Hekima College community bid farewell last Friday, to Jesuits Fathers John Ghansah, SJ, rector of Hekima College and Jocelyn Rabeson, SJ, lecturer and chief librarian at Hekima College, during a solemn mass in the chapel of the College. The mass of farewell and thanksgiving was presided over by Fr Kifle Wansamo, SJ, the vice-rector of Hekima College surrounded by the two farewell priests and Jesuits deacons Firmino Wongombo Kachipato and Patrick Ngang’a Mwaganu.
In his homily on the 11th May, 2018, Fr Jocelyn acknowledged that from the time we were born, there were a lot of changes happening in our lives. Such changes are not only physical but also psychological and spiritual. For him, changes are very important for our personal growth. Commenting on the reading of the day (Acts 18:9-18; Ps 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7 Jn 16:20-23), Fr Jocelyn urged that Paul, through his conversion had gone through a big change on the road of Damascus.
“This conversion, he said, was a change not only in himself but also a change at the way he looked at the world. He became a very powerful preacher, going everywhere to witness for Jesus. Despite the attacks, trials and tribulations Paul faced, he continued to preach the Gospel with hope, without fear.” The preacher of the day invited his companions to be open to change and be filled with joy because Jesus is assuring them of his presence. ‘You will be sorrowful but your sorrow will turn into joy’ (Jn 16: 21). “As Christians and religious, he added, we are called to move away from fear and anxiety. Only our faith in Jesus gives us freedom and joy to follow our new commitments and adapt to the new changes. When we are open to the Word of God in us, we become faithful to it and embrace the command of Jesus to be his witness all around the world”.
Fathers Ghansah SJ, and Rabeson SJ: men of great desire to serve the Lord
At the end of the Eucharistic celebration which was animated by Hekima choir, the second part of the farewell celebration took place in the dining hall of the community. Addressing a word of gratitude to Fr John Ghansah, SJ, who spend six years as rector at Hekima College, Mrs Pamella Omwenga, one of the employee at Hekima, said that “Fr John Ghansah, SJ, is a man with a big heart, a heart like a hotel where everyone can have his place and dwell in peace”. She thanked the outgoing rector for his generosity to listen to everyone, for his care to all the workers and companions at Hekima. “You will be missed, she said, I only pray like Elisha that your spirit of love, care and generosity, happiness may overflow on us and may we receive from God the double of that spirit”.
Addressing a word of gratitude to Fr Jocelyn Rabeson, SJ, new appointed rector of ITCJ (Institut de la Compagnie de Jésus à Abidjan), Fr Joachim Zoundi, SJ, spiritual Father at Hekima College sang a song “on dit que partir c’est mourir un peu…” According to him, leaving Hekima College for Fr Rabeson, SJ, is like continuing to be available to serve God more and more.
Let us recall that Fr John Ghansah, SJ and Fr Jocelyn Rabeson, SJ are leaving Hekima Community after serving the theologate for 6 years as rector and 12 years as librarian respectively. Fr Ghansah, SJ, is leaving for a sabbatical year while Fr Rabeson, SJ, for his new mission as rector of ITCJ. May the Lord strengthen them in their new missions.
Jean AMEGBLE, sj