The morning of 2nd July 2016 was filled with joy and gratitude because the great day, the awaited day had arrived. Indeed, all roads in Monze diocese led to St. Paul’s Parish Church. Even a good number of cars including a bus from Lusaka headed in the same direction.
We, the Religious Sisters of Charity, joyfully, set out in a Roma Girls’ minibus for Mazabuka, on that morning. The journey of more than 200 km was a time of recall and relish what the R.S.C. had given to the parishioners over the past 50 years. We were rejoicing because two of the R.S.C. in the Zambian Region are actually from St. Paul’s parish. As we drove along the road leading to Nakambala, all the faces spoke one language; joy, rejoice and dance; as they waved to us.
When we reached the church grounds, the parishioners from all the out stations had already gathered for Mass. As soon as they saw us they cheered shouting ‘ba slite baboola mba baya’- (the sisters have come here they are.) It was as if all the nations had gathered for the festival.
Yes, ‘all you nations sing out your joy to the Lord Alleluia, alleluia, was the feeling in everyone’s heart.
It was a golden jubilee, so all the clothes on the altar, the stellas, the altar boys and candle sticks had something in gold. Some of the parishioners were clad in the chitenge particularly designed for the jubilee. Fifty years as a parish journeying together in faith deserve such a gathering of people joyfully acknowledging God’s deeds among them. The Mass was celebrated by Rev. Moses Hamungole, Bishop of Monze, assisted by most of the local priests of the diocese. When the ‘Glory of God’ was attuned, the ground shook with the dancing, and jumping as the people expressed their joy and gratitude to God. The stellas punctuated the singing and dancing with the liturgical gestures. Indeed it was St. Paul’s Parish Golden Jubilee day.
Just before the Mass ended, the first catechist and his wife as well as the couple that was celebrating the 50 years of their marriage were congratulated for their contribution toward the spread of the faith in the parish. Then after Mass, the youth and altar-boys presented sketches depicting the struggles of the first priests as they tried to preach in the local language. The adults also re-told the main events that occurred in the fifty years, using the traditional way of communication by drumming and chanting.
I was thrilled to be part of the celebration and meet so many of the people that had made my stay in St. Paul’s Parish such a blessing as they contributed towards my apostolate among them. SO TO THEM AND MY GOD A ‘BIG THANK YOU’.