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City of Banjul
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Pleasant surprise at Saint Kizito’s

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He is one of the two Gambian Priests ordained in The Gambia for nearly a century. The other Priest is Fr Peter Gomez. They were among the first 20 students who were selected by Fr Gough when the Seminary in The Gambia was started in 1972. Out of those 20 students, only these two continued to the end and were ordained Priests on 13th April 1985.

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Last Sunday three elders in the St Kizito’s Church in Bakoteh laid a pleasant surprise for the parishioners and everyone when they unveiled a well kept secret – a big and befitting celebration of Fr Anthony Gabisi’s 30 years as a Priest and to thank him for his leadership of their Parish Priest. 

They planned a big ceremony which they kept a close guided secret to everyone except themselves. They vowed not to tell even their wives about their plan.

First, they were able to convince Fr Gabisi to have only one mass instead of two on Sunday the 12th April which was the eve of the anniversary. They then informed Fr Gabisi’s 86-year old mother about the plan and invited her to attend the ceremony and do the presentation but never to tell Fr Gabisi.

The Mother was so excited about the plan that she agreed to be interviewed by Mr George Gomez for a well written citation of the Priest. (Other sources for the citation came from John Kokory and Fr Edu Gomez) which was read at the Church before the presentation.

The Father was presented with a large oil portrait of himself from a photo he took with Fr Lopez when they attended a seminar a very long time ago. The oil paint we were told will last for over one hundred years.

On that Sunday, a car was arranged to collect the Mother, Mrs Rebecca Gabisi who was accompanied by Mr and Mrs Cox (Fr’s brother and wife); Miss Nora Greywood (Cousin); Nyaka Cox (Niece); Mammy Betts; Miss Jainaba Ceesay (Cousin); Mr and Mrs Kamanda; and Elizabeth Faye Koroma (Asmawo) They were brought to the Church just before the end of Mass to prevent Fr from seeing them. 

Then the big surprise started with the reading of the citation followed by an invitation for his mother to come inside the Church with the other members of the family. That was the surprise of the day for Father. 

The whole Church erupted and all stood up clapping for the old woman welcoming her and other members of the family in the Church. They went straight to the alter to meet and shake hands with the two priests. Then the portrait was brought in and presented to Fr. 

The Choir then sang the Magnificent in Wollof after the prayers for the mother of Our Lord Jesus to continue to guide and protect Fr Gabisi and Fr Peter Gomez throughout their Ministry. 

Both Priests expressed their appreciation to the parishioners and thanked the organisers for what they said was a big surprise. The whole Church was invited to a small reception afterwards and to take photos with the two Priests. 

Fr Peter Gomez was extended an invitation by the St. Kizito Church as their special guest at their Parish Feast in May.

The three persons who organised this surprise ceremony were Mr Louis Sarkis, Mr Peter Gomez and Mr George Gomez.


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