The Inquirer (Monrovia)

Liberia: Catholic Prelate Celebrates Silver Jubilee of Priesthood

Hundreds of parishioners at the "Our Lady of Lourdes" Catholic Church, St. Mary's Parish in Tweh Farm, Bushrod Island have joined Rev.Fr. Dominic Y. Sumo, who is visually impaired, to celebrate and thank God for his 25-years' priesthood service.

At a thanksgiving mass held on Sunday which also coincided with the Feast of the Epiphany, members of the Church showered praises on Rev. Father Sumo for his service to the church and his country during his 25 years of priestly work in the Roman Catholic Church.

Delivering the homily at a single mass in honor of Father Sumo, Rev. Fr. Boniface Tye of the St. Paul's Major Seminary told the congregation that the real meaning of the celebration is to give thanks and appreciation to God for the achievements of his colleague while he observes his 25th Silver Jubilee of Grace as a Priest.

Rev. Fr. Tye recalled that Father Sumo entered a vocation that made him not only a man of God but an exemplary of people's life. According to him, Father Sumo understands his call and has a spiritual characteristic which places him in the right position with God.

Commenting on his work as a Priest, Fr. Tye explained that one must take strength, courage, discipline, and sacrifice to do what Fr. Sumo has done and continue to do. "Fr. Sumo, you are a down to earth person and very practical and your sense of human is extraordinary. You have served the Church and your country as well; we pray for God's protection upon you," Fr. Tye stated.

Minutes after the mass was held, the INQUIRER had an exclusive interview with Fr. Sumo in the edifice of the Church. He told our reporter that he was ordained at age 40 on December 13, 1987 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Broad Street and was immediately assigned to carry on his pastoral duty in Klay, Bomi County but soon left for St. Paius in Harbel, Margibi County.

He got visually impaired prior to the 1990 civil war in Liberia. It all started when he began to experience pressure in his eyes. He was then later taken off to Boston, the United States of America where he stayed for check-up and later attended a training school for the blind.

Father Sumo who is 65 disclosed that his major challenge as a priest has been his movement from one place to another. Sometimes he gets angry when he expects someone to do him something at a particular time and it is not done.

But with God being his guidance, the Catholic Prelate said he was grateful to the Almighty for his favor upon him because it is not an easy journey when one becomes a blind person. He cautioned his fellow Priests to remain steadfast in the service of God who calls to work. "It is not an easy thing as a blind man to do something for yourself and you cannot do it. Sometimes you call upon someone to do but they take their own time and even do it when he or she is pleased. Movement is a challenge for me," Fr. Sumo emphasized.

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