After a windy night, the Catholics of Cofimvaba woke up on the 25th of August 2012 under a shining sun in a blue sky, ready for a beautiful celebration commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the inauguration of their church and the golden ordination jubilee of their pastor, Father Karl Frings SAC.
Already early in the morning, people, dressed up in their beautiful traditional outfits, came from the surrounding villages to be sure to have a place in church, and, in the meantime groups of excited youngsters who wanted to perform during the day, gathered on the school grounds.
At 10:00, under the festive ringing of the bells and the singing of a well-trained choir, a procession of an impressive group of altar servers, followed by the priests, Father Frings and Bishop Mpako, entered the church to start a beautiful, dignified, and moving Liturgy.
In his sermon the Bishop praised and thanked Father Frings for his 50 years of faithful and loyal priestly service in the Church mentioning in the mean time a considerable number of people he personally knew who left the priesthood as a result of unpredictable situations and tragical circumstances and expressed the hope that their painful decision may lead to an improvement of the Church. And then that beautiful church of Cofimvaba which turned 50 years of age. Bishop Mpako praised the church as a building and also thanked the people who keep it in shape and the congregation as well, which keeps that building alive by making it by daily worship and prayer a house of God. After the sermon, the vivid congregation continued to change God’s house in Cofimvaba into a piece of heaven on earth.
After the service, there was a reception in the hall where old and young paid tribute to their pastor giving him from the bottom of the heart their donations.
The speeches were interrupted by songs and dances performed by the traditional grannies and by the really talented girls from the Hostel of St. James School as well.
Fr. Frings’ answer was rather laconic: in a few words he told the people that the contractor who built the church 50 years ago would not recognise it anymore and that due to the innovations, additions and renovations which followed during the last 30 years.
He praised and thanked God that he was able and allowed to do this and wished Cofimvaba God’s richest blessings and happy and prosperous years to come.
After this, the feast started for real and everybody enjoyed it very much.
A granite plaque commemorating this happy day and blessed by Bishop Mpako is now placed in the entrance of the church.
25 August 2012 was indeed a memorable day for Cofimvaba!
Fr. Edward Tratsaert SAC