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On Saturday, June 8, 2013, on the island of Fadiouth, one of the most picturesque places in Senegal (62 miles from Dakar), an extraordinary event took place. One of the daughters of Fadiouth said her yes to God forever. It was the Final Profession of Sister Sophie Émilie Dioh.

Beginning on Thursday, Sr. Tiziana and Sr. Laura visited Fadiouth to organize the preparations. The day preceding our arrival we saw that the island was already decorated with festive colors. Relatives and friends arrived from various places, accompanied by  transporters bringing all that was needed for the feast: bags of rice, oil cans and drinks…

dotsophie 01Arrival of Sr. Sophie in Fadiouth sophie 02Sr. Tiziana, Sr. Angiolina, and Sr. Laura

Then the Saturday morning celebration began with an entry procession comprised of Sisters of other communities who came to share our joy, of our Pre-novices and Novices, as well as all of our SFP’s in Senegal along with Leadership. Then came the happy and chosen one, who was accompanied by her parents. There were many priests – led by Father Abbot of the Benedictine Monastery of Keur Moussa, who presided at the celebration.

The elder women of the village waited for us in front of the Church.

Sr. Sophie was welcomed as a young bride; she participated in several traditional rituals. For example, she was wrapped in white loincloth and millet and rice were poured over her head as a sign of fertility, while other women mimed the working in the fields and cotton spinning.

dotsophie 04Sr. Tiziana with Sr. Sophie during the ceremony sophie 03Sr. Sophie receives the habit

After the ceremony, everybody went to the church for the Eucharistic Celebration and the Profession. In his homily, Father Abbot emphasized and recalled the ties between Benedictine spirituality, from which Sr. Sophie came, and our Franciscan way of life. He addressed words from the Gospel from the Wedding at Cana to Sr. Sophie: "Every one serves the good wine first. But you, Sophie, you kept it until today." All as if to say that she kept the goodwill, spirit and motivation of the first time when she heard the call of Christ. The most moving moments were the Sisters welcoming and congratulating her, as well as the expression of gratitude of Sr. Sophie where she retraced her vocational journey with all its joy and its hopes.

Very spectacular as well was the "Ngel," the traditional dance of the “Sérère" ethnic group -- and I won't be missing the occasion to describe it to you! All participants gathered at the seaside where a space is reserved. And they vibrated with the rhythm of songs for five hours. It was a beautiful feast that demonstrates the unity and solidarity of the people of Fadiouth.

sophie 05Sisters celebrating. Father Abbot of the Monastery presides the liturgy

The parish priest did not miss the opportunity to show his appreciation for having chosen his parish for such a celebration and hoped that this witness could increase the number of vocations for our Congregation and for all the Church.

Our congratulations, Sister Sophie!!  

Sister Thérèse Tapsoba, SFP

Published: July 08, 2013