The CHS Family adds a new Member

Last Updated: Saturday, 14 February 2015 Published: Tuesday, 10 February 2015 Written by Gizelle Pierre-Toussaint. Photography K.J.L. Photography

Convent High School has officialised the addition of its newest member, St. Josephine Bakhita, aka the Purple House. Although the official feast of St. Bakhita is on February 8th, the inauguration mass and official launching of St. Bakhita’s House was held on Monday 9th February 2015. Nonetheless, the celebration was huge success! This momentous occasion was made even more special by celebrating the school’s 157th anniversary and the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking in conjunction. The service also served as the annual visitation by the Bishop of Roseau to the school.

The morning’s ceremony commenced with a brief welcome address by Mrs. Andrea Seaman-Williams followed by the entrance of the officiants to the hymn Sing a New Song unto the Lord. The ceremony was officiated by His Lordship, Bishop Gabriel Malzaire, Bishop of Roseau and the school’s Chaplin Monseigneur William Jno Lewis.  As always, our faithful altar servers were present to assist during the mass.

Both students and teachers were participants of the service. The bible reading- 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23- was read by Miss Sherri Jeffrey. Jyana Seaman and Ebony Lindsay, both members of St. Bakhita’s House, lead us in the Responsorial Psalm. Bishop Malzaire then read the Gospel of the day, Mark 1:29-39. Calista Ferreira and Donelle Darroux, members of St. Bakhita’s House, read the bidding prayers.

During the homily, Bishop Malzaire focused on many key points that can prove useful in each of our lives. He said that St. Josephine Bakhita, captured at around the age nine from her home, discovered Jesus in Italy when she was exposed to Christianity. St. Bakhita did many humble jobs in the church that would often be overlooked during her life. She did these jobs for the sole purpose of serving God. At CHS, both staff and students are exposed to Christianity and enlightened about God just like St. Bakhita. Thus, we are all missionaries.

He made mention that if we were to leave the school with less faith than we entered with, then our time at this institution would be futile. Another point made by Bishop Malzaire, was that contrary to the world of today’s belief that it is not what we have but who we are. St. Bakhita did not just have sainthood, she was and still is sainthood. Her good deeds live on perpetually. He urged us to keep this in mind as we go through life and made special reference to the House of St. Bakhita when making this point.

After communion, as a special reflection the Sign Language Club signed to the song Ave Maria. The girls did a remarkable job. Following the performance, the history of St. Josephine Bakhita was read by House Captain, Kerissa St. Rose. A brief history of the saint can be found on the school’s website under Clubs and Houses.  Subsequently, the members of the school’s choir who did an exceptional job in leading the hymns sang during the mass, graced us with a rendition of Shadowland from Disney’s The Lion King.  The members of St. Bakhita’s House were then blessed by the Bishop.

As the festivities of the day came to an end, Mrs. Josephine Dublin gave her vote of thanks. She reiterated on the Bishop’s earlier point where he addressed that if we leave with less faith than we came in then our time at the school was futile. Mrs. Dublin then informed us that the idea for a new house came about in 2009, the criteria needed being “a woman of worth, who is of course a saint and a black woman”. St. Bakhita then became the key candidate after researching possible saints.

Special thanks were given by Mrs. Dublin to several teachers who were present, both past and present teachers of the school. The choir and band were also thanked along with the altar servers. Mrs. Jennifer White and Mrs. Lucille Blackman were also recognized for their important roles played in inaugurating the house.  Tokens of appreciation were given by Mrs. Dublin on behalf of the school body to Bishop Malzaire for the renovation of the Roseau Cathedral and to Monseigneur John Lewis for the Catholic Radio Station. Both tokens were received with great thanks from both recipients. The celebration ended on a high note with the recessional hymn The Litany of Our Lady.

Happy Feast Day to the members of St. Bakhita’s House! May your years at the Convent High School be prosperous and many!

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