It was indeed a very joyful day for the Religious Sisters of Charity, Nigeria, as they witnessed the first profession of three Sisters – Martina Iyamah, Rosemary Egbosi and Beatrice Opia. The celebration took place on 10th September 2011, a bright sunny day in the middle of the rainy season. The family members, friends and sisters from the different communities graced the occasion.
The ceremony began with a Eucharistic celebration at about 10am, in the novitiate chapel, Ibadan. The chief celebrant was Rev. Fr. Basil Soyoye SMA. In his beautiful homily, he stressed the fact that the three Sisters – Martina, Rosemary and Beatrice are not being professed primarily for work or mission, but rather to witness for Christ in mission. Therefore, he encouraged the Sisters to have their focus on faithfulness to their commitment, which will bear fruit in mission/apostolate. Fr. Basil, urged the communities that would have Martina, Rosemary and Beatrice to welcome them as people who would be learning how to be Sisters as time goes on. He spoke on the importance of accompanying young Sisters on their initial journeys for some years after profession. According to Fr. Basil, the experiences of the first five to six years after first profession would usually determine how the rest of their lives would be. So, he encouraged everyone in the various communities to support the newly professed Sisters to live out their commitment. He also, thanked the parents of Martina, Rosemary and Beatrice for their generosity in offering their daughters to the church.
After the homily, the Sisters to be professed each made their vows publicly. They were given the Insignia of the Congregation – a gold ring and a crucifix. Also, they received the Constitutions of the Congregation, which will become their daily guide as Sisters of Charity.
At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, photographs were taken, followed by a beautiful reception in the Novitiate hall. For Martina, Rosemary and Beatrice, it was indeed a day that their biggest dream in came to reality. It is memorable event in the history of their lives. Their joy knew no bounds as they expressed their sincere gratitude to all those who have helped them respond to God’s call.