By. Sr. Rose Rushwaya O.P.
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary coincided with the Silver Jubilee celebrations of five Dominican Sisters, namely: Prisca Zhakata O.P. from Makonde, Tendai Chikutuma O.P. (from) Bikita, Violet Nyamazana O.P. (from) Mhondoro, Agnes C. Tererai O.P. (from) Gutu and Rose Rushwaya O.P. (from) Chivhu.
These entered religious life in 1990; made first profession on the 4th of December 1993. For the final vows, Srs. Prisca, Tendai and Rose professed on 2 January 2000 while Srs. Agnes and Violet professed on 6 January 2001. The special event of the jubilee was held in Harare at Veritas Club (former Italian Sports Club) on 8 December 2018.
The Silver Jubilee is an important landmark celebration on the journey of a spiritual devotee as it signals the end of the first leg of a three-part journey, namely: Silver jubilee (25 years), Golden Jubilee (50 years) and Diamond jubilee (75 years). In essence, the five sisters were celebrating 25 years of their professed vows. This being a Community celebration; it renewed, strengthened and stirred deep currency within their souls – a sense of gratitude and love for one another and for their creator.
The Rt. Rev. Bishop R. Mpandasekwa who graced the occasion encouraged the jubilarians to keep trusting in the Lord who called them. It was befitting for the five sisters on this grant occasion to come before the Lord and say: Have Mercy on us and Give us Grace as they embarked on the second leg of their spiritual life. In his profound and wide-ranging sermon, Fr. Chota, underscored three magical phrases: We Remember, We Celebrate and We Recommit. This message resonated well with the sisters desired spiritual trajectory.
On this day, the five sisters were pleased with the effort and sacrifices made by their biological and religious families, (Dominican & Non-Dominican) as well as communities and friends over the 25 years of their spiritual life. Indeed, they came to bear witness and rendered full support to these celebrations by taking time from their schedules. The attendance by various men, women and children from different villages and workplaces bear testimony to the well-known African adage, that “It takes a village to raise a child”. In this context, the whole Community took part and have continued to mould, shape, encourage and direct these sisters on their spiritual journey to this day.
Participants came from Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania and Nigeria. The Bulawayo Basilica Choir, the Dominican Youth Choir and the Dominican Sisters ‘breathed’ life into the liturgy with their spirited singing and dancing.
The five sisters are deeply indebted to everyone who supported and complemented their joy on this momentous occasion. In their own words: “Dancing crowds, thundering drums and blaring horns continue to linger in our memories.” After all had been said and done, the five sisters realized that they are indeed ONE and that they find themselves IN and THROUGH one another.