By Addis Hlomani
The Catholic Nurses’ Guild of Bulawayo (CNGB) celebrated their end of year thanksgiving Mass on the 6th of November 2021 at St Mary’s Basilica. This time around, they gave thanks to God with a difference! The theme of the Holy Mass was three-fold, i.e., thanksgiving for God’s protection, remembering the deceased and journeying together (Synodality) in the year of St Joseph. The main celebrant who is also the Spiritual Director, Fr. Limukani Ndlovu neatly and emphatically articulated the three together.
In his homily whose title was “Walk like Christ Himself” the preacher encouraged the nurses to walk as Christ did by way of making choices inspired by Christ himself and led by the Holy Spirit. This means being compassionate, empathetic, caring, loving being good listeners, being advocates of the patients and being honest amongst the many attributes of a nurse. He added that by so doing, nurses would walk the ‘walk of Christ’, not only at their places of work, but in their families, communities and indeed in the Church. He warned that those who claimed to follow Christ, but later acted otherwise were likely to confuse the world. He quoted the challenging testimony which was given by Mahatma Gandhi who was discouraged by the sins committed by Christians, saying, “I like your Christ, but not your Christianity…” The Spiritual Director rounded off his homily by reminding nurses to always ‘Walk in the Light of the Lord’ as guided by the Holy Spirit. After the intercessions, nurses rose and lit candles before reciting the nurses’ pledge.
The CNGB went Synodal and ecumenical this time around. They invited a special guest, Dr. Judith Chamisa who herself is a Seventh Day Adventist and lecturer. She joyfully took up the invitation and saw it as part of her missionary work to motivate nurses. As the axiom goes, there is more that unites Christians than that which divides them, it was inspiring to see her actively participating and taking it to the stage in style. Dr. Chamisa joined a procession of the academia who had furthered their education beyond diploma level. They were in their colorful graduation regalia as they joyfully and prayerfully danced through the isle of the Basilica. Dr. Chamisa is a former nurse, Principal Tutor at Mpilo School of Nursing, and is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST). During her motivational speech, she encouraged nurses to adhere to the nurse’s pledge at all times, she reiterated the message of the homily and emphasized on the need for empowerment and confidence of a nurse which she said can only be achieved through one’s advancement in education because the sky is the limit and education knows know age.
Dr. Chamisa encouraged nurses to be humble, to be by the side of patients all the time, to exhibit nursing virtues in their families, communities, as well as in the Church. She applauded the Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo for coming up with the guild which she said was very relevant in motivating the spirit of nursing. Furthermore, she challenged nurses not to play ‘subservient’ to every cadre in the health fraternity, but to stand shoulder to shoulder in team mode, complementing each other in the care service of the core person, namely, the patient.
In her vote of thanks, Mrs. Anelia Ndlovu the Principal Nursing Officer for Matabeleland North challenged nurses to take heed of the wisdom shared by the guest speaker. She also dissuaded members of the guild from preoccupying themselves with migrating to other countries in search of green pastures but encouraged all nurses to work to transform the health situation in Zimbabwe.