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Holy Family and the New Presbytery

Oct 22, 2008, 6:32 AM | Article By: Augustine Kanjia

The Catholic Church, in its positive stride to bring God very close to the people has always seen the need where the need is greatest. And such is the new presbytery built at the HolyFamilyChurch at Bakau. The project was started under the then parish priest, Rev. Fr. Pius Gidi CSSp. The baton changed when Rev. Fr. Louis Mendy CSSp took over as the new parish priest of the Stella Maris parish in Bakau. Panorama writes about the opening and what the presbytery means to the Catholic community of the area.

The Holy Family 'Church of the Stella Maris parish in Bakau, comprising Star of the Sea and Holy Family churches, under the new leadership converged at the Holy Family to celebrate the official opening of the presbytery opened by Bishop Ellison CSSp during children's First Communion this year.

The Catholic Women Association and Parish Council, is said to have worked relentlessly to facilitate the erection of the new presbytery in the church's compound for their priests. It was a joy seeing parishioners of both the Star of the Sea and the Holy Family filled the church to capacity to celebrate the day. People were asked to bring food and drink and shared it freely to those who had or did not have. The spirit of giving compounded the occasion and joy overwhelmed the place.

Rev. Fr. David Jimoh Jarju, the Vicar General, in his sermon praised the parish and says, "Every time I come to this parish is during a big programme. Bakau parish is now known for their big programmes and doing big things," He further emphasised the need to continue with what they have been doing as the Catholic Church in The Gambia is now self-reliant and Stella Maris is on the right track.

The presbytery that stands on the entrance of the HolyFamilyChurch, is a shinning example to other Catholic churches because it is born from the heart of the parishioners and priest. St. Therese has a branch that was built at Kanifing is another example of the love for the people that now serves the community bringing Muslims and Christians together.

Fr. Louis Mendy CSSp stands high to help parishioners from his offices at the new presbytery. He shares his office hours between the two churches. He is happy to be at the helm of things and has urged parishioners to do the right thing and help the parish grow. He urged those who are yet to be abreast with the reality to change. He has also urged the youth to know their responsibilities and to avoid taking upon themselves what the elderly would take. "You have the whole world infront of you, yours is to explore it and make it a better place for you, your families and the world at large. But this should start from here and what you are not what you would be. Remember, what you are today is what you would be tomorrow," he says.

Mrs. Yadicorn Njie-Eribo, one of the prominent parishioners, said the new presbytery is a good idea and that it has given rise to showing parishioners that they have their own parish house to call their own. Others believe that the two churches may become separate parishes with the advent of more priests in the priesthood.

The celebration continued with eating and drinking for the rest of the day. The beauty of the house could be seen from outside and inside. "But cleaning the floor after it rains has been a question on the lips of Fr. Louis Mendy CSSp who cleans up. The tap is beautiful but needs adjustment to stop the water from wasting. It need adjustment from rain and the taps or else work would be too much on our parish priest," says a concerned parishioner who prefers anonymity.