By Sister Bernice Asare-Badu, CSC
In one of the local songs in Ghana, "Se biribi papa wo aseda akyi," there is a sentence that translates, “If there was a better way of expressing our gratitude, we would have done it in abundance.” This was the energy and spirit conveyed as people gathered together to celebrate, with the Sisters of the Holy Cross in Ghana, the perpetual professions of Sisters Monica Assifuah-Nunoo, Renatta Jutta Essien, Callista Tetteh, Lelia Santah and Cynthia Godia Bienaan. The August ceremony took place at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Catholic Church in Cape Coast, Ghana.
The joyous event began with a vigil prayer the night before, where sisters shared vocation stories of their beginnings. Their unique experiences of God’s invitation to consider a vocation affirmed how God does not choose people based on the standard of our world. It is not the flawless, the strong or the expert, but the weak, and even the broken that God chooses to manifest his glory. In the sisters’ stories, we learned that having a call from God is not about us, who we are or what we can do, but it is about who God is and what he wants to accomplish in us and through us.
The readings—taken from Jeremiah 1:4-10, Ephesians 1:3-10, Luke 1-46-56 and the Psalm, featuring the song “Be Not Afraid” by Bob Dufford, reminded us of God manifesting himself to us, like the people of Israel as they walked through the desert to the promised land. God’s presence assured them of support and protection through the journey.
The sisters stood with poise as their names were called for examination. The serenity that filled the room reverberated with the full presence of the triune God and the angels as the choir led the entire Congregation in chanting the Litany of the Saints. The presider, Archbishop Charles G. Palmer-Buckle of Cape Coast, shared his words of wisdom, stated that Christians, and especially sisters, are called to be signposts and lampposts as our lives should be an example to many. We are prophets to the nations to lead with integrity and virtue and to enlighten minds about God and the universe he created. Congregation President Sister M. Veronique (Wiedower) accepted the sisters’ vows, and the Congregation sang, drummed and danced up to the altar to congratulate the sisters on their commitment and for saying “yes” to God and his unconditional love.
The day ended with a banquet where friends and family joined the sisters celebrating with food and dancing. It was indeed a joyful day for our five sisters and all of us who witnessed this beautiful occasion. We thank God for the life of our sisters and the joy they brought to us. We are grateful to God for their journey of growth, for trusting and for being in tune with God’s love.