The 16th January was drawing near and plans were being made to celebrate Sr. Rosemary’s Golden Jubilee. What to do?! Since coming to Konzaalendo we never had Mass in our house so we thought that this would be a fitting occasion to have Mass celebrated for the community. Fr. Martin Hancock was approached and he willing agreed. Next who to invite?
Sr. Rosemary wanted to invite some of the elderly women who live in the vicinity. Nine were approached and were delighted to be invited even though they had little idea of what it was about. The majority of those selected are feeble and unable to walk to church. This was an opportunity for them to attend Mass and to meet each other. Some were collected from their homes, others were escorted by family members. On meeting there was great rejoicing as they all knew each other and it was a real reunion for them. This added joy and also thanksgiving to the jubilee celebration. The catechist and his wife were also invited. One fear was that the road might be impassable and Father would be unable to travel. However, the rain stayed away and all was well.
The Mass was scheduled for 10.am but the guests arrived hours before that. Mass was in the Chichewa language and all joined in the singing and responses. Afterwards a delicious meal of chicken, rice and cold drinks was served. Every morsel was savoured and then followed a concert of singing and dancing even though some were hardly able to stand. A delicious cake was made for the occasion even though most of the guests had never tasted cake! The cake was cut with great ceremony with all standing around and each one was served a piece. It was a little too sweet for them and they asked for a bag to take it home to their grandchildren. So what was not consumed was taken home in a bag mixed together with rice!
All went home with a gift of a chitenge which was much appreciated. Those who had difficulty in walking were taken home by Sr. Rosemary. The enjoyment was such that at the end one old lady said, ‘You must call us again!’ This was the first Golden Jubilee celebration in Konzaalendo and we pray that many more may follow.
We end with a saying of our Foundress who at all times found joy in the service of our loving Father. “Thanks be to our good God for all his mercies! and truly we have many to be grateful for collectively and individually” 26th October 1840
Unfortunately one member of the community was in hospital and missed the celebration. Thank God she is home and well again.