Tuesday , March 28 2023

Queen of Holy Rosary celebrates golden jubilee

The joint Catholic congregation of Saba gathered Sunday in Hell’s gate for the Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration of Queen of the Holy Rosary Church on its patron’s feast. Theme of the golden jubilee was “Faith in Christ through Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary,” in line with the “Year of Faith” called by Pope Benedict XVI for the 2013 liturgical year, which is to start from Thursday, October 11. Sunday’s Mass began with the overcrowded church joining in the Holy Rosary prayers with the confirmation candidates. Wearing feathered wings the First Holy Communion candidates brought flowers and lit candles. Father Danilo Pastor presided over the Mass, blessing the Church on its 50th anniversary and addressing in his homily the relationship between the liturgical year’s theme and the community patron’s veneration. Local historian Will Johnson spoke about the history of the Zion’s Hill community and its past and current church built in 1962. He spoke mainly of the role of the deceased Estelle Simmons in persistently lobbying with Bishop Wilhelm Michel Ellis at the time that a new church had to be built on the grounds of the church that had been destroyed by a hurricane. He read a statement prepared by the church committee in appreciation of Simmons’ lifelong service to the community. As a token of appreciation a framed letter from the Bishop to Simmons was presented to be placed on permanent display in the church. The letter of 1986 attests to the correspondence between the Bishop and the determined parishioner. “The people of Hell’s Gate should be thankful to you Estelle,” reads a fragment of the letter. The lives and community service of Reverend Father Lawrence Mulder and Father Nobertus de Groen were remembered on the occasion. Among the many present Sunday were elderly parishioners who remembered the old wooden church before the building of the current towering, cut-stone edifice. Photos courtesy of Will Johnson depicted the role of Administrator Henry Carlyle Every in laying the cornerstone of the new church; and Estelle Simmons on the construction site. Father Pastor blessed the new emblem of the church placed outside the bell tower. The congregation next gathered for a celebratory meal sharing. The Occasionals sang the famed old tunes of the island through the afternoon hours, while the elderly were seated at adorned tables in the church’s community centre.

Source: “The Daily Herald” 2012-10-09

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