It was a very beautiful morning, bright though, promising the blessings of rain on Saturday, the 28th day of August, 2021 as Sr. Francisca and Sr. Blessing made their Perpetual Profession at Our Lady of the Waters Cathedral, Bomadi, Delta State, Nigeria.
Present to grace the occasion were the Bishop of Bomadi Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Hyacinth Oroko Egbebo (MSP), Priests and Consecrated Persons from within and outside the diocese and country. It was an international celebration with Sr. Clare Moomba and Sr. Helen Namutami from the Zambian / Malawi Region, the families of the professed Sisters, friends and well-wishers in attendance.
Joyfully, the celebration began with procession at about 11:00am and all sang beautifully while dancing to the melody of the instruments. In his homily, Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo commended Sr. Francisca and Sr. Blessing for persevering in their religious vocation and not giving up like the rich man in the Gospel who went away sad after Jesus told him what was required for perfection. He likened the Sisters to Mary the sister of Lazarus who in Jesus’ words had chosen the better part which will not be taken away from her. He encouraged the Sisters and admonished them to remain steadfast and take seriously their Vows of Perpetual Chastity, Poverty and Obedience. Bishop Egbebo summed up his homily with the famous quote of St. Augustine whose memorial was on that same day, “You have made us for yourself O Lord and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
With hearts filled with joy, the priests, consecrated persons, family and friends joined the newly finally professed Sisters as they danced to the sanctuary in thanksgiving to God.
The reception followed immediately after Mass at the Church hall with lots of activities such as singing, cultural dance by various groups, cutting of cake, presentation of gift items, and lots of photographs.
Looking at the faces of the celebrants, one could see their joy, for it revealed how happy they felt being showered with so much love and prayers.
In her reflection on vocation, Sr. Francisca Obosherinor expressed, “Looking back on my journey these past years, my vocation is a divine mystery that has left me speechless. Though I am not worthy, I am convinced that God has a purpose for my life. Words cannot express my gratitude to God, the leadership team, my loved ones, and all those who journeyed with me to this stage. My heart echoes daily the words of the Psalmist; how can I repay the Lord for His goodness to me, the cup of salvation I will raise I will call on the Lord’s name. Blessed be God!”
Describing her experience, Sr. Blessing Ekanem wrote, “On the 28th of August, 2021, the weather wept for joy repeatedly and cooled the atmosphere. I woke up with a challenge from the Lord to behold the cross of Christ. The day has finally come when I will say a big yes to Jesus eternally. A feeling of fear and excitement consumed me. As I walked into the sacristy in preparation for procession, I saw men and women who have preceded me on this journey of faith and I realized that I am not alone. The ceremony was beautiful and reflective. I felt the support of family, both biological and religious. I look to the future with hope and courage, trusting in the power of the one who has called me to see me through to the end”.
We pray for Sr. Francisca and Sr. Blessing as they continue to say yes to God daily that the joy of this day will forever remain fresh in their hearts. What else shall we say, indeed the Lord has done great things for us, Holy is his name!
Sr. Comfort Asibe RSC