It is wonderful to realize that the Pauline mission is not restricted to a single place or social class. Instead, we carry out an important and valuable apostolate wherever people are to be found.
Fr Alberione used to say, “Since many people do not go to church, the Church needs to go to the people.” These words served as a great incentive and source of inspiration for Sr. Janet and Sr. Vivian on their visit to Kabba, Kogi State, in the Diocese of Lokoja, Nigeria.
Yearning to reach as many local people as possible, the two Daughters of St. Paul set up a book and audiovisual exhibit of Bibles, Gospels and a wealth of other publications at the Diocese’s annual retreat for priests, and after the retreat, they extended their outreach to the crowds that filled Kabba’s open-air market.
When our FSP missionaries arrived at the market and began setting up their stand, they promptly attracted the attention of all the shoppers. Confusion, anticipation and a little worry were stamped on the faces of the people clustered around them. Why on earth would nuns be setting up a table in an open-air market? What did they have to sell? That was the big question. The curiosity and perplexity of the onlookers intimidated our two FSP missionaries a little, but that did not make them pack up their books and leave. Instead, they overcame their shyness, smiled and threw themselves enthusiastically into the apostolate of evangelization.
A good number of the shoppers visited their stand and asked questions about the mission of the Daughters of St. Paul. The sisters answered their questions willingly and helped them find the material they requested. One of their visitors was a Protestant pastor who purchased the African Bible.
Looking back on that apostolic episode, our sisters write: “A lot of people urged us to come back in the next few days. It was a wonderful and fulfilling experience.”