30 APR, 2013. On August 25 this year, Nigeria will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Novitiate in Akure. Celebrations leading up to this milestone date are already underway, and on February 23, masses were celebrated in different Nigerian SSL communities.
The sisters in the Ibadan area celebrated in grand style, in a big celebration where they all appeared in their best outfits for the Jubilee Mass at the St Louis Convent, Mokola, Ibadan. The Mass was celebrated by Francis Omolade, the Parish Priest of St Gabriel Catholic Church, Mokola. In his homily, he encouraged the sisters as consecrated persons to live lives worthy of emulation. “To whom much is given”, he said, “much is equally expected”. The sisters were urged to contribute meaningfully to the spreading of the Kingdom of God in their apostolate, particularly in the education of young girls. He recalled that the Novitiate is a place where minds are formed. “Formation is to give us re-birth. It calls us to a certain disposition of heart. Each of us has been called differently”, he said, and he went on to say that “It belongs to us to respond accordingly by using our different gifts and talents for the growth of our Province, and especially, for the greater glory of God.” The Mass was enlivened with the angelic voices of the boarding students of St Louis Grammar School, Mokola, with the assistance of the Music teacher of Louisville Nursery and Primary School. With such awe-inspiring choral renditions during the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, the day began on a beautiful note. For the rest of the day, the sisters enjoyed God's presence amongst them in all they did.
The Zonkwa community also marked the Novitiate's Golden Jubilee with a Mass celebrated by Parish Priest Benjamin Balat at St Francis Catholic Church, Zonkwa. He started by congratulating the Sisters on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Novitiate, and thanked God for those who have helped in their formation. Fr Balat also prayed for the good health of those who are alive and eternal rest for those who have passed on from this world. The Gospel reading of the day, from Matthew 5:43–48, was a call to us to become perfect as our heavenly Father is. He pointed out that the laws of the Lord are like traffic signs for us in our journey towards perfection. We need both our human effort and the grace of God to sustain us on this journey. Before the final blessings, the sisters were prayed for, as well as the Associates and Friends present at the Mass.