Sr. Rebecca Joseph Ndiuni, Pallottine Missionary Sister, is our first fellow sister from the Maasai tribe, a society known for its commitment to preserving their culture and traditions. According to their customs, women must marry, bear as many children as possible, care for their family and the cattle. From birth, the family of a future husband is paying the dowry of a girlchild and men may have many wives. Hence, Rebecca was not exempted from this tradition, as her people from generation to generation are typical Massai. She comes from a large family; her father has 4 wives and 23 children, among them, Rebecca.
When she was almost 11, Rebecca ran away from home, and by God’s grace, landed in the safe hands of the Sisters of St. Gemma Galgani, who helped her to continue with her primary education up to secondary level. Being with the sisters, slowly she felt drawn to religious life. While thinking of joining their Congregation, she came across our Sister Dorothea. Just one glance and that was the beginning of her journey to the Pallottine Missionary Sisters. However, we are grateful to the parish Sister who cared and supported her as she overcame many difficult situations. Rebecca stayed away from home for 10 years.
Sr. Rebeca, together with four other Sisters made her First Profession as a Pallottine Missionary Sister on 7th December 2020, in the International Novitiate in Poli Singisi, Arusha Tanzania. Pentecost Sunday, May 23rd, was a very significant and unforgettable day for the Maasai of Kiteto, when for the first time, their daughter Rebecca appeared in her homeland, dressed in a religious habit and was accompanied by a good number of Sisters, who came to thank God with her for the gift of vocation and the courage to follow God’s call. The Holy Mass was presided over by Fr. Oleserian, a Maasai Priest, who is a relative of Sr. Rebecca. Priests from her parish and others who travelled from other places were concelebrants. This Mass was held in a large out-station church. A huge crowd participated as it was the Feast of Pentecost, but also because many were curious to see Sister Rebecca, from their own tribe. It was their first experience of such an event, a great reunion with a big impact! Choirs from different outstations animated the liturgy, making it a very colorful and joyful celebration.
After the Mass Sr. Rebecca had the opportunity to speak to her family and all present, giving briefly the story of her journey, while expressing her joy to serve God in religious life. Rebecca’s father and grandfather were overwelmed with joy. They blessed their daughter and said that from now on they will not refuse to allow any of their children to follow the vocation of their choice. Sr Rebecca was offered traditional gifts; four cows, two goats and two sheep. For the feast three bulls and several goats were slaughtered. All who participated had more than enough to eat.
We are very grateful to all who supported Sr. Rebecca and accompanied her on her journey of faith to religious life. May God bless and reward them! God’s ways are not our ways! We praise and thank Him for all His blessings!
Sr. Basilisa Jacob SAC