Catholic Nun in Angola Links Elevation of Congregation to “spirit of communion in communities”

Some members of the Franciscan Sisters Servants Restorers of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (SFRJS) in Angola, Credit: Sr. Emiliana Bundo

The Superior General of the Franciscan Sisters Servants Restorers of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (SFRJS) in Angola has attributed the growth of the congregation that was elevated to a full province in 2023 to the “spirit of communion in communities.”

The congregation that was founded in Bragança, Portugal, in 1941, arrived in Angola in 1962 with five sisters of its members opening the first house in the Diocese of Kwito-Bié in November 1962. The five were Sr. Maria de São Paulo, Sr. Maria de Nazaré, Sr. Maria de Anunciação, Sr. Maria de Fátima and Sr. Maria Rosa.

Since then, it has been a delegation with Sr. Emiliana Bundo as the first Angolan delegate elected in 2001, serving two consecutive terms of 4 years each.

For ten years, the delegation in Angola worked towards autonomy, and in May 2023, it was elevated to the category of Region of Our Lady Mother of Africa of the Franciscan Sisters Servants Restorers of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in Angola.

Sr. Bundo was elected as the congregation’s first Provincial Superior and she took office in August 2023.


In an interview with ACI Africa on Monday, June 3, Sr. Bundo said, “It's important that we, as consecrated Franciscan Servants, qualify our lives by our authenticity, by our radical living of the Gospel, by our living of the Eucharistic and Franciscan charism.”

“Thanks be to God, we have risen in Angola, in an era in which we are living synodality. The spirit of communion in the communities has been a driving force,” the Catholic nun said.

“We've been in Angola for more than 60 years, we have a school with more than 600 students, we don't have a specific work of ours, we fully take on all pastoral work, from catechesis to accompanying groups and movements,” Sr. Bundo said. 

The SFRJS Superior in Angola further said that the congregation is also part of national commissions such as the Episcopal Commission for Liturgy and the Commission for the Family in Angola.

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She said the congregation’s members are present in five Diocese in Angola: the Diocese of Kuito Bié, the Diocese of Benguela with four communities, the Archdiocese of Lubango with one community, the Archdiocese of Luanda, and the Diocese of Caxito. In these dioceses, the sisters work in catechesis, liturgy, the Eucharist, education, and health and family ministry.

SFRJS has 52 sisters in total, Sr Bundo told ACI Africa, and added that the congregation also has three Angolan sisters working in the missions in Portugal, Brazil, and Mozambique.

“Thanks be to God; we have a group of vocations. We have our novitiate open, we have novices and postulants in formation and we plan to admit new postulants soon,” Sr. Bundo said, and noted that the issue of vocations is “not just a question of selection.” Vocations, she explained, “is rather a question of adherence and commitment.”


“It's not that we worry so much about a large number, because sometimes numbers don't mean quality. We do strive for quality,” Sr. Bundo said.

Angolan Catholic nun said that opening up new communities is one of the challenges that the congregation faces.

Another challenge is the “authenticity of the life” of members, she said, and explained, “We need to bet on transparency, on the truth of life, on living the Gospel, because those who give themselves, those who live the Eucharist must be authentic in their way of life.”

“The Eucharist is not just thanksgiving. The Eucharist is sacrifice. A Franciscan Servant has to give herself in this sacrifice, in this holocaust,” Sr. Bundo said.

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She further underscored the need to give members specific training according to the charism of the Congregation.

“I will also invest in the formation of the Sisters in this permanent awareness that we are servants given totally to living the authenticity of life and awakening vocations,” she said, and added, “The sisters must receive specific formation in the field of the Eucharist and liturgy.”

The Sisters, Sr. Bundo said, “must also be formed in the human sciences as well as in the guidelines and documents of the Church.”

Looking to the future, she said the congregation plans to open new communities in Kenya and other African countries. 

João Vissesse is an Angolan Journalist with a passion and rich experience in Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate.