The Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa (MSOLA) are celebrating a century of their work in Kenya this week, with special Masses and gatherings in London, Toronto and Nairobi. On Saturday there was a special Mass and exhibition at Ealing Abbey in west London to mark the centenary.
The chief celebrant was White Father George Smith, with Fr Ayleward Shorter, Fr Don Anderson, Fr Pascal Durand and Fr Wild-Smith.
During his homily, Fr George commented on the very practical as well as spiritual approach taken by the Sisters. "When Our Lady heard that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant, she dropped everything and went to be with her and lend a hand. "
Following this example, he said, wherever the Sisters went in Kenya they planted gardens with trees and vegetables, as well as setting up schools and other projects. More than 200 past pupils and teachers of the MSOLA schools in Kenya attended the Mass which was followed by a lunch, reception and exhibition . For many, the day it was an emotional experience as they were reunited with former classmates and colleagues they had not see for a long time.
A Elvira Almeida, (formerly De'Sa) who taught at the Marycliff Primary School summed up the views of many when she said: "Seeing so many people here makes me realise just how many hearts and minds have been touched by the Sisters. Literally thousands of girls have passed through the Star of the Sea school in Mombasa and it is still thriving today. It is an incredible legacy." In the next page, Sr Maggi Kennedy MSOLA, who worked for many years in Mombasa, reflects on the history and work of the congregation.