Sr Marie Jean Pierre Piacentini
Teresina Piacentini was born in Olmeneta (Cremona) on November 22, 1942. She entered the Congregation of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master in Alba (CN) on 1 January 1964. After her novitiate in Via Portuense, Rome she made her First Profession on 24 March 1966. In 1971, after a few months in Rome, as assistant to the postulants, obedience led her to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. She professed her Final Vows in Lubumbashi on March 25, 1972 at the age of 30.
She was responsible for the first steps of the new community.
The beginnings of our Congregation in Burkina Faso officially date back to January 25, 1988. We were invited there by His Eminence Cardinal Paul Zoungrana.
At that time, Mother Tecla Molino was Superior General of the Congregation. She sent both Sr Marie Jean Pierre Piacentini from Italy and Sister Mary Casimir Mascarenhas who came from India and who is now serving in Ireland. These two sisters were destined to open the new foundation in Burkina Faso and arrived there on Saturday, January 23, 1988. This small country was well known as a place where sincere and honest people live. Welcomed by Cardinal Zoungrana upon their arrival at the airport, the two sisters spent a few days in the community of the Camillian Sisters before moving to the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary in Kolog-Naaba and remained there until 1990. A short time later, they were joined by Sister Marie Hélène Compaore who was a native from Burkina Faso.
After a few years spent in this parish, the sisters, again through the Cardinal, obtained land on the premises of the Diocesan Pastoral Center. The Parish was named St. John Paul II Parish, of San Guillaume de Tanghin. The Divine Master community of Ouagadougou was inaugurated in October 1991.
She was a woman of faith and prayer.
Sister Jean Pierre was one of the pioneers of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master in Burkina Faso and the first superior of the community of the Divine Master in Ouagadougou. Regarding her personality, she was truly a woman of faith and prayer. In every situation, Jesus the Master was her reference point and the criterion of all her decisions. She was a mother figure, and balanced both tenderness and firmness in her relationships. The beginnings of the foundation were certainly not easy, but Sister Jean Pierre knew how to face them with wisdom and intelligence.
Simplicity of life.
She was a simple person and loved Africa. She adapted well to our country and way of life: the climate, food, customs, and all the challenges of missionary life. This was her mission field, and many African children bear witness to this. She was interested in the families of the sisters and the young women in formation. For us, Sister Jean Pierre was a true missionary. There were many sacrifices in the early days and the small community totally gave of themselves. Sister Jean Pierre was outstanding in her humility and gave us all a wonderful example of prayer and service.
She cared for the future of the mission in our Congregation in Burkina Faso. She welcomed young women to learn various skills in the domestic and educational field and discovered what gifts they had. They all benefited from this intellectual, spiritual, and human formation. She encouraged them to discover their talents and to place them at the service of the mission. Sister Jean Pierre wanted future candidates for religious life to be well formed and full of enthusiasm. In communion and with the guidance of the superiors they responded to the invitation of our founder, Blessed James Alberione who invited us to “form the integrated person, complete in mind, will and heart“.
She knew how to organize and channel all her energies towards the apostolate, encouraging us to go forward with confidence. Sister Jean Pierre was of unparalleled generosity, always ready to share her knowledge and gifts with others.
On 19 October 2000, when we learned of the departure of Sister Jean Pierre to the heavenly homeland, we were enveloped by great sadness. However, we also gave thanks to the Lord for having given her as a sister, mother and missionary.
We are grateful for the values that she has transmitted to us, helping us grow in our dedication to work and above all in our love for the Divine Master. For those of us who continue this mission on African soil, we feel a great desire and are committed to transmit the great example that this sister has left us. She knew how to sow seeds of life everywhere she went. This life has now sprouted and flourishes in our Congregation. Today the Burkinabè sisters are the fruits of her life and self-giving.
Sister Jean Pierre left for Heaven too early, just a few years after leaving Burkina Faso because of health reasons. We owe her our eternal gratitude for having ceaselessly borne such a witness and having endured her suffering for the proclamation of the Gospel. Now, Sr Jean Pierre, dwell in the joy of your Master and pray for us!