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.
The following links are to Power Point presentions about our twinning project:
Madagascar Twinning Project with the Sisters of Divine Providence Easter 2022 updates and thanks
April 21, 2022
Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Providence
Saint Jean de Bassel Province
B.P 51 (407) ANTSOHIHY MADAGASCAR
Dear Friends Members of Little Flower,
It is with joy and hope that we present this message to you on these days when the Church celebrates the Season of Easter. A group of 35 Sisters here are currently on a spiritual retreat enjoying the Peace of the Risen Christ in an atmosphere of prayer and silence.
Also, we are happy to review here with you our journey together during twenty years of our twinning covenant. Ours is a story of friendship, mutual aid, and building projects, but just as important is our sharing news, joys, and prayers. We especially want to thank the faithfulness of those of you who have been present from the beginning and those who have joined in more recently.
Here are some of the projects which have been completed or are in the process of being completed because of our twinning covenant:
- 24 Little Flower parishioners now sponsor students at Pont Sofia. This school bush in the bush country is struggling to get off to a good start because the parents are mostly illiterate and not interested in education. Thanks to the help of the 24 sponsors, many children have been able to attend school.
- Little Flower parishioners have made a sizeable donation to buy a new vehicle to help the Sisters carry out their Mission as they travel through bumpy roads that are getting worse and worse.
- The parishioners are supporting the construction of additional rooms in the novitiate. This project is not yet completed. We await the canonical visit of the Superior General which will begin next May. The extension of the Novitiate should be functional in October 2023.
- In 2018, during your visit with us, a project was presented to you to build a chapel and guest rooms at our children’s rehabilitation center in Ambondrona. You answered our call. Today, we benefit from a new construction with a beautiful chapel and eight guest room for visitors and parents of the children in rehab. You are, of course, welcome to spend vacation days at the seaside of Ambondrona on Nosy-Be.
- We appreciate the work of your Madagascar committee which you formed to study and promote the projects of the twinning covenant with the Sisters of Divine Providence in Madagascar.
- We appreciate your many Christmas greeting cards. The sisters in the different households look forward to receiving them each year. It is encouraging to know that we are loved and supported by our Little Flower friends.
- We have been friends since 2000. Since then, we have set aside each Thursday to think about and pray for one another. We remember the deceased and living supporters in our daily prayer intentions.
- When our twinning covenant first started in the early 2000’2, parishioners from the Church of Little Flower helped to build the Marguerite la Compte School in Tavenina near Antsakabary. Since the pandemic, the workforce has decreased there.
- The project to build a chapel in the nearby village of Mangaoko remains on hold. Access to the village is very difficult during the rainy season. Also, when more funding becomes available, we will reconnect with the villagers in order to complete our project.
- We now have 15 Novices in the Province, including eight in the first year and seven in the second year. The latter spent their internship in the communities during the first term. The Novitiate was visited by COVID. They quarantined themselves and classes were suspended for two weeks. Now they are back to their normal schedules and no longer quarantined.
- There are eight Postulants in Fianarantsoa. They remain postulants for one year before beginning the Novitiate in September, 2022. They participate in inter-postulancy formation with other congregations of women religious in Fianarantsoa.
- Since January 2022, three Sisters have died, including a French missionary Sister. We are currently 133 Malagasy Sisters and one French Sister. We are encouraged by our growing numbers from year. The Lord is blessing us with vocations to do His work.
With a heart full of gratitude, we give thanks to the Lord for this twinning covenant of friendship between the Church of Little Flower and the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence, Province of Madagascar.
THANK YOU AND HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!
Sister Alphonse Marie
The Provincial Superior In the name of all the Sisters
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.