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Jan 03 - 05, 2013 Bamenda:Our Lady of Lourdes College Golden Jubilee Celebrations.

LESAns make a trip to Sr Mary Hewson's Grave in Philadelphia


Hello Sisters,

I know many are anxiously waiting to hear about our Pilgrimage to Pa and I will make it brief.

Despite the cold February 11th 2012 weather, the following sisters namely (Aunty Rose Nkamsi, Dr Lucie Ngongbo,Mafor Edwan,Sister Maryanne Chindo, Sister Brig Nkamsi, MaryAnne Nkamsi, Sister Clarice Odupitan,Jenka Dzekashu and my humble self Rosemary) embarked on this very Historic journey not only to connect with the Holy Rosary Sisters in the America but also to lay a wreath at the tombstone of our visionary mother, Late Rev Sister Mary Hewson who was laid to rest 28 years ago at the age of 49 years.

Sister Cla was also accompanied by her husband Mr. Odupitan and their three kids while we drove in another van with Rev Fr Emmanuel Fale. The trip started with prayers led by Fr Fale and was ended with the Rosary.
We sang throughout the entire trip as our able Chauffeur Sister Bri steadily cruised our Van.

Sister Cla and family had arrived an hour before our Van made it to Pa around 1pm and we all drove to the convent singing “Tap your sabots, Bernadette”. The sisters rushed out to welcome us as we all sang and jumped out of our cars one by one and you could feel the mother daughter bond as we all hugged each other and exchanged greetings. We were all EXTREMELY overwhelmed with excitement beyond description. As we were ushered to the living room, the joy in the air could be felt as everyone randomly took pictures. After a 15 minutes greeting session, we were all Ushered to the Chapel where the mass took place.

The Mass
I won’t go into details of the Mass but my catch phrase from the sermon was a appeal by Fr Fale to all Lourdes Ex students to reach out beyond and sponsor a child’s education. He reminded us that he was from an EXTREMELY poor family and had made it through the seminary through the help of donors. At some point in his educational journey, his tuition was paid by a Holy Rosary sister whom he does not know till date so he felt much honored to be part of this historic event. At the end of the mass, we were given a formal welcome by Rev Sister Florence Enechukwu who was extremely proud of us for this initiative. Our surprise guest at the Mass was Late Rev Sister Hewson’s niece Catherine who was very emotional throughout. She could not believe that her aunt had impacted so many lives and she promised to send a word to her mom who still lives in Ireland. All the sisters at the convent were truly very grateful and blessed by our presence and encouraged us to stay true to our values.

The trip to the Cemetry
About 20 of us including the sisters later drove to Pa Arch diocese cemetery where Sister Hewson was buried. As you must have seen from the pictures, she shares a tomb with another sister. Fr Fale again led us in prayers and sister Cla said a POWERFUL prayer on behalf of all Ex students of Our lady of Lourdes. Sister Cla had made a similar prayer intention at the mass and I know Sister Mary Hewson will make sure all her children will be united as one.

We were given a brief history of all the other sisters buried at the cemetery with Rev Sister Hewson and coincidentally, they had all worked in different parts of Africa. The atmosphere was very spiritual and some sisters broke down in tears. We spent about 30 minutes at the Cemetry and departed when we started seeing some snowflakes. At last, we had connected with Sister Mary Hewson.

Back to the Convent
We drove back in satisfaction and settled down to share the meals we had prepared. Sister Lucie explained the symbol of Cry die Corn and groundnut which she had prepared. We just had enough food for all of us and everyone ate to their satisfaction. Sister Rose Nkamsi stole the spotlight as we had a surprise birthday cake for her. Lastly, we had envelopes for the Sisters from the Alumnae which we presented, an envelope for Fr. Fale and another envelope from Aunty Lucie’s classmates.

Everyone brought gifts for the convent ranging from paper towels, toilet rolls, washing detergent, cooking oil etc which the sisters appreciated SO VERY much.

Sister Cla and family left and we followed suit a few minutes later around 3.45pm. We all hugged each other for the last time, said our final goodbyes and opened a new chapter that will forever keep the bond between our Rosary Sisters and the Lesa community stronger than ever.

I had calls from some of our sisters in Dc who would have loved to go if the date did not coincide with V day bash but again, there is always a next time. As we look forward to bigger things for Les, Lesa and Lesans, May we all remember one thing, we are all apples from the same tree and may we start watering the tree today so that each apple that falls from it will look beautiful and alike.

There is a reason that God made this possible at this time when we are all looking forward to celebrating our 50th Golden Jubilee. Listen to God’s voice and let not your heart be troubled. It is well!!!

Sister Hewson’s niece remembered having a pen pal when her aunt was in Lourdes whom she had lost contact with. She could not remember the name at all but I guess Sister Hewson intervened and she called out the name Una Ndengue after sooooooo many years and Sister Bri Nkamsi was able to reunite them. What an awesome experience of God’s love and affection.

Does anyone remember the lyrics to “We Long for you Oh Lord”. Mafor started singing the song after we finished praying on our way to PA and none of us could remember the whole lyrics but this is a very DEEP SONG!!! If anyone has the lyrics, please share.

Peace and blessings.
Mrs Rosemary Ngehsab Atanga

Appreciation Message from the Sisters

Thanks to each of you for the sacrifice made to come all the way from your various cities to visit with us and to pray at  Sr. Mary Hewson's grave. It was such a powerful witness and an that the work of missionaries are never in vane. We look forward to collaborating with you in another level.

Peace to all
Sr. Florence Enechukwu, mshr

Vocation Director
Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary
741 Polo Road
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

610-520-1974" The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has sent me to bring Good News to the poor." Luke 4:18

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