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Rituals & traditions

  1. Ritual

Ritual is an activity that presents a series of symbolic actions used in a religious or other ceremony as part of prayer and / or worship. A ritual pertains to the performance of prescribed form of actions related to a function of religious nature (rite), e.g. a ritual of the profession of vows, of consecration of virgins, of ordination to priesthood or episcopacy, of baptism, confirmation.

  1. Tradition

Tradition is a custom or way of doing that has existed for a long time among a particular group of people. A tradition expresses values underlying behaviours. Tradition is a set of beliefs or customs that a group expresses with consistency by action in their lives. Tradition can be cultural or religious. Tradition is what makes beliefs and values real and visible in the life of a group. A tradition is handed on from one generation to the next among the members that believe and live for the values underlying the tradition.

Our Rituals
Our Rituals

Our Institute’s Rituals

  1. Observing Easter Tridium: from Holy Thursday to Holy Saturday vigil Mass, strict silence in the community, fasting on Good Friday, Individual prayer and not praying as community to attend to the suffering of Jesus in His Passion during the three days.
  2. Profession rite:
  3. Use of burning candles to represent the light of Christ who must be present and kept alive through the life of virtue in the individual and in the world by the life of one being consecrated;
  4. Prostrating before the pronouncement of final vows as a symbol of total self-giving through death to self;
  5. Singing “Veni sponsa…Come bride of Christ”, translated by the late Sr. Cecilia Nyangoma): sung before pronouncing the final vows, symbolizing the eagerness of the one responding to belong to Christ alone.
  6. Holding a vigil of prayer when a member of the Institute dies
  7. Ringing a bell in special tone/sound of mourning chime to make all know that a member has died when the news reaches the community and immediately all assembling into the chapel to pray for the diseased.
  8. Making a novena before the celebration of special days: Feasts of our Patron Saints as mentioned in Directory pg. 195 par.3. These patron Saints can be found in Directory pg.
  9. Holding Holy Hour on First Fridays to honour the Sacred Heart of Jesus
  10. Attending community functions of meals and praying together
  11. Wearing a crown of thorns by one making final vows symbolizing one’ readiness to carry the cross of Christ until death
  12. Going to confession once a week in the formation house and every two weeks for the professed Sisters
  13. Closing our meal time after we have said the Thanksgiving prayer with a prayer or song to our lady, “We fly to you O blessed Virgin….. Sub tuum…”
  14. To end a retreat with a Deogratias, Thanks be to God” in response to a superior’s intonation of “Benedicas Domini
  15. Special devotions: to Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Good Counsel, St. Joseph Husband of Mary, 19th March, Immaculate conception, 8th December, every community to the Holy Spirit through the keeping the 9 days of intense of prayer with the Church before Pentecost and when we recite “ Come Holy Spirit….” before anyone community activity and to patron saints of every community. Every devotion is marked by a period of prayer (novena) and High Mass on feast day and good meal. On the day of Saint Joseph, the domestic workers of casual labour are used to be given a day off to celebrate with us.

Sound tradition of our Institute:

Some of our Institute’s traditions have become outdated and discarded by the congregation’s General chapters and others by liberal, ignorant and misguided members. A sound tradition is that which is vibrant, resonant with gospel teaching and able to energize to lead into an action that expresses a value or a virtue of religion, e.g. Faith, Hope and charity. On the other hand obsolete or outdated traditions must be discarded to free the human spirit of faith (See Decree on up – to – Date Renewal of the Religious life, (PC), no 12, 16, 17, Vatican II council.


  1. Wearing daily
  2. a) a crucifix on the chest,
  3. b) a veil, and
  1. c) a ring on the left third finger for the finally professed.
  2. No ringing of bells or drumming during the Tridium as no talking: three days of Holy week, ending with the Mass of Holy Thursday until Vigil of Holy Saturday.
  3. After election of the General Superior all those Sisters nearby assembling to congratulate the new elect Superior General.
  1. Holy Thursday meal: It used to be served by the superior of the community.
  2. Securing the sisters a spiritual conference from a priest/ speaker so often in a month
  3. Individual reporting to the superior or the community, what has been lost, broken or damaged as at one’s hands as personal responsibility.
  4. Keeping the superior, including the Superior General, responsible as a representative and mouthpiece of the community to the outside world without reminders, e.g. joining celebrations in the parish, diocese and government rallies, defending the property and interests of the community/Institute.
  5. Approaching the superior and explaining one’s personal needs and getting a green light as to how these needs can be realized.
  6. A joyous response to a transfer or new appointment when the superior has mentioned your name when there is face –to-face reading of appointments by a saying “Deogratias”
  7. The superior’s good habit of reminding community members the need for spiritual growth
  8. Occasional reminders from others, local superior or the cook, to fast during lent, especially on Fridays when little food is served and “something” that members of the community are fond of is kept away from the dining room.
  9. Putting aside a private vehicle and providing a driver for Mother General for her official travels.
  10. Short reading sometimes spiritual from the Bible or from the Constitutions or other sources before breakfast and / or lunch, short.
  11. As community doing Catholic action/ family visits on every Sunday.
  12. Upholding the good habit of Françoise Simard, Mother Foundress , of honouring Sunday by refraining from any manual work, except cooking, to mark Sunday as a day of prayer
  13. End of the year on 31st December: Community gathering to evaluate the year and perform a ritual of reconciliation among themselves.
  14. Saying the Angelus at the strike of the bell wherever the person would be e.g. in the fields.
  15. Breaking the day’s routine by recollection before lunch for mid-day examination of consciousness and doing similarly at the end of the day, during the night prayer.
  16. Monthly visit to the superior for a conversation regarding one’s assigned work, health and relationships in community and outside community for growth;
  17. Proclaiming in public one’s fault every Friday
  18. Wearing an attire in blue, but without lace, an attire/ dress/ skirt long below knee
  19. Free to wear “akatambara” while in the fields or doing manual work
  20. Putting on acceptable colour of sweater, but no yellow, red, brown, green material.
  21. Being accompanied by parents when making steps to pronounce the final vows, indicating parents standing by the Sister as witness and they themselves becoming part of the sacrifice of their daughter’s complete separation from the family.
  22. Eating and praying morning and evening together and meditation at the same time as community.
  23. Making daily visit to Blessed Sacrament at least for 15 minutes
  24. Wearing white attire on Congregation’s feast, including at funeral of members
  25. Reading together the Constitutions or other material from the Superior General
  26. Having separate chores e.g. ow’abagyenyi, omubiiki, ow’abarweire in community
  27. Separating what fits visitors from outside community and visitors from within, fellow members by way of utensils, bed sheets, basins etc.
  28. Reserving a seat everywhere for the Superior, including the superior General whether in the dining room or chapel as a sign of respect of her authority and allowing the superior to use that authority in governing and caring for the members of the community.
  29. The superior’s good habit of designating time for the sisters to go to her for a sisterly conversation to deal with whatever is pending in the Sister’s regarding the apostolate, vows and community living (dropping this habit has made local superiors jobless)
  30. Honouring and keeping the time of sleep/ retiring by all as agreed on and placed on the community’s timetable, which is 10.00 pm in the Directory after which silence is observed.
  31. Strict silence after night prayer to the next morning after Mass.
  32. Bowing to one another wherever and whenever members meet (lost due to talking all the time and instead of bowing words of greeting are used)
  33. Involvement of the superior general in response to Sister’ earnestness is seeking spiritual direction and assuring the Sisters the best people around to give them spiritual guidance.
  34. Silence by all in the sleeping quarters and in corridors for the sake of a prayerful atmosphere everywhere in the house.
  35. Holding monthly recollection by the Sisters in their communities
  36. A community’s caring for the orphans and the needy, not necessarily related to anyone member of the community by giving food, second hand closing, or supplying some part of school fees is almsgiving (Option for the poor, Vatican II Council Document)
  37. Setting up a community timetable whereby the Sisters share chore and leadership in community prayer for ordering their day as religious (for discipline).
  38. Exclusion of radios, TV and any noisy electronic from the Sisters’ bedrooms and playing them in common places.
  39. Demanded recreation time in the community for everyone for certain agreed on time
  40. Updating language from vernacular as Institute’s language to national language, English, which may be a blessing and an opening to girls from non-Runyakitara speaking regions.
  41. Protecting “a no mixing and talking” with the novices by both the superior of the Mother House and the Novice Directress.
  42. Genuine preparation of junior sisters for final vows during school calendar and every August holiday for three (3) consecutive years before they make their vows as a means of giving them spiritual grooming particularly in the area that they did not cover dating their previous formation years.
  43. Reserving a special bedroom, bed sheets and blanket for Mother General, even if she does not show up in the year.