Seniority Holds Sway

Holy Cross church in Naleba

By Fr. Frank Hoare

The Catholics of Naleba settlement held their annual Church AGM while I happened to be there on a return visit. Some young teachers who had just completed three-week catechist course were full of enthusiasm to move things on. They felt that no progress was being made. The church committee members were elderly. The same elders had held the same positions unopposed for many years. One of the teachers persuaded a companion teacher to run for election.

Pages from a Missionary's DiaryToday at the AGM elections one teacher proposed the other for the position of president. Pandemonium erupted! The incumbent kept a dignified silence, but his supporters were very vocal. How could this young inexperienced person challenge his elder who had served so long and so well? Has he no respect for his uncle? And the proposer is not a born Catholic. He has only been baptized five years ago. Who does he think he is?

The person who was most indignant in this situation insisted that he spoke as a founder member of the church and recent members should recognize the distinction. Actually, this gentleman hardly ever attended Sunday Mass or a prayer group, and he was never around when there was work to be done.  However the nomination was withdrawn. The same committee was reelected.

Columban Fr. Frank Hoare shared this diary entry.

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