Mauritania: Selfless, healing love

“The Sisters are the face of God’s love in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.”

Bishop Martin Happe of the diocese of Nouakchott in Mauritania knows what he’s talking about. He is thinking of Sister Lucile Habimana and Sister Celina JozefaNatanek, who work in the centre for crippled and handicapped children, of Sisters Anita Martis and Isabel Marco, who go into the prisons and help the prisoners regain their sense of dignity, of Sisters Hilda Graber and Maria Lopez, who are helping expectant mothers and new young mothers to cope with the difficulties of pregnancy and of caring for their newborn babies.

Together, and finding joy in their work: a sewing course with Sister Nilima
Together, and finding joy in their work: a sewing course with Sister Nilima

He is thinking of Sister Suzanne Marie Pépine and Sister Georgette Nana in the drop-in clinic, providing first-aid and often ongoing care as well, and Sisters Hélène Marie Dioh and Coulette Boubane, caring forthe little ones in the kindergartens and creches. And he could go on with his list, since there are 31 Sisters from eight different congregations, working selflessly night and day, lovingly serving in one of the poorest nations in the world – and one which for centuries now has been to all intents 100% Islamic.

n good hands: Sister Hélène with the little ones in the Kindergarten
In good hands: Sister Hélène with the little ones in the Kindergarten

But, it is an Islam that at least tolerates the Sisters’ work. Work that helps and even saves lives.A testimony of love that impresses many Mauritanian people and above all helps the women to recognise their personal dignity as children of God. Who pays for this work? No one in Mauritania is able to do so. It is your loving help that enables the Sisters to continue giving their selfless service.

ACN’s support

Bishop Martin has once again asked our support for their life and apostolate this year, and we have promised him €30,000 as it is love like this that brings healing and salvation. “The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, to the poor the gospel is preached…” This was Jesus’ reply in answer to John the Baptist’s question (Lk 7:22). This is the face of God’s love, and you can help the Sisters show this face to the people of Mauritania.

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