Sisters Celebrate the Year for the Priest

June 11th, 2009 to June 11th, 2010 was declared the Year for the Priest by Pope Benedict-however it had not been the most positive of times for the priests with all the hype in the media. We cannot over-emphasize the role of priests in our faith life, especially in celebrating the Eucharist. It was therefore no surprise when Sister Anne Marie informed us that as Sisters of the Eucharistic they would like to do something for the year of the priest. And again with the support of the Associates and Friends of the Sisters, we began work in earnest. On 19th of April, 2010 at Saint Michael’s parish in Halifax, the event took off, with a thanksgiving Mass presided over by Archbishop Mancini with about  30 priests in attendance.

We were celebrating the mass the African Way. What I have also learned is that when doing something for the Lord, one needs to keep saying, “Jesus I trust in you.” Personally, I wanted the church filled with people so that our priests knew they were appreciated, the weather co-operating and the presence of as many priests as possible at this mass.

I could not have been happier, to see the priests process down the aisle, the pews full and our African priests dancing in celebration. Looking at the smiles on Sister Anne Marie and Sister Joana’s face-I knew they were joyous. After the Bishop made his opening remark, the congregation, standing on their feet, gave a spontaneous applause for our priests-how could they not know they were loved and that their vocation was truly appreciated. What an overwhelming feeling watching this take place.

The mass continued and a meaningful Eucharistic procession took place. Before Sister Anne Marie had an opportunity to address the people near the end of mass the congregation stood, with hands outstretched, to give their blessing to the priests. Just before the closing prayer a few people came forth to explain how a priest had positively affected their lives. The priests were then presented with a small souvenir to show our appreciation for all they do.

Following mass, people proceeded to the church hall where a reception had been planned and the sisters danced to the beating of the African drums-some of the African priests joined in the dancing and singing. What a wonderful way to celebrate!