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Poetic Tribute to Our Silver Jubilarians



(With no regular rhyme and rhythm in this poem, other literary devices colour it: assonance, allusions, inclusion, pun, paradox, contrast, irony, hyperbole and rhetorical question)

 Twenty Five Years of touching and changing lives in charity and selfless service!
On whose shoulders do they stand and from whom did they take the baton to run and pass on?

Echoes of my “LUO DUO” Tribute to Frs Ephraim and James in 2016.
Memories of Fr Liam’s pun with Com-passion and Mini-stars!
1996 – the beginning/end of an era of rigidity, enthusiasm or dynamism with this Trio?
James like Jacob, Ephraim like Esau and Liam like Lot!
Nay, James like Joseph in Egypt, Ephraim like Peter and Liam like Barnabas!
James for no nonsense, Ephraim for all nonsense and Liam for cunning prudence!

James as rottweiler, the lion of Judah: with strength and ingenuity to fight for autonomy and protection with fierce, confrontational, and leadership that guards and guides and fights.
Ephraim as Snowball in Animal Farm, the pelican: resilient, unselfish, friendly, cunning,
respectful, camaraderie.
Liam as Otter: playful, enabling, friendly, joyful, lover of fun and activity, entertaining, humorous, magician.

Grace at work in Twenty-Five Years in vessels of clay – Amare et Servire!
The wheat, the weed, the earthen jars in the Lord’s vineyard – Clay pots in the hands of the Divine Potter –
Years of sin, undeniably great – years of Grace and love, undoubtably greater!
Years of loving service, years of resilience, years of partying and patient suffering!
Years of sacramental lavishing – baptizing, anointing, wedding, absolving and Mass offerings!
Years of trailblazing in India, Cameroon, Kenya, South Africa, UK!

James the son of thunder, James with the finest rare laughter!
Ephraim the lover and charmer of all, Ephraim the party organiser!
Liam the playful outreacher, the enthusiastic motivator!
Lord bless them on every June 23rd and every August 1st!

Everyone knows their weaknesses and gossips – Everyone dreads the one or the other!
What else is new under the sun of their weaknesses, animosity or negative humanity?
What else shines out in their illnesses and brokenness but life and love and grace and goodness?
For which of them is or was afraid to walk on eggshells and bomb shells?

Twenty-Five Years of shattering facades, of masking and unmasking, of wheat with weeds!
What an ongoing transformation in Twenty Five plus years!
From nobodies to stars to ministers –  from passionate to compassionate pastors!
From my way or  high way to His ways and His Will!

From tinges of arrogance, complacency and mediocrity – to humble complimentary conscientious confreres!
From know it all to maybe I got it wrong and others can do it better.

Twenty-Five Years for Precious Silver not Glorious gold yet!
Twenty-Five more years for my elder brothers for another Silver to make it gold.
Hurray, hongera, bravo, felicitations, congratulations to L.E.J.!
The mini stars of the Light like every MHMs in the Mission of the Church of Christ for His Anawim!

Perfectly or imperfectly so – proudly or humbly so, honestly or dubiously so, loudly or silently so
A Symphony or a cacophony – tidily or messily so, sweetly or bitterly so, angrily or gently so!
In the footsteps of your loving Lord and master, of your loved ones and families!
Twenty Five Years of touching and changing lives in charity and selfless service!

Twenty Five Years of bearing and bringing Christ like Mary and Joseph to Egypt – in the sacraments!
Twenty Five Years of playfulness, confrontation, challenge, collaboration – take your pick!
Twenty five years of growth in maturity into Alter Christus!
James, Liam, Ephraim – in persona Christi – fratelli, padri, peres, freres, undugu!
Ephraim, Liam, James – colleagues and confreres – mentors and benefactors!
James, Ephraim Liam – formators and spiritual directors – more grease to your elbows!

Twenty-Five Years of touching and changing lives in charity and selfless service!

(Disclaimer: what we say, read, like or dislike of others mirrors us; for what is most personal is most universal)  

Emmanuel Mbeh, July 2021

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