Cleopatra Nakwenda and Felistus Mulabanya, first year novices in Zambia, recall the recent First Profession of Sr. Sandra Mwaanga:
As a region we had experienced a period of drought in terms of first professions for about three years. Hence Sandra’s profession was a day of great joy not only for Sandra but for the region as a whole.
The day brought hope to us all. It brought hope of new life, of continuity in spreading our charism. There was a great spirit in the formation house and a spirit of joy as we looked forward and prepared for the day. Felistus and I were as excited as though we were the ones being professed. The news brought hope to us too. As soon as we got the news, the preparations were under way. We started preparing the Liturgy with great excitement.
It was a bright, joyful, Saturday morning, 20th August 2011 when all our invited guests gathered together at Roma Convent Chapel.
It was so nice to see the formation house community very busy trying to put everything and everyone in place and making sure that all our invited guests felt at home.
When it was time for mass, all the Religious Sisters of Charity present joyfully went in procession to the chapel. After that the entrance hymn was sang to mark the beginning of mass.
The mass was characterized by a joyful and reflective mood. The homily by the main celebrant Fr Leonard Namuvumba was very inspiring, not only to Sr Sandra, but to everyone who listened to it. Fr Leonard thanked Sr Sandra’s parents for offering her to the church and assured them that God will reward them greatly. He told them to pray for her through Our Lady and to encourage her when things seem hard. He challenged Sandra to be open to the spirit of God and be available for mission wherever that might be. He spoke to Sandra, saying, “don`t be like some modern religious and priests who ask whether there is a network before they accept the missioning but I challenge you today to ask if there are people to serve, because you are there to evangelize the people of God.” He also assured Sandra that all the sisters are praying for her and assured her of his prayers.
Everyone was looking forward to witnessing Sandra committing herself totally to God.
Talking to Sr. Sandra about the homily, she said what touched her most was Father`s emphasis that “Sandra, you are joining when a number of sisters are leaving religious life everywhere including your congregation, therefore value and embrace the Constitutions of your congregation as you continue to learn more about the life you have chosen. Always look up to God as you keep growing and nurturing your vocation”
The liturgy was excellent. The two of us, the postulant and three aspirants did the liturgical dance. It was very good.
In the words of the song below, Sr. Sandra offers herself to the Lord, to do his will and to stay in his love.
Ngakhale zobvuta zicyhuluke Ambuye landirani mtima wanga. Cacikulu ndi cikondi, landirani mtima wanga, kwakukulu ndi kumvera, landirani mtima wanga.
Ambuye, ndabwera kudzipereka ndi mtima wanga onse, ndilandirani nditu ambuye landirani.
Cisiliro canga ndi cakuti Ambuye, ndikagwire nchito yanu.
Potsiriza pake ndisilira Ambuye, ndikaone nkhope yanu.