Did you know that the Province of France aims to prepare the future with clarity, openness, enquiry and discernment in order to continue embodying the Hospitaller charism wherever it is present and reveal the mercy of God?
My name is Émilie Bayekula Phanzu, and I have been the Sisters Hospitallers’ Second Provincial Councillor for the Province of France since last December. I was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I joined the Congregation in 1995 and took my first vows on 11 September 1999 in Yaundé (Cameroon). After two years of mission at our TELEMA centre in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo), I was dispatched to Rome (Italy) to study Theology and Educational Science at the Instituto Salesiano. I spent five years there, sharing the community life with the sisters of the General Government. I was then appointed instructor of novices in Yaundé, a position I held for 12 years.
In 2018, during the Provincial Chapter of the Province of France, I was chosen to be part of the Provincial Government and I felt my own weakness for the service that God asked of me. Since that time, I observe and act with care, trusting in the grace of God, following the guidance of the Province.
At present, the Province of France spans two different regions: Europe and Africa. With regard to sisters, there are two extremes: in France, the majority of the sisters are older, while in Africa there are many young women in training. We also encourage our co-workers to identify with the Hospitaller values and identity. This situation presents us with many challenges for the future of the Province that require discernment and creativity.