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300 years of religious commitment

On Sunday, July 21, Emmaus Centre, Arima was the venue for the jubilee celebration of five Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny. Surrounded by the daughters of Anne Marie Javouhey (1779–1851), family members, friends and Cluny Associates, these Sisters all renewed their vows to continue to serve in joy and gladness: “With a joyful heart, O Lord my God, I give all to you”.

Sr Reina Loe Sack Sioe, celebrated her Platinum Jubilee (70 years of Religious Profession). Her sister Lyn Anne (USA) surprised her by being present. Her niece, Annette Marie, a religious sister of another order, also took the journey for this momentous occasion.

Srs Magdalen Fields and Augustine Quarless celebrated their Sapphire Jubilee (65 years). Both of them spent many years ministering in our West African Province—Sr Magdalen for 15 years and Sr Augustine for 31 years in Sierra Leone and Gambia. Srs Dorothy Daniel and Esther Maharaj celebrated their Golden Jubilees.

The work in the vineyard of these five jubilarians would have taken them to Tobago, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica. Many are the stories they tell of bygone missionary efforts, amazingly valiant and often amusing.

The chief celebrant was our Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu. In his vibrant homily, he shared with us that at the time of the Biafran War in Nigeria, he was just a young child of about seven, and that his country, and he, owed so much to the missionaries who worked in the eastern part of Nigeria. Concelebrating with him were Vicar General Fr Martin Sirju, Fr Ferdinand Warner OP, and Fr Harold Imamshah.

The choir and musicians were led by Sr Lorraine Joseph SJC and the Trinity song which was chosen as the Meditation Hymn aptly sums up the sentiments of the jubilarians:  “Father in my life I see/ You are God who walks with me/ You hold my life in your hand/ Close beside you I will stand/ I give all my life to you/ Help me Father to be true.”

Our Foundress, Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey, was specially recalled in the Recessional  Hymn: ‘Each Day Lord’,  a composition of Sr Augustine Quarless. The chorus speaks of the motto of our Congregation: ‘The Holy Will of God’. “Each day Lord, let us say, Like Anne Marie Javouhey, ‘My God I will obey, Your Will be done today’.”

We thank our Apostolic Nuncio for celebrating with us, and all others who contributed in any way, to the joy of that memorable occasion.—Sr Ann Harris SJC