The congregation of the Bene-Mariya Sisters was established in Burundi in 1956. Their mission consists in helping families to live according to a Christian spirit and shape their lives after the pattern of the Holy Family of Nazareth. The sisters work above all with the mothers, since they are, so to speak, the „heart“ of the family and the ones who above all shape the family spirit. But the sisters‘ work also involves the training of catechists, and they themselves give catechetical instruction in the schools and parishes, lead parish groups and prepare couples for the sacrament of matrimony.
They are a missionary congregation, which means that the sisters are ready to leave their own homeland and go wherever the Church calls them. By now the Bene-Mariya Sisters (their name means ‚Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary‘) are active not only in Burundi but also in Tanzania, Chad, France and Italy.
But in order to be able to help others live according to a Christian spirit, the sisters themselves first have to learn this spirit and cultivate a profound personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This naturally involves an intensive life of prayer, involving both their personal and their communal prayer life.
In Tanzania the congregation is growing rapidly, and currently there are 33 young women in the novitiate, plus many more who would like to join the community. Altogether the congregation has 92 sisters in Tanzania at the present time. One result of this success, however, was that the community did not have enough prayer books for the many new sisters who had joined them – and of course these prayer books are vital to the life of the community. So the congregation turned to ACN and, thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we were able to give 1100 Euros to cover the cost of 60 additional prayer books. Now the books have arrived, and there are enough to go around for all the new sisters. Needless to say, they are delighted and have promised their prayers for all who have helped them!