September 8, 2018, the Birthday of our Blessed Mother Mary, was yet another day of blessing, rejoicing and sincere gratitude to God for the Pauline Family in Nigeria! The community of Lagos was privileged to host the First Religious Profession and vestition of our two Novices, John Okoh and Sixtus Onuoha.
The Holy Mass was presided over by Rev. Fr Jikson Mullasseril, Provincial Councillor, Novice Master and Delegate of the Community of Lagos. Pauline priests, representing Ibadan, Enugu and Port Harcourt and a few priests from the neighbouring communities and parishes concelebrated with him. Many religious sisters, relatives of the newly-professed, parishioners of St Paul’s Church, Iju, and members of the Pauline Family were present to participate in the historic event.
After the First Profession of John and Sixtus, four junior brothers – Desmond Shinshimia, James Edeh, Michael Muogbo and Valentine Obukaneme – renewed their religious profession.
During his homily, Fr Jikson reflected upon the importance of ‘call and consecration’. “God calls and consecrates those whom he chooses even from our mother’s wombs,” he said. This might seem absurd and foolish in the eyes of the world. But for those whom He calls, it is a matter of joyful surrender to God’s will just as Mary, our Blessed Mother surrendered her life to God. We too need to respond to our consecration totally and completely. He proposed to the newly professed four effective weapons to help remain steadfast in our consecrated life: Holy Eucharist, Holy Bible, Prayer and Devotion to Mary. If we use these four weapons in our daily life, we can combat and win over any temptation and persevere in our vocation. Fr Jikson also urged the Christian community to support the newly professed with constant prayer and encouragement.
The events of the day came to an end with a short reception and dinner for all those present. We thank the community of Lagos under their leadership of Fr Jikson for meticulously planning and ably organizing the event to the satisfaction of all. As Brothers John and Sixtus have responded to the call of God to offer themselves to Him and for His service in the Pauline Family, we wish them boundless joy and fulfillment in their lives and assure them of our prayerful support and encouragement to persevere in their total YES to God for the rest of their lives.