We left Rango for Muhazi but had to make a stop at Gatenga to pick up the Preacher of our Retreat, Fr. Felix, and we arrived at our destination in mid-afternoon.

Fr. Remy was our driver and he really drove us very well both to and from Muhazi. With him we really felt   safe and sound. 

Madam Therese and her Muhazi team welcomed us very well from the very moment we set foot at Muhazi until the time we left.  Muhazi provided us indeed with the best atmosphere one could ever dream of,

in order to prepare ourselves for such a great step in life (passing from the lay state to become religious).  

We were seven, and as the Holy Spirit imparted different gifts on the disciples of Jesus on the day of Pentecost in order to help them in their mission of evangelization, so it was that the novices of the province of Africa of the Great Lakes had a gift to offer to the Society of Saint Francis of Sales.

Our novitiate year had started with an opening retreat which we might call the opening of the ‘‘year of retreat’’ 2018- 2019, as our novice master commonly says. And so we now closed our ‘‘retreat year’’ with a theme very well chosen by our preacher, Rev. Fr. Nyagatare Felix: ‘‘Be Holy as your Father in heaven is Holy’’. He reminded us of the vocation to holiness to which we are all called as Christians.

The role models he gave us to imitate, as he outlined very well for us, started with Christ himself and then went on to his Mother Mary, and then to our Founder John Bosco and to some of the saints we have to imitate so as to be able to suggest to the young whom we are called to sanctify, in the same way we sanctify ourselves too, saints from our very own congregation to emulate.

In order to answer this call, however, he gave us three ingredients which we cannot do without: joy, work (well and with conviction) and benevolence (good will). He also called our attention  to the 5 Key words Saint Dominic Savio addressed to Saint John Bosco: ‘‘Help me to become saint’’.

And he concluded by wishing us all to become saints both in our deeds and words.

In conclusion, our most deeply felt and sincere thanks go, first of all to God, for making this happen, then to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint John Bosco our Founder and lastly to the Salesian Family at large. May your names be praised forever!



Norman Owen.