During our weekend on the road, we visited Kisantu and stayed overnight there Saturday night. The Sisters of Notre Dame went to Kisantu in 1900 and established schools -- pre-primary, elementary, secondary -- which have become very well known and respected in the Kisantu diocese. More than 1000 students attend these schools. There are also plans to build a college. Kisantu holds an important place in the history of the Congolese province of the SNDs.
A poignant experience during our stay was a visit to the cemetery where several Belgian Sisters are buried. We prayerfully remembered the countless Belgian Sisters who came to Congo as missionaries and sowed the seeds of the present Congolese Province.
While in Kisantu we walked a bit in the beautiful Botanical Garden, established in 1900 by a Jesuit Brother, Justin Gillet. It is one of two state-operated botanical gardens in the country.
I'm traveling with three other U.S. Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN) on a trip to Kimwenza in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our team is part of PACE (Preparatory and Continuing Education), and our students are 40 Congolese Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The Congo-Kinshasa Province of our congregation dates back to 1894, when a courageous group of Belgian SNDs started the mission. Today about 120 Congolese sisters, with three Americans and one Belgian, form the membership of the province.... full info