Celebrating Work – a Worker’s Mass in Tanzania

Celebrating Work – a Worker’s Mass in Tanzania

by Sr. Noeleen Mooney MMM              Ireland                  01.05.2023

“Where is she going with that? I said, silently, because we were waiting for Mass to begin.

It was the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, May 1st, and we had come to sing and ask his blessing on our work. But here was a Mama, with a baby surveying all from the snug security of her back, carrying a jembe (a hoe), right up to the front of the Church.
It seemed to be the start of a procession. Soon there was a complete row of jembes, all pointing heavenwards. A squeaking sound announced the arrival of another Mama, complete with tin bucket. It too, was placed solemnly in line.

And suddenly it seemed so right, to bring symbols of our work. So, I watched fascinated while the procession grew, and variety increased.

The student nurses brought their precious textbooks and pens, carefully wrapped in beautifully embroidered cloths, a craft in which they excel. The medical assistant brought his stethoscope; the cook brought his baking tins; the tailor brought his scissors; the midwife brought her foetal stethoscope, (the small children were fascinated, it looked so much like a horn that I’m sure they longed to blow it!).

So, all kinds of signs appeared of human efforts in building up the Kingdom. They were duly blessed and sent forth in many hands to continue the task of planting, building, reaping, healing. All part of the glorious call to be human.

What did I bring myself? Well you might ask. Only myself, I ‘m afraid. Had I known in time I think it would have been the microscope. But there is always next year!