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I Celebrate Jubilees (Br Vitus Echesirim Osuji)


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05/01/2010: Nigeria


On 12th December 2009 I celebrated my silver jubilee as a religious with my fellow Nigerian Brothers, my natural family members, friends and well wishers. I was privileged to be among three Brothers who celebrated their golden jubilee – Brothers Michael Oruche, Fabian Okeke, and Clement Okere. A coincidence that was remarkable for me was that 12th December was the day I had my final vow in 1992. Another noteworthy event of December 12 of this year 2009 is that I made my vow of stability. It is interesting to know that eight days after, that is, on 20th December 2009, I will celebrate my 50th birthday anniversary. What a wonderful December!

On the 5th of February 2009 I clocked twenty-five years in Marist life. My first profession was in 1984, February 5. I joined the Marist Brotherhood with the mind that I would proclaim the word of God, live good life, do good work and pray effectively devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I have always felt that my vocation is meaningful and worthwhile for the Church and the world. I have not always lived up to the ideal I foresaw before coming into religious life. I have not in the least regretted being a Marist, anyway. Rather I regret that I do not always live the holy life I for all time think and feel is simple and livable. This has made me to think sometimes that I may not become a saint because often I do not keep my resolutions that are supposed to enhance my becoming a saint. Saintly life for me is feeling daily satisfied that one is living a live that befits one’s calling, which is simply being “Christ-like.” This was the wish of St Marcellin, Our Holy Founder, for all the Brothers. I pray that this jubilee year of mine may be a starting point for me to embark more consciously on the project of becoming a saint. The sanctity I envisage will not be that which will give me inner satisfaction but that which will make all who see me or listen to me feel that they have seen or heard Jesus; that they are interacting with a Marcellin of today.

I thank all the Nigerian Marist Brothers for they have in various ways touched my life. I have touched the life of many also still remain alive. My jubilee celebration gave me the opportunity to see practically how I am loved and my vocation appreciated by not only my immediate religious family but all the people of God who in one way or the other had been in contact with me. I realized that the jubilee celebration was necessary because it was not for me as a person but for the Church as a whole. Just as the angels in heaven rejoice at the repentance of one sinner, so also joy reached many people who heard of or participated in the celebration. It was a celebration of the Church’s motherhood, the celebration of faithfulness and the celebration of perseverance. My fervent prayer is that all the faithful may do the will of God by responding to their true vocation in life.

Br Vitus Echesirim Osuji, fms

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