Servants of faith celebrate silver jubilees

Reaching 25 years of faithful service comes with sacrifice and requires total dedication.

04 March 2019 | Local News

Anton Van Wyk; Parish member; “Today we say to you “well done, good and faithful servants”.

The air was filled with songs of joy as a Catholic bishop, four priests and a brother jointly celebrated their silver jubilees at the Stella Maris parish in Walvis Bay.

Priests, brothers, sisters, hundreds of faithful, families, friends and the Minister of Fisheries and Marine resources Bernard Esau, were amongst those who flocked to the harbour town to join the six Oblates of Mary Immaculate order members for the occasion.

In welcoming the “Jubilarians”, Bishop Evans Chinyemba, Fr Patric Chiso, Fr Freeborn Kibombwe and brother Max Makwacheya (all from Zambia), Fr Anthony Mbeki (South Africa) and Fr Erastus Shimbome (Namibia), De Duine Secondary School principal Anton van Wyk explained that silver jubilee celebrations mark 25 years of religious life and service in God's vineyard.

“The practice of calling 25 years as 'silver' dates back to medieval Germany. Silver is thought to be one of the most stable metals. Silver does not easily combine with other elements to form impurities. It remains pure. It was thought that there must be some stable unity and harmony for any relationship to last for 25 years.”

He added that the word jubilee stems from the Aramaic word which means “trumpet blast” and pointed out that a special occasion such as the one being celebrated, was an opportunity to sound the trumpets.

“You are however not here to blow our own horns, but to celebrate the gift of brotherhood. So let us 'sound the trumpet in the community' to signal that Jesus is present with us until the end of time, in the priest who consecrates the bread and in the people of God who form the Eucharist body we call the church.”

Van Wyk said that the Jubilarians were worthy servants in Christ's vineyard. “As we honour you today, as we give you respect and earthly praise, we all know that your true reward, is the one that will be bestowed upon you in the kingdom of God. Today we say to you 'well done, good and faithful servants'.”

The Jubilarians renewed their vows and professed the promises of chastity, poverty and obedience for life they made to God during the celebration of holy mass which formed part of the proceedings. They were also showered with gifts and shared a meal at with guests.

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