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SION in Egypt Community Life in El Berba Three young women follow their vocation SION in Egypt Community Life in El Berba Three young women follow their vocation

Berba a village in Middle Egypt Berba is a village in middle Egypt 250 Berba a village in Middle Egypt Berba is a village in middle Egypt 250 km south of Cairo in the Governorate of Minia. Berba has 12 000 inhabitants: 25 % Christians and 75 % Muslim. Half of the population is under the age of 20 years. Two schools serve the needs of education A health-unit, and 3 private Doctors look after the health of the population. People’s sources of income are farm products like cotton, wheat, garlic, corn, sugarcane and sugarbeets. The majority of the young people of Berba work in Cairo or Alexandria. In the local language the village is also called “Berba the village of the people who work as keeper of apartments building in Cairo or Alexandria”. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 2

A village with 12. 000 people 9000 inhabitants pray in 8 mosques. 3000 inhabitants A village with 12. 000 people 9000 inhabitants pray in 8 mosques. 3000 inhabitants pray in 1 Coptic Catholic church. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 3

History of the Congregation in El Berba Sister Juliana (Austrian) and Sister Darlene (Canadian) History of the Congregation in El Berba Sister Juliana (Austrian) and Sister Darlene (Canadian) came to El Berba in September 1994. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 4

The sisters engagement The sisters’ work in the village includes pastoral and social / The sisters engagement The sisters’ work in the village includes pastoral and social / developmental activities and is especially an active presence among the villagers. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 5

We are learning by the people We are learning by the people "If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. “ Australian Aboriginal woman March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 6

Friends are guests in our open house March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 7 Friends are guests in our open house March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 7

Activities of the sisters The sisters work within Parish activities … Giving an introduction Activities of the sisters The sisters work within Parish activities … Giving an introduction to the Mass in Church Catecheses in summer in the garden. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 8

Activities of the sisters … and in social development among the village people: washing Activities of the sisters … and in social development among the village people: washing machine, toilet and gas stove paid by micro-credits. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 9

Day Care Center On the third floor of our new house the Day Care Day Care Center On the third floor of our new house the Day Care Centre for mentally handicapped children opened in April 2003. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 10

Day Care Center daily life: playing, learning, washing, eating, … March 18 Notre Dame Day Care Center daily life: playing, learning, washing, eating, … March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 11

Day Care Center We celebrate birthdays and enjoy volunteers help March 18 Notre Dame Day Care Center We celebrate birthdays and enjoy volunteers help March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 12

bustan – garden The Garden of Berba opened Easter 1997… March 18 Notre Dame bustan – garden The Garden of Berba opened Easter 1997… March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 13

bustan el-bachja … and received the name “Garden of Joy”. March 18 Notre Dame bustan el-bachja … and received the name “Garden of Joy”. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 14

Wafaa, Victoria and Nargis follow their vocation March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 15 Wafaa, Victoria and Nargis follow their vocation March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 15

Together we explore our country: Dendara, Luxor Temple March 18 Notre Dame de Sion Together we explore our country: Dendara, Luxor Temple March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 16

We learn about our history: Luxor Temple March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 17 We learn about our history: Luxor Temple March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 17

Meeting with the other sisters of Egypt front: Sr. Carina Sr. Maureen, Sr. Juliana, Meeting with the other sisters of Egypt front: Sr. Carina Sr. Maureen, Sr. Juliana, Sr. Mary Carmen, back: Sr. Faiza Wafaa, Nargis, Victoria, Sr. Mona March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 18

Formation community in Berba Wafaa, Nargis, Sr. Mary Carmen, Sr. Maureen, Sr. Juliana, Victoria, Formation community in Berba Wafaa, Nargis, Sr. Mary Carmen, Sr. Maureen, Sr. Juliana, Victoria, Sr. Trudy March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 19

Experience in social work March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 20 Experience in social work March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 20

Catecheses as Community project During the summer months Wafaa, Nargis and Victoria will take Catecheses as Community project During the summer months Wafaa, Nargis and Victoria will take an active role in the young people’s formation. We will study the Book of Acts with the youth from 12 to 16 years. We want to live with an awareness towards the other in our marginalised world. By doing one positive Mitzvah a day we make a small contribution to the healing of our world (Tikkun Olam). We will share our experiences in the sessions held three times a week from 5 to 7 p. m. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 21

Jewish – Christian relation our mission We sisters learn about our Mission, the relationship Jewish – Christian relation our mission We sisters learn about our Mission, the relationship of the Christian world with the Jewish people / Judaism. We live in 5 continents with their nations and cultures. We engage for a world of justice, peace and love with different emphasises, according to our resources and gifts. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 22

Biblical spirituality Biblical studies help to understand each other and to respect differences in Biblical spirituality Biblical studies help to understand each other and to respect differences in traditions and interpretations of the Bible. Living Biblical spirituality opens our minds and houses to welcome the other with their culture, tradition, faith and religion. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 23

Theodore’s message concerning the Jewish people Theodore says that everything in our life should Theodore’s message concerning the Jewish people Theodore says that everything in our life should be permeated by this special call of God to love his people and make them loved. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 24

Theodore’s love for Egypt Theodore writes: I have a great affection for the Egyptian Theodore’s love for Egypt Theodore writes: I have a great affection for the Egyptian people. Perhaps that is because of the relations of my Jewish family had with them. Instruction to the novices Nov. 1859 March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 25

„In Sion firmata sum“ – “In Sion I am established forever” Jesus Sirach 24, „In Sion firmata sum“ – “In Sion I am established forever” Jesus Sirach 24, 10 It is the prayer around our finger. We can touch it and pray the words often during the day. It gives our congregation basis and strength in this time of transition and renewal. Reflecting and praying with this text we found its biblical richness and depth we want to share with you: March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 26

„In Sion firmata sum“ Lev 26: 11 -12 ”I will put my dwelling place „In Sion firmata sum“ Lev 26: 11 -12 ”I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. ” Is 56: 7 “… these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. “ Joel 3 (4): 17 "Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her. “ March 18 Jesus Sirach 24: 7 -11 I looked everywhere for a place to settle, some part of the world to make my home. Then my Creator, who created the universe, told me where I was to live. Make your home in Israel, he said. The descendants of Jacob will be your people. He created me in eternity, before time began, and I will exist for all eternity to come. I served him in the Sacred Tent and then made my home on Mount Zion. He settled me in the Beloved City and gave me authority over Jerusalem. Notre Dame de Sion 27

“In Sion I am established forever” Sion – Jerusalem – New Jerusalem Sir 24: “In Sion I am established forever” Sion – Jerusalem – New Jerusalem Sir 24: 7 ff e. a. is also used as justification for Jewish landacquisition and expulsion of Palestinians. Sion as part of a political struggle!? How can Sisters of Sion support a reading of the bible which includes God’s continuing covenant with the Jewish people, is open for God’s Love and trust to all people (Is 56: 7 e. a. ) and is not excluding the Palestinian people from their land? March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 28

“In Sion I am established forever” Sion – Jerusalem – New Jerusalem Sion is “In Sion I am established forever” Sion – Jerusalem – New Jerusalem Sion is a place where God chooses to live under his people, a place of blessing, compassion, deliverance, help, support, strength and forgiveness for all people. It’s a place where those who are poor, vulnerable and fragile are given a special place to live – their home! Sion supports “sumud” - persistence! Sisters of Sion as witness for “faith and justice”. March 18 Notre Dame de Sion 29