11 November, 2020
By Veronica Ufomba, SHCJ, Novice Director
Who would have imagined that the mustard seed that Cornelia Connelly planted in Derby, England, over 175 years ago would have grown to become a big tree in Africa? Did Cornelia imagine that? Perhaps, she did, but it did not come to fruition in her time. True dreams never die! At their appointed time God brings our dreams to realization.
Each year, God continues to increase the branches of Cornelia’s mustard seed. On 14th September, 2020, five novices became parts of the branches of this expanding tree when they made their first profession of vows, and on 3rd November, 2020, an initiation ceremony took place at the SHCJ Novitiate community where eight were received as first year novices. These novices are Lynda Akujobi, Theresa David, Peace Deshi, Abigail Ihuoma, Patricia Ikagba, Mary Iorkyaa, Jessica Nwanegbo and Mary Winner Opara. They joined the ten second-year novices, making eighteen novices of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus at present.
At their reception, Sr. Helen Ebede, the province leader, reminded them that the road for this journey can be both smooth and rough, and the necessity of prayerfulness and attentive listening to God in order to properly discern their vocation. Furthermore, she reiterated the importance of studying the Constitutions of the Society, and its application to their lives, inner freedom, openness to formation, integration and good relationships with everyone in community.
At the end of the ceremony, there was a festive meal. Every member of the community who was available participated in this joy of welcoming our future hopes, and the novices were filled with the joy of the Lord.