CANA: Marian Formation Center of the Marian Fathers in Kibeho-Nyarushishi, Rwanda
The Marian Formation (Cana) Center was founded at the request of the local bishop. This project also began with the blessing of St. Pope John Paul II. In Rome, he encouraged the Marian Fathers “to be apostles of The Divine Mercy under the mantle and loving guidance of Mary.”
Construction of the Cana Center started in 2004, on the hill of Nyarushishi. In the local tradition, this hill was called “the hill of God,” and is just one mile from the place where Our Lady of Kibeho appeared (formally known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows) which has been entrusted to the Congregation of the Pallottines. For more information about the Shrine, you can visit their website www.kibeho-sanctuary.com.
Our Center Today
Our main challenge is to help people to grow in their spiritual life. We do this through retreats, conferences, days of prayer, and various sessions in light of our Marian spirituality and the grace of Divine Mercy. Another very important aspect of this work is providing hospitality for pilgrims from all over the world. We have also created prayer cards, post cards, and have published books and pamphlets about Mary and Divine Mercy. We also make rosaries and seven sorrows rosaries in our Center, which are available for purchase in our small gift shop in reception. We also have some devotional souvenirs for sale from the Holy Land.
We are also engaging in the social development of our local area through promoting education at the primary school here in Nyarushishi and through various other projects such as helping the local health post, providing bread from our bakery and soon, through our ADFA Children’s Academy, which is currently under construction (and these are just a few of our many projects)! We are eternally grateful for all of those who are helping us to make these projects a reality, such as All Day FORE Africa and also the Seven Loaves Project, and our numerous private benefactors. We offer Mass every Saturday in thanksgiving for them. Please check our “benefactor” link to find out more about those who have generously supported us!
The Annonciade Sisters
We are pleased to announce that four active Annonciade Sisters from Burundi arrived at our Cana Center in September 2017. Both of our orders have the common roots of being founded on the Ten Evangelical Virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so we have a deep spiritual connection with them. Their new convent, which was built on our grounds, was completed and officially blessed by the local bishop in the presence of numerous sisters from different orders, visitors from Poland and many local priests on February 2, 2018. We are so grateful for our benefactor, Joseph Risi, from the United States, who provided the funds to build this convent, which is dedicated to St. Gabriel. These Sisters are in charge of hospitality for our visitors, and they provide all administrative work for our Cana Center. They also care for the chapel and sacristy, and supervise work in the house, the bakery and the Children’s Academy. We are so happy for their presence and the good work they do! To learn more about the Annonciade Sisters, visit www.annonciade.info.
Saint Gabriel Convent
On Oct. 16, 2012 in our Cana Center in Nyarushishi-Kibeho in Rwanda, we installed a relic of Blessed John Paul II. It is a first-class relic — a drop of his blood. The relic is a blessing for our center and for the pilgrims who visit here.
The relic was solemnly installed by the Bishop of the Diocese of Butare, His Excellency Philippe Rukamba. The installation was done in the presence of priests who were ordained by Blessed John Paul II during the Holy Father’s visit in Rwanda in 1990.