The Infant Jesus Sisters in Nigeria met during the first week of September in Yola, Adamawa State. They were joined by Sr Noreen McGrath, a member of the Central Team, and Sr Francoise Ndjayo, both of whom came from Cameroun. Sr Francoise has come on mission in Nigeria, sharing her expertise in needlecraft.
As this is the year of celebrating Consecrated Life in the church, Sr Noreen came to facilitate two days of reflection on consecrated life and the sisters also worked on charting the next steps in making their vision for the future of the Nigerian District a reality. The two days of reflection were concluded with a ‘surprise’ party in honour of Sr Rebecca’s 25th Anniversary of Profession (Silver Jubilee). There was plenty of laughter, fun and food, dancing and drama!
This was followed by a preparation day for the jubilee celebration of Sr Rebecca in St Theresa’s Cathedral, Yola.
On the day of the celebration, about 300 people - parishioners, well-wishers, friends, sisters and priests - gathered in the cathedral for 10 o’clock Mass which was celebrated by the Bishop of Yola, joined by the Bishop of Jalingo and over 40 priests. It was a special celebration as Sr Rebecca Odu is the first Nigerian I.J. sister. So, her silver jubilee marks a milestone in the life of the Infant Jesus Community in Nigeria.
The Mass was followed by some wonderful entertainment, including dancing and miming by the children of the Missionary Childhood Association in Yola and traditional dances which thrilled the assembly. The first traditional dance was performed by the Tiv tribe, who enthralled the people with their typical snake-like graceful movements; many of the on-lookers joined in and both the experience of dancing and the experience of watching were almost hypnotic.
Our surprise second dance was presented by a group of Internally Displaced Persons (I.D.Ps) from the north-east of Nigeria now staying in camps in Yola Cathedral grounds, as a result of the Boko Haram activities in their area. Many of those present again joined in with them in their jubilant dance, which was in stark contrast to their current circumstances.
|It was a happy way to end the school holiday and all are returning to school with new energy.|
Photos below: The two days of reflection were concluded with a ‘surprise’ party to mark Sr Rebecca’s 25th Anniversary of Profession (Silver Jubilee). There was plenty of laughter, fun and food, dancing and drama!