“ROSARY” PALAVAR –
I must have bored you, my reader in the past, with the gist of how I was born into an Anglican family and how I “ported” permanently in 1996.
When I met and started dating my wife, I was not a “church goer” but she was, having been born into a staunch Catholic home, baptized and confirmed, she was/is entitled to partake of the Holy Communion. I was informed at an early age and I verily believed that the afore-mentioned “special ones” are called “Communicants”. Do not blame me as I did not stay long enough in the Anglican Church to get “confirmed” like my older siblings.
Throughout our school days (my wife and I), she never missed what I came to know as “Mass”. Wait a minute, I was not a pagan in the true sense of it as I and my friend and flatmate -Tokosi Rilwan Adekunle (a very liberal practising Moslem) and a host of others never failed to attend the “Cross-Over” Mass at St Albert, University of Benin way back. She has always loved God. Lest I forget, my Igbo friends (they’ve always been my closest friends from cradle any ways) hinted me that in Igboland, a woman does not really have a religion as she is expected to join the husband in his own form of worship. In Yoruba land, it is slightly different as a Christian woman can marry a Moslem man and still continue with her faith. After all, my Sister did it. Any ways, she made a request before we got married and I graciously granted same. She sought to get married in the Catholic Church and her request was granted automatically. We ultimately got wedded at the Catholic Church of Transfiguration, VGC, Lagos on 5 July 2008.
After our wedding, she followed me to an Anglican church once and I (we) stopped going to church for another five (5) months after that encounter. She kept on worrying me and my then landlord who is like a father to me till today, Dr Tayo Bello (the most liberal Moslem I’ve ever met) became worried about my not going to church and he mandated me to find a church and start worshipping God. I complied almost immediately.
One Sunday morning, I, together with my wife and first child got in the car and started “scouting” for a church around Ikorodu where we were residing at the time until the Holy Spirit led us to the Chapel of Transfiguration, Ikorodu (My Father’s House) where the Senior Pastor and Pastor “B” made us feel loved, nurtured us and that was where we both got bitten by the bug of Pentecostalism fully and finally, till date.
You may then ask, why all this epistle? I never shared this part with you, whenever I was out of town, my wife never failed to attend Mass in the closest Catholic church in her neighbourhood, together with “her children”. I must also add that all the children got baptized in the Catholic church. It was easy for her to so do for two reasons: 1. I think I’m liberal when it comes to religion and denominations/sects; 2. I did not witness the baptism of any of the children and did not even get to see two (2) of them until they clocked three (3) months or above. I think I saw only one for the first time when she was one (1) month old. (Don’t ask me why. Na so we see am).
There came a time when the first child had to proceed to the secondary school and naturally, a Catholic school came to mind. It came handy because I’m a product of Mission schools, both primary and secondary and I swore that I was going to subject my children to same. Guess what, the first time the boy came back home from school, he was still boasting that he was a Pentecostal and can never be a Catholic! This same boy, the last time he came around, he was asking me if he could go for “catechism” and “confirmation” so that he could start receiving the Holy Communion! “Won ti get e!” Can you imagine, son of Fapohunda! Holy Communion in the Catholic church! Before I could say Jack Robinson, he had taught the younger ones how to say the Rosary, in my house! My wife had even bought Rosaries for them all and they wear their Rosaries 24/7 now. They can now say the Rosary and do the sign of the cross!
What can I do? If they’ve chosen to become Catholics, I can only give them my blessing and wish them well. After all, we all call on the same God and I also absconded from the faith of my father. What goes around comes around. Innit?
I’ve always said it that these women have a way “cornering” their children. While all of this was going on, guess what, wifey never uttered a word! Her facial expression never betrayed her emotion. Women! And I’m sure she and other Catholics reading this peace are happy. That is how she would encourage them to marry Igbo women now! Chai!
In any event, the deal is that for as long as they live under my roof, they will be attending my Pentecostal church with me. When they turn 18, then they can opt for their newfound faith.
Please note that this is a work of art. The writer is one of the most liberal creatures ever created by God, and he has nothing against any religion, sect or tribe. No stereotypes. No prejudices. For we are one before God, our creator.