Sister Magdalene Umoh, SSND is a newly professed sister ministering in Lokomasama Secondary School, Sierra Leone. She shares here her recent experience at the school.
The Feast of All Saints, celebrated on the first of November 2013 strengthened the bonds of communal worship amongst Christians and Muslims at Lokomasama Secondary School, Petifu Junction, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is a country that is over 50% Muslim. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist took place at the school hall with Father Samura, the school chaplain, as the presider. Both Muslims and Christians on staff participated fully in this event, which was amazing.
Coincidentally, the feast of All Saints fell on a Friday, a prayer day for our Muslim bothers and sisters. Yet, this did not interfere with the turnout but was rather impressive with the full collaboration of the students.
The pastor took time explaining to the congregation why the day is special and important for the Catholics, likening it to the African belief in the ancestors. The pastor shared in his reflection that saints were ordinary people whose life of holiness left legacies and imprints for others to follow through their work of goodness, charity, caring and loving services towards humanity and all of creation. He briefly outlined the processes of canonizing one to sainthood using the late pope John Paul II. He explained all the miracles expected through the intercession of the deceased. This was very interesting and powerful as the non Catholics listened attentively with awe and wonder, some with curiosity and amazement expressed on their faces.
He concluded by inviting all to strive for holiness by embracing life’s reality with patience and complete trust in God. Also, he added that we are saints if we do what is expected of us by God with love as the driving force in the ordinary events and our encounter with others.The mass ended with the special blessing of the SS 4 (Senior Secondary 4th year) candidates who at this time are preparing to write the West African Senior Certificate Examination this coming March. Personally, it was one of the most beautiful gatherings of sharing our faith, hope and love with courage and great hope and audacity because love cannot wait………….