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Help sisters build Zambia formation house

Sr Marie Bourke
Sr Marie Bourke.
Australian-born Sr Marie Bourke has been working with the sick and dying in remote areas of northern Zambia for 15 years. A member of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood, she works with Nigerian nuns Sr Rogita Bonaventure and Sr Anna Gochin in bringing nursing care to more than 90 villages where people have HIV/AIDS.

“We are keeping people alive who would otherwise die. We try to witness to people that they matter,” said Sr Marie of the homebased, clinical and palliative care for people with HIV/AIDS. It is a ministry that has dramatically reduced the mortality rate, especially among children.

For the Zambian people whose lives they touch the Franciscans’ mission is the affirmation of a compassionate, loving God in their lives. Their devotion to caring in Christ’s name has inspired many local women to want to follow them into religious life.

In answering this call the Franciscans are now in the latter stages of preparing to build a formation house where aspirants can discern their vocation. Here local women will deepen their Christian education.

Those who choose to stay will on go to profess their vows as religious women.

The order recently accepted a quotation of $327,800 for the building of the new formation house. The two-storey building will be simply finished in concrete throughout, with tiling in the bathrooms and laundry.

With $219,618 already raised towards these costs, there is a shortfall of $108,182 before they can bring the new formation house into reality.

Catholic Mission’s National Director, Martin Teulan, said the formation house will build directly on the legacy of missionary work of the sisters in remote Zambia.

“It speaks of a living faith which is putting down deep roots for the future of the Catholic Church in Africa. Through our donors, Catholic Mission is assisting Sr Marie to bring this worthy enterprise to completion.”

For further information on how you can help with this mission phone Catholic Mission’s Media Officer, Netta Kovach, tel 02 9919 7800 or visit Sr Marie Bourke

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