Dr. Catherine Mangham
I arrived at La Mission de St Terese with little Idea what to expect and even less French. I needn’t have worried, the community of locals and volunteers from all round the world, priest and seminarians and oblates, are very welcoming. The structure of the day beginning with Mass before breakfast and ending with night prayer and the Grand Silence, allows a freedom within these boundaries. The school keeps everyone busy, but the experience of Catholics living in community, comes first. The business never seems to dominate or drive out the peace and joy. I helped the nurses in the medical clinic and sang in the choir, swam in the river and helped in the kitchen. I will return soon, God willing.
The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest mission of Therese lies on the banks of the Ngnonié river, a mile or two out of th town of Mouila, deep in the Gabonese jungle. The mission runs a primary school for over 300 children, and looks after 6 orphan girls who attend the school, and 5 oblates who study at the school and work on the mission. The daily routine at the mission is centered on prayer and all are involved. The mission prays together, eats together and socializes together on the back porch before dinner, where laughter is loud and frequent. Each person is has something to contribute to the work of the mission, whether it's teaching the children, building and maintenance, administrative support, helping at the medical clinic, singing in the choir. The school children are baptised and confirmed at the mission and they and their families join the congregation on Sundays as part of the apostolate.
The joy of the and the school is growing fast.