la Bonne Nouvelle
Community of Bouaké
The Monastère de la Bonne Nouvelle is located on the edge of the city of Bouaké, in the Baoula savannah, 350 km from Abidjan, close enough to the road, to the east of the country. The monks of the monastère Sainte Marie are about 3 km from us, and there is a beautiful fraternal help between us.
The Church of Ivory Coast – first evangelization in 1895 – has 4 Ecclesiastical Provinces, and our Province of Bouaké is governed by Monsignor Paul-Simeon AHOUANAN DJRO, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bouaké. This city has suffered a lot from the decade of crisis in Ivory Coast (2002-2012) and is struggling to recover: insecurity, unemployment, difficult reconciliation… Relationships with our Muslim brothers are generally good. Originally, the monastery was in a quiet environment, 6 km from the city. But the city of Bouaké is expanding a lot and our environment also loses much of its stillness: around us, there is the “camp”, that is to say, a poor population, several thousands of people in modest or precarious housing; between us and the monks, a big cashew processing factory, another small recent factory, and other buildings that are getting ready… This sometimes noisy environment is a challenge for us, but…
We have a hotel of about fifteen rooms and a small dormitory, where we welcome both groups and individuals on a retreat. We also have a vibrant oblature of about twenty members.
The Monastère de la Bonne Nouvelle in Bouaké was founded in 1963 by the Abbaye Saint Joseph et Saint Pierre of PRADINES, France, at the request of the bishop of the moment, Monsignor André Duirat: the monks having arrived since 1958, His Grace wished to be able to offer young girls the same kind of life. Indeed it was the desire of the Church to see monastic life set up in young churches. There were seven founding sisters and the recruitment was and still remains slow. The community currently has 20 members including 3 European members.
In 2002, just at the beginning of the crisis affecting our country, the community obtained its autonomy and was able to elect its Prioress. In September 2016, the first African Prioress was elected. Since it was created, the community has been a member of the Fédération du Cœur Immaculé de Marie (Federation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary).
The story of the monastery has been marked by those 10 years of crisis in Ivory Coast, from 2002 to 2012. As the armed conflict began in the immediate environment of the monastery, the sisters quickly had to take refuge in Yamoussoukro (100 km) for 6 months. The roof of the church still bears the trace of this conflict. At present, the community is concerned with the reconstruction of the church, which is too small and has been damaged by the years and the war. Afterwards we will have to consider other construction or development works because the premises of the monastery have become too small. We entrust this great intention to the prayer and generosity of our brothers and sisters in Saint Benedict…
- Our activities, for a difficult livelihood, are as follows: altar bread, hen house, products made with aloe, which is grown here (soap, ointment, elixir, juice), candles for the liturgy, liturgical clothing, fruit wine… and all that can be sold in our shop (jam, rosaries, cards…).
- We try to make the most of our land (about 20 ha) for our livelihood and the exploitation of trees.
- For about 25 years, we have conducted one or several liturgical training sessions per year for novices (girls and boys) from the apostolic congregations of the Ivory Coast. Many of the sisters in the community take part in this training.