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Star of Sea Parish commences Golden Jubilee Celebration

May 12, 2010, 1:13 PM | Article By: Augustine Kanija

Fifty years ago, the Bakau Parish came into being. This time round, the old and new parishioners gather to celebrate aloud their successes and anticipation for the future of their Church amidst the self-reliance drive among others.

The new Parish Pastoral Council, the priests and parishioners have seen the need to put their Church's name on the developmental calendar of The Gambia. A series of activities have been earmarked this May to celebrate their achievements. The celebration started just last Sunday with one Mass for the Star of the Sea and the Holy Family Churches forming the Star of the Sea Parish.

The Mass started with a procession, from the Bank PHB at Bakau just close to the Methodist Church, walking solemnly passed the Bakau market to the Church that has stood there for fifty years, for which the Church is celebrating. The Bishop Emeritus, Michael Cleary CSSp, Rev. Fr. Peter Jammeh CSSp and the Parish Priest, Louis T. Mendy, who were the chief celebrants, were among the dignitaries present. The Mass was characterised by the presence of the many Catholics, in joy and praise giving, coupled with thanks giving.

In his usual sermon, Fr. Mendy CSSp reiterated the early Christians come together and do things in common, in love and unity. But he observed that today they only get reports on stolen money. "The Holy Spirit will not guide us if we quarrel for money. People should complaint on pastoral issues. If we quarrel we drive the Holy Spirit away," he said.

He said that the gathering was to remember when their Church was built. The Church, he said, is about peace, love and unity.

"Allow the Spirit to guide us. Each Christian should try to carry out their pastoral duty," he said.

Fr. Louis further said that the Bible says that one should keep away from strangled animal and fornication or living together without marriage. "When people who live together are challenged they will tell you they have already been married traditionally. But remember there is always the need for God's blessings," he said.

"Parish Pastoral Council should talk about Pastoral issues, and they are to know every parishioner and to know their needs. We need money to buy little things like books and fix drums and not to show that we are a self-reliant Church." "I am not saying that money is not important but we should not loose sight of the right things," he said.

Quoting St. Francis, Fr. Louis says, "God make me an instrument of thy peace. Peace is very important. Make peace in your neighbourhood. No matter how small our Christian community is we should be the salt of the earth," he concluded.

Mr. Joe Njie outlined the activities of the celebration and said they were braced for all the activities. He urged parishioners to be part of the activities.

He revealed that there will be concert on Saturday 15th May by Star of the Sea Choir, Sponsored Walk on 22nd May, and the closing Mass will fall on the 30th May 2010.

The celebration according to some parishioners is the peak of all celebrations because those who were there fifty years ago are not there again to celebrate with them. In fifty years to come again they claim, may not be around to celebrate the 100th anniversary. There are many children of those who were there fifty years ago one of them is Catherine Sambou, who now remembers the good priests that have worked at the Star of the Sea Parish for a long time. "I remember the late Fr. Flynn, Fr. Hogan, Fr. Fagan and Fr. Smith," she said. Others remembered many others including, Fr. Joe Boafo and Fr. Pius Gidi, all belonging to the Spiritan Congregation, who worked assiduously to lift the parish banner high.