(Burkina Faso, West Africa) We, the Redemtorist family, give thanks to God for the commitment of Sister Marie Céleste de la Sainte Face to the monastic way of life through the profession of evangelical counsels: vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience on 11th September 2020. Sister Marie Céleste de la Sainte Face chose this monastic life to share the Charism as a Redemptoristine nun in the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer at the monastery of Our Lady of Perpetual Help of Diabo in the diocese of Fada N’Gourma in Burkina Faso.
Before her profession, Sister Marie Céleste was called Blandine, which was her first name. She chose to be called Marie Céleste de la Sainte Face because she wanted to deepen the spirituality of the Mother foundress of the Order: Marie Céleste CROSTAROSA. According to her, Blessed Marie Céleste CROSTAROSA contemplated Christ in the Eucharist. During her contemplation, in fact, “she saw Christ face to face” she exclaimed. She chose this name to grow and mature herself in the spirituality to come close to Christ; to contemplate Christ face to face. The choice of the first name was guided by this striking and imposing image of the Holy Face which can be found in the parish church of KOKOLOGHO, the home parish of Sister Marie.
Sister Marie belongs to the family of KABORE. She is of Burkinabé nationality and she comes from the parish of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face of KOKOLOGHO in the diocese of KOUDOUGOU in Burkina Faso.
The liturgical celebration of the profession took place inside the monastery compound. Preceded by the morning rain, the Holy Mass, the main ceremony of the celebration, began around 9.40 am. The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by the local ordinary, Bishop Peter Claver MALGO and Father Patrice NYANDA, Vice Provincial of the Redemptorists of the Vice-Province of West Africa joined the Bishop and preached during the Mass. In his homily, Father Patrice said that “through her consecration, Sister Blandine tells us that her life henceforth belongs only to Christ. Through her commitment Sr. Blandine chooses to live a chaste, obedient, and poor servant. She decided to live intimately with Christ to meditate and to follow Him closely.”
In his address, Bishop affirmed that it is not us first who seek Christ, it is not us who walk towards Christ, but rather it is Christ who walks first towards us because our steps are not firm; it is Christ who takes the initiative and comes in search of us to bring us back to Him to experience the joy that He offers. Sister Marie spent 12 years in preparation to seek the face of Christ and know Him as her personal Saviour.
It is said, “All’s well that ends well”. The ceremony of the consecration of Sister Marie Céleste de la Sainte Face ended with the fraternal agape meal. May the Lord, Jesus Christ, who touched the heart of Sister by calling her into monastic way of life, grant her strength and courage in times of pain; may she be able to contemplate his holy face always and draw the strength, courage, love, perseverance and total abnegation from Christ alone.
Marc TOGUYENI, C.Ss.R.