It was a day of great joy in Lagos when Sr. Cynthia Odinakachukwu Nwaichi RSC, professed her Vows in perpetuity to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ through a life of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience as a Religious Sister of Charity. The aura of joy that filled the atmosphere was beautiful as she pledged to devote her life to the Service of the Poor.
The occasion which took place on Saturday 30th April 2022 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Kirikiri, Lagos State, Nigeria. Sisters from the RSC’s different communities were in attendance along with two Sisters from the General Leadership Team, Sr. Geraldine Hamukale RSC and Sr. Jacinta Boland RSC. It provided an opportunity for a wonderful celebration involving family, kinsmen, and parishioners and priests coming together.
The ceremony began with Holy Mass with His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, DD, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos as the Chief Celebrant. In his homily, Archbishop Martins, thanked God who calls and empowers the ‘called’. Dwelling on the Congregational Motto, “The Love of Christ Urges Us On”, the Archbishop encouraged Sr. Cynthia to anchor her strength on the love of Christ as referenced in 2 Corinthians 5:14. He encouraged Sr. Cynthia to cast her trust in Jesus Christ as her first motto expressed, “Jesus I Trust in You” and advised to learn from the disciples and from St. Maria Faustina Kowalska who is associated with the motto. In accordance with her second motto, “The Lord is my Light and my salvation”, Archbishop prayed “may the Lord continue to be Sr. Cynthia’s light and may eternal salvation not elude her. Amen”.
As is the tradition in Nigeria, all in attendance accompanied Sr. Cynthia with gifts to the altar whilst dancing and singing in thanksgiving and praise to our Lord.
On this great day, Sr. Cynthia reflects, “This is the day the Lord has made! It is a song I will sing forever in my heart. My heart rejoices and sings praise to the Lord as I made my Final Profession of Vows in the Congregation of the Religious Sisters of Charity. It is a memorable day for my religious family. It is also a significant day and threefold cerebration for my biological family because it is the birthday of my mother and my younger sister. I give thanks to God for everything. It is indeed a learning experience but it is also a privilege to be counted among the Sisters to continue the service to humanity especially to the poor.”
The second part of the celebration took place in the Church, comprising of different entertainment such as the breaking of kolanuts, cutting of cake, toasting of wine and cultural dances. Different dancing groups provided tradition and colour and it was a pleasure to see Sr. Cynthia enjoying the activities along with her parents, fellow Sisters and her friends.
Together with Venerable Mary Aikenhead, we pray, “May our Lord increase labourers for His own vineyard, Amen. Amen. (20th October 1845).
Sr. Francisca Adanna Ahumibe RSC