By Sister Mary Mildred Umeh IHM
This special occasion took place on the 8th June 2013 with a ‘High Mass’ celebrated by Bishop David McGough at Our Lady and St. Benedict Catholic Church Abbey Hulton, Stoke on Trent. Religious Orders/Congregations were represented; friends, parishioners, neighbours and lots of people came for this celebration, together with the priests who concelebrated with Bishop David McGough.
There were varieties in the mass: Hymns were sung in different languages with drums, gong and other musical instruments; there was a liturgical dance for offertory by two Sisters and some children (mists). During the offertory procession flowers were presented by the Sisters and the Golden Jubilerian carried her special Golden Candle as an offer of themselves to God.
After Holy Communion the Bishop presented a Papal Blessing from the Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ to Sr. Mary De Chantal (Golden Jubilerian).
Then there was the blessing of a statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, after which all the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with lighted candles consecrated themselves, their Congregation, works, friends, families, brethren, benefactors and countries fully to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Act of Consecration is done every year by the Sisters on the feast of Immaculate Heart of Mary, showing total dependence on Mary, Mother of mercy and compassion; at the same time imploring her aid to make us pure like herself and to live our lives of ‘Total Consecration’ to our Divine Spouse Jesus Christ.
The Church ceremony came to a close with a group picture with the Golden Jubilerian, all the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart present, the Bishop and the clergy. The celebration continued with the cutting of the Jubilee cake and other entertainment and lunch at Our Lady and St. Benedict’s Catholic Primary School Hall.
I am very grateful to God for this special day; for the nice weather, all that responded to our invitation for everyone that contributed to the success of this ceremony. It was a ‘FABULOUS’ celebration. ‘To God be the glory’. Many more fruitful years in God’s Vineyard to Sr. Mary De Chantal; CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!