Meeting of the Association of Monasteries of Benedictine Nuns
of West Africa - 11th to 14th February, 2010

After the meeting of monastic Superiors of West Africa we had twoand- a-half days for work. In the first place, we were very glad to be able to have a free exchange, and to listen to one another about the joys and various complications in which we live.

Two major orientations dictated our work:

1- Preparation of our General Assembly in 2012, with the delegates of our communities.

The theme will continue those already considered:

• In 2002 Retreat from the world and openness to the world

• In 2004 Chastity for the Kingdom

• In 2012 we select: Chastity and Fraternity

2- Conference of the International Conference of Benedictine Sisters

Mother Henriette Kalmogo, Prioress of the monastery of Koubri in Burkina Faso was delegated to represent West Africa, Central Africa, and Madagascar. Mother Henriette outlined the origins of the conference of Benedictines of the whole world, going back as far as Abbot Primate Victor Dammertz and now named the ‘International Conference of Benedictine Sisters’, moderated by Sr Judith Ann. The IBC is divided into 19 regions, each represented by a delegate.

An administrative council meets every six months, each year the Conference visiting a new country. The symposium takes place at Rome every five years, and this year Mother Blandine-Marie, Prioress of the monastery of Dzogbégan in Togo, will accompany Mother Henriette.

The theme of the conference will be ‘Benedictine Sisters, women of hope’. This theme had already been announced to us in Mother Henriette’s report at Zadar in September, 2009. Croatia, a country where monastic life appeared very early, from the fourth century onwards, achieved a flowering of about fifty Benedictine monasteries in the eleventh century; the theme of hope fits well in this country whose suffering we know so well.

To finish on a happy note, Mother Henriette suggested with some determination that our association could be present in September 2011 at Dzogbégan to welcome the Conference to West Africa. Her suggestion will probably be received with joy!

We are profoundly grateful for these openings which enlarge our horizons to the dimensions of the world and call us all the more insistently to carry our monastic foundations to different races, complementary to our objects of our prayer.

In these few lines many elements remain unmentioned. However, we lived hours of deep brotherhood, led by our president with precision and total relevance!