On Sunday the 26th of July, we celebrated as a Unit, our patronal feast and the jubilees of our confreres, in our mission house in Queen’s Park. Despite the Covid-19 restrictions but following the safety measures, we had a low key but jubilant celebration. In most parishes of the archdiocese of Bulawayo, public Masses were not celebrated as the State President had issued a directive to suspend public gatherings completely as the Covid-19 cases were increasing much faster in the country especially in the two main cities of Harare and Bulawayo. So we celebrated the Eucharist in the chapel and had a simple lunch in the cloisters.
Our Jubilarians were Brother Roland Altmansperger, who was celebrating his Diamond Jubilee (60 years) of religious profession (in absentia) , Fr Anton “Mqwayi” Jansen, who was celebrating his Golden Jubilee (50 years) of priestly ordination and Fr Philemon Mlilo who was celebrating thanksgiving for his 50th birthday.
In his homily focusing on the parable of the man who found a hidden treasure in a field and sold everything to buy the field, which was the gospel of the day, Fr Provincial Adrian Maqhawe described the celebration of the jubilees as a celebration of each of our confreres having found the treasure of their vocation sometime in their youth, then leaving everything to embrace that treasure which is the religious and priestly treasure.
Our brothers in initial formation, the candidates, helped with the braai for lunch. Fr Anton gave a speech of his appreciation reminiscing from the time he joined the congregation, the many years he spent in the different missions of the then Diocese of Bulawayo until his last station of Our Lady of Fatima, Pumula South which was built intentionally to be a Marian Shrine in the city of Bulawayo. The afternoon was spent with a fraternal social. Respecting and observing the Covid-19 safety measures, we dispersed at around 5:30pm