RSCJ Uganda/Kenya Province | Profiles

Living the Year of Mercy

THE DOOR OF MERCY AT NAWONATAO, KARAMOJA.

wonderful experience today. At the Catechists' meeting, at which the parish priest was unable to be present, we had decided that it is not only the Pope in Rome, the Bishop in his Cathedral and the Parish Priests in their Parishes who can open the Door of Mercy. When we wrote the program we scheduled days for us

Sisters with the Catechists to open the doors of the outstation chapels. Then, when I read the program the parish priest had prepared afterwards, there was nothing written about it.

I mentioned it to our Parish Priest on the phone and he said "It is OK"... It was not written in the program all the same. Fortunately, Roman rubrics and the like have not yet penetrated into the hearts of our people.

With my absence for a few days in the South I had forgotten that this was the day I was supposed to "open the Door of Mercy” in Nawonatao, our biggest outstation chapel.

The outcome of a Catechists' meeting that I presided over last month resulted in a wonderful experience today On arrival at the outstation I was extremely surprised to see everybody sitting under the trees and the door to the chapel closed. The young Catechist was not present because he was making his retreat with all the other trained catechists. I asked where Logit was, an old Catechist, so old that he can hardly walk. He had gone to get a gourd with water and the traditional grass for blessings.

At first I was a bit confounded, because I had prepared nothing. Then I put my wits together. Lobur, our assistant gardener, very faithful in coming to the outstation service, held the gourd while I put my hands deep into the water, invoked .the Trinity and the water was blessed. .(Excommunication from Rome ??).

The outcome of a Catechists' meeting that I presided over last month resulted in a wonderful experience today Suddenly I remembered it was the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. What could be better than to renew our baptismal promises and ask the Lord to open our hearts like the door?

Before that I recalled the story of the prodigal Son and Logit added a few words. Then we renewed our promises and improvised some prayers.

The procession to the Church door began, with the people singing "Yes, I shall arise and return to my Father” in Akaramojong. Logit opened the door and all the people, old and young, the warriors, the girls, the elders and women with babies processed in as I blessed them abundantly with water.

I could not believe that there was no shouting, no pushing; only singing, silence and recollection... As we reached the altar we began the Gloria with great exultation and the service of the Word and Communion followed as usual. I gave about 300 Communions to young women and men and some old people.

Isn’t this a wonderful experience of change and depth and simplicity shown by our Christians? And people say that Karamoja does not change ...How long have they been here to reap the fruits? I will finish wishing you a wonderful 2016 with the blessings of the book of Numbers that we read on New Year's Day.

"May Yahweh bless you and keep you. May He let his face shine on you and be gracious to you. May he uncover his face to you and bring you peace." (Numbers 6: 24-26)