My appointment resumed in Lindley on the 3rd January 2020. Upon arrival, I started my mission by conducting a funeral Mass on the 4th, before officially meeting the congregation in different communities on Sunday. However, after visiting all four communities, Srs. Agnes, Anne, Gabriel and the Sacred Heart, I decided to meet the PPC and PFC, where we discussed the situation in the parish, among matters discussed was whether the parish has candidates due for Confirmation,and other Sacraments. It emerged that there are young people due for Confirmation, date was set for 28th June, to familiarize myself with candidates, and catechists to see what they have done so far in matters of formation according to the policies of catechism regards to the Sacraments, especially Confirmations. Indeed, I was satisfied with the findings, and I did the best they could. Little did we know, in March, we will be a Lockdown, affected by the conclusion of the preparations, we failed.
God does not leave His own, Churches were opened a few months later. Despite the challenges, like the numbers of attendees didn't affect us much, Since our communities are not that big to be less than fifty attendees, It is normal PPC/ PFC meetings were set again, with other matters, We reviewed the Confirmations again, set a date, 28th February 2021. We go frustrated, since Lockdown was again announced just soon after our meeting and setting a date.
Fortunately, just a few weeks before the date of Confirmations, it was announced Churches are open again, We quickly met and decided to go ahead with our plans of Confirmations: scheduled for 28th February. All the logistics were sorted out, including numbers of attendees. We opted for open air Mass. The Bishop agreed to our proposal, though shocked with the number of confirmandi (which was fifty five), and how did we manage to keep them in church, especially that we were still in Lockdown Level 3, as one of the Diocesan Catechetical Committee commented, "I have come to believe, indeed, despite Lockdown, God is still at work. ''Lindley Parish, we are the witness of that experience. Despite the lockdown, the fifty five young people always looked forward to coming back to Church as soon as Churches were open, they were there. Their unwavering faith due to Lockdown gave us hope and the courage to let them receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Brothers and Sisters, even in Lockdown, God is at work. We cannot fold our arms and wait for COVID-19 to dictate how God should work in us, but us to open our hearts, let Him still be incharge in any situation. Believe in him in all situations, and us observing all the regulations stipulated, we will win the battle.
I Keep on praying for our fifty-five Confirmands who received the Sacrament of Confirmation on 28th February 2021, remain faithful in the journey.
God bless you all.
Fr. William Kaupa (Lindley Parish Priest).