Twinning Covenant Update – St. Therese Little Flower Church and Sisters of Divine Providence Madagascar
I hope that all communities will devote the necessary effort to advancing along the path of a pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they presently are. Throughout the world, let us be permanently in a state of mission. - Pope Francis from “Missionary Discipleship”
Since 2000, our parish of St. Therese Little Flower and the Sisters of Divine Providence in Madagascar have been participating in a twinning relationship of mutual support and discipleship. Several parishioners as ambassadors of this covenant have been transformed by the culture of hospitality and friendship shown on our visits to Madagascar (2005, 2011, and 2018), and we have welcomed the Sisters at our parish several times. If you are interested in joining Little Flower Parish's twinning team, please contact the Parish Office at 513.541.5560.
Here are some exciting updates:
- Several parishioners have agreed to support poor students at St. Martin School at Pont Sofia. Tuition is $2.10 a month and many parents cannot afford it.
- We’re hoping to visit again in 2023 and our twinning team is eager to help interested parishioners prepare to serve as our ambassadors to the Sisters of Divine Providence in Madagascar.
- Our recent donations have helped to build a chapel and guest rooms at Mary Star of the Sea children’s rehabilitation home in Ambondrana. Since 2005, we’ve raised over $50,000 to help the Sisters’ work in Madagascar.
- There are more than 100 Sisters of Divine Providence serving in Madagascar. Almost all are from Madagascar. Each year, they welcome 10 or more new novices. They all have pledged to pray for our parish and families each and every Thursday. We have promised to pray for them as well. Thursdays are twinning prayer days.
- The Sisters are working among the poor, many of whom have the COVID-19 virus. Some of the sisters have contracted it but none has died with the virus. The country has been on lock-down and no international flights are operating. Masks are mandatory, and daily infection rates are trending down since July’s peak. As of Oct 2020, 237 persons have died among the population of 26 million.
Twinning Covenant Renewed
As the Body of Christ, we share in the grace of God's love across the miles and across cultures.
- We enjoy an enduring solidarity, encouraging one another in discipleship, community, and service to God's people in Cincinnati and in Madagascar.
- We join with each other around the Eucharistic Table, nourished and united in the presence of the Risen Lord.
- We are committed to communicating, supporting, and exchanging hospitality.
We pledge to walk together in faith from this day forward.
Signed by representatives of Little Flower Church
and Sisters of Divine Providence in Madagascar, June 7, 2018.
Madagascar Covenant Prayer
We come before you, dear God, Creator of the world and Creator of the peoples of the earth. Send forth your Spirit to renew the face of the earth.
We come to You, pleading for the people of Madagascar, an island blest in its people, rich in natural resources of minerals, exotic plants and animals, and rain forests. We plead for this land, impoverished by the poor management of its resources. We ask for a renewed spirit among the civil leaders of this country. May they work in harmony with the religious leaders to bring about changes to create a better life for the people and their environment. We pray for the guidance of Your Holy Spirit in nurturing the mutual relationship we have with the Sisters of Divine Providence in their mission work with the people of Madagascar.
We commend to your providence all these needs. We trust in Your goodness and kindness. We praise You and thank You for the many good works already being accomplished in Jesus’ name.
New chapel (interior) at Ambondrana, Our Lady Star of the Sea children's rehab center
New chapel (exterior) at Ambondrana, under construction
New chapel (exterior) nearly completed
Photos from 2018 trip to Madagascar:
Jerome and Sister Alphonse reviewing proposal for the new chapel.
As many as 100 students is a class.
Boarding students happy to see the visitors from Little Flower.
Different color smocks for different class grades.
Drawings for the new chapel and guest rooms.
Parishioners Dave and Emily as we visit a health clinic.
Jerome presenting the LF convenent banner to the sisters.
Lemurs do exist in Madagascar although we had to find these at the zoo in Antananarivo.
Just a break down on the road, Joseph is both driver and mechanic.
The sisters kindly helping us learn their names in Malagasy as well as English.
This is a boarding school where the students stayed Monday through Friday for classes.
View from sisters' house in Nosy By
We visited the rehabilitation clinic in Anbondrana.
We carried medical supplies to help restock shelves at the clinics.
The church is alive as we visit with young novices.