the Novices and Postulants. A variety of instruments accompanied them.

After the ceremony, the congregation was entertained by the newly professed, with her director Sr. Catherine Dooley to a heavenly rendition of songs like, “Be Still my Soul’, ‘Whispering Hope”. A fitting conclusion to the ceremony!

All were served with a delicious meal in the Provincial House.

 

Renewal Of Temporary Vows – 1st December 2012

As the Nandi Flames, the Jacarandas and a variety of other brightly colored flowers adorned the Villa Maria compound in Nairobi, so did the Sisters of Mercy, Kenyan Province.

It was Saturday, December 1st, 2012, and all came in their element to grace the occasion,  the renewal of Temporary vows of Sr. Virginia Kaingi Kasai.

Villa Maria, Nairobi

The short procession began at 10.30am and our hearts were filled with joy and hope as we witnessed the love and generosity of this young woman desiring to commit herself to God in the Mercy Congregation by holding her Profession candle and reading her vows. Our joy was palpable as the witnessing Sisters broke in to song, dance, claps and ululations!  Nothing could hinder the strong-willed Sisters from attending the celebration as they braved their way through striking matatus (public transport) and as the old saying goes “where there is will, there is a way” they surely found some means to get to Villa Maria and they trickled in at different times!

The opening hymn was sung in Kiswahili and the words were true to the day, translated as “it is pleasing…it is joyful…it is beautiful to be in the house of God and indeed it was beautiful to be in the house of Mercy that morning!

Sr. Liz Fletcher, Provincial of the Sisters of Mercy, Kenya Province at that time, welcomed all present to the Celebration which was presided over by Fr. Frankie McAuliffe (St. Patrick’s Society Priest ministering in Nakuru). Special welcome was extended to Virginia. She acknowledged the presence of Marilyn Lacey rsm from the West Coast of the United States who was visiting Kenya and Sr. Debra Campbell – a Providence Sister also from the States and working with Catholic Relief Services. Present too was Miss Jacinta Nafula Sikali, a young lady interested in joining Religious life and on a ‘come and see’ visit from Busia-Kenya Uganda border.

Kenyan Sunset

In his homily, Fr. Frankie recounted his own association with the Sisters of Mercy in his home town in Kilrush, Ireland which goes way back since the 1940s. In that community, he witnessed the heroic deeds of works of mercy and praised their remarkable spirit of hospitality.

Fr. Frankie also referred to the call and commissioning of Peter in the Gospel. He reminded us that, in that account, Jesus did not have a well laid out theological examination set for Peter. Jesus asked Peter boldly, “do you love me?” He asked that question three times to emphasize the importance of love in His ministry. It was only when Peter answered, “Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you… that Jesus commissioned him.

“Love therefore” he said, “is the fundamental quality that we need if we are to be followers of Christ and to witness him to the world. It is mercy and compassion embodied”. He also quoted an article by Henri Nouwen where compassion is named as key in spiritual leadership and the first quality he mentions in the passion of compassion is solidarity – that profound faith experience of human sameness. We are one human family…the family of God and he noted the challenges of today where society urges us to be distinct rather that same, more wealthy, more specialized than others, more this, that and the other and the world will recognize and respect us by those standards. The Good news of the Gospel is, that that kind of superiority is an illusion and that our true identity is in solidarity and in service to God’s people especially the marginalized and it is clearly outlined not only in the Mercy Constitution but more importantly in the lifestyle and works of the Sisters of Mercy since its foundation.

Fr. Frankie remembered the Irish life in the 50’s when many people where poor and many would never have gone to school were it not for the Sisters of Mercy and the Christian Brothers who not only offered free primary education but also a high standard of secondary education at very low cost and indeed free for those who couldn’t afford it and they were many. And even today he said, the same spirit of service to the most needy lives on in Kilrush where Sisters of Mercy live an inspiring witness of love and compassion in action.

A day like this couldn’t possibly end without cutting the cake after a lovely meal. Sr. Redempta rose to the occasion. She sang and danced her comic ’kata cake’ song and was joined by a group of jubilant Sisters.

A series of photo shots took place and Sisters grouped in twos, threes or more as they hugged and kissed goodbye until we meet again at the Chapter event due in ten days. Everyone seemed to exclaim quietly in their grateful hearts – thanks be to God!

 

First Profession – 6th December 2008

On Saturday 6th December 2008, I made my First Profession along with my fellow Sisters Catherine Wamboi Mmanyi, Risper Namaemba Ouma and Juliana Kpadoo Yarkwan at Villa Maria, Nairobi. Sisters from the Northern Province, the Nigerian region and the Kenyan Province gathered for the occasion. Sr. Maire McGann from Nigeria, Sisters Anne Lyng, Rose Marie Conlan and Gabrielle Stuart from the Northern Province witnessed the First Profession of Sr. Juliana, the first Nigerian Profession. Sr. Rose Marie Conlan, from the Northern Province received her vows. It was a wonderful occasion for the Kenyan Province too, as three young Sisters took their first vows as Sisters of Mercy. Sr Liz Fletcher, Provincial, received their vows.

  Srs. Catherine Dooley and Marie Louise White with newly professed Sisters Catherine Wamboi Mmanyi, Risper Namarmba Ouma, Juliana Kpadoo Yarkwan and Virginah Kaingi Kasai

Fr. Niall Martin S.P.S celebrated the Mass. He highlighted the message of the Gospel Mark 1:14-20 “Follow me I will make you fishers of people” – comparing the ongoing commitment of a Sister of Mercy to challenging task of a fisherman; his work in endless, and he often has to make hard choices.

The liturgy for the Profession was enhanced by the singing led by the Novices and Postulants. A variety of instruments accompanied them.

After the ceremony, the congregation was entertained by the newly professed and novices, with their Director Sr. Catherine Dooley to a heavenly rendition of songs like, “Be Still my Soul’, ‘Whispering Hope”. A fitting conclusion to the ceremony!

All were served with a delicious meal in the Provincial House.

 

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