Sr. Béatrice, from Cameroon, is a Missionary Sister of the Immaculate in North Brazil. She tells us her vocation and the journey which brought her to pronounce her definitive YES to the Lord.
I am sr. Béatrice Tchi.Ignabe; I come from Méri, in the region of the extreme north of Cameroon. I belong to a catholic family of eight children, I am the second. I grew in the city of Lagdo, in the north of Cameroon, where I met the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate, PIME, in my parish. I desired so much to offer my time and my service to the Church; this brought me to participate in different movements and to join different groups in my area. My desire to consecrate myself to God among the MsI came from the great esteem I had for the work done by the sisters in my parish and from the witness of their intercultural life which I observed.
I joined the community of Yaoundé on September 7, 2008 and, soon after my first profession, on March 25, 2014, I was assigned to the parishes of Ambam and Etoug-Ebe in Yaoundé, where I worked in the pastoral field for two years. In 2016 I was sent to study philosophy at the Catholic University of Central Afrika for three years and, on October 29, 2019, I received the missionary mandate for North Brazil. I reached Brazil in January 2020, just two months after the starting of the Covid-19 pandemic. I spent one year studying Portuguese language in the provincial house in Manaus, in Amazonia. Later, in 2022, I started working for the diocese of Macapà, where I am still working with the young people in the pastoral field of communication (PASCOM), in the catechesis, with children, visiting the families and in participating in the celebrations of the villages. Here in Brazil I discover more and more the joy of the mission!
Different were the stages which marked my journey. I have lived moments of joy as well as moments of sorrow, doubt, tears, uncertainties and discouragement. Thus I went to the school of St. Paul, the Apostle of the nations. The words of St. Paul were the source of my comfort, of my courage and of my determination in the mist of all the trials and the different emotions I went through. This is why I chose as a motto for my final profession these words of St. Paul: “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rm 8; 35) Nothing and nobody!
Back to my own native land, Cameroon, great was my joy to consecrate myself totally to God, on February 18, 2023, with the blessing of my natural family, of my parish, of my many friends and acquaintances who saw me growing and growing also my missionary passion. It is really a great joy the one which I feel in me, because the Lord chose me to be an instrument of his word. How not the sing the Magnificat, like Mary, to cry out my thankfulness to God? “The Almighty works marvels for me and holy is his name!” (Lk 1; 49)
The perpetual profession which I pronounced is a commitment which calls me to configure myself to Jesus Christ, the great evangelizer and missionary. My vocation has grown and strengthen with time. During my formation till now God put on my path persons who never stopped to help me in many ways. Moreover, my experience in Brazil, especially in Macapa, allowed me to make with determination this decisive step. I was struck by the commitment that lay people live in the Church in Brazil. Their example made me understand that each Christian is called to live his own vocation. We are all called to work in the same vineyard of the Lord, each one according to his state of life. Lay or consecrated, we have the same vocation, that of living charity which brings us to sanctity. Each true vocation requires maturity, determination and conversion, taking into consideration that this last one is never without difficulties.
Each vocation which is lived in fidelity is a journey towards sanctity; it is a life that goes beyond the path fixed by those who are around us and which allows us to live with freedom our deep convictions, to continue our search for God and to be at the service of our brothers and sisters thirsty of the Word of God. I am proud of my vocation and I live it with joy. My joy is even greater thinking of my going back to Amazonia, where I know my brothers and sisters are waiting for me.
Sr. Béatrice TCHI.IGNABE, province Nord du Brésil