The Religious Sisters of Charity in the Nigerian Region, have had many causes to be grateful for ‘New Life and Formation’ in 2011. Here are just some of the reasons…
On the 25th of July 2011, our Congregation was blessed with the entrance of seven women into the Postulancy. They had been in the process of discernment with us for more than a year prior to their entrance. They have been settling in very well and receiving various inputs and participating in various activities that will enable them to gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their relationship with God and the Congregation. They went for their apostolic experience to our various communities on the 30th of November and spent about six weeks with the communities. We ask you to continue to support them with your prayers.
In the same vein, three young women were received into the Novitiate on 28th August 2011. They have been receiving instructions, at both Congregational and Inter-Congregational level, that would help in their relationship with self, others and God. They are settling in well, and they are eager to learn more about the Charism of the Congregation. We ask you to pray for them, that they will continue to receive the grace of perseverance for the journey, as they discern their vocation.
TERTIANSHIP AND FINAL PROFESSION OF SR. RITA NNEKA AJUA.
Sr. Rita attended a Tertianship program for two months in preparation for her final vows. Earlier in the year she made a 30 Day Retreat at the Jesuit Centre, Benin City, Nigeria. This year the Tertianship program took place from the 30th May until the 28th July 2011 at the National Renewal Centre of the Conference of Major Religious Superiors at Iva Valley, Enugu, Nigeria. Seven Congregations were in attendance with a total number of 25 Temporary Professed Sisters. The Centre is presently being run by the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ. (IHM) The Tertianship is a period of study, strict discipline and prolonged reflection on the Tertian’s life, experiences, vows, Congregation and Church activities in both local and international dimensions. Tertians also learn about each other’s Congregations, thereby removing prejudice and deepening mutual respect. It is intended to lead Tertians to a spiritual and apostolic renewal.
The Final Profession of Sr. Rita Ajua took place on 17th September, 2011 at St. Michael, Raphael and Gabriel Catholic Church, Satellite Town, Lagos. The day began with rain, which was a ‘rain of blessing’. Mass commenced at 11.00.am, and the principal celebrant was Rev. Fr. Jude Ossai OSA. He was Rita’s catechism teacher for Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation before he joined the Order of St. Augustine. The homily was given by Rev. Fr. Fidelis Okparachi C.S.S.R. He took his reflections from the readings chosen for the profession (Is. 58:7-10; Phil.3:8-9; and Mark 2:1-12). He said:
“Rita, today you are saying: I will follow Christ forever in the Congregation of the Religious Sisters of Charity - in obedience to your Superiors, caring for the poor as your fourth vow draws you to Christ to go wherever you are sent. To own nothing but have everything; loving all people without any strings attached; doing what the world thinks is foolish; having faith in the one who called you. Remain focused on him for healing, love, forgiveness and care through living in community.
Rita, you share things with your Foundress Mother Mary Aikenhead- she was the first child of her father, a convert to Catholicism just like yourself. So, keep faith in Christ as she did.”
During the Mass Sr. Rita pronounced her vows, dedicating her life totally to God. There were eight Priests, one deacon and a seminarian and many Religious from women’s Congregations and our own Congregation of RSCs. There was great jubilation during and after the Mass. It was a happy day for Sr. Rita, her family, friends and for the Congregation of the Religious Sisters of Charity as they increase in number. We give God thanks. May we continue to grow from strength to strength!!!
Rita’s home parish organized a reception on her behalf on 25th September at Immaculate Conception Parish, Delta State, Nigeria. It was another day of joy for her family, the whole village, parishioners, Religious Sisters of Charity and Daughters of Charity and the whole of Warri Diocese as the Bishop was represented by the Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Bernard Olagba and other priests within and outside the diocese.
To God be the glory for all happened because of the love of God. ‘It is the Lord’s doing because with Him nothing is impossible’. Mother Mary Aikenhead, pray for us and imbue us with your spirit. Amen.